On 14th December 2020, the annual voting for the most influential people of New Europe concluded. The list of influencers was viewed by a record number of 9.430 readers, while 2.606 of Kongres Magazine’s readers cast their votes.

Since 2014, Kongres Magazine has been giving centre stage to the most influential people of New Europe’s meetings industry. When we prepared our first-ever list of influencers, our guidance was the following mindset. Would you decide to build a house without an architect or professional construction workers? The price you would have to pay for the amateur approach would be significant. Likewise, this applies to event organisation, one of the fields of expertise, where everyone seems to be an expert.

Thus, we decided to set structured criteria and requirements for nomination. Our list of influencers differs from similar competitions, as nomination has to come from a third party and not candidates themselves. We want the influencer list to be of help when you start organising events again, serving as a trustworthy directory of MICE professionals. This project is not a competition, but a serious platform that you can rely on. All nominees that were part of the voting process are presented in alphabetical order below.

I would like to sincerely congratulate the winners and all of the nominees on their impressive achievement and pledge to further develop and evolve the project in the following years.

I wish you all a happy and healthy 2021,

Gorazd Čad
Editor in chief


TOP 5 (with the highest number of votes)

Marko ERTL, Wrapstars Catering
Dominika GSCHMEIDLER, Motto Catering
Dada JEROVŠEK, Kaval Group
Martin JEZERŠEK, Jezeršek Catering
Ana ROŠ, Hiša Franko

Marko ERTL, Wrapstars Catering

“Screw it, let’s do it”

Marko co-founded the first food truck in Austria in 2013 when he was 23 without any restaurant industry background and grew the business into multiple trucks, a catering with 400 Events a year, a restaurant and a spin-off company called Herd Open Kitchen – a 700 m² Co-Working Kitchen to make it easier for all food businesses to start and thrive.



Dominika GSCHMEIDLER, Motto Catering

Dominika is the Managing Director of Motto Catering, a modern company with respect for tradition since 2008. At Motto Catering they say they are a unique symbiosis of the modern and the classic, combining zeitgeist with indulgence and sensuality. Besides the company, she is passionate about her family, good food, design and her dog Charlie.



Dada JEROVŠEK, Kaval Group

“You are what you eat and you eat what you are”

Dada Jerovsek studied architecture and had no idea at that time, that destiny will lead her to a culinary story. She was always admiring great chefs, enjoying in tastes, smells and in the visual images of signature dishes. And slowly, but surely, she fell in love with gastronomy. She loves her work, she loves working with her coworkers, she trusts all of them and enjoys to create new dishes, events, caterings. Dada knows very well, that only good, positive energy and trusted, motivated team, with all the passion and heart, can move mountains, especially in gastronomy, which is no easy business. Love for all and in all, for each and every one, this is what she believes in very strongly and this is how she lives. She takes this motto through her life, full of heart, passion and positive beliefs…



Martin JEZERŠEK, Jezeršek Catering

Martin Jezeršek, the youngest son of the renowned Jezeršek family, has been successfully managing the family business with over 35 years of tradition and experience in the field of HORECA, for the last five years. After a graduation at the best hospitality and hotel management school in the world, Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne in Switzerland, he returned home to take over the family business. He has internationalised the company through the brand Sora Catering and passed the test with flying colours, taking up the family business management, with a desire to become the leading catering provider in South-Eastern Europe and to rank among the top 10 organizers and catering services providers in the European Union. Due to Martin’s contribution, Jezeršek catering today is the leading company in the field of catering on the Slovenian market.



Ana ROŠ, Hiša Franko

“After every rain, the sun comes out”

Ana Roš is a Slovenian chef, a sport and travel enthusiast from the young ages, graduate in international and diplomatic science in Italy, polyglot and much more. She has been awarded the world’s best female chef in 2017 by the Restaurant magazine. She is a self-taught cook and with her cuisine, she wants to express the seasons, the locality, her own character, her travels and femininity. She and her partner Valter Kramar own Hiša Franko (Kobarid, Slovenia), a 2 Michelin star restaurant and one of the leading restaurants in Europe which in June 2019 has been awarded the 38th best restaurant in the world by the 50 best restaurants list.



In alphabetical order

Janez BRATOVŽ, JB Restaurant

Chef Janez Bratovž is a Slovenian pioneer in high cuisine. He carefully picks each and every supplier for the best fresh ingredients. His career starts in the year 1981, while his JB restaurant started in 1992. He wrote two very successful cookbooks which were very successful in different competitions. he is also the first Chef from Slovenia who was on San Pellegrino list 100 best restaurants in 2010. And in 2013 he was on 10. place of The Daily Meal Best Restaurants in Europe. His inspirations are ingredients that he workes with, his family, his coworkers, and of course his guests.

Thomas Gruber

Thomas GRUBER, Chef at in Schlossstern Restaurant (AT)

The main characteristic of the “Gasthaus von Thomas Gruber« at the lake Wörthersee is the regional cuisine, where different cultures and genuine dishes from Slovenia, Italy and Carinthia meet. Eating and drinking together become the indispensable experience factor. Thomas Gruber is not following the culinary mainstream, so instead of great gourmet menus, you will find dishes with heart and mind. He was gaining knowledge and experience for many years in the most prestigious restaurants and hotels in the States, France, Italy and Austria. In 2013, he opened his own restaurant “Gasthaus von Thomas Gruber”.


Jerneja KAMNIKAR, Vivo Catering

At the 20th anniversary, she earned her ranking through the socially responsible co-operative project of setting the Month of Design in the abandoned factory premises of Mladinska Knjiga. The revival of this place has created a completely new event space in Ljubljana with unimagined development potential. Visitors to the event were excited about the look of the premises; this is a completely new dimension of socially responsible conference tourism.


Frederik MAYRINGER, Frederiks Vienna

“Stay in the kitchen” is the motto that Frederik Mayringer, the CEO and Chef at Frederik’s, is adhering to at all times. His dedication to investing time and patience in new culinary creations along business plans is seen in the work that Frederik’s team does with catering magic that particularly shines through Frederik’s gardening decoration concept and its edible flowers.


Toni MÖRWALD, Mörwald Catering

Toni Mörwald is the owner of Mörwald Catering, one of the most recognisable Austrian catering services.


Marijana and Ivana PRIZMIĆ, Lokrum d.o.o.

The two owners are among the most respected catering experts in the region.

Sanjiv SURI, Zátiší Group

Since 1991, founder of the Zátiší Group, currently operating four restaurants in Prague: V Zátiší, Bellevue, Mlýnec, Žofín Garden & Zátiší Catering, exclusive caterer to Žofín Palace, general caterer for Prague Congress Centre and exclusive caterer 2012 – 2013 to VIP Village Moto GP and Fresh & Tasty divisions. He earlier worked as General Manager, Food – Beverage Manager & Kitchen Coordinator at various hotel chains in France, India, Egypt and western Africa. He is a member of the UNICEF Supervisory Board, Head of the Board of Directors of the Prague Convention Bureau, member of the Young Presidents Organisation worldwide, and Vice president of the American Chamber of Commerce Supervisory Board.

Wolfgang STUBENBERG, M*Eventcatering

Wolfgang Stubenberg is, together with Waldemar Benedict, an executive manager of M*Eventcatering located in Vienna.


Dominik STOJAR, Sanfish

Dominik is the Managing Director of Sanfish Catering, which specializes in fish and seafood. Their mission is to surprize their customers with new, innovative products, while focusing on quality and sustainable products.

Róbert ŠARADIN, Sharkam Catering Slovakia

Sharkam catering was established in 1998 and belongs to one of the European leaders in catering. They are most proud of having built the business from scratch on solely Slovak capital and through years of testing know-how. The majority of their business is in event catering, although they are also one of a very few caterers in Europe to specialize in protocol catering. Their marketing policy is built on offering a first-class service and quality and which additionally guarantees a sufficient quantity of food and beverages.

Tamara TUĐMAN ŠUK, Favory Catering

Tamara Tuđman Šuk is the owner of the Favory – Catering & Banqueting which has been with its uninterrupted operation of 28 years the oldest Croatian catering business. Its corporate and private club are of a unique character in Croatia and make, thus, for a really special service agency when it comes to MICE needs not only in Croatia but also in other parts of Europe. Certainly, Tamara Tuđman Šuk is one of the catering pioneers in the region that still sets the trends today.


Candidates were assessed on the following key criteria:

• Achievement of the best financial and other multiplier effects of the meetings industry in 2019/2020 that were significantly above the average;
• Implementation of the most demanding improvements and innovations in their field, including successfully implemented projects that marked the year 2019/2020 as a special one;
• Help in enhancing the reputation and visibility of the meetings industry in 2019/2020;
• Innovations that facilitate the work of meetings organisers, or have shown the direction for the future.

Based on the criteria, we prepare the list and invite readers of Kongres Magazine to vote. The voting lasts for a month (this year from 13th November to 14th December 2020). In each category, we highlight five influencers with the most votes, while the rest of the nominees are presented equally according to alphabetical order. Each year, colleagues that received less than 2% of all votes are excluded from the list. The 2% was set as the threshold for being placed on the list (52 votes in 2020).

The selection is prepared by the editorial board of Kongres Magazine, consisting of five members. The editorial board ensures a comprehensive overview of nominations and oversees voting results. Thereby, the editorial board assures voting credibility. On request, individuals have the possibility of examining the selection results.