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UMD Advisory Council

The UMD Council is a multi-sector advisory group.  Membership on the UMD Council comes by invitation from the UMD Board of Directors, and drawn from the worlds of the arts, business, and public service.  UMD benefits greatly from the UMD Council members’ experiences in a variety of fields to further assist in our mission, particularly in the establishment of innovative partnerships with relevant institutions worldwide.

The UMD Council meet frequently to evaluate reports on current operations and upcoming projects, and to offer guidance in the areas of policy and strategy.

The UMD Board of Directors regards the UMD Council as a key step in promoting transparency, best practices and long-term vision for UMD’s future.

 

Ambassador Ljubica Acevska


Ambassador Ljubica Z. Acevska served as the Republic of Macedonia’s Ambassador to the United States between 1991-2000.  During her time representing the Republic of Macedonia, she successfully established bilateral relations between Macedonia and the United States, and advocated for the U.S. to send troops as U.N. peacekeepers to Macedonia’s northern border in the early 90s.  She also oversaw Macedonia's membership in the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, and served as a Macedonian Delegate to the United Nations General Assembly.

After her service as Ambassador, Acevska went on to become a Public Policy Scholar at the prestigious Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.  From 2005-2008, she was a co-host of the DC-TV talk show “Conversations,” focusing on international issues.  In addition to her current public speaking engagements and international business development consulting work, Acevska is Co-Founder and President of Pencils 4 Kids International, an organization that provides much-needed school supplies to children worldwide.  Acevska has served on numerous Boards, and was a founding partner of Gulf Enterprises, which deals in international trade, consulting and development in the Arabian Gulf, with offices in Washington, D.C and Abu Dhabi.

Acevska was born in Capari, Macedonia.  She came to the United States with her family at the age of nine, and grew up in Mansfield, Ohio.  Acevska completed her undergraduate and postgraduate studies at The Ohio State University in the field of international studies.  She attended Harvard University twice, once at the John F. Kennedy School of Government for a fellowship in Leadership in the 21st Century: Chaos, Conflict and Courage, and later at the Harvard Business School for an Executive Development Program sponsored by the World Bank.  She currently resides in Washington, D.C. with her husband, psychiatrist and author Dr. Joseph R. Novello.


Chris Antoniou


Chris Antoniou is vice president and deputy general counsel of Verizon Global Wholesale, the company’s wholesale business unit.  Prior to joining Verizon in 1998, he was an attorney with Skadden, Arps, Slate, and Meagher & Flom LLP where his practice focused on commercial transactions, particularly project financings of sports facilities and power plants.  Before attending law school, Mr. Antoniou was a United States Army officer, serving as a platoon leader, executive officer and strategic de-briefer.  He is the co-editor (with W. Michael Reisman) of The Laws of War: A Comprehensive Collection of Primary Documents on International Laws Governing Armed Conflict (Vintage Books 1994).  He received his law degree from Yale Law School in 1992, and his undergraduate degree from the United States Military Academy – West Point in 1984.


George Atanasoski

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George Atanasoski, originally from Prilep, Macedonia, immigrated to the United States in 1970 where he founded Microflex Inc., a successful manufacturer based in Ormond Beach, Florida, that supplies a wide range of flexible metal products to large-clients such as General Electric, Ford, Siemens, General Motors, Rolls-Royce, and NASA.
In 1996, Mr. Atanasoski co-founded MAK AM International Corporation, an international trading company importing and exporting between the United States and Macedonia.  Over the years, Mr. Atanasoski has invested in numerous Macedonian businesses such as Sonce GA, Zito Prilep, TV Sonce and others.  In 1994, he founded the international magazine Macedonian Sun (Makedonsko Sonce) focused on Macedonian culture, history and values.  He also owns and operates Sonce TV in Skopje.

Atanasoski has expended significant resources in supporting and advancing the Macedonian culture in Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Kosovo, and Serbia supporting the Macedonian minority groups in those countries.  He is a strong champion of human rights, including the most basic right of self-determination for the Macedonians living in those countries and worldwide.  He has four sons, one of whom is presently living in Macedonia.

Atanasoski received the UMD Lifetime Achievement during the UMD Global Conference Gala on Saturday, June 25, 2011.

 

Dana L. Klein

Dana L. Klein is the current Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Macedonia in Southeast Florida as well as the Managing Director and Owner of DKMC, Inc., a public and international relations firm in South Florida.  She also works in real estate and has a real estate investment company called Royal Capital Investments, LLC.    

As Honorary Consul General, Ms. Klein’s duties include economic, cultural, and educational exchanges, partnerships, and investments.  As Managing Director of DKMC, Inc., Ms. Klein specializes in Marketing, Public Relations, and Business Development for a variety of clients and industries.  Programs include but are not limited to: Marketing Management and Strategy, Project Management, Community Consensus Building, Yield Management, Branding, Positioning, and Imaging, Media Relations, Event Marketing, Advertising, Copy Writing, Client, Government, and Investor Relations, and Niche and Target Marketing.  As managing member of Royal Capital Investments, LLC, Ms. Klein buys and sells real estate and businesses to and from buyers, sellers, and investors.

Prior to DKMC, Inc., Dana Klein was the Sales Manager of Z99fm in the Cayman Islands for three years creating sales strategies and promotions for such clients as Wendys, Dominoes Pizza, Coca Cola, Budweiser, and Frito Lay. She created an in house advertising agency for the company, developing unique advertising plans with customized jingles. Before moving to the Cayman Islands, Dana worked with Cambridge Cable Television, the Boston Globe, Berkshire Business News, Journal Newspapers, and the Pittsfield Gazette.

Honors include Turkish Cultural Tour Travel Grant Recipient, Key to Broward County, Small Business Person of the Year Nominee, American Business Women’s Association Spirit of Excellence Award, Broward County Crime Stoppers Award for Creative Programming, International Crime Stoppers First Place Video Production Winner, US Marine Corps Certificate of Appreciation, Florida Jaycees State Entrepreneur of the Year, and Hollywood Jaycees Hollywood Entrepreneur of the Year.

Current and past memberships include United Macedonian Diaspora Advisory Council, Political Action Committee of Association of Building Contractors, International Committee for International Swimming Hall of Fame, Executive Board of Broward County Crime Stoppers, Executive Board of Hallandale Beach Chamber of Commerce, Board of Broward County Academy of Travel & Tourism, Board of Downtown Hollywood Business Association,, Hollywood Rotary Club Publicity and Auction Chairperson, Greater Hollywood Jaycees Public Relations Chair, Steering Committee of Hollywood Travel & Tourism Committee , Miami Consular CorpsSouth Broward Board of Realtors, Florida and Broward Farm BureausAventura Marketing Council, South Broward Business Council, Superior Small Lodging Association, Emerson College and Syracuse University Alumni Associations, and Latin, Pompano Beach, Dania Beach, Greater Hollywood, Greater Miami Chambers of Commerce.

Dana Klein has a Master’s Degree from Emerson College in Media Management where she wrote a thesis on the International Impact of American Satellite Policy. She also has a Bachelor of Science Degree from the Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communications in Radio, Television, and Film Production with a minor in English.

 

George Koroloff

George Koroloff was born in Toronto, Ontario, on May 26th, 1947.  His parents are Peter and Olga Koroloff from the Village of Drenoveni, Macedonia.  He is an Honours graduate of the University of Toronto, and also attended the University of Western Ontario, where he received his Law degree.

Mr. Koroloff has been a lawyer for over 30 years and owns his own firm, which includes administrative, real estate, corporate, estate, family and criminal law.  He has performed defence work for College of Physicians and Surgeons, Royal College of Dental Surgeons, Pharmacists College, and was former Counsel to the Chiropractic Association’s Board of Directors.

Mr. Koroloff’s interest in his Macedonian heritage became apparent at a very early age.  He was President of the Young Macedonian Patriotic Organization, and throughout his life, has held positions in various Macedonian organizations, such as: current Director of Canadian Macedonian Place; former member of Canadian Macedonian Federation; former Vice-President of the Macedonian Patriotic Organization (Canada); former member of the Macedonian Human Rights Organization; current member of United Macedonian Diaspora; Director of Nasha Sila Macedonian Human Rights Organization.  He has also written articles for the Macedonian Tribune newspaper, and has worked actively to fight the human trafficking trade in Eastern Europe.  Throughout the years, he has personally met with several Macedonian Prime Ministers for one-on-one consultations regarding Macedonian human rights issues.


George Markou

George Markou was born and raised in Canada, and is of Macedonian descent.  He earned his business degree from York University and started a career in public accounting, before joining Crowntek Business Center as Vice President of Operations.  He is articled with Cooper & Lybrand.  Markou founded Unigistix, an integrated logistics service provider, which became the largest logistics provider to Canada’s telecommunications industry.  At Unigistix, he employed over 600 team members, and sponsored 11 people to obtain their P.Log designation.  Unigistix has been accredited as one of Canada's top 50 best-managed companies.

Mr. Markou currently works for Unify4Life, a hardware and software technology company, which he also co-founded.  As a long-time community leader, he is currently serving on the Board of the Canadian Macedonian Place, and the Advisory Council of the United Macedonian Diaspora, as well as being Honorary Chair of Unigistix, Inc. and Vice Chair Administration for the Canadian Professional Logistics Institute.  He is married with two children.


Mark B. Mitskovski 

Mark B. Mitskovski is a principal of U.S. Demil, LLC. (USD), a company that has developed proprietary state-of-the-art technologies that fully demilitarize conventional munitions safely, without any residual environmental harm, and providing nearly total recovery of constituent materials for reuse.  He also works for The Wyvern Group, an engineering consulting firm & Borison International Ltd., a business, energy and project management consulting firm.

Mitskovski has over 25 years of experience in business, project management, and project development, with an emphasis on energy and technology sectors.  Prior to joining renewable energy firm BQPES; he served as Erie County Director of Energy Development and Management over five years.  He was responsible as Rebuild America Program Manager, the originator of Erie County’s first wind development initiative.  This included serving as chief representative and negotiator for Erie County’s Niagara Power Project, a $287 million re-licensing settlement.

Mitskovski has considerable experience providing energy management services to both the public and private sector, and is frequently called on as an expert on such matters.  He is multilingual and has worked in the United States, Central Europe and Eastern Europe.  He has degrees in Political Science & International Relations, and has an MBA in International Business from Canisius College.  He is active in several community organizations and is a Board member of Sts. Cyril and Methody Macedonian-American Orthodox Church in Buffalo, New York.


Jerry Naumoff

Jerry Naumoff grew up in Columbus, Ohio, in a large, close-knit Macedonian family.  His extended family owned and operated a successful restaurant for over 30 years.  After earning a football scholarship at Ball State University, where he majored in Marketing & Business Administration, Naumoff embarked on a diverse entrepreneurial career in employee benefits, human resources and risk management.

For the next 12 years, Naumoff worked in the employee benefits business with several large national insurance companies, and two top-ranked Chicago-based consulting firms.  He has also started other businesses during his career including importing a private-label mineral water called Pelagonia, owning and operating a Bar and Grill, and building one of the first web-based human resources application providers of its kind called Communicare, Inc.  In 1993, he founded The Naumoff Group, Inc. and in 2007, merged his company with Benefitdecisions, Inc., an international employee benefits and human resource advisory services firm.  Naumoff is currently the Managing Partner of Benefitdecisions.

Naumoff and his wife LuAnn reside in the Chicago area and have six children, including twin daughters, Marija and Mirjana, who they adopted from the Bitola Orphanage in 1999, at the age of two.  Two of their sons, Nicholas and Anthony, graduated from the University American College Skopje (UACS) in 2009.  They are now both completing their Masters of Business Administration at UACS, and are working full time for UACS.  Nicholas is Information Officer for their Networking Department and Anthony is Coordinator for Study Abroad Programs.  In his spare time, Naumoff has managed to sit on a high school Athletic Board, coach a 3-time high school conference championship team as its defensive coordinator.


Elizabeth Naumovski

Elizabeth Naumovski is a Vice President of Marketing at Caldwell Securities Ltd., based in Toronto, since joining the firm in 1997. During this time, she has been responsible for marketing, corporate communications and public relations.  Naumovski is on the marketing committee of the Investment Industry Association of Canada.  She also serves on the Board of the Macedonian Film Festival, is a former Board member of the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame, and for many years has raised money for the Princess Margaret Hospital, and Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research.  Naumovski has also hosted and guest hosted Money Line, a live hour-long call-in show on Rogers television, where she most recently filled in for Dale Goldhawk on Goldhawk Live.  In 2009, she climbed Stromboli, an active volcano north of Sicily, in the Aolian Islands.

 

Jim Pavle

Jim Pavle is currently the executive director of the Treatment Advocacy Center, a national non-profit organization that seeks to lower the legal barriers to treatment for individuals with severe mental illness.  His prior professional work has included policy advocacy for the natural gas industry and professional services marketing for law firms.  He is a graduate of Yale University and the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts. 

 

Chris Stanwyck

Chris Stanwyck was born in 1957 in Bronte, Ontario, Canada.  He received a business degree at Humber College 1979, later working at Macedonian Import Export until 1985 when the business was sold.  From there, Stanwyck worked for Kraft Foods in Sales & Marketing in the Foodservice division, where he received numerous awards and promotions.

In 1996, Chris, his brother Tom, and father Kosta Stanwyck opened a cheese making facility of their own to harness a competitive advantage as manufacturers, and Triple “A” Cheese Co. Ltd. was born.  In the early years, Chris took on head cheese making duties as well as sales and marketing, and received a “Cheese Technology” certificate from Guelph University in 2000.

Triple “A” Cheese Co. Ltd. has become highly successful, and Chris is mainly involved with Sales & Marketing activities, and overseeing day-to-day operations with his partners.

 

Thomas N. Taneff

Thomas Taneff was admitted to the Ohio Bar in 1988 and has been practicing law for 23 years.  He is a graduate of The Ohio State University and Capital University Law School .  Mr. Taneff was a Judicial Law Clerk and Franklin County Probate Court Magistrate.  He practices in the areas of estates, probate, estate planning, guardianships, adoption and surrogacy throughout the State of Ohio , including interstate and international adoptions.  He has handled more than 2,000 adoption cases and was awarded the United States Congressional Adoption Award in 2005.  He was chosen as an Ohio Super Lawyer for both 2011 and 2012 and has won Columbus C.E.O. Magazine's Best of Business Award (for law firms under 50) for 2010 and 2011.  Macedonian Honorary Consul to the United States (Ret.). Finance Chair for Probate Judge Robert Montgomery Campaign.


Minister Gligor Tashkovich (ret.)  

Currently, Tashkovich has been retained by Platinum Management (NY) LLC to manage non-USA capital introductions, though he is perhaps best known for his successful two-year mandate as the Minister of Foreign Investment for the Republic of Macedonia.  In that position, he travelled to forty countries around the world, in a campaign to inform international firms about the many benefits of basing their European manufacturing, assembly, and back office operations in the Republic of Macedonia.

Previously, Tashkovich was the Executive Vice President for Government & Media Relations for AMBO LLC (the Albanian-Macedonian-Bulgarian Oil Corporation) on the $1.5 billion Trans-Balkan Oil Pipeline project, which will connect the Black Sea with the Adriatic Sea and cross the Republics of Bulgaria, Macedonia, and Albania.

Additionally, between 2001-2006, Tashkovich served as a research consultant to First Data Corporation, gathering forensic intelligence on money laundering and terrorism finance operations; in 2004, Tashkovich was named a delegate to the U.S.-Japan Foundation’s Leadership Program.  He serves as a founding Trustee of the American Research Center in Sofia, Bulgaria; an Advisory Board member of investment bank MC Capital in Sydney, Australia; he is a member of the Bretton Woods Committee and of its International Council, a founding member of the U.S.-Macedonian Business Council, and, in 2004, he completed a five year term membership on the Council on Foreign Relations.

As part of Macedonia’s drive to gain recognition in the international community, Tashkovich successfully forged diplomatic relations in the summer of 1993 between Macedonia and Malta; in November of 1993, between Macedonia and Angola; in April of 1994 between Macedonia and Uzbekistan; then again in 2001 between Macedonia and Georgia.

Tashkovich earned his B.A. in 1987 from Cornell University’s College of Arts & Sciences, and his M.B.A. in 1991 from Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management.  For over two decades, he was heavily involved with Cornell University affairs, and was the youngest member ever on the Administrative Board of the Cornell University Council.  In addition to a native command of English, Tashkovich has proficiency in French, and has studied Latin, Spanish, Macedonian, Bulgarian, and Business Japanese at the university level.


Nicholas Thaw 

Nicholas Thaw is a Trustee and Program Officer at the International Music and Art Foundation of Vaduz, Liechtenstein (www.imaf.li). He has a background in theatre management, architecture, and business consulting.  He earned his Bachelor of Professional Studies Degree in Architecture from State University of New York at Buffalo, and did Postgraduate Studies at Glasgow University's Mackintosh School of Architecture in Scotland.  Thaw has served on the Executive Committee of the National Council of Glimmerglass Opera, and as a Vice-Chair of the Council of Fellows of the Pierpont Morgan Library.  Formerly on the Board of the New York State Historical Association and the World Monuments Fund, he has also served on the Board of Old Deerfield Productions, The Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, The Common School, Hybrid Vigor Music, and the Macedonian Arts Council.  He now divides his time between Skopje, Macedonia, and Miami Beach, Florida.  


Lou Vlasho

                                                                                             
Mr. Vlasho’s career as an Executive has span 50 years in positions with Fortune 400 corporations, and privately owned companies. In addition he is an entrepreneur with practical small business experience.  Mr. Vlasho is a Certified Management Accountant (CMA). In 1982 he was elected President of Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), the world’s leading management accounting organization. Mr. Vlasho has devoted his time over the last 50 years to many civic and community organizations and affairs in the communities in which he has resided.                                         

Retired/Independent Consultant – The Vlasho Group Inc  1990-Current
Rimaco Corp, Naples, Florida (Vergina Restaurant in Naples).                  
Vice President 1990 - Current
Gold Bond Ice Cream Inc, Green Bay, Wisconsin (Large Privately Owned Company)  1984 - 1989
Senior Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer – 1986 - 1989
Hobart Corporation, Troy, Ohio (Fortune 400 Company)  1959 - 1984
Vice-President and Controller  – 1980 - 1984

In 2007 he was honored by Macedonia when he was appointed Honorary Consul for the Republic of Macedonia to The United States of America. The Consul Office in Naples was officially opened in February, 2008.

In 2008 Mr. Vlasho was presented the degree of Chevalier’s (Commander’s) Cross by the International Order of Saint Stanislas of Macedonia for charitable service. The formal ceremony took place in Kiev, Ukraine

Born in Canton, Ohio
In 2008 Timken High School honored Lou with the Distinguished Alumnus award
Graduate of Ohio University: Bachelor of Science in Commerce, Major Accounting - 1959
Awarded CMA, Certified Management Accountant Certificate in 1975

Ohio University –-Awarded Distinguished Service Award in 2001
    
Professional/Civic Activities
    Editor, A Guide for Management Accounting (Cost 
    Accountants Handbook), 1983, published by John Wiley & Sons
    Listed in Outstanding Young Men in America
    Listed in Outstanding Financial Executives
    Honored as Troy Ohio Outstanding Young Man of the Year 1968
    Beta Alpha Psi, Kent State University, Honorary Member 1983
    Collier County, Florida, Current Business Champions 2007
    Honored as The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce Volunteer of the Year 2007
    Honored by Collier County Education Foundation as Man Of Distinction (MOD) 2008

Was a regular contributor to Professional Journals

Over the years has been actively involved in numerous professional and Civic organizations. Including among others:
President Troy Ohio Chamber of Commerce
Chairman of the Miami County Ohio Heart Association
President of the Troy Ohio Junior Chamber of Commerce
Trustee Edison State Community College, Governor of Ohio appointee

Seven years as President of the Pelican Bay, Naples, Florida, Association   Presidents Council
Four year term on the Pelican Bay Services Division, Chairman for over three years
                       
Currently serving as:
*Past President/Chairman of the Greater Naples Better Government Committee. Continues to serve on the Board.  
*Vice Chairman of The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce Board
*Past Vice Chairman Council for International Visitors in Collier (CIVIC)
*Co-Founder and past President of The Republicans Men’s Club of Collier County
* Past Vice Chairman of the Board of The Boys and Girls Club of Collier County
* Past Chairman of the City of Naples Community Redevelopment Advisory Board. Continues to serve on the Board.
*Served on Collier County Sheriff’s Innovation (Advisory) Committee
*Past Board of Directors Marco Island YMCA 2006-2007
*Board of Directors Naples Art Association
*Past Vice Chairman Naples Downtown Association
*Active in the affairs of Fifth Avenue, and in local, state and national public policy and political affairs

*He is a member of The North Naples United Methodist Church.

*For several years has been actively involved with the National Prayer Breakfast, held in Washington DC, and was instrumental in establishing the Greater Balkans Luncheon held during NPB week. Along with Ohio Senator Voinovich, he Co-Chairs this now annual luncheon. Annually 100 individuals, from through out the Balkan area, attend the luncheon.

Mr. Vlasho has been a full time resident of Naples area since 1989. He and his wife, Pat, reside in Pelican Bay. Previously he resided in Canton, Ohio, his birthplace, Troy, Ohio for 25 years and Green Bay, Wisconsin for 4 years

Lou has two sons, Vince a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, who lives in the Washington DC area with his wife and two daughters, and Steve, a graduate of The Ohio State University, who lives in the Los Angeles area. His first wife of 38 years, Jan, is deceased.



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