AOECS
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Organisation

The AOECS Board consists of five Directors who are elected by representatives of AOECS Member societies for a term of three years. The Directors’ tasks include undertaking activities and initiatives to achieve the aims and objectives of the organisation.
Sarah Sleet

Sarah Sleet Chair

Prior to joining Coeliac UK as Chief Executive in 2005, Sarah held several director-level roles covering strategy, corporate planning, IT and...
Prior to joining Coeliac UK as Chief Executive in 2005, Sarah held several director-level roles covering strategy, corporate planning, IT and lastly forming part of the team at the UK Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman’s office, where she worked closely at the heart of government to influence policy making. Since then, she has overseen a growth in the provision of services for Coeliac UK Members, the largest research programme undertaken by the society and campaigning successes such as the first ever UK government guideline on diagnosis of the condition. Sarah joined the AOECS as Board member in 2009, following a decision at the GA in Malta of the same year to increase the number of Board members from three to five. She has been instrumental in progressing the implementation of the European Licensing System – a system unifying the Europe-wide licensing of the Association’s crossed grain trademark symbol.

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Christian Scerri

Christian Scerri Treasurer

Christian is an Associate Professor and lecturer at the University of Malta and a consultant of Clinical and Molecular Genetics at the Health...
Christian is an Associate Professor and lecturer at the University of Malta and a consultant of Clinical and Molecular Genetics at the Health Department in Malta. Christian’s expert knowledge of genetics provides invaluable support for the Association’s research activities into coeliac disease. He is a regular speaker at international public health conferences and has co-authored numerous articles for medical journals, some of which can be found on our Research page.

Between the years 2003-2012 Christian formed part of the AOECS Board and was re-elected as Board Director at the General Assembly in 2016.

Christian’s other activities include being a Member of the European Cluster on the study of the Pathophysiology of coeliac disease and a Member of the scientific advisory team of the European Coeliac Disease Specific Support Action (CDEUSSA).

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Susanna Neuhold

Susanna Neuhold Vice Chair

With her background in quality control within the food industry Susanna was appointed by the Italian coeliac society – Associazione Italiana...
With her background in quality control within the food industry Susanna was appointed by the Italian coeliac society – Associazione Italiana Celiachia (AIC) – to manage their food safety programmes for caterers and food producers. These programmes included developing guidelines for the licensing Crossed Grain Symbol, the AIC gluten-free food & drink directory and the gluten-free Eating Out program where she supervises training and monitoring projects for catering establishments.
Susanna coordinates AIC’s communication and educational programmes on diet and nutrition and is involved in the society’s publications, brochures, newsletters, articles, videos on gluten-free diet and its management. As food safety regulatory affairs manager for the AIC, she also works closely with the Italian Health Ministry on all issues related to food laws and support for those with coeliac disease and within the Technical Commission on Catering sector of the Italian National Standardisation Organization (UNI).

At the 2015 General Assembly held in Dublin, Susanna was elected to join the AOECS Board of Directors.

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Nanna Puntila

Nanna Puntila Board Director

In 1995, Nanna joined the Finnish Coeliac Society as Nutritional Specialist and since then has been instrumental in growing her society which today...
In 1995, Nanna joined the Finnish Coeliac Society as Nutritional Specialist and since then has been instrumental in growing her society which today comprises a head office and four regional offices. In Finland, Nanna has been involved in raising awareness of coeliac disease amongst the healthcare sector and informing the catering sector how to do it gluten-free. As the nutritional coordinator, she has worked on several study projects within the Coeliac Disease Study Group, led by Professor Markku Mäki, with a focus on oats, wheat starch and quality of life. During 2004-2007, Nanna was elected to the AOECS Board where she was responsible for the “Codex and Labelling” and “Helping Coeliacs” working groups. Her involvement in the “Helping Coeliacs” working group enabled her to gain an invaluable insight into the challenges new and small societies in the Eastern part of Europe are facing. As one of the main organizers of the AOECS GA 2012 held in Helsinki, which included 300 participants from various international patient organisations, the academic community and manufacturers, Nanna had the opportunity to expand her network of international coeliac contacts. Nanna was elected to the Board of AOECS at the GA 2012.

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Katre Trofimov

Katre Trofimov Board Director

Katre joined the Estonian Coeliac Society (ECS) in 2013 when she got diagnosed with coeliac disease. She joined the Foreign Relations Workgroup,...
Katre joined the Estonian Coeliac Society (ECS) in 2013 when she got diagnosed with coeliac disease. She joined the Foreign Relations Workgroup, where her task has been to carry out activities related to the Crossed-Grain Symbol. As a result of her consistent work and determination, the ECS concluded its first CG-Symbol trademark contract with a local food producer in 2017 autumn. Other activities in ECS are being the head of the HoReCa Related Workgroup and contact person of Estonian Veterinary and Food Board with the aim of building close cooperation to establish a consistent system for inspecting Estonian food producers and catering establishments regarding gluten free food.
In 2016, Katre was elected to the Board of ECS and became the contact person for food manufacturers. She has made it her mission to protect the health of people with coeliac disease, and always makes sure to explain the production requirements of gluten-free products to each food manufacturer in great detail. Giving trainings, making leaflets and organising events is also part of her board member work. Her everyday profession as sales manager and development manager in a private business have given her useful skills to develop also a small society.
In 2017 she was elected to the AOECS Board at the General Assembly held in Serbia mostly due to the fact that she can relate with starting and developing small societies and her enthusiasm for her work.

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Virginie Potbury

Virginie Potbury Assistant to the Board

Virginie joined AOECS in May 2017 as Executive Assistant to the Board. She is responsible for supporting the board activities and the running of...
Virginie joined AOECS in May 2017 as Executive Assistant to the Board. She is responsible for supporting the board activities and the running of the association, including governance, finance administration, members support and trade exhibitions organisation. Virginie was diagnosed with coeliac disease in 2010 and, prior to joining AOECS, worked in asset management for over 10 years. As part of her previous roles, she supported the operations of a wide range of investment companies, including their governance, finance administration and regulatory compliance processes.  Virginie speaks fluent French and English, and has a good command of German

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Daniela Nicol

Daniela Nicol Licencing Advisor

Daniela commenced her role as Licencing Advisor at AOECS in May 2017. As such, she is responsible for providing support to AOECS Member societies...
Daniela commenced her role as Licencing Advisor at AOECS in May 2017. As such, she is responsible for providing support to AOECS Member societies for the implementation of the organisation’s licencing scheme for the correct use of the trademark-protected Crossed Grain symbol. Daniela’s duties include rigorous monitoring of the trademark which is registered at European and worldwide level to protect its internationally recognised food safety guarantee status. In order to ensure that AOECS meets its aim to increase availability of safe gluten-free products, the licensing scheme will be promoted to expand its reach into gluten-free markets across Europe . Daniela joined AOECS as Executive Assistant in 2011. Her past roles include providing business and administrative support to senior-level management in a range of sectors such as diplomatic missions, recruitment and interior design. She speaks English and German to mother tongue level and has a good grasp of Italian and French.


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