Verdane Talent Award 2022 winners announced

Verdane is pleased to congratulate Roni Pekkala (CAP-Group), Thomas Tretli (Zisson), Sarah Deall (Hem), Zakariyya Haque (EVA Global) and Line Jensen (meister) on winning the Verdane Talent Awards 2022!

At Verdane, our vision is to be the preferred growth partner to tech-enabled and sustainable businesses in Europe. The high-growth digital consumer, software, and sustainable society companies we invest in hold what we would argue is some of the finest talent in Northwestern Europe. Celebrating the power of our portfolio talent is therefore a prioritised matter for us as owners.

The categories for the Verdane Talent Awards 2022 were “We dare to be different”, “We love what we do”, “We get things done” and “We respect people and the planet”.  These categories are Verdane’s core values – values that we believe are critical in our efforts to be the best at developing companies.

Portfolio company CEOs were given the opportunity to nominate employees for an individual award entailing not only recognition and confirmation of their efforts, but also a monetary prize. The aim of this program is to help our companies boost their competitiveness and create a culture where we celebrate positive initiatives that make our companies better places to work.

The winners were celebrated at the Verdane CEO Day 2022 dinner, which took place at Stallmästaregården in Stockholm, Sweden.

Category: We dare to be different

Winner: Roni Pekkala (CAP-Group)

Motivation: This individual has played a major role in the creation of a traffic simulator that not only makes driving education more efficient, but also reduces the industry’s carbon footprint. As chief designer, he has played a particularly important role in the scripting of simulator software, constantly coming up with ideas not only for simulators, but also for improving business operations. Combining the know-how of a traffic teacher and an engineer, he has a genuine desire to help people succeed.

Category: We love what we do

Winner: Thomas Tretli (Zisson)

Motivation: This brilliant individual has successfully shaped and led his development team through a pandemic where we all had to work differently. He leads with passion, walks the talk and encourages his team to think out of the box. A mentor by heart who takes the time to teach by example, he now uses his superpowers to lift his workplace to the next level by developing the next-generation queue server.


Category: We respect people and the planet – Sustainability initiatives

Winner: Sarah Deall (Hem)

As one of the most talented Product Developer’s in our industry, this individual never stops surprising with ingenious solutions to complex challenges. In addition to delivering exceptional results within the frame of her role, she single-handedly took the initiative and created an exhaustive, consistent, and actionable Sustainability Strategy for the company with a roadmap stretching over the next 3 years. Almost overnight she managed to shift the mindset of both the leadership team and other employees, who now put the sustainability agenda front and center in everything they do. A notable symbol of the initiative is the industry’s first 100% renewable and biodegradable lounge chair, to be launched during 2022! Another more visible achievement is the amazing work she did on the successful Puffy Chair – already a top-seller and winner of multiple design awards, among them Bukowski’s “Born Classic” award and international design authority Dezeen’s “Furniture of the Year” award.

Category: We respect people and the planet – Diversity, Equity & Inclusion initiatives

Winner: Zakariyya Haque (EVA Global)

Motivation: A true team player and a cultural ambassador for superior customer experience from the front lines, this individual’s passion for diversity, equity and inclusion is apparent in his daily work. A dedicated customer support technician who goes beyond the necessary to make sure no electric car driver is left stranded, he even took part in a sign language training course to help assist drivers in international sign language via video. His leadership has demonstrated his company’s admirable commitment for inclusion and building trust in new charging technologies.

Category: We get things done

Winner: Line Jensen (meister)

Motivation: Going above and beyond, a leader role model and always eager to improve, this individual’s great energy quickly made her a Subject Matter Expert at her company. In her role, she has built the bridge between Product Management, Product Marketing, Product Engineering and Customer Success. This allowed the company to reduce silos, and improve communication across the entire organisation. Due to her amazing internal network, she became an internal OKR team coach, helping each team member achieve their goals in order for the company goal to be reached. She was promoted to Team Lead for her company’s High Touch Team in EMEA in June 2021. In this role, she is not only responsible for some of the highest grossing customers, but also for the team, managing about 50% of directly generated revenue.


About Verdane

Verdane is a specialist growth equity investment firm that partners with tech-enabled and sustainable European businesses to help them reach the next stage of international growth. Verdane can invest as a minority or majority investor, either in single companies or through portfolios of companies, and looks to deploy behind three core themes; the Digital Consumer, Software Everywhere and Sustainable Society. Verdane funds hold closer to €4 billion in total commitments and have made over 135 investments in fast-growing businesses since 2003. Verdane’s team of over 100 investment professionals and operating experts, based out of Berlin, Copenhagen, Helsinki, London, Oslo and Stockholm, is dedicated to being the preferred growth partner to tech-enabled and sustainable businesses in Europe.

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