On 2 December 2011, the President of Finland awarded the honorary title of Counsellor of Organizations to Anne Santamäki, B.Sc. Econ. & Bus. Adm., Director of International Relations who is responsible for SOK's international cooperative relations.
Counsellor Santamäki has worked in a broad range of positions in the business world for nearly 40 years. After graduating as a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Business Administration, she worked as a marketing researcher at Marketindex Oy. In 1980, Mrs. Santamäki transferred to VR, where she first worked as Marketing Planning Manager. Later, as Marketing Manager for passenger traffic, she was responsible for a number of developments, including the Intercity concept. Mrs. Santamäki has worked for SOK Corporation since 1990, when she joined the company as Director of SOK Marketing Services, responsible for S Group's internal advertising agency and research services. She was involved in the creation of the new S-Etukortti card program, as well as S Group's national sponsorship strategy. In 1999, she became responsible for looking after the interests of S Group and all Finnish cooperatives in international cooperative organisations.
Counsellor Santamäki has been involved in Euro Coop, a European organization of consumer cooperatives, as a Board member since 1999 and as Vice-President since 2003. From 2006 to 2010, Mrs. Santamäki acted as the President of Euro Coop, and since 2010, she has been a member of the Presidency. From 2001 to 2010, Santamäki acted as Vice-President of Cooperatives Europe. In 2010, Santamäki was elected Chairperson of Consumer Co-operatives Worldwide (CCW). Since 2010, Santamäki has been a Board member of International Co-operative Alliance (ICA).
Anne Santamäki is an esteemed individual and a popular lecturer and expert, not only in Finland, but also within the European and global cooperative movement. She has held various positions of trust, among them Advisory Board membership in Suomalaisen Työn Liitto (the Alliance for Finnish Work) and the Savonlinna Opera Festival. She is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Kiasma museum and the Finnish Audit Bureau of Circulations.