ICAReAlumni Conference 2019 at Riga Technical University, May 16-17, Riga, Latvia

Ivars Svilāns
Ivars Svilāns


Ivars is communications’ professional with over 25 years of experience in media, banking, retail.

For 15 years journalist at Latvijas Radio. After - Head of PR at the largest bank in Latvia - Hansabanka (Swedbank) through years of crisis. Member of Change Team and Head of Corporate Affairs at the Maxima Latvija in the process of transformation. Member of the LASAP Board (PR Professionals Assoc.). From 2018 – Head of Corporate Affairs department at RTU.


Maria L. Gallo


Dr Maria Gallo has over 20 years of experience in higher education, as a scholar, philanthropy researcher and alumni relations and advancement professional. Currently the Director of Lifelong Learning and Engagement (St Angela’s College, Sligo) and researcher with the Community Knowledge Initiative at the Institute for Lifecourse and Society– National University of Ireland, Galway. 

As the Founder of KITE- Keep in Touch Education, Maria undertakes consultancy and research projects to promote alumni connections for life. In 2017, Maria led the bid for Sligo, Ireland to be designated the European Volunteering Capital and she was a Director and Chair of the Sligo Volunteer Centre for seven years. She is currently devising Ireland’s first postgraduate programme in Volunteer Management and Leadership for September 2019. 

Originally from Canada, Maria worked in alumni relations and development at the University of Toronto and in moving to Ireland in 2017 at University College Dublin and Letterkenny Institute of Technology. She remains actively involved in all five of her alma maters in Canada, Ireland and the UK. 

You can view her TEDx talk entitled: ‘We are all connected by one word: Alumni’ here.

Nena Grceva


Nena oversees the operation of the Alumni Relations Office at the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. She leads a team of six working closely on alumni fundraising, events, services, communication, volunteer engagement and data management for a community of 15,000 alumni in over 130 countries in the world. Nena has over twelve years of international experience in the higher education sector.  Prior to CEU she was managing programs at the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) in London, the Institute of International Education (IIE) and Open Society Foundation (OSF) in Budapest. Passionate believer in the power of collaboration and sharing best practices, Nena is an active member of professional networks in Europe, including the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).