Speakers

Rob JacksonRob Jackson (UK)
Keynote Speaker & Inspirational Speaker

Rob Jackson has worked in the volunteering movement for more than 21 years, during which time he has led and managed volunteers and volunteer programmes in education, advice, fundraising and children’s services settings at local, regional and national levels. In 2011 Rob established Rob Jackson Consulting Ltd and now provides consultancy, public speaking and training services on a range of topics, with strategic volunteer engagement remaining at the core of his work. Rob continues to write extensively for the field.

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Rob worked for Volunteering England for six years, most of which he spent as Director of Development and Innovation. Rob successfully generated over £3million of income, led a merger with Student Volunteering England and oversaw the delivery of a number of strategic development projects in the volunteering field. As well as his expertise in volunteerism, Rob has strong links with the fundraising world. He spent six years as a member of the Institute of Fundraising’s Standards Committee and chaired the Institute’s working party which developed the UK’s first code of good practice on volunteer fundraising.

In 2011 Rob established Rob Jackson Consulting Ltd and now provides consultancy, public speaking and training services on a range of topics, with strategic volunteer engagement remaining at the core of his work. Rob continues to write extensively for the field. He co-authored the 2012 publication The Complete Volunteer Management Handbook, has his own blog and writes a monthly “Voice Of Volunteering” column for Third Sector Magazine online. In 2015 Rob co-authored “From The Top Down – UK edition” with respected American author and consultant, Susan J Ellis. The book is the only one of it’s kind aimed at senior managers in Volunteer Involving Organisations to help them understand their key strategic roles in effective volunteer engagement. Rob is an active volunteer, having previously served as chair of governors at a large Lincolnshire primary school. He is the founder and moderator of UKVPMs, the first email networking resource for UK based Volunteer Programme Managers and as a member of the editorial team for e-Volunteerism.com, an international journal on volunteering issues.

 

Cristina RigmanCristina Rigman (RO)
Conference Facilitator & Workshop Facilitator

Cristina Rigman is the acting President of the European Volunteer Center (CEV) network and CEO of Pro Vobis – the National Resource Center for Volunteerism in Romania. She has been working in volunteering for the past 13 years, concentrating mostly on the development of a sound volunteering infrastructure to further the development of volunteerism. She was involved in setting up several local volunteer centers across Romania and delivering training and consultancy on topics related to volunteerism to large volunteer involving organizations in the country.

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She initiated and led the process of setting up the representation structure for volunteerism in Romania (VOLUM Federation) and she served as its first president from 2010 until 2013. Cristina has been involved in the campaign leading to the declaration of 2011 as the European Year of Volunteerism and has managed the national working group for the implementation of EYV 2011 in Romania and co-chaired the European working group on Volunteering Infrastructure managed by the EYV2011 Alliance. Cristina has contributed to writing the text of the current Law on Volunteerism in Romania (changed in 2014) and is currently delivering training on how to implement the legal framework for volunteerism as part of the School of Volunteer Managers training program developed by Pro Vobis. Cristina is an accredited trainer and project manager, specialized in training on volunteer management, project management, civic participation, organizational development, monitoring and evaluation and impact measurement. She is also facilitating strategic planning processes and provides consultancy on governance in the nonprofit sector. She is the happy mother of David (3 years old) and a volunteer for a youth focused organization based in Turda, a small town close to Cluj-Napoca (where Pro Vobis is located).
 
 

WORKSHOP FACILITATORS

Dominic PinkneyDominic Pinkney (UK)
Workshop Facilitator: Working with Employee Volunteers

Dominic is Chief Executive of Hammersmith & Fulham and Camden Volunteer Centres and not-for-profit social enterprise Works4U. Dominic is an expert and innovator in the field of Employer Supported Volunteering (ESV) and has provided consultancy to NGOS and businesses in the United Kingdom and Europe.

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Based in West London, Works4U’s social mission is to help businesses to support the community through volunteering and related activities. Dominic is an expert and innovator in the field of Employer Supported Volunteering (ESV) and has provided consultancy to NGOS and businesses in the United Kingdom and Europe. He founded and Chairs the London ESV Network which brings together ESV brokers and providers to enable businesses to achieve greater and more sustained support for the community. A strategy expert with a background in both the private and NGO sectors, he believes collaboration and partnerships are key to sustainable and impactful services to the beneficiaries we serve.
 

Iuliana DinuIuliana Dinu (RO/UK)
Workshop Facilitator: Volunteering All-Inclusive

Iuliana is a professional psychologist and psychotherapist. Currently based in London and since 2014 she is project manager within the Volunteer Centre Kensington and Chelsea. She has over 15 years experience working with vulnerable cildren, young people and adults in different communities (Romania, Cambodia, UK) and knows the extent to which volunteering can have a huge impact on their lives.

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Iuliana is a qualified trainer and since 2008 she has delivered more than 250 training sessions around Europe, helping people to strengthen their skills and competences to develop new projects, new organisations, become active citizens in their communities and raise awareness around different issues such as Mental Health, Disability, HIV, Volunteering and Diversity. As the former Chief Executive of a Chance for Life Foundation in Romania, she has successfully developed projects in partnership with business, supporting them to translate Corporate Social Responsibility visions into impactful work with the local communities through employee supported volunteering. She is a trustee of Volunteurope Network and as such she is an ambassador for volunteering across Europe, promoting the role and impact of European partnerships in growing and developing local organisations. 
 
 
 

Tina KovačićTina Kovačić (HR)
Workshop Facilitator: Are Volunteer Managers Allowed to Say “NO”?

Tina is trained as a volunteer manager by the Association for Civil Society Development  SMART and is currently managing over forty volunteers of SOS telephone for victims of violence.Tina has graduated Croatian language and literature at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. She has been a volunteer of SOS telephone – City of Rijeka since 2010, and in 2012 she became the president of the same organisation.

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In 2014 she was employed at SOS telephone – City of Rijeka as project manager and coordinator of the program „Counseling centre for victims of family violence”. In her spare time she volunteers at Rijeka City Library.
 

Lorena ZecLorena Zec (HR)
Workshop Facilitator: Are Volunteer Managers Allowed to Say “NO”?

Lorena is currently a psychologist at the Counseling centre for victims of family violence that is part of SOS telephone – City of Rijeka, organisation for helping victims of violence. She has been a volunteer at the SOS telephone – City of Rijeka since 2009 and has also volunteered at many different NGOs (on local, national and European level). She has lots of experience in managing larger volunteer groups and supervising their work.

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Parallel with providing counselling for victims of violence, her job is to educate and supervise the volunteers who work on the SOS helpline for victims of violence. She has attended many trainings concerning volunteer management and working with people. She is currently a student at the School of cybernetics and systemic therapy – Rijeka. 
 
 

Bikfalvi_RekaDr. Réka Bikfalvi (HU)
Workshop Facilitator: Avoid Multiplying Burnout

She graduated from Eötvös Loránd University (Budapest, Hungary) in Psychology in 2002, and completed a second degree in 2010 in Health Psychology. Being a health psychologist has been her profession since that time. Réka has 15 years of experience in the field of counselling, and in the last five years she has also implemented workplace health promotion programs with her colleagues at the Foundation of Mental Health for Well-being, of which she is a Manager.  

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Her main interest is stress-management, burnout prevention and life-skill counselling. Since 2010, when the Foundation was established, Réka has worked there as its volunteer manager. This first hand experience of being the heart and soul of a volunteer team helps her to identify and use the everyday techniques of burn out prevention. As a result of her continuous self-reflection and caring about her own mental health, she is still fond of her work. Probably a lot of participants of the conference share this feeling, so she is looking forward to talking jointly about this!
 

Balazs_NoemiNoémi Balázs (HU)
Workshop Facilitator: Avoid Multiplying Burnout

Noémi graduated from Eötvös Loránd University (Budapest, Hungary) in Psychology in the year 2007, and after that in Health Psychology in 2010. She has worked in the field of counselling for 7 years, helping clients change maladaptive, unhealthy behaviour. She also trains other helpers and healthcare workers to motivate their patients in behaviour change.

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For five years she has been working as a volunteer at Foundation of Mental Health for Well-being, implementing workplace health promotion programs with her colleagues. Her main interest is the process of change, and in the last few years to help people move on when they are stuck in problems concerning their work or professional identity. The work at the Foundation incited Noémi to become a PHD student at Eötvös Loránd University (Budapest, Hungary), and to join a colleague’s research about teachers’ burnout process. Working in the team of the Foundation also made her recognize how important and motivating the membership of the volunteer team is for her. Noémi sees this conference as another possibility for such a motivating and inspiring joint work!
 
 

Marta HauserMarta Hauser (HR)
Workshop Facilitator: Quality Standards for Volunteer Management

Marta is a graduate in Psychology. For the past eight years she was actively involved in the work of Association for Civil Society Development SMART – Volunteer Centre Rijeka, working on a position of a volunteer centre manager and trainer in the field of volunteerism.

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In SMART she is dealing with activities related to promotion of volunteerism and brokerage between organizations and citizens interested in volunteering, providing technical assistance and consultancy related to the development of volunteer programmes in a variety of organizations – civil society organizations, institutions, schools, etc., implementing training for volunteers and volunteer involving organizations, administrative tasks, information dissemination through social media and websites. Also, her activities include  implementation and reporting on various projects funded by the European Union related to volunteering and civil society development (inclusive volunteering, volunteering to better one’s employability and skills, school volunteering etc).
 

Tamara FabacTamara Fabac (HR)
Workshop Facilitator: Quality Standards for Volunteer Management

Tamara is a graduate in Pedagogy and a Program assistant and trainer in the Association for Civil Society Development SMART, working especially in the field of Volunteer Centre Rijeka as one of the biggest and significant programs of SMART. She is especially involved in trainings for volunteer involving organisations and volunteers.

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For the past few years she has worked with organizations which work or plan to involve volunteers in their organizations (in the field of social care, culture, ecology, sport, youth, etc.). She also participated in activities providing technical assistance and consultancy in the field of volunteer management and in activities related to continuous reflection and implementation of program activities, such as trainings/conferences aimed at strengthening the capacity of organizations.
 
 

BorbalaBorbála Hadrévy (HU)
Workshop Facilitator: Validation of Skills for Volunteer Managers

Borbála has a degree in Economics. She is a Project Manager of National Volunteer Centre, Hungary, and has been working for the organisation for 12 years. She has built up the volunteer placement and matching system. She managed skills and competences related research pilot projects in which she gained experience in identifying and evaluating skills and qualifications acquired through informal learning within volunteer activities for a professional purpose.

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 She coordinated several international projects such as ENEA, Grundtvig, Europe for Citizens, Senior Activator programme, Erasmus+. She is preforming and organising trainings for senior volunteers, team building workshops and other events. She also organises and manages employee volunteering projects. She is actively working with social institutions developing and piloting volunteer programmes. She is the project coordinator of the Hungarian partner in the “Wake-Up Call: Volunteer Manager Role!” Erasmus + project. In the framework of this project she manages the elaboration of the validation tool and process of the volunteer managers’ experiences in close cooperation with the Institute of Adult Education, Research and Knowledge Management of the Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest.
 

Maria ArapovicsMaria Arapovics (HU)
Workshop Facilitator: Validation of Skills for Volunteer Managers

Maria Arapovics, PhD is an expert of adult education and researcher of  civil society, NGOs and cultural community development. She is a full  time assistant professor of the Eötvös Loránd (ELTE) University  Budapest (at the Institute of Adult Education, Research and Knowledge Management, Faculty of Education and Psychology).

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She took her PhD at  the Doctoral School of Education, PhD Program in Education, ELTE on The role of civil society and NGOs in life-wide learning in 2009. Her graduate studies: 2001-2004 Debrecen University, M.A. in  Cultural Management and Adult Education 1998-2000, Birkbeck College, London University, Arts Management and Administration 1993-1997 Teachers; Training College, ELTE, B.A. in History and Hungarian Language and Literature, B.A. in Community Culture and Adult Education, 2014-2016 business coach, ELTE. Her fields of research include the spheres of civil society and NGOs, adult and vocational education and training as well as community culture. Her major publications: Non-profit Organizations for Adult Education in Hungary (2007), The Community Learning (2011). Author of study books, editor of nonprofit manager and community cultural development programs of university and vocational education and a curriculum manager herself. Founder and active member, and volunteer of NGOs, president of The Foundation for Lifelong Learning. 
 
 

Alzbeta FrimmerovaAlžbeta Frimmerová (SK)
Workshop Facilitator: Skills and Training of Volunteer Managers

Alžbeta Frimmerová is the president of the Platform of Volunteer Centres and Organisations in Slovakia. She studied sociology at the Comenius University in Bratislava. During her studies, she started to volunteer at an oncology hospital. In the last 13 years, she has been involved in the development of volunteer sector and volunteering infrastructure in Slovakia.

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She has initiated the development of several regional volunteer centres in Slovakia, worked on the law on volunteering and the national quality standards for volunteer management. She has been providing volunteer management training, consultation, and supervisions for volunteer-involving organisations. She has been in involved in national and  European projects focused on recognition and validation of skills enhanced in volunteering, volunteer management training and quality improvement. 
 
 

INSPIRATIONAL SPEAKERS

AndrasAndrás F. Tóth (HU)
Inspirational speaker

András F. Tóth is the CEO of the National Volunteer Centre (ÖKA) since 2002. He started to work on the development of volunteerism in 1998 as the program leader at the Nonprofit Information and Training Centre Foundation. As CEO at ÖKA he created several new initiatives, amongst the Volunteer Centre Network, the volunteer management trainer pool, the IDEA long term volunteering project (ÖTLET), the Self-Starter VC development program, the Act on Volunteerism and the National Volunteer Strategy of Hungary.

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In recent years he helped to develop the corporate volunteer strategy for several companies and has been focusing on the development of pro bono culture in Hungary. He was member of the Board of Directors at the European Volunteer Centre (CEV) between 2006 and 2012. In 2015 he created the Pro Bono for Social Good conference (www.prokonf.hu) and KreatON – the first creative pro bono marathon in Hungary. He is author of several articles on corporate volunteering, responsible business and pro bono development. He has been featured in HVG BUSINESS and FORBES magazine. Since last June he is member of the Global Pro Bono Advisory Committee. In 2013 he has been awarded the Gold Cross of Merit of the Hungarian Republic.
 

Mirela OpreaMirela Oprea (RO)
Inspirational Speaker

Mirela Oprea has a BA in psychology and educational sciences (UBB Cluj, Romania) and a PhD in international cooperation and sustainable development (University of Bologna, Italy). Mirela started to volunteer for social causes in her home city (Sibiu) when she was a teenager. When she was 20 she became a volunteer with World Vision Romania, counselling abused children over the phone.

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Two years later she was hired as a volunteers coordinator and in this capacity she recruited, placed and coordinated more than 300 volunteers, winning various volunteer management awards for her organization. In 2004 Mirela joined Pro Vobis, the National Volunteer Center, where she developed a department for training volunteer managers. Currently Mirela is a Senior Liaison Manager with World Vision International and Secretary General of  ChildPact – The Regional Coalition for Child Protection (www.childpact.org) – which unifies 600 NGOs that work with 500.000 vulnerable children from 10 different countries. Recently Mirela has developed an interest for strategic philanthropy and created a donor counselling program that she offers on a volunteer basis to people who want to develop a philanthropic mission to their lives.
 
 

Andrei PopescuAndrei Popescu (RO)
Inspirational speaker

Andrei has some “fluid” ideas such as non-formal learning, volunteering, youth work and NGOs. As a result, he volunteered in various youth organizations for several years where he took on board a wide range of roles from spreading posters and flyers to trainer, project manager or NGO president. He was involved in a series of activities managed at local, national or European level such as projects, events, networks, training courses or developing mentorship programs. 

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Starting with 1999 he worked in the field of European funding for education in the National Agency for Community Programs in the Field of Education and Vocational Training. At first he was involved in Grundtvig, the community program dedicated to adult education. From 2007 to 2013 he coordinated Youth in Action, the program that offer grants for projects dealing with non-formal education in the youth field. In January 2014 he became the Head of the Communication and Promotion Department until December 2015 when something unexpected happened. He was nominated State Secretary for Youth Affairs in the Ministry of Youth and Sports. Although he is a bit of a workaholic, whenever finds time Andrei likes reading (especially SF&F), practice a bit of sports (although he never exaggerates about it), prefers the mountain (although he is born on the sea coast) and hardly says no to board games.
 

IzaIzabella Csordás (HU)
Inspirational Speaker

Izabella Csordás graduated as an Msc in Economics in 2003 and acquired her postgraduate degree as Specialist in Mental Health and Organisation Development in 2015. In 2006, she established the Volunteer Programme of the Museum of Fine Arts Budapest (MFAB) as a unique museum initiative in Hungary, which she coordinated until 2012. The Programme still operates under her direction within the Visitor Services Department, which she established in 2010.

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Over the 7 years of being a volunteer coordinator, she made connection to several museums abroad, researched the training methods and general organizational background of volunteers in different institutions among others in the UK, in Ireland and in Israel. The Volunteer Programme of MFAB is known as European good practice and participated in two European Senior Volunteer Projects (Grundtvig grant). Since 2011, Izabella is available as a consultant and conducts training sessions  in the area of volunteer management. She published her experiences in 2012 in the book: Volunteer Management in Cultural Institutions – A Practical Handbook. Recently she is preparing a conference on Challenges of Volunteer Coordination on the Long Run, due in September, when the Volunteer Programme of MFAB will celebrate its 10th anniversary. 
 
 
DanielaDaniela Bosioc (RO)
Inspirational speaker

Daniela Bosioc started working with youth and volunteering programmes in 1999, in her home town of Resita, Romania, which, to date, she considers as the solid ground on which her professional life built up.  She then spent a few years working with youth, volunteering and local development organisations in Spain. Upon the completion of a master’s degree in management of international cooperation, NGOs and volunteering, she worked for the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme between 2006 and 2011, at both its headquarters and its field offices.  

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She was part of the team tasked with the management of volunteers in Sudan and South Sudan.  Between April 2011 and October 2013, she worked on volunteering policy and projects at the European Volunteer Centre (CEV).  In October 2013, she joined again the UNV programme, where she currently works in the Headquarters on capacity development, in the Volunteer Learning and Knowledge Management team.
 

ValeriuValeriu Nicolae (RO)
Inspirational Speaker

Valeriu Nicolae is a State Secretary at the Ministry of Labor, Family, and Social Protection in the Romanian Government. As a human rights activist, he won, in 2013, the European Citizenship Award of the European Parliament. He is the founder of Policy Center for Roma and Minorities, a Bucharest-based think tank. Also, Valeriu co-produced “Toto and His Sisters” – the HBO documentary that won 6 major international prizes and the best Romanian Documentary for 2014.