Erling Dahl

Partner and chairman in Friendly International Consult A/S

Has over 20 years experience in political and public offices, and has leading organizational skills in the fields of politics, sport and community life. Erling is still politically active, both locally and regionally, and has previously been responsible for the regional political area of the Transport and Control sector at Telemark County Council.

Erling has worked in aeronautics for more than 30 years, gaining a broad experience at operative level, and also in teamwork and inter-personal relationships.

Project Manager for the EU Interreg II projects, Waterways for Growth and Waterways Forward, plus participation in the projects NTN, Nordic Transport Political Network, and Canal Link. Also being one of the instigators in the building up of relations between Telemark and the USA Mid West, and contributed to the follow-up of this network.

Formed a wide network, nationally and internationally, in the fields of politics and the community in general.

Erling Dahl

Thrond Kjellevold

Partner and member of board in Friendly International Consult A/S

Has over 30 years experience in international business. Thrond has worked in the fields of journalism, management, electro, automation and maritime matters in the private sector. In the public sector, Thrond has been involved in the development of SME's, port-development, clean shipping development, waterways for growth, cultural development, cooperation between European provinces, USA, China and the county of Telemark in Norway.

Thrond has built up an extensive business network in Europe, Asia, Russia and the United States, through his participation and leadership of several EU-funded projects in a variety of subjects.

Thrond has worked as an international advisor to the political leaders of Telemark County Council, and has led several business initiatives in Europe, Russia, Asia and the United States.

Thrond Kjellevold

Torkild Follaug

Partner and member of board in Friendly International Consult A/S

Has 20 years of experience with business development, both as an entrepreneur and advisor. As one of the founders of IKT Telemark, he still holds a management position of this ambitious business network. He has also worked with startups as an advisor for Connect, helping entrepreneurs with expert guidance, access to capital, and the business tools they need.

Torkild has holds and maintains a substantial network of professionals in private businesses, public sector and educational sector in Norway, Europe and USA. His network is particularly strong within the IT/ICT industry, and he is registered as Cluster Manager at the European Cluster Collaboration Platform and at Clusterize Business Roaming Agreement.

Torkild is also registered as one of EASME's (European Commission Executive Agency for SMEs) experts, conducting evaluations of applications under the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument for business development.

Torkild Follaug

Thor Sverre Minnesjord

Partner and member of board in Friendly International Consult A/S

Has 20 years of experience with business development and international business in central- eastern Europe and Asia, both as an entrepreneur and CEO of Green Business Norway.

Thor Sverre holds the management position of Green Business Norway, and has extensive experience in developing and managing Private Public Partnership cooperation and commercial business platforms in Europe and Asia. Thor Sverre is especially experienced with the Norwegian and Scandinavian Cleantech industry and networks.

Thor Sverre Minnesjord

Rita Bogužaitė

MBA

Has 20 years of experience with business development and international business. Rita was responsible for building up the Innovation Norway office and has been the director of Innovation Norway Vilnius office for more than 10 years till July 2008 and since then has acted as Innovation Norway associated consultant.

Since 1997 Rita has assisted a large number of Norwegian companies entering the Lithuanian market and she has also acted as market advisor to the board and top management of investors. Today Rita Boguzaite acts as independent business management consultant and continues to advise foreign and local companies in international strategy development, market possibilities and market entrance strategies in Lithuania.

Rita Bogužaitė

Zita Ambrutytė

MBA, PhD

Has 20 years of business and academic experience, worked with the EU and the World Bank funded projects in Lithuania, Invest Lithuania’s responsible for investment advisory council to Lithuanian Government. Zita has carried out a number of advisory assignments to private businesses and research studies and strategy documents to Lithuanian Government and has been engaged in executive education.

Zita joined UAB Business Strategy Advice Services in November 2013 and since then has been working for Innovation Norway clients with their business development support in Lithuania, advises Lithuanian and foreign companies on their international development, market possibilities and market entry alternatives, business development.

Zita Ambrutytė

Miriana Alexandrova

MSc

Miriana Alexandrova has worked as a Commercial Adviser at the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Sofia until the Embassy closed down in 2016. Now she is Executive Director of the Norwegian-Bulgarian Business Group, working close with Norwegian companies and organizations and Bulgarian entities willing to do business with Norway and contributing to the strengthening and the development of the business relations between Norway and Bulgaria.

She has a master degree in International Economic Relationships and her personal interests are within sustainable growth, CSR and bringing good Norwegian practices and experience to Bulgaria.

Miriana Alexandrova

Cooperating Partners


Bjørnar Forsdal

Pine Hill Consulting LLC

Has more than 15 years of experience in working with US entities and has lived the last 8 years in USA. Bjørnar is currently working as a Director for Telemark Trade Office LLC (TTO) with offices in Minot, ND and Minneapolis, MN.

Previous work experience includes 6 years as an officer in the Norwegian Army with responses for logistics and planning of NATO Composite Force activities in Norway. In USA he has successfully been leading the R&D to prove a new manufacturing method for fiber reinforcement for concrete. Bjørnar has also assisted multiple Norwegian corporations to expand into USA, building sales organizations, finding strategic technology partners and financial investors.

Bjørnar has a significant experience and network in USA that can provide great value for companies seeking strategic advice, market information or financing.

Bjørnar Forsdal

Jennifer Lewis-Haakonsen

Cooperating partner

Having gained eight year's secretarial/administrative work experience and being in possession of solid secretarial/administrative qualifications from her native Wales in the UK, Jennifer Lewis-Haakonsen emigrated to Norway in 1981 where she lived and worked for the next 20 years. Whilst in Norway Jennifer studided the Norwegian language and gained more knowledge of the country by attending a three year full-time course as a mature student at a Brekkeby Commercial College, Skien, Norway. Jennifer qualified in all her subjects, including Norwegian, and graduated in 1985. These extra qualifications, plus Jennifer's knowledge of the native language and culture, enabled her to compete in the employment market in Norway on a par with Norwegian citizens.

During Jennifer's 17 year's employment in Norway, she worked as a secretary/translator for various organizations and companies, both in the private and public sectors. Jennifer's translation assignments have covered a wide range of subjects and media - from the translation of several extensive series of User Manuals for industrial large scale kitchen equipment on cruise ships and oil platforms, to tourist brochures and websites for The Telemark Canal and other Norwegian organizations.

During her employment in the public sector, Jennifer was engaged as a secretary/translator on projects both in Norway and Europe - including SMB Telemark, a development programme for SMEs in Norway, and various EU-funded projects, such as GreenPort, a spatial harbour planning and ships' waste management programme. Jennifer was also engaged in various assignments in the tourist industry in Norway, such as The Telemark Canal and local hotels and establishments working on the translation of tourist brochures and websites.

Jennifer Lewis-Haakonsen

David Lamont

Cooperating partner

David is an experienced senior executive with a comprehensive track record for delivery within a wide range of organisational & business environments.

With board level experience and extensive knowledge in the application of programme, project, risk, business improvement and safety management tools, David has the ability to deploy these skills rapidly to tackle complex organisational challenges and opportunities. David is equally comfortable leading operations or managing at business programme and project management level and always delivers positive outcomes for any organisation. He is an excellent communicator with an ability to mix technical experience with sound management practices; a results focused leader, who can manage operations across a wide range of disciplines; a proven capability in the delivery of complex projects: most recently this has included the £45m Helix and Kelpies project at Grangemouth, Scotland. As both interim Chief Executive and as a member of the Helix Board and Project Partners, he successfully led the team through a range of challenging issues. Resulting in the now internationally renowned Helix Park.

David has wide ranging capabilities including industrial relations negotiations & the management of Human Resource skills. He has delivered, at Director & General Manager level, a range of successful pay & terms and conditions negotiations and has led two positive industrial tribunal outcomes. David has experience in the development & implementation of core business processes, including compliance auditing, business risk management, project management & health & safety management, all of these have resulted in innovative system based solutions which are simple, easy to deploy and effective.


Harlan Jacobs

Cooperating partner

Mr. Jacobs has been involved in the high tech business community in Minnesota as well as in Sweden and in Israel for many years. His first Swedish client was Vattenfall AB. His career spans over four decades of participation in senior management duties usually at the officer or board member level.

He started to serve FilmTec Corporation as the CFO of that publicly traded company in 1979. In 1985 FilmTec was acquired by The Dow Chemical Company in a transaction that returned one hundred to one for the original private placement investors. Since then he has made numerous private placement investments of his own and has mentored and consulted with many high tech start up companies.

Currently, he helps his clients to structure international joint ventures and licensing agreements. He also assists with special projects including but not limited to the preparation of marketing and business development strategies as well as helping to structure strategic investment transactions.

He is an officer and director of the Swedish American Chamber of Commerce Minnesota and a member of the Norwegian American Chamber of Commerce of the Upper Midwest. He is also active in the American Israel Chamber of Commerce Minnesota.

Harlan Jacobs