About Us

Board of Governors

Overseeing the strategic Direction of GESS

The Board of Governors is overseeing the strategic direction of GESS. All Board members are non-executive, working on an honorary basis. The Board has ten members, eight of whom are elected by the members of the Association at the Annual General Meeting, and two of whom are appointed by the Board.

Rachel Ward
President

Rachel Ward

President

Professional Experience

Rachel is an experienced company director having served on a number of private company boards in both Australia and Singapore. She became an accredited member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors in 1999.
Rachel’s professional background is in the areas of Strategic Business Development; and Marketing and Communications. She has a Commerce Degree and a Graduate Diploma in Applied Science.

Rachel is a native of Australia and has lived and worked in Hong Kong and Singapore for over twenty years.

GESS Subcommittees
• Marketing & Admissions - Chairperson
• Human Resources – Chairperson
• School Development - Chairperson

Number of Children at GESS: 1

Florian Weidinger
Vice-President

Florian Weidinger

Vice-President

Professional Experience

Florian is the founder and CEO of an investment management company focused on emerging markets. He currently serves on the committee of the Stanford GSB alumni association in Singapore and is a non-executive director and chairman of the audit committee of a shipping company listed on the New York stock exchange. Florian holds degrees in business studies and environmental science.
Florian and his family have been living in Singapore since 2011 and been members of the GESS community since 2013.

GESS Subcommittee
• Finance
• Investment

Number of Children at GESS: 2

Verena Desai
Honorary Secretary

Verena Desai

Honorary Secretary

Professional Experience

Verena Desai has a Masters in Technical Mathematics and is originally from Vienna, Austria. She spent her professional career in investment banking, working in Vienna, Frankfurt and London in Emerging Markets Fixed Income trading and sales (RZB, Dresdner Kleinwort and Jefferies).

After moving to Singapore with her family in 2010 she gave up her job and decided to focus on her family.

GESS Subcommittees
• Audit & Risk
• Board Development
• Investment

Number of children at GESS: 3

Federico Vescovi
Honorary Treasurer

Federico Vescovi

Honorary Treasurer

Professional Experience

Federico holds a Master’s Degree in Economics and Business and is originally from Rome, Italy.

He brings 20 years of experience of Finance and Accounting Management and General Management in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods industry; he is currently in charge of the management of the markets of Asia, Africa and Australia.

Federico has been living in Singapore with his family from 2012 to 2015, and again since 2017.

GESS Subcommittee
• Finance

Number of Children at GESS: 3

Ekkehard Pracht
Board Member

Ekkehard Pracht

Board Member

Professional Experience

Ekkehard has been living in Singapore with his family since January 2011. He is an Aerospace Engineer by profession and in charge of the after sales and customer service activities of his employer in the Asia-Pacific region.

GESS Subcommittees
• Facility & Operations - Chairperson
• IT - Chairperson

Number of Children at GESS: 4

Wolfgang Klemm
Board Member

Wolfgang Klemm

Board Member

Professional Experience

Wolfgang heads Strategy and Development at Seviora Holdings. Previously, he was a Managing Director in Temasek’s Portfolio Development team, worked with strategy consulting firm Bain & Company, managed Eracom Technologies – an IT security company – and invested in mid-sized companies for a group of high net worth individuals. Wolfgang holds a PhD in corporate strategy from LMU Munich and an MBA from Drake University. He has received scholarships from the Fulbright Commission and from the German National Academic Foundation.

He and his family have been in Singapore since 2006.

GESS Subcommittee
• Finance

Number of Children at GESS: 2

Markus Helms
Board Member

Markus Helms

Board Member

Professional Experience

Markus Helms is a business economist and he holds Master Degrees in Business Administration from France, UK and Germany. He has worked in industry, with multinational consumer goods companies as well as with a global management consulting and services firm, where he is currently employed as Senior Principal.

GESS Subcommittee
• Audit & Risk
• Board Development
• Facility & Operations

Number of Children at GESS: 1

Linda Sew
Board Member

Linda Sew

Board Member

Professional Experience

Linda Sew is a fully qualified actuary and an independent consultant providing actuarial consulting services. She has over 20 years of experience in the insurance industry, ranging from pricing, reserving, risk modelling to underwriting with various multi-national insurance and reinsurance groups both in Singapore and Germany.

Linda specialises in the pricing of innovative products such as New Mobility, Cyber and Pandemic insurance. Her clients typically are multi-national companies or come from the academic/ public sector. She is also an active member of the Enterprise Risk Management Working Group of the Singapore Actuarial Society and is part of the Asia Regional Committee of the Casualty Actuarial Society.

Linda is Singaporean and has lived in Munich for 7 years before relocating back to Singapore in 2018.

GESS Subcommittees
• Audit & Risk
• Fundraising

Number of children at GESS: 2

Kate Baldock
Board Member

Kate Baldock

Board Member

Professional Experience

Kate is the Executive Director (ED) of the Australian Chamber of Commerce (AustCham) and previously was a Senior Media Advisor to the Premier for the South Australian Government and a journalist with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

She has extensive experience in communication management through each of these roles and deep experience in crisis management and messaging though her time in State Government. As ED for AustCham, she manages both marketing and communications campaigns and International Schools are an important part of this.

Kate and her family live in Singapore since 2015.

GESS Subcommittees

  • Marketing & Admissions
  • School Development

Number of children at GESS: 1

Thomas Lanyi
Board Member

Thomas Lanyi

Board Member

Professional Experience

Thomas is Managing Director at CDH Investments, a Venture Capital and Private Equity focused asset management platform, established in Singapore in 2001. Thomas leads the firm’s international investment activities, with an emphasis on the broader consumer and healthcare sectors. Thomas has two decades of experience working closely with companies at a strategic and operational level, including a broad spectrum of education related businesses and organizations. Throughout his career, he has sat on or chaired numerous Boards.

Thomas has been actively involved with Not-For-Profit societies, most recently the Singapore Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SVCA), which he chaired until 2021. Thomas is a regular public speaker and been lecturing at different institutions in Southeast Asia.

Thomas studied Economics and Business Administration at universities in Vienna and Paris, and holds a doctorate degree in Econometrics. He moved to Singapore in 2001, Thomas and his family have been members of the GESS community since 2014.

GESS Subcommittees

  • Finance

Number of children at GESS: 1


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