Georges, founder, and CEO at LINK Advisory, the 2Y3X® master licensee in the MENA region, is an experienced strategy and leadership professional with diverse experience spanning over 20 years in Hospitality Development, Strategic Communications, Growth Creation and Coaching. Chakar has a successful track record of creating a hyper-growth business environment and anchoring the delivery of business transformation across all points of an organization. A very committed natural leader and trusted business advisor with the intellect, gravitas, and expertise to inspire business owners and C-Suite executives to lead growth through vision and value.
Georges’s multi-regional experience, including the Middle East, Asia, and Eastern Europe, covers diverse industries such as Hospitality and Tourism Development, Real Estate, Culture, Education, and Advertising and Marketing. Landing senior roles with leading corporate organizations such as the Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC), Interpublic Group (IPG), Marriott Group, and Hilton Group, allowed Georges to be immersed in different corporate cultures and life cycle dynamics during start-up, maturity, or change phases of organizations.
Georges was a key member contributing to the establishment and launch of regional landmark destinations such as Saadiyat Island – a multi-facet destination that encompasses cultural, tourism, leisure, and educational institutions such as the Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Museum, St. Regis Resort, Saadiyat Beach Golf Course – in addition to Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort and Spa, Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort and Spa and Sir Bani Yas Island, the regions’ first nature and wildlife reserve and more.
As Head of Communications with the TDIC in Abu Dhabi, Georges played a pivotal role in managing crisis communications relating to workers’ welfare, through the intimate engagement of multiple local and international stakeholders, after becoming a particular focus following negative reporting by several NGOs including Human Rights Watch.
In 2015 Georges founded LINK Advisory, the 2Y3X® master licensee in the MENA region, a people transformation advisory agency that brings relevance and commercial sustainability by deploying an innovative advisory process based on infinite improvement – The Transformation Intersect® – Link Advisory intellectual property, which is delivered through two main pillars, People and Customer. Chakar is responsible for developing and executing the growth strategy for the Group and its subsidiaries. He is a Board Member and Director of Millennial Beauty and Global Millennial capital.
Georges has a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Hult International Business School, where he led a team of five classmates to win the Hult award for best Action Project for Disney Corporation. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality and Tourism, from Notre Dame University (NDU). Georges’ love for personal development led him to enroll in one of the most engaging Leadership Programs through the Coactive Training Institute (CTI), a 10 months program that ran in Barcelona. In addition, he holds a certificate in Hospitality Leadership from l’Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL), and coactive coaching certification from the Coactive Training Institute (CTI) (12 months program).
Jihad M. AlHouwayek
Director – Customer Interactions Transformation
Jihad, a partner at LINK Advisory, the 2Y3X® master licensee in the MENA region, is a senior marketing professional with more than 17 years of experience across all GCC Markets. His proficiency spans across multiple industries including luxury retail, apparel, FMCG, real estate, and Consultancy. Houwayek managed regional and international brands such as Damas, Cole Haan, McDonald’s, Yves Rocher, Graff Diamonds, Fabergé, Mouawad Jewellery, amongst others. Jihad possesses extensive experience in all aspects of customer interactions that allows him to develop transformative strategies to optimise customer outreach, create brand equity, increase advocacy and most importantly create the necessary pipeline for positive market growth and healthy bottom-line.
In a previous role, Jihad was leading the marketing function at Damas Jewellery, the region’s largest jewellery brand with over 300 stores along with more than 20 international brands represented by Damas in the region. During this tenure, he was assigned to transforming Damas brand from a leading jewellery brand in the region to a leading international brand from the region. Houwayek was earlier the group marketing lead for Mouawad Jewellery, being part of the leadership team responsible for the transformation of the business from a Multi-Brand model to a Mono-Brand one. In addition, Jihad lead multiple client’s portfolios in his capacity within two of the leading regional advertising groups Promoseven and TBWA, where he handled a diversified portfolio of brands.
Jihad was a panelist at the Arab Luxury World Conference in 2017. He was also a Jury Member at the Festival of Media MENA Awards in 2017 as well as thrice a Jury Member at the prestigious MENA Effie Awards in 2016, 2017, and 2019.
Jihad is a Partner at LINK Advisory, the 2Y3X® Master Licensee for the MENA Region, where he handles regional growth for the group. Jihad leads the customer interactions transformation practice for multiple clients as well as designing brands’ journeys and customer experience across various mediums in the marketing realm.
Jihad holds a BA in business management and marketing and is a certified digital marketing professional by the Digital Marketing Institute with a distinction level.