Jo Weaver is the founder and Managing Director of JWA Prague s.r.o., one of Central Europe’s leading marketing and PR agencies for B2B, real estate, hospitality and sport, operating in the Czech Republic since 1991. Since its incorporation, JWA has handled the marketing and communications campaigns for many of the Czech Republic’s biggest investors, including household names such as Bass Brewers, Tesco Stores and Boeing, as well smaller international and local companies, and has being involved in the success of many of the highest profile sporting events, including the Velka Pardubicka and Prague International Marathon.
In addition to running JWA, Jo was also Chairman of the British Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic from the beginning of 2004 until October 2007, before helping to found the International Business Forum. She was voted one of the top five foreign businesswomen in the Czech Republic in 2001, and nominated for the ‘Women of the Year’ awards in the category of ‘marketing and communications’ in 2005 and 2006. She was a judge for the ‘Women of the Year’ competition in 2007 and 2008, and now heads up the IBF’s Women in Business Group. She is a frequent speaker at seminars and conferences on business, marketing, and public relations in Central Europe.
Born in Czechoslovakia in 1959, Mr Grozdanovič studied law at Prague’s famous Charles University before defecting to the United Kingdom in 1980. From 1981-1985 he attended the London School of Economics, taking articles at Gregory, Rowcliffe & Co., and in 1988 qualifying as an English Solicitor. He spent one year at the City of London firm Berwin Leighton, six years at the London offices of the international firms of Baker & McKenzie and Allen & Overy, and, finally, 11 years at Seddons Solicitors, the last two as Managing Partner of their Prague Office, before opening JGA Legal in 2006.
Mr Grozdanovič was admitted to practise law in the Czech Republic as an advocate in 1995 and is presently one of only a few duel-qualified English and Czech solicitors in the world. He is an arbitrator registered at the Arbitration Court attached to the Economic and Agricultural Chambers of the CR. He was a founder of the Association for Foreign Investment in the Czech Republic, is Chairman of the British Czech and Slovak Law Association of the United Kingdom, and was a member of the Board of the British Chamber of Commerce from 1997-2000, and again from 2003 until 2006. He is also a frequent public speaker on legal aspects of doing business in the Czech Republic, and the head of the IBF Legal Group.
Jonathan Hallett has over 25 years of international employment experience in Brussels, Paris, London and the CEE region. He is the Head of Cushman & Wakefield for the CEE region, a member of C&W’s European Board, and Managing Partner of C&W’s operations in the Czech Republic, with overall responsibility for almost 1000 people. He has successfully offered development, leasing and property management advice to some of the biggest names in the international corporate world, and has helped to establish some of the leading retail brands presently operating in the CEE markets.
Cushman & Wakefield has earned numerous awards under Mr Hallett’s management, including ‘Best Brand in Practice for the Central European Region’ and several years as the ‘Czech Real Estate Agency of the Year’.
Mr Hallett has two children and speaks fluent English and French, as well as reasonable Czech.
Howard Chapman is a freelance solicitor trained and qualified in the City of London, with more than 15 years’ transactional experience in several European jurisdictions. He has been based in the Czech Republic since 2004. He spent most of his time in private practice with international law firm, Hogan Lovells, with particular experience in corporate and commercial real estate transactions, private equity, international arbitration and financial services. Mr Chapman continues to co-operate with a number of law firms in the Czech Republic and Poland in these areas. Since going freelance in Autumn 2012, he has also developed a growing private client practice specializing in expatriate inheritance & estate planning. Mr Chapman is a founder member of the IBF Legal Group.
Martin Kanyza is a Czech native. He studied information technology at Charles University before co-founding Digital Resources a.s., a Czech IT company working for SME’s. Since its inception in 1997, Digital Resources has been closely cooperating with international companies, especially with Chambers of Commerce and the International Business Forum. Martin is also one of the founding members of the IBF.
Ian Bryan is the owner and Managing Director of IBA (Ian Bryan Architects, s.r.o.), which he established in Prague in 1997. Ian has more than 25 years’ experience in the field of architecture and is registered as an architect in both the UK and the Czech Republic. After qualifying at the Edinburgh School of Architecture, he worked in London, Glasgow and Riga, before moving to Prague in 1994.
Through the success of projects such as the Kempinski Prague, the Statenický Mlýn mixed-use development, and office HQs for Deloitte and CBRE, Ian’s practice has developed a reputation for high-quality residential, hotel and workplace projects. Ian has witnessed at first hand the transition from a post-communist to developed market economy from the real estate and design perspective, and describes himself as a “survivor” and a firm believer in the power of small-and medium-sized businesses.
Ian is married and has three children.