- Chairman of the Board - Stojan Nikolov
Chairman of the Board
Stojan Nikolov was born and raised in Strumica, Macedonia, he moved to the United States during high school as an exchange student. He is married and has two children. Nikolov holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance, a Masters in Business Administration from Louisiana Tech University, and is also a Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS). He currently works as a Project Manager/Consultant for an organization overseeing the electrical demands for New England. In the past, he has worked as a Financial/Business Analyst and Project Manager in both the HR Consulting and Outsourcing and the Marketing and Media Information industries.
During his time with UMD, Nikolov has led many projects and initiatives. Since 2008, he has served as the Development Director for our quarterly magazine and premiere publication, UMD Voice. He also heads up UMD’s youth program for developing and encouraging young Macedonian leaders, Generation M. A firm believer that only united and through hard work and collaboration can Macedonia and our people prosper and correct the mistakes and injustices of the past, Nikolov has devoted much of his own personal time and energy to contribute towards this end through UMD over the last few years.
Metodija A. Koloski
- President - Metodija A. Koloski
Metodija A. Koloski is Co-Founder and President of the United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD), headquartered in Washington, D.C. Koloski is an expert on Macedonia’s right to its name, minorities in Southeast Europe, and NATO and EU enlargement issues, and his opinion-pieces on these topics have been published in the Washington Times, the Foreign Policy Association, The Hill’s Congress Blog, the National Post, the Journal Gazette, and the International Relations Forum. He is frequently quoted in the Macedonian and international media on topics related to Macedonia and the diaspora.
In his previous capacities, Koloski has worked for the Foreign Policy Association, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and DLA Piper LLP. He holds a Bachelors of Arts from Manhattanville College in Political Science and International Relations.
Koloski’s family migrated to the United States from Macedonia in the early 1950s due to communist Yugoslavia’s anti-democratic policies. Koloski was born and raised in Garfield, New Jersey. His family has roots in the Republic of Macedonia, Aegean Macedonia, and Korca, Albania.
- Vice President and Chair of UMD Advisory Council - Aleksandar Mitreski
Vice President and Chair of UMD Advisory Council
Aleksandar Mitreski was born in Skopje, Macedonia, and as a young adult immigrated to the United States to complete his graduate studies in Electrical Engineering from Louisiana Tech University. He also holds a Master of Business and Administration from University of Arkansas at Little Rock. With over 10 years in the electric utility industry, Mitreski currently works for ISO New England, where he designs the regional wholesale energy markets. During one of the summer breaks from his university studies, on his way home to Macedonia, he met his wife, Jasmina, with whom they have two children.
As one of the co-founders of UMD, since the beginning Mr. Mitreski has volunteered his efforts to build an organization that will unite the Macedonians worldwide. He was the inaugural Chairman of the Board, and has continually served as the Vice President of the organization. Mitreski also chairs the UMD Advisory Council.
- Secretary - George Peters
George Peters is a proud second generation Macedonian-American. His family originates from the Lerinsko region of Aegean Macedonia and the southwest region of the Republic of Macedonia. George was born and raised in the Detroit area and earned his Bachelor of Arts from Wayne State University and Juris Doctorate from the University of Michigan Law School. He has been practicing law since 1988. Currently, he serves as senior staff counsel at Chrysler Group, LLC in Auburn Hills, Michigan, where he works in the commercial and business affairs group. Prior to his current position at Chrysler, he also held positions in the law departments of Owens Corning; The Walt Disney Company, and Comshare, Inc. He has also taught undergraduate Business Law and Economics courses at the Detroit College of Business. In his spare time George is an avid supporter of his church, St. Clement of Ohrid in Dearborn, Michigan, and member of the board of the United Macedonian Americans of Detroit.
- Treasurer - Lidija Stojkoska
Originally from the Macedonian city of Kavadarci, UMD Board Member and Treasurer Lidija Stojkoskahas been living in the U.S. since 2003. She has earned her B.A. in business administration with concentration in accounting from Fresno Pacific University, and she is enrolled at the accounting Masters program at Fresno Pacific University. Professionally, since January 2012, Stojkoska has been a senior staff accountant at Tate & Tryon in Washington D.C. She gained her extensive accounting experience while working first as a staff accountant and later as a senior accountant at Wiebe Hinton Hambalek LLP. At her spare time she enjoys reading, sightseeing, volunteering and networking.
-Director of Australian Operations - Ordan Andreevski
Director of Australian Operations
Ordan Andreevski is the Director of Australian Outreach with the United Macedonian Diaspora and the Director of Marketing and Customer Solutions with All Clear International. For the last 20 years, he has worked at some of Australia’s leading universities and research centers. He has advised large and complex organisations on strategies for internationalization, collaborative research, stakeholder relations, sustainability and rapid commercialization of intellectual property.
He is one of most effective and respected community activists in the Australian Macedonian community. Andreevski has a track record in government relations and advocacy using evidence based arguments to prepare foreign policy briefs and submissions to the Australian Parliament on ways to improve the effectiveness of the Australian Aid Program, Multiculturalism and Social Inclusion and how to achieve innovation and impact from Australia’s Diplomatic Representation.
He is the co-author of the Australian Research Council Linkage project on ‘Diasporas in Australia: Current and Potential Links with the Homeland’ and the report on ‘The Macedonian Diaspora in Australia: Current and Potential Links with the Homeland’. These reports were officially launched at Parliament House in Canberra on 15 August 2012 by the Employment and Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten MP and by the Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Pacific Island Affairs Mr. Richard Marles MP. Andreevski has written over a dozen opinion pieces in On Line Opinion: Australia’s e-journal of social and political debate on contemporary challenges and opportunities for Australian foreign policy on Macedonia, NATO, citizen diplomacy and Australia’s bid for a UN Security Council seat in 2012. He has organized high impact events at Parliament House in Canberra as well as the Parliament of Victoria devoted to advancing Australia Macedonia relations. He works strategically and in partnership with key stakeholders to elevate the status and influence of the Macedonian diaspora and to nurture closer relations between Australia and Macedonia.
- Director of Canadian Operations - Jim Daikos
Director of Canadian Operations
UMD Board Member and Director of Canadian operations James Daikos originally comes from Aegean Macedonia. In 1967, his family immigrated to Canada, escaping the human rights violations of the Macedonians in Greece. The contrast between the freedoms and rights in Greece and in Canada is what gave Daikos the passion to work tirelessly on the Macedonian cause. As a result, he has done and supported many activities to improve the human rights of the Macedonians in Greece. Professionally, Daikos has a broad experience in the hospitality business in Canada, and has run and owned several restaurants. He is currently the General Manager of Wimpy's Diner franchisee. He is one of the founders of many association and organizations in Canada. Daikos and his wife Millie have two children. Millie was born in Poland to two “children” refugees from the Greek Civil War.
- Director of European Operations - Filip Altiparmakovski
Director of European Operations
Filip Altiparmakovski was born and raised in Bitola, Macedonia. Filip left Macedonia at the age of 18 to pursue a degree in international relations at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. He also holds a LL.B from Amsterdam Law School, a master’s degree in law (LL.M) from Leiden Law School and a master’s degree (M.A.) in Conflict Resolution from the University of Bradford in the United Kingdom.
Currently based in Amsterdam, Filip is a young lawyer with a multidisciplinary background and a keen interest in Macedonian (and international) affairs. He has previously worked in the international public sector in The Hague and is currently focusing on several side-projects that have always interested him. This includes researching the following topics: the legal aspects of the obstacles to admission of Macedonia to international organizations such as the UN and NATO; the validity of an amnesty for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the 2001 conflict in Macedonia; and the Macedonian minority rights cases against Greece before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
- Director of U.S. Operations - Trajko Papuckoski
Director of U.S. Operations
Trajko Papuckoski is a proud Hoosier and earned his Bachelors of Science at Indiana University. Papuckoski’s professional career in the financial services has spanned several prominent financial institutions since graduation. Currently, he consults independent financial advisers for one of the largest broker-dealers in the nation. Previously, Papuckoski served as a relationship manager at two large retail banks where he delivered investment solutions and advised clients on how to meet their financial goals.
Outside of work he enjoys visiting family and friends throughout the U.S. and Europe, mountain biking, watching films, and ran the Chicago Marathon in 2012.
Trajko and his wife Biljana married in Bitola, Macedonia in the summer of 2013.
-Director of Charitable Efforts - Natalia Buling-Betinski
Director of Charitable Efforts
Natalia Buling-Betinski is the daughter of Macedonian immigrants who arrived to Chicago in 1968. Natalia and her family travel back to their hometowns of Berovo and Strumica on a regular basis. Natalia has been an avid supporter of her community. She is currently a member of the Board of the United Macedonian Diaspora, the voice of our nations half a million Americans of Macedonian heritage, and serves as its Director of Charitable Efforts. She oversees all greater Chicago activities for UMD. Buling-Betinski is a member of the European Advisory Council of Senator Mark Steven Kirk of Illinois.
Buling-Betinski holds a Bachelors of Arts in Professional Psychology, specializing in Organizational/Industrial Psychology, with which she graduated with Honors, and is working on her Masters in the same field. She has spent the last ten years of her career in Business Operations Management. Buling-Betinski worked in international staffing & consulting, and currently, works in human resources at a German-owned international manufacturing company. She also oversees her family’s business as the Director of Operations, including a Macedonian restaurant in Chicago and a 5-star resort in Macedonia’s Maleshevo region, scheduled to open in 2014.
- Director of Cultural Awareness - Vera Najdovska
Director of Cultural Awareness
Vera Najdovska was born in Bitola and immigrated to Windsor, Canada when she was thirteen years old. She works for the University of Windsor in the Information Technology Services Department. She has a diploma in computer science from St. Clair College in Windsor, and two degrees from the University of Windsor in Slavic Studies (Russian) and History. Vera studied foreign languages: Russian in Moscow at the Pushkin Institute for Foreign Students, Czech at Charles University in Prague and Italian at Instituto Italiano in Florence, Italy. She makes it high priority to be fluent in Macedonian and translated and contributed for UMD Voice magazine.
In her spare time Vera has volunteered for numerous organizations, Art Gallery of Windsor, Multicultural Centre of the City of Windsor, St. Nicholas Macedonian Community Centre, among others. She has organized fundraiser events, was the editor of newsletters, organized tours and tutored university students. In 2012, she received the Ontario Volunteer Service Award for her 10 years of volunteering.