[Finding your true potential]
[Helping you to get there]


NIINA IHALAINEN (Niina Ihalainen-Airaksinen)

Analytic MBA and dedicated owner. Interested in board positions, corporate governance,
consulting projects, and business opportunities.

Awarded for strategy at Oxford. 30 years work experience. 24 years board experience.
Three degrees. 7 years press experience in a listed group. An active member of the society
with long-term interest in economics, competitiveness, customer perspective, quality,
measuring, motivation, and paths of people’s personal growth and development.

Strategy and marketing communications consultant and public relations specialist with
excellent academic record. Awarded sproject manager, copywriter, and strong visualist with
both soft and quantitative skills. Analytic doer. Expert in gathering and filtering information
and crystallizing facts, and presenting complex issues simply. Strong hands-on experience.
Awarded for academic excellence at Helsinki School of Economics by Saastamoinen Foundation,
and for strategy in UK.

Enthusiastic business developer, multilingual Helsinki School of Economics MBA and
BBA in Modern Languages and Business Studies. Experienced in B2B media and marketing,
B2B & IT press, press relations, graphic design, strategic marketing and strategic web site,
planning, photography, DTP, event production, B2C marketing, tourism, hospitality, HR,
as well as inspiring and motivating people. Nature and heritage enthusiast, a modern
environmental activist. Interested in lifelong learning, inspired by people and excellence.
In addition, licensed ship captain, skipper in domestic waterborne traffic. A Finn, EU citizen.


"You are unusually good in your own area of interest. Let me communicate it,
first to you - encouraging you to truly see your state and strengths realistically,
and making you to observe why your customers actually need you, or do they?
Even the best of us need outsiders to remind and highlight the rarest skills.

Helping you to realize your true potential will start to develop your business.
Together we can make your key interest groups to really find your company
as a reliable partner and as an easy answer to their wishes and concerns.

Firstly, we will analyse your strengths and your each customer group.
Then, we will identify the most profitable business areas, look into your resources
and processes, sharpen your strategy, set goals, improve your credibility,
answer to customers' needs, use your customers' world, words and perspective,
communicate how you help them, and you will all meet your targets.

While I motivate you to recognize your potential, and make you to understand
and 'utilize' your customers' concerns in your business - you will get there."


HSE Helsinki School of Economics MBA, Master of Business Administration
Helsinki School of Economics HSE (HKKK, Aalto University), Class of September 2003
Award for Academic Excellence, Saastamoinen Foundation, HSE (HKKK) 2004
2nd Place in the ECCH Case Competition, Oxford University, UK 2005
Jury's Additional Strategy Award, ECCH, Oxford University, UK 2005

BBA in Modern Languages and Business Studies
HAAGA-HELIA University of Applied Sciences, Class of September 1994
Bachelor’s Thesis in Business Administration, Creation and Launch of
Employee Motivation Survey, Satama Interactive Ltd, Grade Excellent 5.0/5.0

Licensed Ship Captain / Skipper / Ship's Deck Officer Class IV / 3rd Mate
EKAMI, Maritime Department, Kotka, Class of 2007
Skipper in Domestic Waterborne Traffic (vessel tonnage 500 t cargo traffic, 300 t passenger)
Kotimaanliikenteen laivuri, Styrman b, Directive: Certificate 92/51, GPA 5.0/5.0

Finnish Baccalaureate, Matriculation Examination Certificate
Vantaanjoki Upper Secondary School, Class of August 1990
Three years of further education with examinations in General Studies,
Advanced Mathematics, Finnish, Swedish, French, and English (honours)


IHA-Lines Ltd Helsinki Cruises, Partner
Memorable maritime events & archipelago cruises, see more >>
1993 - present, day cruise company in Helsinki
Partner. Board member. Corporate governance, administrative issues, business development, seasonal operations planning, product development, measuring, analysis, quality management, EMS, connections with the interest groups and partners, PR, marketing activities, marketing design. In addition, customer service employee training, B2B sales, strategic event planning for the customers, event production: both scheduled and private cruises, enabling the sales team to organize B2B events, personnel events, lunch cruises, dinner cruises, receptions, PR, press events, product launches, birthdays, weddings, island excursions, sauna trips, nature trips, live-guided Helsinki tours, sightseeing, recreational trips, incentive programmes, scenic islands, Suomenlinna fortress, special destinations and memorable maritime experiences in the fascinating Helsinki Archipelago, which has more than 300 green islands - just around the bustling city centre.

Visit FOREST Ltd, Nature and forest conservation and experiences, Founder
Nature and forest conservation and experiences >>
2020 - present
Forests, nature, silence, pure air, pure nature, pure water, and pure food, for the future generations. Information. Knowledge. Possibilities. Nature and forest conservation and experiences.
Visit FOREST Oy | Visit FOREST Ab | Visit FOREST Ltd | Forest SPA | visitforest.com | visitforest.info | forestspa.rent | Founded in Finland.

Strategist Ltd, Strategy & Marketing Consultant, Coach, Partner, Chairman of the Board
Analytic business development, strategic marketing & credible business identity
2003 - present, consulting company in Helsinki
Analytic business development, private equity issues, corporate governance, administrative development, operational efficiency, marketing communications, business credibility, corporate image and identity, analysis of customer groups and their needs, strategic marketing plans, strategic web site planning, graphic design, outsourced marketing management and PR function. Special fields: strategy, marketing, PR, IT, work flow and operational efficiency, media sector, B2B press, IT sector, press relations, tourism and hospitality industry. Strategy consulting, outsourced marketing and IT activities for companies, entrepreneurs, and public sector not competing with IHA-Lines Ltd Helsinki Cruises. Profound and practical coaching, consulting and analytic problem solving, also for small companies and entrepreneurs, even individuals.

Computerworld Finland, Talentum Plc, Project Manager
1/1998 - 1/2003 Talentum Media Ltd, leading B2B publisher in Finland
Computerworld Finland, online news service and IT weekly
Both editorial and marketing responsibilities, annual IT reviews,
IDG primary contact in Finland, contacts with IT companies,
PR agencies and contributing editors, B2B marketing campaigns
and materials, fairs, VIP events up to 450 guests etc.

Satama Interactive Ltd, Employee Motivation Survey
10/1998 - 4/1999, Satama, leading digital media company in Finland.
BBA diploma project, bachelor's thesis, creation and launch of annual
employee motivation survey before IPO, analysing and reporting results.

Satama Interactive Plc was mergered with Trainers’ House in 2007.

Markkinointi&Mainonta, Talentum Plc, Journalist
8/1997 - 12/1997 Talentum Media Ltd, leading B2B publisher in Finland
Markkinointi&Mainonta, B2B weekly for advertising & media
Annual reviews like 'M&M Brand Issue' and 'How much do they earn?',
new positions and upcoming events.

Markkinointi&Mainonta, Talentum Plc, Editorial Coordinator
8/1996 - 12/1996 Talentum Media Ltd, leading B2B publisher in Finland
Markkinointi&Mainonta, B2B weekly for advertising and media
Organization of 'M&M New Media Seminar', 'M&M Grand Prix' New Media
Contest, 'M&M Evenings' and 'Media Decision Maker of the Year Cruise'.

IHA-Lines Ltd, Managing Tour Guide and Sales
Summers 1997, 1996, 1993 IHA-Lines Ltd, day cruise company in Helsinki
Sightseeing tour guide, hostess for B2B groups, event planning
and charter sales at office, customer service training etc.

JT-Line Ltd, Managing Tour Guide and Sales
Summers 1995 and 1994, JT-Line Ltd, day cruise company in Helsinki
Sightseeing tour guide, hostess for company groups, event planning
charter cruise sales, event planning, office tasks.

Servi Systems Ltd, Summer Worker
Summers 1992, 1991, 1990 and 1989, Helsinki Airport and Sanomala
Summer worker taking care of certain physical area including for instance
delivering goods and uniforms etc.
Today part of ISS Facility Services.


2018 The Service Company of the Year Award Winner
Vuoden palveluyritys 2018. Årets serviceföretag 2018. Corporate applier and receiver of The Service Company of the Year 2018 Award. Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council, Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, Helsinki Region Chamber of Commerce, The Federation of Finnish Enterprises in Helsinki, Greater Helsinki and in the Uusimaa metropolitan area:
"Long-term provider of high-quality services, supporting the internationalization of the Helsinki Metropolitan Region with excellent service concept, showing and presenting Helsinki and the Archipelago to visitors and business guests. In addition, strong investments in safety, and environmental sustainability."
"IHA-Lines panostaa laatuun, kestävyyteen ja turvallisuuteen. Vuoden palveluyritys IHA-Lines tuo ainutlaatuisen suomalaisen saariston sekä lounas- ja illallisristeilyt kaikkien koettaviksi keskeltä pääkaupunkia. Perheyritys panostaa laadukkaiden palvelujen lisäksi vahvasti turvallisuuteen ja ympäristöasioihin. Yrityksellä on pitkä historia pääkaupunkiseudun kansainvälistymisen tukemisessa uniikilla palvelukonseptillaan."

2010 The Helsinki City Environmental Award 2010 Winner
Corporate applier and receiver of the Helsinki City Environmental Award 2010. The City of Helsinki: "In its operations, IHA-Lines Helsinki Cruises has paid attention
to the natural maritime environment of the Baltic Sea and shown an example to others."

2010 Diploma for the Efforts and Initiative for Local Culture, Heritage, Environment
and Co-operation
by four cultural heritage and/or residental area associations Keimolan
Omakotiyhdistys, Seutulan Kyläyhdistys, Reunan Omakotiyhdistys, and Männikköläiset.

2006 Suomenlinna Coast Artillery Guild, Certificate of Honour
Suomenlinna Coast Artillery Guild, The Board of Directors
"Niina Ihalainen-Airaksinen. As a reward for your outstanding efforts
in marketing public visits to Kuivasaari Island in summer 2006."

2005 Strategy Award and 2nd Place, ECCH European Business Schools Case Challenge, Saïd Business School at Oxford University, UK
The HSE Team won jury's special additional award and silver plate
for the best strategy among the participating 16 top universities:
"Helsinki School of Economics received a special additional prize in
recognition of the depth of its team's analysis..."

2004 Saastamoinen Foundation, Award for Academic Excellence
Helsinki School of Economics, International MBA Program
An award of EUR 4 200. Two annual awards were granted, based on high GPA.

2000 Talentum Group, Talentum Group Award
Talentum Plc, leading B2B publisher in Finland
"Talentum wants to thank Ms Niina Ihalainen for her ability to co-operate,
for her freedom from prejudice and for her enthusiastic will to carry out
even unusual projects in an innovative way."

1989 Student Award in History and Civics
Vantaanjoki Secondary School, Graduating Class

1988 Vantaanjoki Scholarship in Art
Vantaanjoki Secondary School and Vantaanjoki Upper Secondary School
The only annual Scholarship in Art granted among more than 1 000 students.


Finnish - native speaker with editorial experience
English - excellent spoken and written (14 years of studies)
Swedish - fluent spoken and written (9 years of studies)
French - could be better (8 years of studies)
German - basics (3 years of studies)
Very basics for instance in Italian, Spanish and Estonian


Advanced user of office and graphic design programs both in Windows
and Mac environments: MS Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook),
CorelDraw, Corel Photo-Paint, PageMaker, Illustrator, Freehand,
FileMaker, Arts&Letters etc. Basics of HTML coding.


Syväojan Omakotiyhdistys - President
2010 - - Residential Area Association in Greater Helsinki Area
Seutulan Kyläyhdistys - Member of the Board
2009 - - Association for Local Culture and Heritage
Syväojan Omakotiyhdistys - Vice President
1999 - 2004 Residential Area Association in Greater Helsinki Area
Klaukkalan Kiri - Member of Athletics Division
1995 - 1996 Athletic Club in Greater Helsinki Area
Helsinki Business Polytechnic - Elected Student Member of the Board
1995 - 1996 Helsinki Business Polytechnic
Helsinki Business Polytechnic - Member of Staff-Student Committee
1994 - 1996 Helsinki Business Polytechnic


Local culture, heritage and environment, House and garden, antique, yoga, Japanese koi carps in garden pond and aquarium, Chevrolet Impala Sport Coupé 1960, classic mahogany boat Kråkö Salongsbåt 1965, designing, photography, IT and web, https://niina.info, skiing, golf, unforgettable corals & scubadiving, national athlete (1986 - 1990), coach (1990 - 1995).


Mr Juhani Vaivio, Professor, Aalto University School of Economics, Helsinki
-> former dean of the HSE MBA programs
Mr Jyrki Wallenius, Professor, Aalto University School of Economics, Helsinki
-> former vice rector of Helsinki School of Economics, former dean of the HSE MBA programs
Mr Kim Weckström, Partner, Avaus Consulting Ltd
-> formerly superior at Markkinointi&Mainonta, Talentum Plc
Mr Petri Karjalainen -> formerly Business Unit Director, IT & Industry, Talentum Plc,
-> formerly Strategy Director, Sanoma Magazines, and IBM EMEA responsibilities

Ms Satu Pelttari, Head of Communications, Fujitsu Services Ltd
-> formerly superior at Tietoviikko, Computerworld Finland, Talentum Plc
Ms Sherron Bienvenu, PhD, Professor Eremita, Emory University
-> trainer, lecturer and professor, Helsinki School of Economics


By Sherron Bienvenu, PhD, Professor Eremita, Emory University
Associate Professor in the Practice of Management Communication
Visiting Professor, Helsinki School of Economics

"In my twenty-year tenure at the Goizueta Business School at Emory University and now as Visiting Professor in the International MBA Program in Helsinki School of Economics, I have seldom been surprised and even less often amazed by my MBA students. Therefore, when I had the opportunity to teach and then to get to know Niina Ihalainen, she definitely earned my attention.

...She exceeded my every expectation...

...Management Communication course involves analysis of audience, situation, and goals, plus evaluation of media, source and timing options, resulting in a communication plan with specific messages. Niina easily grasped the concept and developed strategies that were detailed and provocative. She was always able to uncover a layer of information which resulted in cutting-edge decisions...

...Her written work and oral presentations were always perfectly organized and professionally presented with elegant, dramatic visual aids...

...I was privileged to teach Niina again in my Managing Corporate Reputation course. This advanced elective focuses on the cross-functional interaction between corporate strategy, integrated internal and external communications, and corporate reputation...

...Niina's project was so thoroughly analyzed, carefully designed, and beautifully presented that I use many parts of it as examples for my other classes...

...Niina is engaging, gracious, and fun to be around... ...Being a Finn only enhances how professional, charming, and articulate she is...

...I have taught MBAs for 23 years and consulted to a variety of industries for 16 years. Based on that experience, I believe that I can accurately judge when an individual will be successful in the "real world" ... ...she will not only continue to succeed; she will be an asset to every organization that is fortunate enough to recruit her...

...works extremely hard and always contributes enthusiastically... ...She pays attention to people and to detail - a rare combination. She is incredibly professional and yet has a wonderful sense of humor. And she truly has the best vocabulary of any international student I have ever taught.

Niina Ihalainen deserves every consideration, and I recommend her without reservation."

Sherron Bienvenu, PhD
Professor Emerita, Emory University
Visiting Professor, Helsinki School of Economics

© niina 2002

[Finding your true potential]


HSE Graduate

HSE Graduation

Family portrait in front of the Helsinki School of Economics

HSE Graduate

With Anne at HSE Graduation Dinner

HSE Graduation Dinner at NJK

Maxim, Niina and Phil at HSE Graduation Dinner

[Finding your true potential]


ECCH Case Challenge, Saïd Business School at Oxford University, UK

Arriving to the Oxford University, UK

First round, solving the case at Oxford University, UK

Day two, we are in the final!

Preparing the final presentation, ECCH Case Challenge, Saïd Business School at Oxford University, UK

Show time! ECCH Case Challenge, Saïd Business School at Oxford University, UK

In front of the Jury, ECCH Case Challenge, Saïd Business School at Oxford University, UK

Waiting for the results...

Saïd Business School at Oxford University, UK

Jury's results... at Oxford University, UK

2nd place + additional strategy award! Great results, happy faces! Saïd Business School at Oxford University, UK

Silver Dinner at Oxford, UK

[Finding your true potential]