As we approach our 10th anniversary in 2014, the United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) is pleased to announce the appointment of two women to serve as the newest members of the global UMD Board of Directors – Natalia Buling-Betinski of Chicago, Illinois and Vera Najdovska of Windsor, Canada.
“The election of two more women to UMD’s Board reflects our value for diversity – and should inspire more Macedonian women to become leaders and get involved,” said UMD Board Member and global Treasurer Lidija Stojkoska. “Natalia and Vera will be assets to UMD efforts, and I look forward to our collaboration together.”
Natalia Buling-Betinski serves as UMD Director of Charitable Efforts and will continue in this capacity overseeing all of UMD’s global charitable projects. UMD is currently in search for a new Regional Representative for Chicago. Vera Najdovska will take over the new portfolio of UMD Director of Cultural Awareness.
“Natalia and Vera have been an integral part of UMD in their respective communities over the years; their passion, dedication and love for Macedonian causes have made them excel in their work to help our community,” said global UMD Board Chairman Stojan Nikolov. “The visionary and leadership skills Natalia and Vera bring to the table will certainly enrich the important mission of UMD to help Macedonia and Macedonians.”
“The trust UMD has bestowed upon me to join the global Board is humbling, challenging, and above all, a great honor that allows me to fulfill a greater calling to serve and safeguard our Macedonian identity. UMD delivers impact and results in exchange for the confidence and support given by its members,” said Buling-Betinski. “UMD gives out scholarships, provides networking opportunities, delivers humanitarian aid, and most importantly, ensures a professional voice representing the Macedonian Diaspora before decision-makers the world over. I look forward to helping build a safer future for all Macedonians through the work of UMD.”
“I am honored and excited to be part of an organization that I have always held with great respect and admiration. I have followed UMD from its very beginning, and the work that they have done and continue to do is outstanding. Over the years I have seen extremely dedicated and passionate Board members do a great job and I will use their high standards and ethics as an example. I am looking forward to working with everyone and celebrating UMD’s 10th anniversary next year,” said Najdovska.
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 served as UMD’s Regional Representative for Chicago, until her appointment to the global UMD Board of Directors in December 2013.
Buling-Betinski holds a Bachelors of Arts in Professional Psychology, specializing in Organizational/Industrial Psychology, with which she graduated with Honors. This May, she began studying for her Masters in the same field. She has spent the last ten years of her career in Business Operations Management. She is currently a staffing manager at an international Staffing & Consulting firm. 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 2013.
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.