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DCRO Exemplar Award honorees are chosen based on the key areas of Integrity, Innovation, Leadership, and Service and join a very select group of global winners.

We are pleased to honor this outstanding group of leaders and hope that this recognition of their work will inspire others likewise to innovate and pursue high ideals.”
— David R. Koenig, QRD®, President and CEO of The DCRO Institute
GLOBAL, ORGANIZATION, January 10, 2024 / -- The DCRO Institute announced today that it has recognized the accomplishments and contributions of 11 individuals - each an exemplar in their dedication to advancing the best in risk governance practices and the connection between better governance and value creation.

DCRO Exemplar Award honorees are chosen based on the key areas of Integrity, Innovation, Leadership, and Service with an emphasis on a long history of, or positive and important changes to, risk governance and sustainability practices in their work.

“We are pleased to honor this outstanding group of leaders and hope that this recognition of their work will inspire others likewise to innovate and pursue high ideals,” said David R. Koenig, QRD®, President and Chief Executive Officer of the DCRO Institute.

Named as 2024 DCRO Exemplar Award Winners are:

• Dr. Homaira Akbari (United States)
• Rosie Bichard, QRD® (United Kingdom)
• Dr. Eelco Fiole, QRD®, CFA (Switzerland)
• Ana Maria Gati, QRD® (Brazil)
• Yeşim Güra, QRD® (Belgium/ Türkiye)
• Maria Hallack, QRD® (Brazil)
• Eric Mai (United States)
• Sanchit Maini, QRD®, FIAA (Singapore)
• Virginia Reynolds Parker, QRD® (United States)
• Yvonne Stillhart, QRD® (Switzerland)
• Ingrid Vasiliu-Feltes, MD, MBA (United States)

Dr. Homaira Akbari is CEO of AKnowledge Partners, a global advisory firm specializing in digital transformation and technology sectors of Cybersecurity, IoT, Energy Transition, and FinTech. She serves on the Board of Directors of Banco Santander and Landstar System. She has held senior management roles in Fortune 1000 companies including Microsoft, Thales, and Liberty Media subsidiary, Trueposition. She served as the CEO of SkyBitz, Inc., and successfully sold it to Telular Corporation (NASDAQ: WRLS). She is the author of numerous scientific articles, governance and technology OpEds and Podcasts, and the book: The Cyber Savvy Boardroom. She is a faculty member at the DCRO Risk Governance Institute.

Rosie Bichard, QRD®, is a Non-Executive Director at UBS Asset Management Funds in London and chairs the UBS AM UK Audit Committee. She also serves as a member of the Independent Governance Committee of Royal London, providing oversight of a workplace pension business with nearly two million customers. She has a long executive history in equity analysis and portfolio management for companies including Newton Investment Management, Deutsche Asset Management, and Lofoten Asset Management, and is a former advisory board member for Mill Road Capital. In volunteer roles, she is the co-chair of WomenExecs on Boards, a global network of over 350 women who have graduated from Harvard Business School’s board governance programs. She is the Chair of the Advisory Board of Oxfam’s Enterprise Development Program, focused on women’s economic empowerment in rural enterprises. Rosie is also the Audit Chair for SAITCo, the Salvation Army International.

Dr. Eelco Fiole, QRD®, CFA, is co-founder and Managing Partner of Alpha Governance Partners, a boutique fiduciary partnership across North America, Europe, and Asia. His board mandates, typically in finance, are in alternative investments, emerging markets, fintech (incl. blockchain), and impact. Based in Zurich and with over 25 years’ experience in finance, of which over 15 years as director, CFO, and COO, Eelco is an accomplished governance specialist, investment executive, IFC nominee director candidate, adjunct professor in Finance Ethics at HEC Lausanne and the University of Neuchâtel, Chair Switzerland of UHNWI-association Tiger21, and a Fellow of and volunteers as a Member of Council of the Institute of Directors in London. He further volunteers a.o. as Jury Chair of the UniNe Ethics in Finance Award and Director Governance at the Cambridge University Social Impact and Sustainability Society. In 2022, Eelco was one of four recipients of the CFA Institute Inspirational Leadership Awards.

Ana Maria Gati, QRD®, serves on the boards of directors for Pérola, a private company formed by Nutrien Phosphatos, Ultrabulk e Eurobrás, Neonergia (PREVI), Metalúrgica Aliança, and Hidrolight. She is the founder of Gati Consultoria in Management and Governance, an affiliate of the Shingo Institute, and Chief Executive Officer of Instituto Mulheres em Operações – MEO, an advocacy group for women leaders in Operations and serving on boards in Brazil. Her past board experience includes work with Activas, Amachains, Picadilly Calçados, and Observatório Social do Brasil. Her past executive and advisory experience is with firms like McKinsey & Company, Kearney, Avon Products, and Mars Incorporated in Brazil and abroad.

Yesim Gura, QRD®, is an independent director for QNB Finansbank, Sanko Super Film Flexible Packaging Company, Pinar Dairy Products, and Altin Yunus Cesme Tourism Company in Türkiye. She is an International Finance Corporation (IFC) nominated board director serving on the Board for Acibadem City Clinic BV, based in Amsterdam, and for Hospital Operations in the Balkans, She is an International Advisor to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Yesim serves on the Stakeholder Supervisory Board of DCRO Institute, as a Board member of the Board Members Association in Türkiye, and as a member of the Global Deans Council of Kelley School of Business in the USA.

Maria Hallack, QRD®, is a Board and Fiscal Advisor certified by the Brazilian Governance Institute (IBGC) and a Qualified Risk Director®. She currently serves as the Chairwoman of the Board at Balaroti Building Materials Retailer, Chairwoman of the Advisory Board at Women in Operations (MEO), and Board Member at Embrast Industry and Commerce of Packaging. She holds positions as a member of the boards of independent directors at IFC - World Bank, PREVI, and PETROS. She previously held key roles as a Board Member at Vix Logistics, Marcopolo Transportation Industry, and Paranapanema Metal Industry. As a seasoned C-level executive with over 25 years of experience, she served as the Vice President of International Business at Tigre Pipes and Fittings, overseeing operations in 9 different countries, and acted as CEO of the Tigre ADS Joint Venture.

Eric Mai is the Director, Enterprise Risk Management for Delta Air Lines, where he is responsible for the development, execution, and delivery of Delta's Enterprise Risk Management program and methodology. In his role, he works closely with Delta’s senior leadership team and the board of directors on all aspects of risk governance. Before his time with Delta, Eric was the Director, Enterprise Risk Management and Corporate Strategy for Novelis, Inc. He has served on the board of several non-profit organizations in Atlanta, Georgia, in the United States, such as the Children's Museum, where he chaired the Operations Committee, and as Board Chair of the Robert D. Fowler YMCA. He currently serves on the Board of the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta serving on the Risk & Audit Committee. Eric also served as an Advisory Board member to Compass Credit Union of Oswego, NY, and is an active member of the Atlanta Risk Council.

Sanchit Maini, QRD®, FIAA, serves as the Group Chief Financial and Sustainability Risk Officer for Prudential plc. In this capacity, he is responsible for all financial and sustainability risk aspects for Prudential plc, and in addition, is a member of the board of directors of several Prudential group companies including in the Philippines, Laos, PCA Re, and Prudential Investment Management. In his previous executive roles, he worked for Aviva, serving as Asia Head of Products and Actuarial and Max Life Insurance as Chief Actuary and Chief Risk Officer. He holds the CERA designation in enterprise risk management and is a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries of Australia, India, and Singapore.

Virginia Reynolds Parker, QRD®, is the founder of Parker Global Strategies, LLC, a firm that specialized in providing customized solutions for institutional investors in liquid alternative investment strategies across equity, fixed income, foreign exchange, commodity, and derivative markets. She serves as a board member and co-president of WomenExecs on Boards, a group comprised of alumnae of the Harvard Women on Boards program. Additionally, she serves on boards active in Education, Healthcare, the Arts, and the Environment, including Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, where she is a former Chair and currently serves as an Emeritus member. Virginia is the editor of the book Managing Hedge Fund Risk: Strategies and Insights from Investors, Counterparties, Hedge Funds and Regulators and was inducted to the FX Hall of Fame in 2009.

Yvonne Stillhart, QRD®, is a non-executive director, chair of the M&A committee, and member of the audit and risk committee for Integrated Diagnostic Holdings – IDH in Egypt. She is also a non-executive director and member of the audit committee for abrdn Investment Trusts across Europe and an independent director and member of the audit and risk committee for UBS Asset Management Switzerland Ltd. in Switzerland. She serves as the independent chair of the board of directors and a member of the social and ethics committee for EPE Capital Ltd. in South Africa. She has nearly 20 years of board experience across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa and was co-founder, co-head investments, and vice chair of the Investment Committee at Akina Ltd, a leading private asset manager. Yvonne is a faculty member at the DCRO Institute.

Ingrid Vasiliu-Feltes, MD, MBA is the recipient of more than 30 lifetime achievement awards, including the WBAF World Excellence Award for Social Entrepreneurship, the Award of Excellence in Research by Columbia University, and Teacher of The Year (twice) by the University of Miami. She is a board member of the Partners in Digital Health Institute, as well as the Government Blockchain Association, where she is the acting chief innovation officer. She is an expert advisor to the European Union Blockchain Observatory and Forum, an advisory partner at Virtue Consultants, an executive partner at GlobalReach BI, a certified consultant to the US Institute of Diplomacy and Human Rights, and holds several leadership roles at the World Business Angels Investment Forum, where she is the co-founder of the WBAF World Smart Cities Economic Development Commission. Ingrid is the founder and CEO of the Institute for Science, Entrepreneurship, and Investments. She teaches at the University of Miami Business School and the WBAF Business School while serving as an Affiliate Faculty at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s Institute for Bioethics and Health Policy. She has authored or co-authored books, and book chapters, and guest-edited several scientific journals. She is a TV/Media partner, as well as a publishing editor at IGI Global and Frontiers Media. Ingrid is a faculty member at the DCRO Institute.

Investors, regulators, and other interested parties have come to expect best practices in governing the risks that organizations take in pursuit of their goals. Successfully realizing the link between good governance and the creation of value at companies requires integrity, innovation, leadership, and service. This year’s winners join an elite group of DCRO Exemplars recognized in previous years, all of whom can be found on the DCRO Institute website at

About the DCRO Institute – The DCRO Institute is the world's leading source of risk governance training and credentialing. We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit peer collaboration among board members and C-Suite executives from around the world. The DCRO Institute is the home of the Qualified Risk Director® designation, the Certificate in Risk Governance®, and the Certificate in Cyber Risk Governance℠. We work globally to bring risk expertise to the boardroom and C-suite by teaching the positive governance of risk-taking.℠ Graduates from our programs are leaders in boardrooms and C-suites on five continents. Our goal, which is emblazoned on our logo, is to help organizations Innovate, Sustain, and Create Value. Visit to learn more.

For more information, please contact David R. Koenig at +1.612.286.1776 or by e-mail at

David R. Koenig, QRD®
The DCRO Institute
+1 612-286-1776
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