verbal by design®

[Conocernos: en Europa]

Mari Vihervuori-Akkanen
Business Development Manager – Europe

We've established an affiliate across the pond! Led by a long-time collaborator, Mari is charged with jumpstarting relationships for Devign in the European Union. When not connecting us with people in her neck of the woods, she’s focused on converting the family farming business to an all-organic platform.

Previous positions held by Mari include key marketing and sales support roles at an international subsidiary of one of Finland’s most prestigious companies, Stora Enso Oyj, a global paper, packaging and forest products concern with 2009 sales totaling more than EUR 8.94 billion and some 27,000 employees across more than 35 countries. As Executive Assistant at Stora Enso Ingerois Oy, a producer of high-quality coated, folding boxboard for the consumer packaging industry, she tackled the everyday tasks that maintained a respected and well-oiled machine — to be precise, a paperboard mill established in 1872. Mari was also instrumental in the development of collateral and presentation materials, as well as in orchestrating customer visits and making logistical arrangements for her direct reports.

Before that, Ms. Vihervuori-Akkanen proved herself the organizer extraordinaire at the Marina Congress Center in Helsinki, Finland, coordinating all manner of culturally appropriate programs and conference requirements for international gatherings of up to 2,500 at a time at this superb waterfront venue. There she built a solid track record of exceeding customer expectations with unquestionable Finnish diplomacy and business savvy.

Mari’s career began in the international arena, as Export Secretary for both Finlayson GmbH and Lapponia GmbH in Frankfurt, Germany. These are two iconic Finnish brands: Finlayson is a textile manufacturer founded in 1820; Lapponia, a jewelry company founded in 1960, is world-renowned for its artisans’ sculptural and masterful interpretations in gold, silver and precious stones. This responsibility was, thus, a natural transition from Mari’s studies. She holds an MBA from the University of Applied Sciences (Kouvola), a B.A. in International Trade from Kymenlaakso Polytechnic (Finland) and a Zwischen-prüfung in Business Economics (Germany) and is a certified Professional Secretary.

Besides Finnish, Mari is fluent in English and German. She also has an intermediate command of Swedish, followed by beginner French and Italian skills.

Ms. Vihervuori-Akkanen’s leisure pursuits include running half-marathons and marathons, singing, playing the piano and competitive rowing. We’re talking serious oarswoman, that Mari!