April 9, 2012 – Washington, D.C. and Chicago – The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) is pleased to announce the appointment of Natalia Buling-Betinski as its first Chicago Regional Representative.
In November 2011, UMD officially launched its Chicago operations in the third largest U.S. city, and one of the most important business centers in the world. As home to a flourishing Macedonian-American community since the late 1800s, Chicago still has one of the largest Macedonian communities in the U.S. today.
“Natalia’s passion and love for Macedonia is invigorating, especially for our proud cultural traditions,” said UMD Chairman Stojan Nikolov. “Natalia’s energy and passion, together with her professional experience and dedication to UMD’s mission, made her the perfect candidate for this important responsibility, especially given the rich history of the Macedonian-American community in Chicago, and the many tens of thousands that live in the area.”
Buling-Betinski believes UMD gives a strong collective voice to Macedonian-Americans and the greater Diaspora — a voice that is heard by world leaders and decision makers who shape the future for our people. Her family has supported UMD for several years, and her father Tale Buling is a member of the UMD Advisory Council. Buling-Betinski became a UMD volunteer in 2010, and she assumed an active role in launching UMD’s Chicago operations in 2011. Currently, UMD Chicago is planning a Gala in honor of Macedonia’s President Dr. Gjorge Ivanov on May 19th at the Hilton Chicago, prior to the NATO Summit.
“I am honored the UMD Board has offered me the challenge of serving as UMD’s first Chicago regional representative,” said Buling-Betinski. “Through the local, national and international initiatives of UMD, we continue creating an even stronger, more vivid, united community of Macedonians – advancing our common cause and interests, and protecting our identity and radiant culture!”
Buling-Betinski is the daughter of Macedonian immigrants, who arrived to Chicago in the 1970s. Life in the U.S. offered her many fascinating experiences and opportunites that reinforced her identity as a proud Macedonian-American. Together, with her sisters and parents, the Buling family spent countless summers traveling back home to Macedonia, to their towns of Berovo and Strumica, where she could experience the essence of Macedonian culture and identity. Now, Buling-Betinski passes on the same traditions to her six-year-old son Vangel, who is already following in his mother’s footsteps.
Buling-Betinski holds a Bachelors of Arts in Professional Psychology, specializing in Organizational/Industrial Psychology. This May, she is starting her Masters in that field. She has spent the last ten years of her career working in Operations Management.