Global Wellness Summit 2016

2016 Summit Speaker & Presenter Bios

Claudia Aguirre, PhD

Neuroscientist and Mind-Body Expert

Dr. Claudia Aguirre is a neuroscientist and skin expert, specializing in the mind-body connection. She consults internationally as a professional speaker and writer for the health and wellness industries. Dr. Aguirre is the resident neuroscientist at Headspace, a meditation lifestyle company, and forms part of the Comfort Zone scientific committee, where she advises the research and development team on the development of new skin-care products.


Tom J. Bauer

COO, VAMED Vitality World

After more than 25years in the international Hotel industry, now since 6 years as COO for the market leader VAMED Vitality World, Tom is working together with more than 1600 colleagues in 9 properties in Austria and Hungary on a daily basis to drive health awareness and deliver medical & hot spring wellness to at the very end create and stimulate happiness..


Nils Behrens

Managing Director & Chief Marketing Officer, Lanserhof Group

Nils Behrens is managing director and chief marketing officer of the Lanserhof Group. For 30 years, the medical institution has practiced the LANS Med concept, a symbiosis of traditional naturopathy and state-of-the-art medicine treating both mind and body. Designed to support the natural healing process, LANS Med concept promotes physical wellbeing and inner balance, with a focus on personal regeneration.


Dr. Elke Benedetto-Reisch

Medical Director, Lanserhof Group

Born in Kitzbühel, Dr. Elke Benedetto-Reisch is one of the most renowned doctors with regards to modern Mayr medicine, as well as a specialist in general practice, consistently building on her education and long-standing experience in complimentary medicine. Elke received her degree at Leopold-Franzens University in Innsbruck in 1982. Her association with the Lanserhof group dates back to 2010.


Professor Gerry Bodeker, PhD

Professor, Oxford University

Professor Gerry Bodeker, whose doctoral studies were at Harvard, researches and advises on traditional (indigenous) and complementary medicine and wellness. He has researched and taught in Medical Sciences at Oxford for two decades, and is adjunct professor of epidemiology at Columbia University. Bodeker works with private sectors, governments and UN organizations, including WHO and the UN University, advising on culturally themed wellness strategies.


David Bosshart, PhD

CEO, Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute for Economic and Social Studies

Dr. David Bosshart is CEO of the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute in Rüschlikon/Zurich – an independent European think tank that specializes in trend research, retail, economic and social issues. His expertise is in changes in consumption patterns and behavior, innovation in retailing and the service industry. Bosshart has a PhD in philosophy and political theory, and has been described by some as “the brains of Europe.”


Anne Bramham

Owner & Founder, American Spa Therapy Education Certification Council

Consultant, program designer and teacher of spa therapies, British-born Anne Bramham founded ASTECC in 1995. Widely regarded as the U.S. industry standard, Anne’s “constitutionally” inspired post-graduate curriculum draws on traditional spa therapies with a focus on the bio-chemical element requirements of individual guests. Adopted by top U.S. destination resorts, her clients include the award-winning Montage Resort properties and Grand Del Mar.

Jan-Emmanuel De Neve

Associate Professor of Economics and Strategy at Saïd Business School,
University of Oxford


De Neve’s research interests are in behavioral economics and political economy, with the underlying theme being the study of human wellbeing. This has led to new insights in the relationship between happiness and income, economic growth and inequality. He has become co-editor of the next World Happiness Report, deputy principal investigator for the ESRC What Works Centre for Wellbeing, and a research advisor to the Gallup Organization.


Stephan Eberharter

Olympic Skier and Champion

As Olympic champion, three-time world champion and two-time overall World Cup winner Stephan Eberharter is one of the most successful ski racers of all time. Across his 14-year career he accumulated the 5th-most medals for Alpine Skiing in Olympic history, and won 29 World Cup races of which 18 were downhill races. His 2004 victory at the Hahnenkamm downhill in Kitzbühel is often regarded as one of the most impressive downhill victories in alpine skiing history.


Lasse Eriksen

Development Manager, Nordic Hotels & Resorts – Farris Bad

As a coach, trainer, and therapist Lasse Eriksen has spent his last 20 years within the Nordic wellness scene by a true mission to share, develop and embrace the cultural and historical use of European Sauna and wellness rituals. He is a member of the Aufguss WM group, Jury member in Aufguss WM/EM and professional Saunamaster at Scandinavias leading resort Farris Bad



Giselle Fernandez

Journalist and Filmmaker

Five-time Emmy Award-winning journalist, producer, filmmaker and Latin media marketing entrepreneur, Giselle Fernandez is currently the creator and host of the award-winning online interview series, “Big Shots,” for Emmis Publishing’s Los Angeles Magazine. Giselle is president of her own production, management and consulting company and earned the prestige of a 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award for Broadcasting from the Golden Mike Foundation.


Irene Forte

Brand Manager, Rocco Forte Hotels

Irene Forte joined Rocco Forte Hotels in 2013 as Quality Standards Executive. Today, whilst still overseeing learning and development, she now also oversees the Spa proposition across the group, launching Rocco Forte Spas in January 2016. Irene was awarded government funding in 2015 to create a careers app for the hospitality industry. Map My Future launched in August 2016.


Christian Harisch, PhD

CEO, Lanserhof Group

Dr. Christian Harisch has been CEO and owner of the Lanserhof Group for more than 20 years. Christian was born into a dynasty of hoteliers from Kitzbuehl and, after his apprenticeship in tourism management at Schloss Klessheim, he studied law, graduated with a Master’s and completed a PhD. He oversees the Hotel Weisses Roessl and Hotel Schwarzer Adler, both family-owned hotels for over 100 years.


Balthasar Hauser

Owner, Biohotel Stanglwirt

Balthasar Hauser was born on August 8, 1946 at the Stanglwirt in Going. After his mother died at a very young age, he has inherited the family-owned 400 year-old farmhouse and traditional inn “Stanglwirt” when he was only 17 years old. Hauser linked his “green vision” to the grown structures of his ancestors and developed the farm-guesthouse into an internationally recognized 5 star luxury “Green Spa Resort”.

Maggie Hsu

Advisor, Zappos

Maggie Hsu is an Advisor at, an online retailer headquartered in Las Vegas. Previously, Maggie was Chief of Staff at Downtown Project, a collection of 300 investments across small business, tech and real estate that is aiding in the revitalization of Downtown Vegas. Maggie was also Director of Strategy at Hilton Worldwide and a consultant at McKinsey. Maggie holds degrees from Harvard.


Omer K. Isvan

President, Servotel Corporation

Omer K. Isvan is president of Servotel Corporation, which is widely recognized among the leading advisors in the investment and development of hotels, resorts and integrated mixed-use developments worldwide. Omer’s experience spans over 43 countries and numerous projects, and he has advised investors in every step of development, from green-field stage to asset management. He is a frequent keynote speaker on hospitality development at conferences and leading universities.


Katherine Johnston

Senior Research Fellow, Global Wellness Institute

Katherine Johnston has 17 years of experience conducting economic and industry competitiveness studies worldwide. Since 2008, Katherine has partnered with the Global Wellness Institute to pioneer groundbreaking research on the global wellness industry. Katherine has worked as a senior economist at SRI International, a major nonprofit research and consulting firm, since 1999. She holds degrees from Sweet Briar College and Georgetown University.


Dr. Imke Koenig

Spa Director, Schloss Elmau
Since August 2008, Dr. Imke Koenig served as the spa director at Schloss Elmau. Apart from her involvement in spa management, her special interest is in the training of therapists including teaching anatomy and physiology to massage therapists, writing articles and conducting research in the field of body work. Her profound experience with Traditional Chinese Medicine and Asian philosophies completes her professional profile.

Barbara Kolm, PhD

Director, Austrian Economics Center

Founding director of the Austrian Economics Center, Kolm also serves as president of the Friedrich A. V. Hayek Institute. Both are think tanks with international outreach, dedicated to the promotion of freedom, responsibility and prosperity. She publishes economic analyses, provides expertise on national budgets, and is a consultant for structural reforms and international best practices. She is a sought-after speaker and frequent interviewee on her views of current events.


Dr. Harry F. König

Head of Medical Care, Brenners Park Hotel & Spa

Dr. Harry F. König is the director of Brenners Medical Care at Brenners Park Hotel & Spa, which has preventative healthcare programs with a focus on beauty, wellbeing and medical care. Harry studied acupuncture at the renowned Vienna School of Prof. Dr. Bischko, the founder of “European” acupuncture, and is the co-founder of cu­raS­por­t® movement, a program aimed to promote physical fitness and health.


David Clay Large

Senior Fellow, Institute of European Studies, UC Berkeley

A specialist on the history of Modern Europe, especially Germany and Austria, Large has published widely in that field. Among his many publications is The Grand Spas of Central Europe: A History of Intrigue, Politics, Art, and Healing (2015). Because writing the book naturally required extensive “field research” at alpine healing centers, Large is intimately familiar with the glories of Austria’s hot-springs resorts.


Thierry Malleret

Co-Founder, The Monthly Barometer

Thierry Malleret is the co-founder and primary author of The Monthly Barometer, a predictive analysis provided exclusively to private investors and today’s most influential opinion and decision makers. Previously, Thierry was a senior partner at IJ (Informed Judgement) Partners, an investment boutique for ultra-high-net-worth individuals based in Geneva. A popular speaker at industry events, he founded and headed the Global Risk Network at the World Economic Forum.


Stephanie Moore

Head Nutritionist, Grayshott Health Spa

With over 25 years of experience, Stephanie Moore is a clinical nutritionist with a degree in nutritional medicine and a Masters degree in psychotherapy and counselling. Stephanie is head of nutrition at Grayshott Health Spa where she oversees a radical 7-day digestive health regime that she helped developed 3 years ago. Stephanie holds a nutritional therapy clinic in Surrey and London including an eating disorders clinic one day a week.


Robert Ranzi

Cluster Manager, Standortagentur Tirol

Since 2007, Robert Ranzi has been Cluster Manager of Cluster Wellness Tirol, a network with 130 enterprises, institutions and universities covering the health, wellness and tourism industry. The cluster organizes events, conventions and impulse workshops in order to introduce innovations. Robert is a clinical psychologist with experience and results in adult education, trainings and project development.


Richard Schmitz

CEO, H/S/M Hotel und Spa Management Richard Schmitz

In 1973, Schmitz became the managing director of Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa in Baden-Baden and remained in this position till 2000. For over 30 years, he was vice president of the Chamber of Commerce of Karlsruhe and chairman of the Hotel and Restaurant Association Baden-Baden. He also co-founded the German-Russian economic forum IHK Karlsruhe, and in 2000, received the “Euro Crystal Globe,” an honorary award from the European Economic Institute.


Louie Schwartzberg

Founder, Moving Art

Louie Schwartzberg is an award-winning cinematographer, director and producer whose career spans more than four decades using time-lapse, high-speed and macro cinematography techniques. Louie’s recent theatrical releases include the 3D IMAX film Mysteries of the Unseen World with National Geographic and the documentary Wings of Life for Disneynature. Louie’s three TED talks have gone viral with almost 50 million combined views. Louie is the first filmmaker to be inducted into the Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Lemelson Foundation’s Invention Ambassadors Program.


Dr. Christine Stossier

Assistant Medical Director, VIVAMAYR Medical Clinic

An expert in women’s health, Dr. Christine Stossier is globally respected for her modern take on female hormonal changes and her natural approach, which unites body, mind and spirit. Along with her husband, Dr. Harald Stossier, she opened VIVAMAYR Maria Wörth in 2004, which is considered to be the world’s leading medical retreat. There, she specializes in female health issue as the assistant medical director.


Dr. Harald Stossier

Medical Director, VIVAMAYR Medical Clinic

As medical director of VIVAMAYR Medical Clinic in Austria, Dr. Stossier and his team combine modern Mayr medicine with advanced diagnostics, holistic medical treatments, orthomolecular medicine and meticulous diet plans. Harald has a global reputation for his work, lecturing regularly to doctors, practitioners and therapists, and over 20 years of voluntary service with the Austrian Medical Association – particularly on the board for complementary medicine.


Edie Weiner

President & CEO, The Future Hunters

Edie Weiner was given the World Future Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Formed as Weiner, Edrich, Brown, Inc. in 1977, The Future Hunters has helped over 400 clients, from national governments to Fortune 500 companies, identify opportunities in strategic thinking, product development, marketing, investment, human resources and change management. Edie has lectured at the World Economic Forum in Davos and wrote Future Think, a global bestselling book.


Professor Hildegard Wittlinger

Director, Dr. Vodder Academy International

Professor Hildegard Wittlinger has been teaching and lecturing on the original Vodder method of Manual Lymph Drainage for over 40 years in many countries around the world and at the Dr. Vodder School at home in Tyrol. She and her husband Günther were personally trained by Dr. Emil Vodder, the originator of this massage method, who appointed them as his successors. The president of the Republic of Austria awarded the title “Professor” to Hildegard Wittlinger for excellent teaching and spreading the Vodder method of Manual Lymph Drainage worldwide.


Mark Wuttke

President and Chief Operating Officer, Babor

Mark Wuttke, is President and Chief Operating Officer of the North American Executive Leadership Team of luxury skincare brand Babor. A globally recognized leader in the spa and wellness industry, Wuttke, a native of Australia, is known for his high profile work in beauty, spa, skincare, and wellness. Celebrated for his inspirational leadership style and passion for wellness and sustainability issues, he is founder of the Wuttke Group, an advisory specializing in guiding global companies on issues related to corporate strategy, M&A, alliances, portfolio management, and organizational workplace culture. Wuttke serves on numerous industry and non-profit boards in the fields of cosmetics, skincare, sustainability, and wellness.


Ophelia Yeung

Senior Research Fellow, Global Wellness Institute

Ophelia Yeung has extensive experience leading research and strategy development for business, nonprofit, multilateral and government organizations, including more than twenty years at SRI International, a Silicon Valley-based technology and innovation company. Since 2008, Ophelia has co-authored several research studies for the Global Wellness Institute, including Global Spa and Wellness Economy 2014 and The Future of Wellness at Work 2016. Ophelia holds advanced degrees from Smith College and Princeton University.



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