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!
Premium Zone Leader (iSpot Arkadia, Warsaw)
Jan joined iSpot, our Apple Premium Reseller, in 2011 as Junior Sales Assistant and has never looked back! He had very basic knowledge of Apple devices at the time but his passion for technology and the brand fuelled his learning curve. Jan was soon appointed Coach at iSpot Arkadia to train colleagues. He was later named Premium Zone Leader after the opening of the new flagship store at Arkadia in 2016, working with additional brands including Bang & Olufsen and Devialet. Jan’s journey as Coach also evolved, and he is now responsible for training customers and industry professionals, sharing his expertise to help them enjoy the best experience from their Apple products. Jan is also a host on iSpot’s YouTube channel, iSpotTV.
Managing Director (Hili Properties, Malta)
Sandra joined Premier Restaurants Baltics in 2013 as Director of Finance. In 2015, she was appointed Country Manager for Hili Properties and continued to be based in Riga. In 2017, she was promoted to Managing Director and assumed responsibility for the strategy, markets and operations of Hili Properties in Malta, the Baltics and Romania where the company owns a portfolio of McDonald’s properties, office blocks, and shopping centers. She previously worked with IT distribution company ELKO Group and supermarket company Maxima Latvia. She has a Master’s in Social Science.
General Manager (Eunoia, Malta)
Stefan joined PTL as Business Intelligence Engineer in late 2013, after spending almost 15 years in similar roles building solutions, products and providing consultancy services for various sectors including banking and government entities. Three years later, he was tasked with leading the business intelligence team and was instrumental in the redeployment and retraining of resources, while kickstarting the design of new products. In 2017, he was appointed General Manager of Eunoia, the company set up within Harvest (the group to which PTL also belongs) to focus on business analytics in Malta and overseas. In October 2017, under Stefan’s direction, Eunoia won the InnoChallenge at the Malta Innovation Summit for CFOUR, one of Eunoia’s inbred products.
McDonald’s Store Manager (Premier Restaurants, Lithuania)
Vidmantas started his career as crew in 2005 at the McDonald’s Gama, in his home city of Kaunas. He was promoted to Crew Trainer in 2008 and became Swing Manager in 2010. The opening of McDonald’s Dainava led to his promotion to Second Assistant in 2011 and after a period of training he became First Assistant. Vidmantas has joined three Hili Ventures training programmes, including ‘High Potential’, ‘The Leadership Challenge’ and ‘The Leadership Challenge Follow-Up’. Training and hard work paid off – in May 2017, Vidmantas was appointed Store Manager at McDonald’s Dainava and just a few months later was given the opportunity to run the stunning new McDonald’s restaurant in Nemunas.
Distribution Center Coordinator (Premier Restaurants, Latvia)
Natalja joined the Premier Capital family as Transport Specialist in 2012, while the company took over a distribution centre from its previous service provider. Three years later, Natalja was promoted to Senior Logistics Specialist, where she took over the Distribution Centre office performance, while still holding Transport Specialist responsibilities. In 2017, Natalja was promoted to Distribution Centre Co-ordinator. She has gained a wealth of knowledge over the years and thanks to the international team she works with, her English has also improved significantly! Natalja is passionate about travelling and is also a body positive movement representative in Latvia, working hard to inspire women to overcome fears and challenges.
Ossama Mohammed Sharara
Chief Executive Officer (Hili Logistics, Malta)
Ossama has worked with CMA CGM since 1993. For 13 years until 2006, he was Deputy Manager of CMA CGM at Damietta port in his native Egypt where he was responsible for commercial and operations. He then moved to Libya as owner’s representative, reporting to CMA CGM’s head office in Marseille. In 2012, he joined Libyan Waves for Shipping Agencies in Tripoli, the CMA CGM agent in Libya, as General Manager. Three years later, he moved to CMA CGM Malta Agency Ltd as General Manager. Ossama was appointed Chief Executive of Hili Logistics in March 2017. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Egypt’s Mansoura University.
Abdel Aziz Qader Nazzal
Supervisor & Site Manager (Motherwell Bridge Industries, Malta)
Abdel Aziz joined Motherwell Bridge Industries in 2012 as part of the engineering team assigned to the port cranes at Malta Freeport Terminals. The company later assigned Commissioning Engineer with KoneCranes. Palestinian-born, and holding Serbian and Jordanian nationalities, Abdel Aziz completed his studies in Communications Engineering in Split, Croatia, and is fluent in four languages. Abdel had previously held the role of Site Manager, when he was involved in the building of different types of port cranes in locations like Poland, Finland, Abu Dhabi, Togo and Morocco. Abdel is now based in Malta, working and applying his extensive years of experience at Malta Freeport Terminals.
McDonald’s IT Coordinator (Premier Restaurants, Latvia)
Liudas’ interesting journey with Premier Capital started in 2007 in Lithuania, within the port city of Klaipeda. At 18, he joined the crew of McDonald’s in Taika and was promoted to Crew Trainer after a year, and eventually to Swing Manager. He moved to Latvia after six years to work in the McDonald’s Distribution Centre. It was the best decision he ever made – he fell in love with the vibrant city and fascinating culture of Riga and met the love of his life and married her! Two years ago, he moved to the IT department in Riga’s main office and is very much content with the way things have worked out for him over these past 10 years. He has a loving wife, lives in a beautiful city, and enjoys every minute of his job!
McDonald’s Finance Analyst (Premier Restaurants, Latvia)
Li compares her work experience at Hili Ventures to the charming city of Riga – diverse, unique and exciting. She joined Premier Restaurants Baltics in 2014 as an accountant, when one of her duties involved conducting and overseeing fixed assets audits. The role gave her the opportunity to travel regularly and meet new people. Learning about restuarant equipment and getting acquainted with collegaues gave Li the golden opportunity to understand how business is conducted and how her line of work gives meaning to the actual operations and running of the business. She applied for her current role of Finance Analyst in 2017. It paved the way for new responsibilities and opportunities for Li to develop further, and to work hand-in-hand with hardworking, professional, and supportive colleagues.
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.