You can only achieve the best by working with the best. This is why for the Social Media Conference Suriname 2017 we've gathered speakers from our country Suriname and abroad (Miami, Netherlands and Curacao) that are the best at what they do.

Keynote Speakers

Keirsin Tjon Pian Gi BBA

In her 10 years with Marriott, Keirsin has been involved with Social Media at every level of the organisation. As Digital Client Service Manager for the Caribbean and Latin America at the Marriott Headquarters, she is now responsible for the daily management of a portfolio of hotels within Marriott’s corporate-based digital comprehensive program, Digital Services by Marriott (MDS), a centralized in-house offering provides individual hotels with digital services, and functions as an agency-like model within the Global eCommerce organization.

Natasha Fong Poen MSc.

Natasha Fong Poen MSc.

After graduating from the University of Amsterdam with a Master of Science in Persuasive Communication, Natasha started working as Social Media Community Manager at HP Inc. As part of the Global Social Community Management team she was responsible for the Social Media Community Management in the Netherlands ranging from content management to monitoring and advertising, before being promoted to Marketing Manager at HP.


Gyanno van Kanten

Gyanno is founder and owner of Curacao based Marketing company EdgeUp Marketing, specialised in Marketing Consulting, Social Media Management and Training. With EdgeUp Marketing Gyanno focuses on creating a lasting impact on the world by empowering people, businesses and organizations to unleash their full potential.


Jean-Luc van Charante

Jean-luc is an Entrepreneur, Rotarian and Suriname Ambassador. As CEO of Ineffable NV, he focuses mainly on bringing Online Marketing and Social Media to a broader audience in Suriname and helping organizations to reach their target audience in a more relatable way. He is also a lecturer at the FHR School of Business and uses his brand JEANLUC.SR to motivate and encourage young people to develop their skills in the areas of entrepreneurship, leadership and marketing.

Panel Discussion: Blogging


Ayida Slooten MSc.

Ayida graduated from the University of Amsterdam with a master in Communication Science (specialization Media Entertainment & Popular Culture). She has been working at Fernandes Bottling for 4 years now as a Senior Public Affairs & Communications Officer. In this position she is responsible for the external communications of the company. In her spare time she likes to keep herself busy by making clothes. Some years ago she started a blog to share her creations and inspiration about DIY fashion. Because she likes giving a look behind the scenes through blogging, she started with the Fernandes Bottling Blog in 2014.

Marieke Visser

Marieke Visser

Marieke Visser (Bennekom, Netherlands, 1962) grew up in Saudi Arabia, Burundi, Thailand and Suriname. In the Netherlands, she studied journalism, languages and literature. As a freelancer, she writes from her own business Tabiki Productions about art and culture. She is the driving force behind the digital platform Sranan Art Xposed, including the blog Her literary texts can be read on her personal blog:


Rosita Leeflang

Rosita Leeflang is the director / owner of Roseternal Media Production Agency. Her position causes her to work with a lot of youngsters , get in touch with international artists and travel as well. All of this inspired her to start her own blog. In her blogs she mostly writes about traveling and music. Rosita really enjoys being on Facebook and Instagram and using her YouTube channel to give others a view in her daily activities. Being a radio dj as also made it possible for her to have enough content that’s worth sharing on social media. In doing so, she is greatly helped by her 22 years of journalistic experience.


Olivia Samuel

With a diverse background of experiences, varying from communication, marketing and events to Customer Service Management, Olivia seizes each day while wearing one of her many hats. She is the co-owner of “We Create” marketing & events, co-founder of  “Apassie”, a platform for the talented and passionate and the PR & Marketing director of Go4Pro, a Sport marketing and branding company. She shares her many learning experiences in her blog, where she mainly writes about her ever-growing journey as a multipreneur, fashion lover and a life enthusiast. With her blog she aims to inspire and empower others to live a life they love and to settle for nothing less.

Websites: /


Kim Tjon a Loi

In 2009 Kim Tjon A Loi graduated from INHolland University in Rotterdam where she studied Social Media Marketing. Now she is a (Online) Marketer at Telesur. As Marketer and Online Content provider her work differs greatly, from writing an online strategy to branding an event. Yet her heart mostly goes out to the online marketing part of her job. For as long as she can remember writing has always been an outlet. It started with her writing about her thoughts, feelings and life experiences in her diary. Ever since she became a mother, she sees and experiences the world a different way. Her newness of motherhood has given her plenty to write about on RRNDEZVOUS: an online blog for women who are not foul of the beautiful but also ugly raw reality. It’s the platform where modern women come together to talk about lifestyle, fashion, beauty, health and the things they care about in their daily lives.


Sharda Ganga

Sharda Ganga (Paramaribo, 1966) is currently the director of Projekta, a non-governmental organization focusing on issues of governance, participation and gender equality. She is also a trainer and facilitator; an accomplished playwright, theater and film director, and newspaper columnist. In 2001 she took over as the executive director of Projekta, having previously served as a project coordinator responsible for design of capacity building strategies for local organisations at this NGO. She has received awards for her work for women’s rights by the Government of Suriname, and the Government of Venezuela. Additionally she has received three awards for her work as film director/writer and playwright by the Pan American Health Organisation and UNFPA.

Emerging Markets

Miguel Rodrigues

Miguel Rodrigues MSc.

Miguel Rodrigues grew up in Suriname and holds a BSc. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Amsterdam and a MSc. in Systems Engineering from TU Delft. He is the CEO of Apura Networks & Apura Innovations and is currently working on expanding Apura Networks’ footprint in Suriname as a mature Crowd Funding platform and social enterprise. Besides Apura Networks, he runs Apura Innovations which is a strategic design agency with a passion for online solutions. Miguel is a true Surinamese Ambassador especially regarding innovations in the online space. Besides all that serious stuff he loves to chill, cook and discover the world.



Deborah Cher

Deborah started 7 years ago with the pursuit for fashion blogging and that led to her to become one of the Marketing Coordinator of the largest retail company in Suriname (Da Vinci Group). The most recognizable company account is from Shana with 25k followers. Now as a freelance stylist & Marketing Coordinator for small retailers, she continues to innovate potential ways for social media marketing to increase sales.


Huan Graanoogst

Huan Graanoogst, was born on February 16, 1996 in Paramaribo, Suriname. He is a comedian under the artist name 'Huan Grantjie'. He started his career in 2012 by posting short videos with a humorous character on social media. A parody of the "My Revolution Is" campaign is what gave him his breakthrough on that forum. His successful short video’s on social media lead to him being asked to make a video for a gala evening by the organization of the ‘Owru Yari Awards’. He gained much praise for this video from gala visitors, as well as professional filmmakers and directors. Together with friend and colleague Pres Juriaantje, Huan has provided various performances for companies and organizations (including Telesur and Another success of the talented comedian was his solo performance in the RoueVerveers show 'Tyar A Lobi' in December of 2015 and his stand-up comedy act during the 'COMEDY XL' show in December 2016. In addition to his life as a comedian, Huan also studies Marketing.

Panel Discussion: Going Mobile

Rajiv Hieralal BSc.

Rajiv Hieralal BSc.

Rajiv Hieralal is the General Manager/Founder of APPTASTIC N.V, a software development company focused on developing technological innovations. Before fully branching over to technological innovations c.q. application development, he learned the ropes of entrepreneurship through small jobs in digital design and printing. He has a BSc. in Electrical Engineering from Anton de Kom University in Suriname, but a doses of experience when it comes to getting things done with passion. He even got a chance to be part of President Obama's Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) where he gained so much in entrepreneurial insights and network. 
Raoul Brahim

Raoul Brahim

In 1994 Raoul Brahim went to the Netherlands to study Business Economics but after the first year he switched his course of study to Business IT. During his time in the Netherlands he founded two internet companies with friends and worked for companies like Bit-IC and CAP GEMINI. In 2003 Raoul returned to Suriname and started working at Telesur as an external software engineer, building  the Telesur’ website and TROI (Telesur Accounts on the Internet). Together with others, he first set up Gabit Solutions, which in 2006 changed to Your Solutions. In these companies Raoul worked as the Managing Director and Senior Software Developer. In 2014, it was decided in good agreement to stop Your Solutions and thus Adept was born. At Adept Raoul fulfills the role of Managing Director.

Achmed Neijhorst

Achmed Neijhorst

Achmed Neijhorst is the director of I-Frontier Information Technology, a leading ICT company with about 20 employees focused on software development, document management, business intelligence, project management, mobile solutions and ICT training. Achmed graduated from the Faculty of Applied Mathematics and Information at the Technical University in Delft in 1992. He has worked for Ordina Government Netherlands, KPMG Curacao, KPMG Suriname and BearingPoint, before establishing a business partner with the I-Frontier company. He has also been the program director of the ICT Summit since the first summit in 2013. Furthermore Achmed is a member of the Canto’s Technology & Trends Committee and has ended in the top 3 of the Canto / Sony Ericsson I-Create competition for the best regional mobile application 2 times in a row. He is actively promoting new work, paperless offices, mobile applications and ICT in education.


Rahid Doekhie

As Founder and CEO of Tropical Trade & Industries, Rahid insisted that the best quality products should be accompanied by the best possible customer service. His Mr. TP beverage brand is a prime example of this insistence. After successfully finishing his double major Organic Chemistry and Analytic Laboratory Process Management at the Hogeschool Rotterdam he quickly returned home to Suriname to start molding a better Suriname. Rahid is a successful entrepreneur but he has also headed several major private, mainly business oriented, organizations. His stronghold has proven to be public-private dialog platforms and in the past 6 years e-Government Suriname has been a challenge he has gladly taken on with a professional board consisting of representatives from the private and public sector. Throughout all his endeavors Rahid manages to bring a lasting structure, robust organizational changes and business processes in place that support in the sustainability of both the organizations and the companies he is involved with. As a Business Strategist and leader in Change Management, Rahid constantly invests his efforts in a broad spectrum of working fields.


Ferry Hira

After getting his BBA degree in Commercial Economics at Hogeschool Rotterdam and his MSc. degree in Economics & Business at Erasmus University, Ferry Hira went on to gain practical experience. Some of the roles that Ferry has fulfilled up to now are Sales Analyst at Unilever Rotterdam, Market Analyst at Western Digital Europe, Brand Executive at Suriname Alcoholic Beverages and Sales Representative at 3M for the Surinamese Market. He is currently the Founder & Managing Director of FASH Market Research, Analysis & Marketing Strategy N.V. which was established in February 2012. In his free time he enjoys shaping young minds as a lecturer at FHR School of Business.

Social Media Community Panel


Gail Eijk

Gail is the mother of 3 daughters and head of the News Service Apintie Radio and Television. She also wrote the book 'Tranen voor mijn horizon'. In 2008 she became the winner of the Surinamese Popular Song Festival (Suripop) with her composition 'Ala ogri e tya wan boeng'. She is very active on social media with 44.000 followers on Facebook and 18.900 followers on Instagram.

Giwani Zeggen

Giwani Zeggen

Giwani Zeggen has been working in the Surinamese Media industry from the age of 19. He graduated from the VU University of Amsterdam in Political Science and Public Administration and has since then presented different programs such as Suriname Vandaag and Panorama on television. He's been a columnist for the newspaper De Ware Tijd since 2011 and is a panelist for the program Welingelichte Kringen from Radio & TV Station ABC. He's also known for being the Chairman and Co-founder of the foundation SU AID.


Shigeo Lee

Shigeo Lee is a social media consultant and owner of SocialLee, who loves helping organizations to implement social media as a fully fledged business tool. As a young teenager, he left Suriname to study Communication & Design management and during the years has grown fond of the internet and especially Social Media. After graduating he specialized in the other growing fields of social media like content marketing, webcare, online reputation management and advertising. With already 10 years’ experience now, Shigeo has done social media projects or trained employees of international companies like Samsung, Vodafone, KPN, Bison, Huawei and many more. Now he is dedicated to help Surinamese organizations like Staatsolie or the Suriname Hospitality and Tourism Association to achieve their marketing and communication goals. He also supports community projects like Kindermuseum Villa Zapakara, Nationale Volksmuziekschool and young talented artists.

Danielle Elkerbout

Danielle Elkerbout is the mother of 3 wonderful children of 12, 10 and 5 years old. Between 1994 and 1999 she studied Optician and Contact Lens specialization (parttime) at Zadkine College. Since then she has worked in various catering sectors and at City Bril in Rotterdam. In Suriname she followed management courses at companies like LMI, Tjong A Hung, Symbiont, SMART and BDO. Now she is the director of Optiek Ninon, a company where she started of as the Operations Manager in the year 2000.

Dirk Currie

Dirk Currie

Dirk Currie was born on October 26, 1958 and at age 19 he started studying Business Economics at the University of Suriname. At the age of 22, he started working at the Ministry of Finance and worked there for 6 years in the Economic Affairs Department. During that period, he was also a part time teacher of Economics and a member of the supervisory board of various government companies. In 1987 he started his career at Telesur where he first fulfilled the role of Head of Internal Control and later on was in charge of the Financial Subdirectory. He also fulfilled the role of Director for 9 years at this company. In July 2016 he started the YLT Consultancy and in April 2017 he started fulfilling the role of Director / COO of Fernandes Concern Management. Currently he's also a member of the supervisory board of some private companies. His hobbies are reading (spirituality, leadership, change management, good speeches), enjoying nature and all kinds of sports (including racing, sky diving, diving, boating, flying, parasailing, water skiing). He also likes to encourage young people as a public speaker by giving guest lectures and motivational talks.

More speakers will be announced every week

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