Marika Arovuo

Marika Arovuo

President of the Canada-Finland Chamber of Commerce

Founder and CEO of GRIT Online Inc.

Marika's profile

Marika helps businesses grow through designing elegant digital experiences that generate leads, convert clients, and encourage ongoing transactions.

For Marika nothing is more satisfying than working together with entrepreneurs to plan and execute custom digital marketing strategies that propel their businesses to a higher level. She has a holistic approach that aligns both the business and digital marketing aspects for success. She loves to see clients reach their goals, and feel proud of their achievements.

She lives by the values that her company name, “GRIT Online” was formed around:

  • Growth mindset
  • Resourcefulness
  • Integrity
  • Teamwork

Marika is a driven international business owner who has lived in multiple of locations around the world and operated successful businesses in three continents over the past 10 years. She was awarded an Honoree in Business category in Halton Newcomers Strategy program for her contributions towards the local community. She is an Honorary Member of Finnish Association and a Mentor of multiple business and networking organizations including H.U.B Inc and Innovation House Finland. She holds BSc in Computer Science and is a Certified Digital Marketer by HubSpot and Hootsuite University.

Lauri Asikainen

Lauri Asikainen

Vice President of the Canada-Finland Chamber of Commerce

Strategy and Leadership Development Coach at CCT Consulting

Lauri's profile

Supporting business and organizational leaders in their quest to connect their coworkers with markets, goals, strategy, and each other.

The core belief of Lauri’s program is that every leader will be able to be extraordinary when they are able to connect team and coworkers with their organization’s goals.

Lauri supports and trains business leaders in their quest to bring their companies to the leading edge of their markets through:

  • Leadership Development Training and Coaching
  • Transformation and Change Coaching
  • Strategy Development Facilitation

Lauri is a skilled Management Consultant with 15 years of coaching and strategic company development experience. Over 20 years of line manager experience working with multinational companies in Canada, the United States and overseas, with responsibilities spanning the continent and the world.

He is the Founder and Owner of CTT Consulting; and since 2001, member of the Klingborg Consulting Group (Stockholm), accredited Internal Consulting Group (ICG-Toronto) professional. Certified Deep Lead® (Helsinki) Coach is making the development of leadership interaction competence simple.

Lauri is an active Rotarian and a long-term board member of the CFCC. His favorite place to relax is at the cottage in Finland.

Antero Elo

Antero Elo

President and CEO

Finnish Credit Union

Antero's profile

As President and Chief Executive Officer of The Credit Union, Antero specializes in conducting a full range of financial services and innovative products in a friendly, professional and personalized manner.

As part of a friendly knowledgeable professional team, Antero believes in providing reliable, efficient services to enhance the financial well-being of both company and members.

After graduating with a degree in mathematics and economics, Antero now has over 50 years of experience in the IT field.  Much of his time has been spent in business system design and business process improvement. After over a decade as the CFO of a large labour organization, he was appointed to his current position.  The IT and business consulting firm he founded in 1966 is now operated mainly by his sons with only overall direction and guidance from him.

Eero Laakso

Eero Laakso

Business Development Consultant

StackTeck Systems Ltd.
Eero's profile

Eero is driven and passionate about helping businesses to achieve aggressive goals. He contributes to these goals by turning around a distressed enterprise/business unit, establishing a start-up company, or by growing sales through new customers.  Eero has made businesses more efficient by enhancing the entire value chain from manufacturing to a sales channel strategy (i.e. from operational efficiency to marketing and sales).

Eero’s experience covers the following industries

  • Automotive
  • Capital Goods
  • Industrial Metal Coating
  • Propane Distribution
  • Rubber and plastics parts manufacturing
  • Tooling for steel and plastic parts

Eero’s most satisfying experience is aligning an entire team or organization to working effectively together towards common goals. He does this through training, motivation, and empowerment for satisfying and challenging responsibilities utilizing everybody’s knowledge and expertise. The end result of this high-performance organization is a satisfied and committed customer base. As a by-product, a high-performance organization achieves stellar financial performance.

Eero has acquired, started, turned around and sold small businesses. He has also been instrumental in turning around a substantial size business unit (U$30m in sales) in the most competitive U.S. automotive market.

Eero has M.Sc. (Mechanical Engineering) degree from the Aalto University (The Helsinki University of Technology) and M.B.A. from the Queen’s University. Further, Eero completed a leadership training at the Darden School of Business (The University of Virginia). He is Certified Sales Professional, with Distinction from the Canadian Professional Sales Association (CPSA).

Tuula M. Kivinen  CCM

Tuula M. Kivinen CCM

Honorary President

Canada-Finland Chamber of Commerce

Tuula's profile

Tuula has Degrees in Textile Design and Hotel & Restaurant Management (Finland). She has done post-graduate work at the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. Tuula has been a Director of Canada Finland Chamber of Commerce Board since 2001. She held the position of President and Vice-President for a number of years and is now a Honorary President and lifetime member.

Tuula established  her very on company 1984 Tuula Flowers of the World and Tuula Kivinen Design LTD, she sold the company  in 2013.

In 2012, Tuula was the first female recipient of the Finnish Canadian Entrepreneur of the Year Award for her involvement in the Finnish Community. Over the years, Tuula has been an active member on the following boards:

  • The Cornell Society of Hotelmen
  • European Union Chamber of Commerce Toronto
  • Club Managers Association
  • Scandinavian Businessmen Association
  • Finnish Expatriate Parliament.

Tuula has been involved in many fundraising committees including Canadian Opera Balls, The Duke of Edinburgh Challenge Gala Dinners, Justin Eve Gala Dinner, Brazilian Carnival Balls, ROM Foundation Gala Dinners, Festival of Festivals (now known as TIFF), Joseph Health Center Foundation Gala Dinners, Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, Team Canada World Culinary Olympic Compotation, Canadian Sports and Fame Foundation Gala Dinners, PC Foundation Fundraising Dinners, Finland’s Independence Day Gala Dinners and CFCC Golf Tournament Fundraising Events.

In her spare time, Tuula enjoys live theater, opera, classical music, art, cinema, aqua exercises, walking, good food & wine, and reading Finnish and international authors. Travel has been a passion for her, she has been fortunate to travel the globe on numerous occasions. A yearly visit to Finland is a must. She likes to see how Finland has changed and become one of the best places to live in the free world. A place that expats, like Tuula, are very proud of.

Marianne Mannerheim

Marianne Mannerheim

Director and Chair

Tielman North America

Marianne's profile

Marianne’s strength is entrepreneurship, leadership and emotional intelligence. She believes that, coupled with a positive spirit, honesty, integrity, equality and respect for others creates the pillar for success. Her six languages were a major asset in the global business world in which she operated.

Marianne got her postsecondary degree in international business and language studies from a joint program of the Universities of Stockholm, Sweden and Lausanne, Switzerland.

In 1974 she co-started Klimatsystem Original AB, in Stockholm, Sweden, a manufacturer of vehicle heating and air conditioning systems for off highway vehicles. It later expanded via MCCII to include busses and trains in the public transportation sectors globally.

As CEO and chairwoman of MCCII, Mobile Climate Control Industries Inc., Canada Marianne lead the company to become listed at the Toronto Stock Exchange 1997. She had previously listed the company at the Alberta Stock Exchange in 1996.

The company was ranked as one of Canada’s 100 fastest growing companies. Marianne was ranked number seven in Profit Magazine’s annual list of 100 Top Women Entrepreneurs.

In addition, Marianne has served on boards of various organizations.

Marco Beretta

Marco Beretta


Studio Property Consultants Ltd.

Ritva Nosov

Ritva Nosov

Secretary of the Canada-Finland Chamber of Commerce Board

Founder and Principal Consultant, TalentEd Consulting Inc.

Ritva's profile

Ritva partners with organizations and individuals to navigate and support their unique paths of growth.

Ritva believes that people inherently can and want to do better. They can and want to grow. Yet how to do that proactively is unique and hard to decipher.

Ritva is an Organizational Development professional who optimizes organizational design, talent management practices, change management and talent development strategies to meet current and future business needs. She has extensive experience in assessment, design and development, facilitation, consulting and coaching across a range of organizational development areas, with a specialized focus on leadership development and cross-cultural workplace recruitment and integration.

Over the years, her greatest joy has stemmed from facilitating to and coaching thousands of individuals on their personal journeys of growth. She is the Founder of TalentEd Consulting Inc., a boutique consulting firm that partners with organizations and individuals to plan for and implement proactive people practices. Through 20 years of progressive people operations experience, Ritva’s greatest joy has stemmed from watching people and organizations elevate themselves to realize their potential. It never fails to inspire her.

Ritva is someone who loves to learn from and about people. She has both a BA and MBA from McGill University, and is certified as a Training & Development Professional (CTDP), PROSCI Change Practioner and in various psychometric assessments.

Living, working and travelling globally, however, has been Ritva’s primary classroom. She has lived and worked in several countries in North America, Europe and Asia. Here in North America, she has lived and worked in three provinces, in addition to serving clients in many U.S. and Canadian cities. Thanks to all that change, she speaks, reads and writes five languages, and has left her footprints in over fifty countries. Finnish remains close to her heart as it was her first language.

Markku Kankaala

Markku Kankaala

Entrepreneur, Representative of Tecwill Ltd. in Canada

Johanna Tarvainen-Lee

Johanna Tarvainen-Lee


Merenbridge Consulting

Johanna's profile

Johanna helps Finnish and other Nordic companies with finding and accessing new business opportunities in Canada.

Like a bridge between both sides of the Atlantic, Johanna loves making connections happen, matching Nordic solutions with business needs in Canada.

As a Canadian-Finn, Johanna named her company Merenbridge to represent a mixture of languages with “meren” meaning “ocean’s” in Finnish. This reflects the company’s vision of being the most trusted bridge-builder between both sides of the Atlantic, between Europe and North America.

In order to grow your business, Merenbridge aims to:

  • bridge the gaps between companies and new markets;
  • bridge differences in understanding through in-depth qualified research;
  • bridge distances through closer ties and communication; and
  • bridge the space between ideas and reality.

Johanna has been involved in international business development for over 12 years and was awarded the Finnish-Canadian Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2017. Johanna has been on the board of the CFCC since 2010 and is also a Director of Osuuspankki Finnish Credit Union in Toronto. Johanna’s previous work experience includes working at Finpro Canada (currently Business Finland) and in advertising. She is fluent in Finnish, English and Spanish. She holds a Honours B.A. from the University of Toronto, a M.Sc. and M.Ph. from the University of Bristol (England), and has commenced Ph.D. studies in Finland.

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191 Eglinton Avenue East, Toronto, Ontario M4P 1K1

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