Meet Our People
We just love to watch our people fulfil their potential! There are so many remarkable stories right across Hili Ventures of people who started out as McDonald’s crew, junior accountants, assistant managers… you should see them now! All the training, learning, perseverance and dedication has paid off for so many of our people and we’ve celebrated incredible achievements with them.
We couldn’t be prouder of our people.
Here are some stories featuring our ‘internal stars’. You never know. One day, we could be telling your story too!
Noemi came to iCentre, part of iSpot Holdings, our Apple division, as Marketing Manager for Hungary and Romania in 2014 and was promoted to Country Manager for Hungary in 2015. She is responsible for identifying, implementing and developing new business opportunities, internally and externally. She leads the Apple Premium Reseller operations in Hungary, including the development, management and overall profitability of the business. Noemi oversees the alignment and implementation of the company’s strategic plans, and the management of the finance, marketing, retail and operations teams. Her experience of business and people management is a valuable addition to the iCentre team’s capabilities.
After setting out in banking at Millennium Bank in Poland, Tomasz joined McDonald’s Poland in 2001 as Trainee Manager. He came to Premier Capital, our McDonald’s division, as Operations Manager with McDonald’s Baltics in 2008. Tomasz became McDonald’s Managing Director in the Baltic States in 2011 and moved from McDonald’s Estonia where he was Country Manager for a year. For three years, he was responsible for our McDonald’s operations in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. He was appointed Managing Director of iSpot, Poland’s largest Apple retailer, in 2014, soon after it was acquired by Hili Ventures. Tomasz was appointed Managing Director of iSpot Holdings, our Apple division spread across Poland, Hungary and Romania, in 2015.
Nicolai’s is a story of remarkable progression across Hili Logistics, our logistics division. He joined Carmelo Caruana Company in June 2011 after spending six years in the printing industry. In 2013 he was appointed Director of Business Development and in June 2014 he moved to Lithuania to head Baltic Freight Services. Nicolai was tasked with leading the team and developing the logistics business in the region. The company was later sold to its General Manager in a successful management buyout in 2016. Nicolai took his experience in leading commercial and operational teams to Peterson Malta, a joint venture between oil and gas logistics specialist Peterson and Hili Logistics, when he was appointed Business Manager that year. Peterson (Malta) serves clients in the Mediterranean and North Africa with specialist supply base services, warehousing and logistics management, procurement and recruitment from its base in Malta.
Motherwell Bridge Industries (Malta)
Robert joined Motherwell Bridge Industries, our engineering division, in 2004 as a member of the team of technicians entrusted with the maintenance of port cranes at Malta Freeport. A year later, he was involved in the installation of 10 port container cranes – Motherwell Bridge Industries’ first ever such project. Robert was promoted to site manager and has been key to the port crane installation business at Motherwell Bridge Industries. Since 2005, he has led almost all the electrical and mechanical engineering teams who have built more than 175 port container cranes in Malta, Malaga, Valencia and Castellon in Spain, Oman, Abu Dhabi, Togo and Cameroon. As International Site Manager, Robert is responsible for overseas project management, including logistics, tooling and scheduling, accommodation, documentation, repairs and transport.
Life in our Locations
Estonia is a very exciting and colourful country. I started working here in 2015, but I had visited from Ukraine on numerous occasions to see my aunt and brother who live here. Lasnamäe is by far my favourite area of Tallinn, the capital. This is where I hang out with friends and my brother on my days off. I also enjoy going to the gym. Although I communicate comfortably in Russian, my mission now is to learn Estonian to meet more people and learn something new.
Latvia is a beautiful country with huge forests and a long sea shore, both of which are missing from my own country – Lithuania. I had only previously been to Latvia as a tourist. It’s easy to get around both on foot and by car, and summer here is very warm. I enjoy meeting friends in the old part of Riga or getting out of city and spending some time by the sea. There’s always lots to do – bowling, go-karting and paintball – and I also get to practise one of my favourite sports, basketball!
I moved to Casablanca from Malta when Motherwell Bridge Industries acquired TechniPlus in late 2016. Although I have lived and worked in North Africa for many years, this was my first assignment in Morocco. Casablanca is the embodiment of old and new: one minute you are in the old medina and the next you are passing a contemporary commercial building. There are small houses next to luxury multi-storey hotels. The mix of cultures, faiths and traditions is truly fascinating. People speak mainly French. I studied French quite intensively before I came to Morocco but I also get by with some Arabic and even Maltese when necessary! The most exciting thing about living here is the freedom to explore different cities outside Casablanca – Tangier, Marrakech, Essaouira, Agadir, Assilah. The climate here is similar to what I am used to, so going to the beach is quite relaxing. If you do not want to travel far, Casablanca is packed with excellent restaurants. My favourites include the Moroccan restaurant in the Hotel Hyatt and Scala. The city is full of bars with live entertainment and there are ample cultural activities to keep people busy here. Life is never dull here!
To love Warsaw, you need to get to know it. Its beauty might be found only by looking at the details – on the one hand, there are eclectic terraced houses and cobbled streets, and on the other modern skyscrapers all steel and glass, the wild Vistula river, and beach clubs and restaurants. I moved to Warsaw in 2013, leaving my beloved iSpot store in Katowice to start a new stage of my life at SAD’s main office. In the city, life is faster, but there are so many possibilities here. For those who care for the healthy lifestyle there are many bicycle paths, outdoor gyms, numerous parks and, during winter when there is snow, one can use cross-country skis. There’s the bio market, breakfast market or one of the many restaurants specialised in slow food. But that’s only the beginning of it all. It’s impossible to be bored here!
Budapest is the unequivocal epicentre of Hungary: politics, economic activity, education, culture and sports all have their biggest strongholds in the city. I first moved to Budapest in 2007 and joined the iCentre team in 2014. In such a colourful city there is an endless choice of activities. Even today I cannot claim to have visited all of even the most prestigious museums, but not for lack of trying! For people most interested in entertainment or sports, Budapest has it all. I enjoy visiting the amazing restaurants here. On sunny days, my favourite thing to do is appreciate the beauty of the city on foot.
Ten years after I joined McDonald’s in Lithuania, an opportunity for a Malta-based HR Manager arose at Hili Ventures – so I took the plunge. I had been to the island once before for a week to attend the group’s Leadership Challenge programme. Malta is a small, safe, hospitable country with a rich history which I love to learn about. Everyone speaks English here so it’s not very necessary to speak Maltese, although I would like to try and learn. If I had to choose one word to describe life in Malta it would be ‘fun’. The nightlife is great and if you love the sea, there are numerous beach clubs and you can try scuba diving and snorkelling or go to boat parties and join tours. The food here is amazing! Thoughout the summer, you can dine al fresco under the stars or as the beautiful fireworks go off at village feasts, food, wine or music festivals, or at some great restaurants. My favourite things to do are snorkelling and wine-tasting and I enjoy exploring the capital, Valletta, or the old capital, Mdina. My perfect day would be by the beach or at a pool with friends. It’s easy to make good friends in Malta. Gozo, the sister island, is perfect place for a domestic break. The weather is mostly sunny with 300 days of sunshine a year. The winters can be very rainy and the humidity takes some getting used to.
I joined Premier Capital in May 2011 when the company took over 19 restaurants in Greece and immediately moved to Athens. I’m from northern Italy and I my only encounter with Greece until then had been a holiday to Crete with friends as a teenager. You are surrounded by ancient culture here – the Parthenon, the museums and the monuments. It’s a very cosmopolitan country, bustling with tourists visiting in the winter to learn more about the history and in the summer to enjoy the weather and explore the islands. I communicate in English but it is very important to understand Greek because many people here do not speak a second language. Life outside work is very exciting: there’s always a good art exhibition or rock concert, and you can practise every kind of sport from skiing to surfing depending on which direction you drive. You meet lots of people by visiting the library, going shopping, or heading to the running circuit. The beach is only a metro ride away. I usually drive to the beach on weekends – all I need is a book and sun protection. Cold winters like we have in Italy don’t exist here – you can swim for nine months a year!
Bucharest is an exciting, cosmopolitan city, known as ‘Little Paris’. I moved here from my home in a provincial city in 2006 and started working at iCentre when it first opened in 2013. I usually use Uber or the subway to get to work, although trams and buses are punctual too. I enjoy living here because people are friendly and there is ample to do in my free time – art, culture, clubbing and more. Hiking in the mountains and swimming in the Black Sea are two common activities. The weather is beautiful for nine months of the year and it’s so green in the spring and the summer, which means you can enjoy the parks and the pubs! The temperature can rise higher than 35 degrees in the summer, but drops to -20 in the winter. During the holidays I like to go to the mountains and most weeks I like going to the cinema and bowling with my friends.