Meet the Secretariat

APPLiA's Secretariat counts 14 staff members from different nationalities, working on communication, corporate, energy, environment and digital and competitiveness policy areas.

Paolo Falcioni

Director General


Paolo Falcioni is APPLiA's Director General. In this position he focused on improving the association effectiveness and visibility within Europe and internationally. He has been one of the founders of the International Roundtable of Household Appliance Manufacturers Associations (IRHMA) which tackles world-wide issues like sustainability and innovation in a global manner. He served as Chairman of the Coalition for Energy Savings, making Energy Efficiency First one of the pillars of EU energy policies. He is one of the Board members in Smart Energy Europe, fostering demand side flexibility and consumer empowerment in the new energy markets. In 2016 he was nominated a member of the REFIT platform, with the aim to streamline existing legislations. Paolo graduated in electronic engineering from University of Ancona, in Italy. An Italian national, Paolo also speaks English and French fluently. In his free time, he likes baking homemade delicacies.

Candice Franck

Office Manager


Candice Franck is APPLiA's Office Manager. She joined APPLiA in December 2008. She assists the Director General and the Secretariat in administrative and logistical tasks. She manages the office and is the interface with accountants, human resources services, members and external parties/suppliers. Prior to joining APPLiA, Candice worked at the European University Association, GDF Suez International and Bredin Prat Law firm as Personal, Communication and Events Assistant. Candice holds a M.A. in Applied Foreign Languages (English, Portuguese) and Business and Trade from the Paul Valery University, Montpellier, based in France. A Belgian national, Candice also speaks English and has a good grasp of Spanish and Portuguese. She likes quality food and quality time with family and friends. She has a passion for photography and music.

Federica Lavoro

Communication Officer


Federica Lavoro is APPLiA’s Communication Officer as of January 2021. Before joining APPLiA, Federica has gained experience in communications and public affairs working as a trainee in international governmental bodies and in Brussels-based associations in the field of sustainability. Prior to this, Federica completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science at Luiss University in Rome and University of Macau (China) and a Master’s Degree in International Relations at Luiss University in Rome. Originally from Italy, Federica also speaks English and is learning French. In her spare time, Federica loves to take walks, travel, read and taste new food.

John Byrne

Junior Communication Officer


John Byrne is APPLiA’s Junior Communication Officer since August 2021. Before joining APPLiA, John has gained experience in communications and public affairs working for the Public Relations Institute of Ireland and Bohemian FC Dublin. Prior to this, John completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies and a Master’s Degree in Social Media Communication from Dublin City University. Originally from Ireland, John speaks English and is learning French. In his spare time, John loves to hike, travel, and play/ watch football.

Korrina Hegarty

Policy Director, Environment


Korrina Hegarty is APPLiA’s Director for Environment Policy and has been part of the team since 2007. She leads APPLiA’s strategy on environmental and sustainability issues, including circular economy, sustainable products, waste, chemicals, materials and gases. She has particular expertise in the WEEE Directive and circular economy aspects in Ecodesign and Energy Labelling legislation, having led major advocacy campaigns for the Association in the past years. Korrina has 20 years experience in EU public affairs in Brussels. Following studies in European Business Studies, she was Senior Policy Officer for the Northern Ireland Centre in Europe and Head of South East Partners Brussels Office, a UK regional office representing local government interests. An Irish national, Korrina also speaks French. In her free time she enjoys cooking, discovering new restaurants and travelling. 

Naomi Marc

Policy Officer, Environment


Naomi Marc is APPLiA's Environment Policy Officer and joined the team in October 2018. She holds a BA in political sciences from Université Saint-Louis in Brussels, followed by a MA also in political sciences from Université Libre of Brussels. A Belgian national, she speaks fluent French, English and Romanian. She is also a piano player and loves to discover new places to see and to have good food.

Matteo Rambaldi

Policy Director, Energy


Matteo Rambaldi is APPLiA’s Energy Policy Director and has been part of the team since 2003. He leads the team working on ecodesign and energy label Regulations, including measures addressing product performance that are relevant for the household appliance sector. He also follows standardisation-related matters. Matteo holds a Masters Degree in Environmental Management from the University of Durham (UK) and a Masters Degree in International Relations from the University of Bologna (Italy). He also spent one semester at Aarhus University (Denmark) and at the University of Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium). Prior to joining APPLiA in 2003, he worked for the European Environmental Bureau in Brussels and at the North European Marine Services Ltd in Sunderland (UK). Matteo has solid experience in working on environmental issues, mostly in Brussels. An Italian national, Matteo also speaks English, French and Spanish fluently. He also has a grasp of Dutch and Portuguese. In his free time, Matteo likes preparing a nice Sunday risotto after a basketball game.

Giulia Zilla

Policy Manager, Energy and Environment


Giulia Zilla is APPLiA’s Energy and Environment Policy Manager. She is dealing mostly with the Ecodesign and Energy Labelling Regulation for energy-related products, but also on other product sustainability topics. Before joining APPLiA, Giulia developed experience in policy analysis and advocacy while working for a European Trade Association and for an Italian confederation representing Small Middle Enterprises at the European level. She has been focusing her professional career on European energy and environmental policies and on relevant themes such as Circular Economy, Clean Energy and Low-carbon society. Giulia holds a BA in International Relations and European Studies from the University of Milan (Italy) and a MA in Energy and Environmental Change from the University of Westminster (London, UK). She also studied in Norway as an exchange student at the Arctic University of Tromsø. Giulia is Italian, she speaks fluent English as well as some knowledge of French and she is learning German; during her stays abroad, she also studied Norwegian. She has a great passion for politics and she has been involved in different young political organisations. Giulia is a climber and a scout, and loves nature and mountains.

Madeline Vander Velde

Junior Policy Officer, Energy


Madeline Vander Velde is APPLiA’s Junior Policy Officer for Energy. Before joining APPLiA, Madeline worked with various NGOs—most recently focusing on the accessibility of energy and participation in the sustainability movement of marginalised persons. She holds a MSc in Cultural Anthropology and Development Studies from KU Leuven, and a MSc in International Relations from Middle East Technical University. Originally from the United States, Madeline is also fluent in French, with intermediate knowledge of Dutch and Turkish. In her spare time, Madeline enjoys being outdoors, hiking, and discovering new cultures through cooking, reading and travel.

Candice Richaud

Senior Policy Manager, Corporate


Candice Richaud is APPLiA’s Corporate Senior Policy Manager. She joined APPLiA in July 2008. Candice follows the EU energy and climate 2030 policies and consumer protection affairs. She is also in charge of APPLIA’s National Associations network. Before joining the APPLiA team, she completed internships at the European Commission’s DG for Competition and Interpol. Candice has a specialisation in international law, politics & economics and foreign languages from the Universities of Grenoble & Lille (France). A French national, Candice speaks English as well as some knowledge of Portuguese and German. She enjoys listening to music at any occasion, loves architecture, decoration and travelling around.

Maite Castells

Junior Policy Officer, Environment


Maite Castells is APPLiA’s Environment Junior Policy Officer since October 2021. She obtained a law degree in Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Maite has gained experience in the European Parliament for nearly two years, focusing on the legislative process as well as working in the environment and home affairs committees. She has worked on files related to health such as the Pharmaceutical Strategy, but also on dossiers related to the Green Deal including the Fit for 55 or the Farm to Fork Strategy. Maite comes from the Balearic Islands in Spain. She likes to travel and to do sports. 

Michał Zakrzewski

Policy Director, Digital and Competitiveness


Michał Zakrzewski is APPLiA’s Policy Director, Digital & Competitiveness and has been part of the team since 2008. He leads the team on a number of relevant issues for the home appliance sector, including digital dossier, market surveillance, product safety, standardisation and is involved in planning and executing related advocacy activities. He is also in charge of the management of the Bilateral Verification Procedure (BVP) and was responsible for the Appliance Testing for Energy Label Evaluation (ATLETE), having followed energy labelling topics. Michał holds a Masters Degree in International Economics and International Relations from the Warsaw School of Economics (SGH) in Poland and spent a semester at the Management University of Nijmegen, in the Netherlands. Prior to joining APPLiA, he worked at APPLiA Polska, the domestic appliance industry’s representative in Poland. In his free time after work, he loves playing with his kids and if he has some more free time, he likes travelling and reading about the history of 20th century Europe.

Yannick Lenaerts

Data Officer


Yannick Lenaerts is APPLiA's Data Officer. He joined the team in February 2020. Yannick studied Political Science at the University of Leuven, Belgium, where he completed an MSc in Comparative and International Politics. He wrote his thesis on the influence of income inequality on individual trade policy preferences. Upon completing his master’s degree, Yannick interned at the De Standaard, working in the newsroom as a journalist and data analyst. Alongside English, Yannick speaks Dutch, French and some Serbian. When not programming or developing websites, he likes to ride his race bike and make good coffee.

Alvaro Vilas

Junior Policy Officer, Digital and Competitiveness


Alvaro Vilas is APPLiA’s Digital and Competitiveness Junior Policy Officer as of July 2021. He focuses mostly on Digital Economy and Trade. Before joining APPLiA, Alvaro dealt with Telecoms sector regulation and connectivity at the European Commission and Trade association. He has addressed his professional career towards EU digital policies and technology regulation such as 5G, Telecommunications and data. Alvaro holds a BA in Law and Political Science from Complutense University in Madrid and a MA in European political and governance studies in the College of Europe. Besides, he studied one year in Vienna University and he was a member of the National Board of the European Law Students Association in Spain. Alvaro is Spanish, he speaks fluent English and he is learning French. During his period in Vienna he learned basic German. He has great passion for literature and cinema. He practices Aikido and loves hiking and nature.

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