Prof. Markus Venzin (he/him)

CEO, EHL Group


Prof. Markus Venzin is EHL Group’s Chief Executive Officer as of September 1, 2022.

Born and raised in Switzerland, and having lived for over 20 years in Italy, Markus combines the structure and process competencies needed to manage complex business development programs with the creativity and flexibility needed to create new ideas.

After earning his bachelor’s degree in Economics at the University of Konstanz, in Germany, he went on to complete a master’s degree in Strategic Management and Organizational Behavior followed by a PhD in Strategy and Organization at the University of St. Gallen, in Switzerland.

Before joining EHL, Markus was a Full Professor of Global Strategy at the Management and Technology Department of Bocconi University and its Dean of Innovation. He is a Founding Partner of Corporate Hangar, a venture builder that supports large firms by creating the infrastructure for serial innovation. He has worked as a strategist in several industries, including manufacturing, financial services and fashion. He has also founded his own consulting firm and served as a member of supervisory and advisory boards of several multinational firms.

Markus sharpened his international academic profile, as well as his managerial leadership skills, as the founder and long-time Director of the Master of Science in International Management program at Bocconi University, as the Director of the Strategy and Entrepreneurship Department, and subsequently as the Director of the "Claudio Dematté" Research Division at SDA Bocconi. He participated in numerous international conferences and has held visiting positions and teaching assignments at the Università della Svizzera Italiana (Lugano), University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), Fudan University (Shanghai), Copenhagen Business School, Essec (Paris), ESADE (Barcelona), WU Vienna University of Economics and Business and the University of St. Gallen.

Markus founded two tech startups, which he managed as CEO. He was actively involved in executive development in a wide range of industries, facilitated strategy workshops for top-management teams, and offered consulting services to senior executives. He is a frequent speaker at corporate and industry events on topics such as company resilience, internationalization strategies, strategic decision-making dynamics, global knowledge-management systems, and the development of formal planning and control processes in large multinational firms.

For more about Markus, see his LinkedIn profile

Vanessa Balouzet (she/her)

Growth & Talent Development


Vanessa is a member of EHL Group’s Executive Leadership team in charge of the Growth Office. 

She is tasked with driving the growth of EHL people, bringing each talent to his or her full potential,  and supporting EHL’s culture change journey centered around excellence, human-centered connections, innovation and sustainability.  She is also in charge of transversal Group functions such as Marketing and Brand Management, and transversal projects supporting the EHL growth journey.

Vanessa has a track record of more than 20 years of experience in People Development, Innovation, New Business Development and Strategy.  She has designed customized learning and development programs for working professionals and has contributed to setting up new schools and new partnerships around the world. 

She holds a Master of Science in management, highest honors, from HEC Paris where she graduated in the Dean’s List (top five students) with a specialization in Finance and Strategy, and a Master of Science in Biology and Nutrition from INA PG.

Vanessa spent the first part of her career working with leading global consultancies Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and A.T. Kearney. She delivered major strategy, business and organizational engagements for the world’s largest Luxury, FMCG and Retail organizations, leading teams operating in more than fifty markets around the world.

Vanessa then worked as Nestlé’s Head of Innovation Acceleration Team, launching new business models and bringing new products to market. She was in charge of a large company-wide transformational journey to bring faster innovations to market. Subsequently, she was appointed Global Head of Leadership Development, overlooking four Talent Centers of Excellence, in charge of Recruitment and Learning & Development for Nestlé employees.  

Vanessa has a passion for People, Business and Innovation. She believes in being curious, positive and kind, ensuring the growth of everyone to their full potential while holding the highest excellence standards. 

She is married with one daughter.  On weekends you might run into her at Montreux Natation, the  local swimming club where she volunteers as Technical Director of the Artistic Swimming section.

Connect with Vanessa on LinkedIn

Meloney Brazzola (she/her)

Corporate Communications


Meloney is a member of EHL Group’s Executive Leadership Team in charge of Corporate Communications. Meloney is tasked with shaping, evolving and preserving EHL Group’s enduring reputation for hospitality management education, innovation and services, including the world’s top hospitality management university.  She studied English literature and journalism at the University of Lausanne, and more recently, in 2019,  she followed an executive short course on Innovative Marketing for Strategic Advantage at the Stanford Business School.

Meloney is a seasoned hospitality professional, since she spent the beginning of her career working in Marketing and Communications for the iconic hotel group Hyatt. This experience took her from Switzerland to the United Arab Emirates as regional Director of Marketing for South West Asia, and allowed her to gain valuable insights into what makes a great hospitality experience, and how to tell its story.

After a 4-year stint in the private banking industry overseeing the international marketing strategy and corporate client communications as Associate Director at HSBC Private Bank in Geneva, Meloney boarded the EHL boat in 2014 where she remains to this day. As the Head of Corporate Communications, Meloney contributes her creative and analytical quick thinking to help EHL be an agile, open and self-aware institution.

Meloney is also a founding member of EHL’s Women in Leadership initiative, promoting successful career development and family life balance for colleagues and students. She’s a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion initiatives leading to positive change.

Just as so many others in the EHL family, Meloney is a bi-national, American and Swiss born in NC USA, in 1982. She is married with two children, and enjoys all-things-crafty from woodworking, to painting and sewing.

Come say hi to Meloney by connecting on LinkedIn !

Noémie Danthine (she/her)

Sustainable Hospitality Services


Noémie is a member of EHL Group’s Executive Leadership Team in charge of Sustainable Hospitality Services. Noémie graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English, French and Philosophy from the University of Lausanne in 2002. She started her career in project management, moving from process reengineering for Services Industriels de Genève, to the creation of a project management unit for the Canton of Vaud’s office for hosting and protecting migrants. She joined EHL in 2012, and obtained an executive MBA with specialization in CSR from the University of Geneva in 2018.

Noémie designs and deploys the Group’s Corporate Social Responsibility strategy, namely sustainable development, skills-based sponsorship, as well as ethical and social responsibility.

She has been at EHL for over 10 years, and today she ensures sustainability is built into the Group’s infrastructure development and hospitality services, all the while integrating it into the Group’s wider activities and of course in close collaboration with the Faculty to ensure these principles are integrated into EHL’s various curricula. Her ultimate goal is to instill a responsible and sustainable mindset in all of EHL’s students, faculty and staff members. She is also responsible for all EHL campuses infrastructure teams, as well as all wellness and wellbeing initiatives, ensuring that infrastructures, services and operations offer the best possible experience to students, staff and visitors.

Noémie is also a Non-Executive Director of the Paul Dubrule Hospitality School in Siem Reap, Cambodia, providing strategic support and helping develop the educational portfolio. 

Noémie is a Swiss-American-Belgian triple national born in 1976. If you don’t find her at home cooking, eating & playing games with her wife and two daughters, you will find her on a via ferrata in the mountains, on a badminton court or out swimming and playing pétanque in the sun (when the Swiss weather allows it)! 

You can check out her full professional journey on LinkedIn here.

Dr. David Knuff (he/him)

Strategic Partnerships


Dr. David Knuff joins the EHL Executive Leadership Team after serving in academic leadership roles at Swiss Education Group and globally recognized schools of business at the University of California-Irvine, and Washington State University.  During his nearly 20-year career in higher education, David has established himself as an innovative academic leader, student advocate, and community builder.

Born and raised in Orange County, California and having taught and developed programs in several countries in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, David combines a global perspective with the structure and process competencies needed to manage complex academic programs.  Most notably, he has established multiple global strategic partnerships with companies such as Disney, Blizzard or Hyundai, led curriculum revisions, engaged technology to create mentorship opportunities between alumni and students, and driven positive organizational change.   David led a wide range of initiatives but those he is most proud of are those that create access to an inclusive learning environment, realize student potential, and galvanize the external community around a shared academic mission.

Prior to pursuing his PhD, David spent the early part of his career working in customer service, corporate sales and leading entrepreneurial ventures.  He learned early in his career the importance of connecting education and business to close the gap between the classroom and the real-world.  His desire to understand the customer was a motivation for his research interests in the field of marketing and consumer psychology, which has deepened his appreciation and understanding of the customer experience and helped him develop a hospitality mindset.

“Wenn ich weiter sehen konnte, so deshalb, weil ich auf den Schultern von Riesen stand” As the expression suggests, standing on the shoulders of giants, David is excited to build upon the amazing foundation put in place by so many that have come through the doors and call EHL “home”.

David discovered Switzerland while living here for a year to complete research for his PhD. He then stayed on, developing partnerships with the University of St. Gallen and the University of Fribourg.  He still enjoys exploring Switzerland and spends the weekends trying to convince his wife and 3 young children to join him on a bike ride, on the golf course or up in a mountains hiking, snowboarding and of course eating raclette. He likes to imply that his love of raclette makes him more Swiss than his Swiss wife, but this is quickly debunked when he adds speck or other improbable ingredients to the mix. 

For more about Dr. David Knuff, you can visit his LinkedIn profile.

Tony Morales (he/him)

Administration, Finance and Controlling


Tony is a member of EHL Group’s Executive Leadership Team in charge of Administration, Finance and Controlling. Tony joined EHL in August 2018, bringing an extensive international business experience across multiple industry sectors, including hospitality. 

Tony started his professional carrier in 1990, spending 10 years at KPMG in Switzerland. His activities covered audit, transaction services and tax advisory. He also held management positions as responsible for the KPMG Neuchâtel office and as member of the Executive team of KPMG Suisse Romande.

In 2000, Tony entered the world of hospitality, joining the Hyatt Group, where he spent sixteen years in various finance leadership roles, most recently as regional CFO for Europe, Africa, Middle East & South West Asia, overseeing 70 hotels located in 28 countries, the European shared services center in Mainz, and the regional efforts within the Group’s Initial Public Offering.

From 2016, prior to moving to EHL, Tony was the Global CFO for Scenic Luxury Cruises and Tours, a global tour operator. He led the finance, risk and tax functions with teams in Australia, Switzerland, Malta, Canada, the United States of America and the United Kingdom.

Tony is a Swiss Certified Accountant and holds a Master of Science in Economics and Political Economy, from the University of Neuchâtel.

As of  2020 he’s also on the Board of Directors of various EHL Group subsidiaries, both in Switzerland and internationally.

Quick tip: If you want to look him up on Google, make sure to add “EHL” in the search, otherwise you’ll mostly be reading about a prolific Hollywood music composer with the same name !

Otherwise, just click here for his LinkedIn profile.

Patrick Ogheard (he/him)

EHL School of Practical Arts


Patrick is a member of EHL Group’s Executive Leadership Team and Dean of EHL School of Practical Arts. As such, he is responsible for all the Group’s programs with a focus on the practical arts.

Patrick is a trained chef with a Master’s Degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management, he worked for 30 years in gastronomic restaurants and was inspired by famous chefs, including Jacques Maximin, thanks to whom he had the privilege to meet Alain Ducasse, whose team he joined in 1995. A dream come true!

Patrick is driven by three passions: cooking, transmission and research, while respecting the product, gastronomic heritage and the planet. He quickly got involved in academic activities. In December 1999, he opened the Alain Ducasse Training Center and in 2009 set up operations for the research center at the Paul Bocuse Institute.

Patrick has been working at EHL since 2012, and was part of various projects such as the revision of EHL’s Advanced Federal Diploma of Higher Education in Hospitality Management on EHL Campus Passugg. He is a member of the Deanship as Dean of Practical Arts, and has been instrumental in defining the practical and professional programs at EHL. He’s also the founder and co-director of the Institute of Nutrition R&D at EHL working with stakeholders in the agri-food industry such as Nestlé Research and the Lausanne Polytechnique school (EPFL).

Patrick is a French national born in 1968. He is married and has two adult daughters. He’s had a lifelong fascination for the French Concorde aircraft which represents the height of hospitality and gourmet experiences in 20th century aviation. In fact, he was in charge of designing and preparing the meals that were served on the Concorde flight that ushered in the 21st century. He has co-authored two books including the best seller entitled Le grand livre de la cuisine d’Alain Ducasse.

Check out his incredible career on LinkedIn.

Dr. Juan F. Perellon (he/him)

Academic Office


Juan is a member of EHL Group’s Executive Leadership Team in charge of the Academic Office. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Political Science from the University of Lausanne, and a PhD from the Institute of Education, University of London.

Education and training policy is Juan’s professional passion. He particularly specializes in all aspects of Higher Education and Research, as well as the development of quality assurance, accreditation, governance and funding systems. After gaining his PhD, Juan served as the head of the Higher Education Department of the Observatory on Science, Policy and Society at the Lausanne Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL), before joining the State of Vaud’s education ministry, where he became Deputy Director General of the Board of Higher Education in 2012.

For about 10 years now, Juan has spearheaded some critically important accreditation projects such as the NECHE accreditation, the association agreement with the HES-SO and the negotiations of the Singaporean government that led to the opening of first EHL international Campus. 
Juan is tasked with formulating the Group’s program development strategy and as the Chairman of the Certification Board, he is responsible for Group-wide certifications and oversees the academic quality and accreditation. Juan also joined the Board of Directors of EHL Swiss School of Tourism and Hospitality in June 2020.

With a Spanish and Swiss dual citizenship, Juan was born in Barcelona in 1970 and grew up in the Swiss Alps, where both his parents worked at the “Hotel du Parc”, the oldest hotel of Crans-Montana, built in 1893....

Juan is one of the rare recipients of the « Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowships», the prestigious scholarship awarded by the European Commission which financed his doctoral studies in London.

Don’t be shy, connect with Juan on LinkedIn !

Finally, in case you were still asking yourself… the F. stands for Francisco.

Dr. Achim Schmitt (he/him)

Dean, EHL Hospitality Business School


Achim is member of EHL Group’s Executive Leadership Team and Dean of EHL Hospitality Business School, where he is also a Full Professor.

Since joining EHL in 2013, Achim has led the creation of several new Graduate Programs and continues to be a strong driver of positive change in the academic roadmap of the school. Achim got his PhD from the University of Geneva (where he’s now also a Visiting Professor) and obtained his Habilitation at the University of Paris-Dauphine in France.

Achim wasn’t always a Professor. Before getting into academia, he was a turnaround consultant across German-speaking Europe. Throughout his academic career, Achim has held positions in various international business schools and published in top-tier academic journals and media. His research focuses on organization theory and strategic management, with particular interest in organizational decline, corporate turnarounds, and strategic renewal. 

He currently serves on two boards in the private sector. He also holds a position at the Academic Advisory Board at CEIBS Europe, as well as the Editorial Board at Long Range Planning.

Born in 1977, Achim is German and Swiss, and has married into a large and welcoming Guatemalan family who’s charmed him into embracing the Latin lifestyle. In his free time, he enjoys high-intensity sports, long hikes with his two Giant Schnauzer dogs, fine wine, and has some amazing stories to tell about his family’s German brewery which is considered to be one of the oldest privately owned brewery in the world (12th century)!

You can check out his LinkedIn profile for a full timeline of his career here.