Chief Commercial Officer @ Tech Open Air Media
Native Maltese Gary Abela has rich, multi-faceted experience earned from a career in finance, tech, and startups. A grounding in Sales has meant he can understand a company from the bottom up. His core belief is that the way to make a firm great is by running it right in front of its true focus – the customer. Today, he uses his experience to design clear strategy, deliver major structural change, and build happy successful sales teams.
After studying Economics and Finance in the UK, Gary began his career in a “startup” within a major US insurance company. This small pre-launch team allowed Gary to experience the ups and downs of startup life in the heart of London. He then made a short hop across from Canary Wharf to the City of London and one of the world’s largest asset managers, Legg Mason. Over the course of a decade, he built an EMEA client service team and a UK Retail distribution business.
Spotting the disruptive change Airbnb was starting to make to the hotel industry – and coupling this with Berlin’s burgeoning potential – Gary, who was raised in his father’s hotel in central London, felt the pull of his family business and built a property portfolio across the city.
Drawn into Berlin’s blossoming tech ecosystem, he now lends his experience to the advisory board of the Israeli/Berlin startup Codepan, whose team of engineers and data scientists build digital products using complex and deep technology.
Today, all the different threads of Gary’s career have come together in one role as Chief Commercial Officer of “Europe’s coolest tech conference,” TOA – where he built the festival’s partnerships team, and oversaw TOA’s largest and most successful event to date. He also created TOA’s innovative Haus of Tech, which brought together over 100 corporations, startups and businesses in a unique networking-focussed exhibition hall.
In his spare time, Gary takes time to cook, relax and walk with his two dogs in the countryside in an attempt to balance the hustle and bustle of Berlin life!