About The AABC

The Amsterdam American Business Club is a professional networking organization whose main purpose is to help improve business contacts between Dutch and American companies in and around Amsterdam. Consisting primarily of American and Dutch business people, the club also includes a broad variety of nationalities and professional backgrounds.

Founded more than 30 years ago in 1983, the Amsterdam American Business Club was meeting informally even before that. With nearly 1000 members and Interested Parties the AABC is the professional network club for making and maintaining business contacts in an enjoyable, informal setting. We organize over 11 events each year at great locations in and around Amsterdam.

The AABC is governed by our board of directors that consists of many talented individuals of various backgrounds and talents. Our board and committee members serve the AABC on a voluntary basis and all strive to enhance the AABC experience for our members, sponsors and interested parties.

Board Members

Neifor B. Acosta

Neifor (pronounced – “Ney-for”) has been a member of the AABC since 2013 and has served on the AABC Board as Membership Chair and Secretary of the Board before stepping in as Chairman in 2018. Originally from Miami, Florida, Neifor was an experienced corporate lawyer based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin prior to moving to Amsterdam in 2012. He is currently the managing director of AGR Consulting B.V., a general business/legal consultancy firm based in Amsterdam. Neifor previously served as CEO of Polymermarketplace B.V., a Dutch technology company that specializes in B2B e-commerce solutions for selling polyolefin material. “The AABC has been a valuable networking resource for me since moving to Amsterdam. Through various AABC events and programs, I’ve had a chance to meet a number of quality contacts that have served me well in many professional and personal situations. I find the AABC to be a great resource for anyone that wants to interact with U.S. nationals as well as other international minded business people who share an interest with the United States. Come join the AABC and share your cultural and business resources with us.”

“Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.” — Henry David Thoreau

    Eric Burnik

    Vice Chairman
    Eric has been a member of the AABC since 2013 and has served on the AABC Board first as Events Chair, the Sponsorships Chair and now a board member. Born in Libya he lived there for 15 years. Because of his experience within different companies and disciplines he has a unique ability to manage multi-disciplinary projects and navigate complex challenges. He is multi-linguist of technology driven businesses. He speaks fluent geek, marketeer, designer, trainer, salesperson, C-suits and difficult client.

    “Luck is when preparations meets opportunities.” — Oprah Winfrey

      Denise Chune

      Denise is lending her talents to the AABC by serving as its treasurer.  She brings substantial  experience in finance and operations, having served in various leadership roles with  established and scale up businesses in Amsterdam.  Denise is a valuable presence that  enhances the AABC’s talented and diverse board. 

        Adam Kiolle

        Legal Affairs / Secretary
        Adam Kiolle is an Australian lawyer at the Amsterdam-based firm Blenheim Advocaten. Blenheim is an internationally focused corporate and commercial law firm specialized in helping foreign clients to do business in the Netherlands. As legal counsel, Adam works in the firm’s English speaking transactional, advisory and arbitration practice. Adam joined the AABC board in 2016, taking up the legal affairs portfolio.

          Shima Zeroual

          Memberships Committee Chair
          Shima is a driven and passionate professional from Amsterdam. She currently works for an  American data company and is Vice President of Sales for the European and Middle Eastern  markets.  She also runs her own company Sales Scaleur, training entrepreneurs to sell in a  way that fits their value.  Shima loves giving sales tips and advice so don't hesitate to ask  her during our events. In her free time, Shima is a big foodie who enjoys discovering new  culinary experiences wherever she goes. She joined the AABC as a way to share her talent  for connecting people to each other. 

            John Sotomayor

            Events Committee Chair
            John moved from New York to Amsterdam in 1997 and he has been a member of the AABC since 2019. With over twenty five years of retail experience at some of the most well known department and specialty stores in both the United States and Europe, he has been able to experience first-hand the ever changing climate of the retail industry. His current focus revolves around networking, hosting, guest relations and hospitality. Prior to joining the AABC, John hosted MEET GREET EAT events at: Brasserie Tot Zo, Hummbar, Vapiano and Ron Gastrobar Downtown in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Almere and Groningen. As co-chair of the Events Committee, his main goals are to find top locations, secure engaging speakers and arrange every last detail to perfection for our events.

              Pierre H Lazarus

              Technology Committee Chair
              ex Uber / Netflix / Momentive.AI (SurveyMonkey) / MessageBird / Holland Startup / Burning Man

              Pierre has been a member of the AABC for more than 5 years now and started serving on the board in early 2022. He brings deep technical knowledge and iconic startup experience to the club and its members. He has proven results in multiple roles at some of the biggest names in SaaS - designing and deploying processes and tools for these startups in their hyper-growth phase and then helping them scale as they go public. He is also a public speaker, and executive coach as well as teaches lean startup methodologies. A dynamic and emotionally intelligent leader who advocates for accessibility, diversity, and inclusion.

              “The best things in life are on the other side of terror, on the other side of your maximum fear…” - Will Smith

              Anna Molnár 

              Marketing/Communications Chair 
              Anna Molnár has lived in Amsterdam since she was 4 and still calls the city her home. With  an immense passion for languages and literature, a special analytic eye for complex  situations, and a huge drive to get the best out of people, she is determined to find the right  strategy for passion-driven “solopreneurs.” “It is my mission to help women blossom again  through their business so that they can make a difference for their customers and their  loved ones, without getting overworked.” Founder of Blossom Empowering Events, Anna  offers coaching and consulting to female entrepreneurs in the startup phase, to help grow  their business with ease so that they can create a healthy work/life balance and blossom.  She has been an AABC member since 2019 and loves to meet new people and exchange  ideas with them. 

              "Networking is marketing. Marketing yourself, your uniqueness, what you stand for."  -Christine Comaford

                Dorien Kuiken

                Public Relations

                Dorien Kuiken combines a background in Psychology with a deep love for food and drinks and a long association with Amsterdam’s hospitality scene. At the head of Typhoon Hospitality – an international storytelling-agency – she found her sweet spot. Over the last years, she developed marketing strategies for brands like Hyatt, Hendrick’s Gin, Heineken and many more. Dorien directs and drives her team every day to create inspiring, out-of-the-box campaigns for around 50 hospitality related brands – whilst enjoying a cocktail herself as well, of course.

                  Liam Miner

                  Liam Miner is an American from Rhode Island now living in Amsterdam for a number of years.  He joined the AABC shortly after moving to the Netherlands.  Liam is the Lead and Engagement Manager for Optimizely, the market leader in Online Experimentation (A/B testing).  Though his background is in politics, Liam has worked in professional services, sales and partnership management for the past 7 years.

                  “Leaders aren’t born, they are made.  And they are made just like anything else, through hard work.  And that’s the price we’ll have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal.”  - Vince Lombardi

                    Kristien van Elteren

                    Club Liaison
                    Kristien has been an AABC member for over 4 years. She is a serial entrepreneur and venture capitalist, a business builder, and a strategic innovator. Kristien is a transaction focused entrepreneur with expertise in M&As. With an MBA degree in Strategic Business Innovation and years of knowledge, Kristien is well-versed in seeing opportunities and growing businesses; traits she is known for in her network.

                    Kristien started her journey of entrepreneurship at a young age. She moved from The Netherlands to build her first successful international company in the United States, which has since been taken over and is still flourishing under another umbrella. ​

                    Kristien owns a real estate portfolio with harbour Jachthaven Vinkeveen

                    and properties for medium term rental in Amsterdam, South Short Stay Houses
                    www.shortstayhouses.nl ​

                    “Don’t think in or outside the box, but imagine there is no box at all, that’s where the magic happens.”

                    Kate Nanavatty

                    Honorary Board Member
                    Kate Nanavatty, a career U.S. Foreign Service officer, assumed her position as Consulate General at the U.S. Consulate General in Amsterdam in July 2022.

                    A native of Pound Ridge, New York, Kate’s career at the U.S. Department of State encompasses domestic leadership positions, overseas tours in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia, and teaching roles. Her domestic assignments include serving as Chief of Staff to former Deputy Secretary of State Ambassador John Sullivan and subsequently to former Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun. She also served as the Burma Desk Officer from 2010-2012.

                    Kate received a B.A., summa cum laude in International Relations from John Hopkins University, where she played varsity tennis and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and an M.A. in International Relations and Economics from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

                      Special Committee Members

                      Kerry Reinking


                        Daniëlle Smissaert 

                        Memberships Committee
                        Daniëlle Smissaert works as an HR professional in the field of well-being and performance management at ABN AMRO bank. She has been active in the field of charity for 9 years. Living by purpose is essential to her. Currently, she works as an assistant coordinator of the housing project at Vluchtelingenwerk(the refugee foundation), next to this she works as an ambassador manager at Deedmob (a platform for flexible volunteering). She has experience in fundraising and has expertise in the field of Diversity & Inclusion, feel free to reach out to her! Within The Amsterdam American business club, Daniëlle will join forces with the Memberships committee, stimulating growth and philanthropy in our community.

                        "The effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is." - Jim Carrey

                          Donovan de Kort

                          Events Committee

                            Stijn Hartog

                            Events Committee

                              Sonny de Leeuw

                              Sponsorship Committee

                                Nadine Ababou

                                Membership Committee

                                  Pankaj Taneja

                                  Website Committee

                                    Julien Bourdon

                                    Website Committee

                                      Manuel Öztopçu

                                      Website Committee

                                        Noa Rawlinson

                                        Audit Committee

                                          Fred Reich

                                          Audit Committee