ENAT Board Biographies
Short biographies of the ENAT Board of Directors, 2022.
- President: Annagrazia Laura, Italy
- Vice Presidents: Jesús Hernández Galán, Spain and Spyros Michailidis, Greece
- Treasurer: Emiliano Deferrari, Belgium
- Managing Director: Ivor Ambrose, UK and Greece
- Director: Mieke Broeders, Belgium
- Director: Marco Pizzio, Italy
- Director: Ana Garcia, Portugal
- Director: Ruediger Leidner, Germany
- Director: Katerina Papamichail, Greece
- Director: Miguel Carrasco
- Honorary Board Member: Angelika Laburda, Austria
- Honorary Board Member: Martin Heng, Australia
- Honorary Board Member, Lilian Müller, Access Sweden, Sweden
Annagrazia Laura, ENAT President
Anna Grazia Laura was first elected as President of ENAT in 2013. She was re-elected in 2017. She graduated in Political Sciences,after a career in Marketing Information and Planning Office at Alitalia Airlines. In 1993 she joined COIN (Cooperative Integrate Onlus and then Consorzio Sociale COIN), an organisation involved in creating job opportunities for people with disabilities, also through accessible tourism, where she had the responsibility to develop the Group’s Tourism Dept. at national and international level. She has been involved in several national and international seminars and network activities as well as lecturer in training courses on inclusive tourism and equal opportunities. Since 2009 she represents ENAT as a member of the Committe for the promotion and support to accessible tourism, set up by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Tourism, where she has participated in the study groups on Training and Accessibility and is now coordinating the Europe Working Group. Member of SOAB (Societal Advisory Group) of the EC Joint Programming Initiative “More Years Better Lives”. She retired from COIN/TANDEM in June 2017.
Jesús Hernández Galán, ENAT Vice President
Director of Accessibility, Fundación ONCE, Spain
Founding Member of ENAT.
Forestry Engineer, Master in Business Management, Master in Environmental Management, and General Management Programme from IESE. He has been a consultant in accessibility to open spaces and during 2000 up until 2003 he has been General Director and CEO of Fundosa Accessibility. In 2003 he was appointed Director of Accessibility of the ONCE Foundation. He is also Chairman of the Technical Committee of Standardization 170 of AENOR: “Needs and adaptations for people with disabilities”, Chairman of the technology platform Independent Living and Accessibility (eVIA), member of the Commission on Accessibility of the Spanish Committee of Representatives of People with Disabilities (CERMI) and of the Executive Committee of the European Institute of Design and Disability. He has participated in many conferences and publications both at a national and international level. He is also Director of the subject “Universal Accessibility and Design for All” of the Polytechnic University in Madrid. He has also directed the congresses of Domotics, Robotics and Tele-assistance (2005 and 2007), Tourism and Technologies for All (2004 to 2021) and the Biennial of Contemporary Art of the ONCE Foundation.
Spyros Michailidis, ENAT Vice President
Founding Member of ENAT. Spyros Michailidis is the Founder and Managing Director of EWORX S.A. The company has quickly established itself as a European leader in producing web sites and internet services that are usable and accessible to the widest possible range of users. Spyros has long experience in ICT consulting work and has collaborated with major Greek cultural organisations such as the Benaki Museum and the Lalaounis Museum. In the framework of the EC-funded projects, OSSATE and ENAT, he was technical director and responsible for the resulting websites at www.europeforall.com and www.accessibletourism.org. As a co-founder and Vice-President of ENAT, Spyros leads the network's Internet and communications strategy, including marketing and social media issues. He is also a specialist in the design and delivery of tourism accessibility information systems via new media. He is a member of ACM, IEEE and the Technical Chamber of Greece and holds a Diploma in Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens and a M.Sc. in Computer Science and Human-Computer Interaction from Queen Mary College, University of London.
Emiliano Deferrari, ENAT Treasurer
Independent accessible tourism expert consultant, Belgium. Member of ENAT Executive Board since 2022. Emiliano has over 20 years’ experience as EU project manager, researcher, and trainer. Born and raised in Italy, where he earned an M.A. in Political Philosophy at the University of Genoa, Emiliano has worked for many years in social enterprises in Genoa and Rome, working for the development of inclusive tourism information points and mobility services, as an accessibility auditor, developing plans for the removal of architectural barriers, as speaker and lecturer. Since 2015 he lives in Brussels working as researcher, project manager and lobbyist for ENAT. He has participated in more than 30 EU funded projects on all aspects of the life of people with disability and on accessible tourism, focusing on destination development, vocational education and training, e-learning, and the use of digital media. He saves time to pursue his career as a musical artist.
Ivor Ambrose, ENAT Managing Director
Independent Consultant, UK and Greece. Founding Member of ENAT. Ivor Ambrose works as an independent consultant providing research and project management expertise to public sector organisations, NGOs and companies. In 2006 he brought together an international group including VisitBritain, the Hellenic Ministry of Tourism, NGOs from Belgium, Spain and Greece, university tourism management specialists and Greek web services company EWORX S.A. to create the European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT). The association, which was co-funded for 2 years by the European Commission, was registered in Brussels as a non-profit organisation in 2008. Since then Ivor Ambrose has acted as Managing Director of ENAT. Born in England, Ivor Ambrose has lived and worked in the UK, Denmark, Belgium and Greece. He holds an M.Sc. in Environmental Psychology from the University of Surrey, UK (1979) and the academic title of "Senior Researcher" gained while working at the Danish Building Research Institute (1991). From 1998 to 2001 he worked for the European Commission Directorate General Information Society where he managed research projects and contributed to European policies on electronic services and support for the integration of persons with disabilities and older people.
Mieke Broeders, ENAT Board Member
Mieke Broeders, Accesibility Expert, is a Founding Member of ENAT, formerly Director of INTER vzw Flemish Expert Center on Accessibility (Belgium), which is the major accessibility advisory and consultancy organization in Flanders. Mieke was trained in social work and management studies and has previously worked (from 1975 –98) as a community worker for the regional development organisation of Midden-Limburg, where she was responsible for training programmes for unemployed people, entrepreneurial training courses, development of city cycle routes, and housing programmes for disabled people. As Director of Toegankelijkheidsbureau (TGB) since 1995, and ENTER, (later INTER), Mieke built up a multi-disciplinary team of specialists with expertise in assessment, building and environmental accessibility auditing, training, access management and publications. Under her supervision TGB and ENTER has contributed to European programmes and Actions including Interreg, Horizon, HELIOS II, OSSATE, ENAT, DFA@eInclusion as well as regional and National programmes in Belgium.
Marco Pizzio, Member of the ENAT Board of Directors
Marco Pizzio is Head of Social and Accessible Tourism at AISM (Italian Multiple Sclerosis Society) and since June 2016 member of the Board of Directors of ENAT (European Network for Accessible Tourism). He holds degrees from the University of Turin in Business Administration (SAA School of Management) with a Marketing Specialization and from the University of Genoa in Political Science and a Master in “Design and Management of Tourism Destinations”. He has worked as Product Manager at Omnitel (now Vodafone Italy) in Milan and in 1998 started his own business in tourism in the United States (San Diego and New York) as "Freedom Tour". Marco also worked at American Express in Rome as Director of the Travel Service Network. Since 2010 he is working for AISM, Italy, heading the tourism business strategy, consisting in managing accessible properties in 4 Italian regions, MICE and Tour Operating activities and management of projects related to Accessible Tourism, being also Project Manager for the EU-funded “Europe Without Barriers” project.
Ana Maria Marquis Garcia Rodrigues, Member of the ENAT Board of Directors
President of Accessible Portugal - promotion of accessible tourism in Portugal, since 2016. Ana Garcia holds a Masters degree in "Accesibilidad Universal y Diseño para Todos" with the thesis "Tourism a powerful tool for development” at the University of Jaén, Spain (2014). She also holds a Business Management degree from the ISCTE Business School in Lisbon-Portugal (1986) and postgraduate degree in Financial Management by ISG (Institute of Management) (1987). After being an auditor at KPMG Peat Marwick (1986-1989) and business analyst of investment projects in IAPMEI - Institute for Support to Small and Medium Enterprises and Investment, of the Ministry of Economy (1990-2007), she dedicated herself to the promotion of Tourism for All in Portugal. From 2008 to September of 2012 she developed the brand Accessible Portugal, being the first Portuguese tourism company working in the operation, travel agency and tourist activities, especially dedicated to customers with special access requirements. Ana is a technical adviser and consultant in Accessible Tourism for the Portuguese Tourist Board, the Municipality of Lousã accessible tourism destination; a Board member of the Normalization Technical Commission - CT 144; Tourism of Portugal, Sub-commission 8 – Accessible Tourism; and participates in research and development projects with the National Institute for Rehabilitation, Fundação LIGA, CECD2010 – preparing educational content for professional training in care tourism; and the New University of Lisbon. Ana was elected to the ENAT Board in May 2012.
Ruediger Leidner, ENAT Board Member since June 2017, Dr. rer. Pol. In economics
Until his retirement in 2015 Ruediger Leidner worked in the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy in Bonn and Berlin. He was charged with different tasks such as analysing economic developments in western an eastern European countries and in the healthcare industry. Between 2002 and 2007 he was responsible for tourism policy, one year in the Ministry of Economics and four years at the European Commission in Brussels. In 2004 he was co-founding member of Design for All Germany (EDAD). Since 2006 he has been the person responsible for accessible tourism in the German Federation for Blind and Partially-Sighted people (ENAT member since 2011) and was its representative at Tourism For All Germany (NatKo). Since 2010 he has been President of NatKo. Besides his engagement in accessible tourism issues he works as quality manager for a German institute for economic research and is honorarily working as board member of two organisations involved in the German healthcare sector, one of them focussing on accessibility issues
Miguel Carrasco Hernández, ENAT Board Member.
Technical Director of Tourism, Universal Accessibility and Inclusive Culture area at PREDIF, Spain. Miguel holds a Master MBA in Management and Administration of tourism companies at the Business School of the Nebrija University of Madrid. He is a Senior Technician in information, marketing and Tourism Marketing, as well as in Travel Agencies and Event Management. He furthered his studies in International Tourism Marketing in England and Ireland, as well as taking specialization courses in accessible tourism with PREDIF. He has worked for 10 years in the tourism sector, starting in the hotel industry, continuing as a destination manager in an important multinational tour operator, to continue developing his professional career as a sales and business development manager creating proposals and market strategies for clients, tourism administrations and marketing and representing hotel companies at a European level. He is currently Director of the Accessible Tourism Area of PREDIF where he supervises and develops the strategy of the area, as well as the internationalization of the TUT4all platform, gives training in accessible tourism as well as representing the entity on a social and political level, chairing the commission of accessible tourism and inclusive leisure of CERMI.
Katerina Papamichail, ENAT Board Member.
Katerina Papamichail is a Greek architect and a founding member of ENAT. Elected to the Board in 2022, she specialises in accessibility of the built environment, cultural heritage and standardisation. She has worked for 30 years as an architect for the public sector in the Greek Social Housing Organisation, where she introduced accessible and adaptable housing. She was seconded to the Athens Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games 2004 (ATHOC) as Section Manager for the Olympic and Paralympic Villages, responsible for planning and managing the accessibility of the combined facility. She is a co-author of the Greek Accessibility Guidelines issued by the Ministry of Environment and Public Works in 1998. Since 2005 she has worked on tourism-related projects and has contributed as expert to CEN on the European Standard for ‘Accessibility Requirements for Public Procurement in the Built Environment’ (2021) and also participated for ENAT in the ISO ‘Accessible Tourism’ Standard (2021). She works for ENAT projects as an access auditor, curriculum developer and trainer for vocational and educational training professional development courses. She is an Honorary Member of the Technical Chamber of Greece.
Angelika Laburda, Honorary Member of the ENAT Board of Directors, Founding Member of ENAT.
Former Project Manager, IBFT-Infoplattform Barrierefreier Tourismus, Austria
Angelika Laburda, Dr. Phil. in Sociology, has worked as Project Manager at the Pro Worker IBFT-Infoplattform Barrierefreier Tourismus in Vienna since 2003. She has formerly held positions as Lecturer and Researcher at a number of academic institutions, including the Institute for Demography of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the Austrian Trade Union Federation, NÖ-Volkshilfe at Wr. Neustadt, the Austrian Institute for Regional Studies and Spatial Planning and others. She has specialist knowledge of medical sociology and disability, labour market issues, gender mainstreaming, computer science, mathematics, statistical analysis and Information Technologies. She was IBFT’s Project Manager in the OSSATE project, 2006 – 2007, which developed the accessible tourism website, www.EuropeForAll.com Angelika Laburda was granted Honorary Board Member status in 2015, on her retirement from IBFT.
Martin Heng, Honorary Member of the ENAT Board of Directors
Martin Heng holds a BA and MA in English literature from Cambridge University and an MA in Communications from RMIT University in Melbourne. Martin works as an independent consultant in accessible and inclusive tourism, after over 20 years as editor for Lonely Planet in numerous roles, including seven years as Editorial Manager, when he was responsible for the production of all Lonely Planet books. A road accident in 2010 left him a quadriplegic. He returned to Lonely Planet in 2013 creating the role of Accessible Travel Manager & Editorial Adviser and publishing a number of accessible travel titles, including a Guide to Rio de Janeiro that was supplied to all athletes participating in the 2016 Paralympics. He developed the world’s largest collection of Accessible Travel Online Resources, which was featured in the UNWTO’s Good Practices in the Accessible Tourism Supply Chain. His most recent publication is an Accessible Travel Phrasebook, featuring disability-specific words and phrases in 35 languages. In 2014, he was a keynote speaker at the UNWTO-sponsored global accessible travel summit, “Destinations for All”, in Montréal and has since become a regular speaker on accessible tourism at events in Australia and around the world. In 2016, he was a VIP delegate and speaker at the UNWTO World Tourism Day event in Bangkok, “Tourism for All: Promoting Universal Accessibility”. In 2017, he opened the Barrier-Free Day at the world’s largest travel fair, the ITB in Berlin, and was a panellist at the UNWTO’s first Smart Cities conference in Spain.
Lilian Müller, ENAT Honorary Board Member
Lilian Müller was the first President of ENAT, from 2008-2013. Lilian holds a Master of social science from University of Lund, with political science as main subject. She studied Design for all at the technical universities in Lund and Luleå, and is since 2016 Certified Expert of Building Accessibility in accordance with the Swedish Plan and Building Act. Lilian was co-founder of Tourism for all in Sweden, Svenska Equality and Access Sweden; and has been working for these organisations since 1995 in different roles: as accessibility auditor, manager, advisor for tourism businesses and public bodies, and project leader in several European projects. A main aim in her work has been to contribute to development and support of accessible tourism and of accessibility and design for all in the building process. Her book “Ett samhälle för alla” (“A society for all”) was published in 2012. She is now sharing her time between accessibility consultancy in Svenska Equality, the own enterprise, the role as accessibility advisor in the city of Lund, and ENAT.