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Introducing the ICF Finland International Team

In the spirit of ICF Finland’s growing international make-up, and to add a new dimension to your ICF Finland experience, we introduce ‘The Internationals’.

We’re a team of 7 with a global mind-set combining cross-cultural know-how with deep experience in leadership, management, entrepreneurship, consulting and training, among other areas. We have applied these skills in a range of industries from legal, financial markets, ICT, telecoms, aviation to sales and service, not to mention a bit of coaching too. So we’ve teamed up to combine that experience to help with those international and domestic challenges faced by ICF Finland members, and we have a proposal for you later in this text.

As ICF Finland develops closer cooperation with other ICF Nordic Chapters, we aim to help by widening the focus of the group to an international level, through ideas, content and different perspectives.

Our carefully selected group of pros represent different nations; from Finland, Canada, Germany, to the UK and US. A multi-cultural mix of opinion and perspective, ranging from countries known for their calm, likeable, thoughtful characteristics, to (2) countries beginning with ‘U’ that are having a bit of a crisis right now.


As a kick-off event we’re introducing our ICF Finland Dragon’s Den for Coaches (DDC) in 2017. We invite YOU, members of ICF Finland, to pitch your real-life challenge to our panel and the audience. Dilemmas could range from international-related challenges to closer-to-home ‘issues’, examples as follows:

  • My client is not fitting in well with the new foreign owners of the company
  • You are trying to expand your coaching business to work with foreigners in Finland
  • My international project team at ‘Apple’ is missing trust and effective communication and not hitting targets, how to get back on track
  • I have a challenging coaching client and I’m not sure how to proceed

A problem shared is a problem halved

Whatever your challenge, (let’s face it, we all have them) you can be sure there will be audience members with the same challenge, and you might be surprised what happens when you share yours’.

Start-Up mind set

We aim to help through fast ideas and solutions, to the whole group in one event. And by helping one person, we hope to solve many more dilemmas.

We’d love to hear from you and we’re looking for people to pitch their ‘challenge’ at our first event in 2017. If it sounds interesting please email either myself, Nick Vertigans, or any of our team members. We have included a short bio of each member, below.

…And if you’re not ready to pitch your challenge just yet, we hope you’ll join us anyway for some live coaching, audience participation, interesting stories and solutions, and to witness the power of ICF Finland.


The Internationals

heliHeli Backman

Commercial Director in Data Driven Business, Tieto Corp

Leadership consultant, coach, trainer, entrepreneur, Gaia Leadership

Have worked in big international companies, studied in UK

Travelling, reading, Rockettes (team skating)

Watching my kids to do sports and try some skating on my own as well! www.gaialeadership.com

deronDeron Fuller

Born in the USA

Living in a tri-cultural and tri-lingual family

Entrepreneur: I help people develop and send the right message internationally.

I love the outdoors, sports and travel; combining all three and sharing them with my family is the perfect lifestyle. Biggest challenge is to get the kids to cheer for Kärpät!

I worked in Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic before moving to Finland. www.impfinland.com

davidDavid Goddard

Coach, trainer, consultant

Twenty years + of helping Finnish organizations internationalize. Love helping companies, teams and individuals to renew. Passionate about leadership development. Inspired by people, optimism, the future and what we can achieve together.

Relaxation comes from reading, taking the dog for long walks, cooking and doing crossword puzzles. In the summer I love to camp and hike with my daughter. This year we went to the Julian Alps in Slovenia, which were truly spectacular.

jimJim Grant

Jim Grant offers his clients insights gleaned from 35 years of experience in airline operations and as a senior executive in the industry. His coaching, training and consulting business for leaders, management executives and organizations focuses on finding solutions, developing resilience and fully utilizing the whole body’s intelligence.

Jim and his partner Sari Ajanko, work as professionally trained and accredited coaches, co-designing training and offering specialized mentoring resources highlighting partnerships and teamwork through innovative practices. Foundational in their approach is helping people somatically recognize how their behaviour patterns and styles impact others and how to let go of ridged mental constructs and liberate transformational thinking.

Jim’s life and work are deeply rooted in Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory and practices. Integral Coaching’s™ acumen, the ‘WholeBody’ Enneagram’s insight are catalysts he offers clients seeking sustainable change. He is an ardent reader, musician and enjoys long nature walks.

Jim is a Certified Integral Master Coach™, somatic mentor coach, WholeBody Focusing Trainer/Certifying Coordinator (in- training), Certified Enneagram teacher and faculty member of Mundo Enneagrama. He has been recently honoured to become a Global Leadership Foundation Fellow with the Global Leadership Foundation. Jim speaks English, French and is studying Finnish.

ludgerLudger Marekwia

Married, father of two teenagers

Business Coach and Manager in a major global company

Have worked in Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and Finland

Sports, travelling and photography

Active member of the expat community in Helsinki

Coaching for Expatriates and Internationals


Terhi Nissinen

‪Terhi is Head of Education at City of Helsinki, and Ph. D. Researcher at University of Helsinki.

Multiple commitments this year make it tricky for Terhi to attend and participate fully, however Terhi is part of the team and all team communications, and we hope to see more of Terhi in 2017!


nickNick Vertigans: nick.vertigans@ajanconsulting.com

‘Daddy’ to two, Husband to one

Coach, trainer, entrepreneur

Have worked in UK, Nordics, Germany, Poland and Switzerland, managing teams in global orgainsations

Travelling, sport, food n’ drink, Liverpool FC. Team GB.

Playing with the kids; snow, beach or Hoplop, or enjoying sushi night with them every Friday !