You are here



Dr. Teemu Kokko

President, CEO at Haaga-Helia

Ph.D. (Econ.), Adjunct professor Teemu Kokko is the President at Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences in Helsinki, Finland. He is an ad hoc columnist for two Finnish hospitality-industry magazines and a regular guest-speaker at seminars and conferences. He has also been a visiting lecturer at several universities and universities of applied science both abroad and in Finland.

Dr. Kokko’s major research interests relate to offering development, service design, sales and customer strategies and general business development.

Correspondence:, tel. +358-50-5551131




Jouni Ahonen

Vice President and Commercial Director at Haaga-Helia Global Education Services

Jouni Ahonen has served in several managerial positions in the hospitality and tourism industry. As an entrepreneur he ran a restaurant chain in Helsinki Metropolitan area.

His expertise is in the field of services marketing. Currently he holds a position of Project Director in HAAGA-HELIA´s Global Education Services. Also serving as a board member of Hotel Haaga Ltd. For the academic year 2010-2011 he has been appointed the President of EuroCHRIE -The European Association of Hospitality & Tourism Educators. He wants to contribute through his ten year experience in the management of education. Also he has been in charge of numerous development projects dealing with curriculum development, competence management, research and development, innovation programs, etc.

Correspondence: | +358505188151




Dr. Teemu Moilanen

Hear of R&D at Haaga-Helia

Dr. Teemu Moilanen is one of the world’s leading destination brand management specialists and an experienced Service Designer. Dr. Moilanen has been involved in more than 40 Service Design projects for airlines, ferrylines, airports, hotel chains, shopping malls, restaurants and other service companies. He has 15 years of experience in management consulting, during which he has been closely involved in the planning of the most successful tourism resorts in Finland (Levi, Tahko among others). He is a seasoned speaker in seminars and international conferences including European Parliament. The latest of his books has been reviewed by the legendary marketing scholar Philip Kotler as

“Dr Teemu Moilanen and Dr Seppo Rainisto produced this new book which in my mind will be one of the most valuable documents in the place marketing literature... No nation, city or place should undertake the challenging task of marketing itself without first reading this book.” - Prof Phillip Kotler

Correspondence: | +358 40 510 7317

Dr. Pasi Tuominen

Lecturer at Haaga-Helia

Pasi Tuominen is a multi-awarded Hospitality Management professional with 15 years of frontline experience developing and launching highly regarded hotels, restaurants, and inspired service offerings around the Europe. His research involves Social Networking Services and Brand Reputation Management. He is extremely well versed in social media, with strong knowledge of digital and mobile marketing as well as online and offline customer dialog with a proficiency at integrating all communications into a cohesive and cost effective strategy that meets business goals.

Pasi is a polished public speaker with exceptional understanding in conceiving creative ideas for leading consumer brands, and being an expert in social trends, and emerging technology.

Correspondence:, Tel. +358 40 4887536



Dr. Mário Passos Ascenção

Principal Lecturer in Experience Design and Serious Play at Haaga-Helia
PLAY Chief Evangelist and TOOL FACTORY Chief Alchemist at LAB8

Quirky is not the only word used to describe Mário. He is thoughtful, yet immensely engaging, affable, and ingenious Mozambique born Portuguese who loves to play. Mário is a Certified Experience Expert by the Lapland Centre of Expertise for the Experience Industry (now House of Lapland), an Accredited Service Design Master Trainer by the Service Design Network (SDN), and a Certified Facilitator of LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® method by the Association of Master Trainers. He is also a Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE®) and a Certified Guest Service Professional (CGSP®) by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute.

Mário wishes to be a sustainable marketing whiz. His friends, colleagues and the few admirers regard him as the super Mário of Experience Design and the Tarantino of Serious Play. His current teaching, training, research and publications focus on service design, experience design and the experience economy. He inspires students, coaches managers, leads projects and supervises theses.

Mário studied in his native Portugal where he graduated with a B.A. in Hospitality Management and subsequently a D.E.S.E., Diploma of Specialised Higher Education, in Marketing at the University of Algarve. In Northern Ireland, UK, he achieved an M.A. in Marketing and after he was awarded a D.Phil., Doctorate of Philosophy, in Marketing at the Ulster University. In Finland, he gained the Vocational Teacher Education Program diploma from Helia - University of Applied Sciences.

Correspondence: | +358-40-4887203

Dr. V.A. Heikkinen

Principal Lecturer at Haaga-Helia

VA Heikkinen's specialization areas are analyzing and forecasting the Markets of Service, Tourism and Hospitality Sector in North Europe and Russian; innovation processes of Service Companies; analyzing the Competitiveness of Companies in Service, Tourism and Hospitality Industry; development of Curriculums of Hospitality and Tourism Industry Programs; competitiviness and Service Innovations of Hospitality, Tourism and Lifestyle Industry; airports, Hotels, Restaurants, Destinations and Spas in Future.

In his research,development and innovation work VA has created / found FUTUTouches like Selfness, ME & WE-management, Radical Meeting industry, Gagaism, InnoCatering as well as Perfect Destination.

Correspondence: | +358 40 578 1569


 Jussi Mertanen, MSc, B.A.

Senior lecturer at Haaga-Helia

Jussi Mertanen is by education Master of Science, (Economics, Marketing) and B.A. in Graphic and Web Design. He also holds the recent highest Post Graduate Diploma of Digital Marketing from the IDM in London, and numerous other course certificates both from Finland and abroad. Jussi has about 20 years of experience in demanding marketing positions both as an advertising and web designer and as a marketing communications manager. Experience include working in leading international advertising agencies and international companies and as an entrepreneur.

Jussi works currently as a Senior Lecturer specializing in digital marketing at Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences. His fields of expertise include digital marketing, SEO, SEM, advertising, visual corporate and brand image.




Nina Niemi, PhD, Senior Lecturer

Lecturer in Hotel and Event Management at Haaga-Helia

Nina Niemi has an international degree in Hotel Management, is a certified Hospitality Educator (CHE) and has earned the Certificate in Hotel Industry Analytics (CHIA) by STR and American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute.

She has a solid background in the accommodation and event industries. While working in the industry Nina held accountable positions related to running operations and teams, managing revenue and sales. At Haaga-Helia UAS she is teaching Hotel Management, Pricing, Distribution & Revenue Management, Event Management, Service and Sales.

Correspondence:, +358 40 488 7044



Ms. Meri Vehkaperä

Senior Lecturer at Haaga-Helia

Ms. Meri Vehkaperä's education is Lic.Sc.(Bus.Adm. & Econ.) and M.Soc.Sc.

Field of expertise: Management training, performance management, strategy process, CSR and stakeholder management, organizational and service culture.

She works in Haaga-Helia as senior lecturer specialized in leadership and strategic management. She has worked in the restaurant and event industry (7 years) as well as in consulting and higher education for more than 10 years. She has planned several organizational development projects as well as management training programs for multiple organizations in different industries.

Correspondence: | +358 40 514 0646


Sirpa Lassila, PhD, Senior Lecturer

Service Design

Sirpa Lassila is currently working as a senior lecturer at Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences. Her main areas of expertise are service design, service innovation and entrepreneurship. Sirpa Lassila has over ten years of experience in service design and innovation projects. She has worked in many service design projects and designed customer driven services both in private and public sector. In her service design workshops, Sirpa Lassila utilizes both her service design and pedagogical competences.

Her PhD research in Westminster University focused on designing services in new venture context. Sirpa Lassila has also written several articles on service design, cocreation and learning.

Correspondence: | +358 294471570