We view European integration as more than a project. It is the reality we live in. We come from five different countries and speak twelve languages fluently.
Mario Catasta is chair of the managing board of ERSTE Foundation since January 2019. From 2013 onwards, he has been the Erste Group Bank’s director of internal audit. Previously, he was the head of the corporate client department at Erste Bank der österreichischen Sparkassen.
Eva Höltl has been a member of the managing board of ERSTE Foundation since 2020. As head of the health centre of Erste Bank AG, she is responsible for all aspects of workplace health promotion. An expert on the impact of social problems on individual people’s health and the resilience of social groups, she contributes her knowledge to ERSTE Foundation. Eva Höltl: The corona crisis is forcing us to rethink many questions of social cohesion and social security. This is a huge challenge. Eva Höltl is also a lecturer at the Academy of Occupational Medicine, head of the scientific advisory board of the Austrian Academy of Occupational Medicine and Prevention, a member of the board of the Austrian Society of Occupational Medicine and a member of the board of trustees of the Erwin Ringel Institute’s endowment fund.
Boris Marte is Head of Erste HUB, the innovation centre of Erste Group. He returned to the Managing Board of ERSTE Foundation in 2016, which he had previously been a member of between 2008 and 2012. Before that he was Managing Director of ERSTE Foundation (from 2005) and Director of Corporate Sponsoring of Erste Group Bank (from 2001). Prior to working for Erste Group Bank, Boris Marte held various positions in politics as a Member of the Cabinets of the Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister for Science and Research (1991-1995) and of the Cultural Commissioner of the City of Vienna (1997-2001). From 1998 until 2000, Boris Marte was responsible for the installation of the Holocaust Monument in the city of Vienna. In 1999, he published the book Die Neue Ordnung des Politischen – Die Herausforderungen der Demokratie im 21. Jahrhundert (Campus Verlag, Frankfurt/New York).
His degree in Economics first took Franz to Austria’s Federal Ministry of Finance, where he was a supervisor of the financial market authority. In 2001, a career change brought Franz to Erste Bank. Starting off in the Communications and Public Affairs department, he soon became Head of the Company Secretariat. In the early years of ERSTE Foundation, he was Managing Director of the Legal Affairs department (from 2003 to 2012). He has been a Member of the Board at ERSTE Foundation since 2016.
Bettina Breiteneder became a Member of ERSTE Foundation’s Supervisory Board in 2017. She has worked at the family-owned group BIP Breiteneder lmmobilien Parking since 1993, where her main focus is on real estate development and management. She was CEO of DZ-Donauzentrum Besitz- und Vermietungs-Aktiengesellschaft from 1995 until 2004 and Member of the Supervisory Board until February 2006. She was a Member of the Supervisory Board of Interunfall AG (subsidiary of Generali) until May 2004, Member of the Supervisory Board of Erste Group from 2004 until May 2017, Member of the Board of Directors of RICS Austria from 2008 until 2009, and Member of the Supervisory Board of Austria Versicherungsverein auf Gegenseitigkeit Privatstiftung from 2010 until 2012. Today, Bettina Breiteneder is also Member of the Advisory Committee of „Wiener Konzerthaus “ since March 2012, Member of the Supervisory Board of „Generali Holding Vienna AG“ since June 2012, Member of the Supervisory Board of Pappas Holding GmbH since July 2017. Bettina Breiteneder studied business administration at WU Wien (Vienna University of Economics and Business).
Maximilian Hardegg has been a Supervisory Board Member at ERSTE Foundation since 2004. He graduated with an engineering degree in Agricultural Sciences from the University of Weihenstephan, Germany. He spent two years honing his financial expertise at Vienna AWT Trade and Finance Corporation. Then he went back to manage the family estate, which consists of farmland, vineyards, a pig breeding unit and landscape creations, as well as a training centre for land users. In 1997, he started to publish his own newsletter (Hardegg Info) and founded Agrardialog, a platform for modern day farming. From 2009 to 2014, he was a Board Member at Deutsche Landwirtschaftsgesellschaft (German Agricultural Association), European Landowners’ Organisation, and Friends of the Countryside, and has also been President of the latter since 2012 . Since 2002, he is Member of the Supervisory Board of Ceska Sporitelna a.s., since 2015 also of Erste Group Bank AG.
Johanna Rachinger, Director General of the Austrian National Library since 2001, studied drama and German philology at the University of Vienna. After completing her PhD, she started her career as an editor at the publishing house Wiener Frauenverlag and later became Head of Reader Services at Österreichisches Bibliothekswerk (Austrian Library’s Forum). In 1992 she joined Ueberreuter Publishing House as Head of Publishing and became its Managing Director and General Manager. Ms Rachinger has received numerous awards, such as the Vienna Woman Award in 2003, Austrian of the Year 2010 in the category of Culture Management, and the University of Economics’ Manager of the Year in 2012. Ms Rachinger is a Senate Member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and a Supervisory Board Member at ERSTE Foundation.
Over the last 25 years, Philipp Thurn und Taxis gained experience as consultant, entrepreneur and manager in technology sectors across Europe. He currently leads CNB Capital, an investment firm focused on young technology companies. In addition, he serves as Chairman of the Supervisory Board at TTTech Computertechnik. Philipp got his law degree from the university of Vienna and an MBA from Heriot-Watt in Edinburgh.
Markus Trauttmansdorff has been a Member of the Supervisory Board of ERSTE Foundation since 2014. He graduated as a Doctor of Law in 1982 and received an MBA in 1985. In addition to that he holds a degree in Economics. In 1985 Markus Trauttmansdorff started his career as a business consultant at Bain & Company Inc. in Munich and in 1988 he became Managing Partner at IMM Industrie Management München. From 1994 to 2002 he was CFO at TA Triumph-Adler AG. Markus Trauttmansdorff has been Managing Partner of MT Capital GmbH & Co. KG, based in Vienna and Munich, since 2003.
Andreas Treichl has been Chairman of the Supervisory Board of ERSTE Foundation since January 2020. Since 6 December 2019, he serves also as President of DIE ERSTE österreichische Spar-Casse Privatstiftung. Prior to that he was Chief Executive Officer of Erste Group Bank AG between 1997 and 2019. Under his leadership, Erste Group, which had been a local savings bank up to then, went public and grew into one of the leading banking groups in Central and Eastern Europe, where it has more than 16 million customers. Erste Group is recognised as being at the forefront of digital banking innovation – its award winning banking platform George has already gained traction with over four million clients across the region. Treichl has also been the driving force behind Erste Group’s Social Banking programme, a financial inclusion initiative that addresses the needs of traditionally unbanked groups in CEE including people at risk of poverty, first-time entrepreneurs and social organisations. He was Chairman of the Board of ERSTE Foundation from 2003 to 2012.
Manfred Wimmer holds a PhD in law and started his career as an assistant lecturer at the University of Innsbruck in 1978. After working in the banking sector for more than 15 years, he went to Erste Bank in 1998 and continued his career as Head of International Marketing. After serving as a member of the Supervisory Board he took over the chair from Georg Winckler in autumn 2018.
Despite having studied comparative literature and rhetoric at the University of Vienna and UC Berkeley, Jutta is convinced that books are not just for the studious, but for the joy of reading. She has been providing and creating knowledge as Head of the ERSTE Foundation Library since 2007.
Ursula’s motto is that happiness is not a state to arrive in, but a manner of travelling. Well, she has certainly done plenty of the latter. Although she was born and raised in Austria, Ursula has lived and worked all over the map – literally! Luxembourg, Grenoble, Paris and Athens proved to be a valuable detour before finally arriving at ERSTE Foundation in 2005.
A desire to support important projects with a philanthropic purpose led this former tour guide for visitors to the United Nations Information Service (UNIS) headquarters in Vienna to ERSTE Foundation in 2008. Long time, she guided programme information through our database – and was in daily contact with our project partners, ensuring efficient project administration and implementation. Since the beginning of 2018, Mira is part of the communication team and, among other projects, manages the events in the rooms of ERSTE Foundation.
Together with Jovana, Mira and Gerald, Maribel communicates ERSTE Foundation’s mission and projects to the world. Maribel is a Munich-born art historian, journalist, art critic and former press officer for EXPO 2000 in Hanover and documenta X in Kassel. After joining ERSTE Foundation in early 2007, she established the organisation’s communications department and strategy. Since 2019, she is equally responsible for the foundation’s journalism and media initiatives. Maribel is member of the steering committee of the peer exchange group Communication Professionals in Philanthropy of the European Foundation Centre.
Since the beginning of 2019, Hedvig Morvai has been responsible for programme development and civil society initiatives in the fields of policy development, democracy, human rights, journalism, education and socio-economic research as well as European affairs at ERSTE Foundation. She developed her multi-disciplinary approach to leadership in regional co-operation and European integration in civic activism, philanthropy and regional politics. Previously, Hedvig was Executive Director of the European Fund for the Balkans and Director of the Citizens ’Pact for Europe-Southeastern Europe.
Barbora lives in Bratislava and works in Vienna, so she has certainly mastered the art of commuting. Maybe the fact that she studied psychology is what helps her always keep calm, even in stressful situations. Since 2012, she has been working for ERSTE Foundation´s various programmes. She had previously worked at ZONE Media, a film production company based in Vienna.
Franz Karl Prüller has been Senior Advisor to the ERSTE Foundation Board since 2016. Before joining ERSTE Foundation, where he was Director of the Social Development Programme from 2005 until 2013, Member of the Board from 2012 until 2016, and the Board’s Chair from 2015 to 2016, he worked at Caritas Austria for 17 years. For a period of nine years there, he was Secretary General in charge of international programmes and the project department. During that time he represented Caritas Austria on the executive boards of Caritas Internationalis and Europa and chaired the charitable foundation Neighbour in Need for three years. Prior to 1996, he was in charge of Caritas’ Central and Eastern Europe programme and disaster relief programme. While working on the CEE programme from 1989 to 1993, he helped re-build Caritas organisations in the Czech Republic, Romania and Bulgaria, among others.
Gerald proves his communication skills every time he takes a group of people safely into the mountains, be it in summer or winter. A certified hiking and ski touring instructor, he knows how to orientate himself and enjoys cooperating with others. Before he started supporting the ERSTE Foundation team with always finding the best communications path, Gerald studied political science, worked for the publishing house Freytag & Berndt and even wrote a few books on hiking and ski touring in the Alps.
Simona works as In-House Counsel for the foundation since 2009.
Susanne has been with the foundation since the very beginning. She has outstanding organisational skills and a good sense of humour. She is the right hand of the Board and is always ready to help. Susanne supported UNIDO and various banking institutions before joining ERSTE Foundation in 2005, where she enjoys the lively spirit and atmosphere.
Marianne is from Vienna and one of the youngest at ERSTE Foundation. After a brief stop in the Communications Department in 2016, she has been responsible for strategic partnerships since 2017. Bringing people together was basically her field of study. With a Bachelor of Arts in Transcultural Communication and a Master in Conference Interpreting for English and Romanian, she speaks the languages of many stakeholders of the foundation. During her time in the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, she was responsible for the Balkan countries. In Vienna, too, she is closer to the Carpathians than the Alps: Marianne loves her home-district “Transdanubia”.
Since autumn 2017, Johannes Steiner a.k.a. John has been welcoming the visitors of ERSTE Foundation. John’s interest in science and technology is reflected in his studies of physics at the University of Vienna. After a couple of years as a bicycle messenger he was glad to replace his study job for the reception support at ERSTE Foundation. However, he won’t give up his passion for bicycles – maintaining his bike-pool and exploring the city remains an important part of his leisure activities.
Belgrade, Berlin, Belgrade, Vienna, Venice, Vienna, Belgrade, Vienna – Jovana has certainly moved around a lot! However, this has only added to her experience and had a significant impact on her professional development – skills that this communications expert honed even more after joining ERSTE Foundation in 2008. Before joining the team, Jovana worked at the OSCE Mission to Serbia to support democratic reform. Together with Maribel, Gerald and Mira, she runs this magazine and always keeps her cool.
Lubica was born in Bratislava. She graduated from the Faculty of Management at Comenius University. Later she worked in various journalistic and PR positions and even translated books. Lubica got to know ERSTE Foundation during her last job in the press department of Slovenska Sporitelna and was enchanted by its social projects. She has worked in various departments within the foundation since 2009 and is now part of Budget & Organisation. She also helps us out with all kinds of IT-related questions. Lubica likes hiking, travelling, reading and spending time with her family.
Born in Fargo (USA), a place made famous by a Coen brothers’ film, Heide spent most of her life in Austria. After finishing university programmes in journalism, theatre, film and media studies in Vienna and San Francisco, milestones in Heide’s career were heading the press department at Tanzquartier Wien and working as a production manager at Wiener Festwochen. After that, she worked with Erste Bank’s sponsoring department ‘Kontakt. The Arts and Civil Society Programme of Erste Group’. All these vocational challenges have equipped her well for her latest challenge: the Culture Programme of ERSTE Foundation, where she started in 2009.
After graduating from the Vienna University of Economics and Business, Martin started his banking career in 1989. He began working for Erste Bank in 1991, heading the New Issues and Funding department from 1993 on. He has been Head of the Group Strategy department since 2002. Since 2016, Martin serves as Executive Director and Head of Finance and Organisation at ERSTE Foundation.
With the new year come new chances. Since the beginning of 2019, Elias has been welcoming the visitors of ERSTE Foundation together with his colleagues John and Ivo. He is particularly interested in music, professionally as part of his study of musicology at the University of Vienna and in his spare time he enjoys playing the guitar and the piano. Besides his duties as office manager and assistant for the library, he will gladly answer your questions about music.
There is a saying: ‘Diversity is the one true thing we all have in common.’ Eva has been celebrating this every day since September 2007, when she joined the foundation to, among other things, take care of the foundation’s board meetings – her practical contribution to the work of ERSTE Foundation.