UMD to Honor Dana Klein and Nicholas Thaw with Macedonia Friendship Awards

The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) will honor two distinguished individuals – Macedonian Honorary Consul General Dana Klein and International Music and Art Foundation’s Nicholas Thaw – with UMD’s Macedonia Friendship Awards at Miami’s renowned Bakehouse Art Complex tonight. Since 2009, both Klein and Thaw have been members of UMD’s Advisory Council.

Macedonia’s new Ambassador to the United States, Dr. Vasko Naumovski, will keynote UMD’s 2nd Annual Making Connections from Miami to Macedonia Reception, organized in partnership with NGO Art Studio. To learn more about the reception, please click HERE.

“Since becoming Honorary Consul of Macedonia to Southeast Florida, Dana has been very effective in increasing the profile and image of Macedonia among Miami’s finest. I doubt many knew about Macedonia in the area before Dana committed to this task. Her poise, compassion, and dedication is exemplary,” said UMD Co-Founder and President Metodija A. Koloski. “As a result of Dana’s efforts, Macedonia’s economic opportunities have peaked the interest of Southeast Florida’s business community, and she has hosted numerous business delegations to Macedonia improving U.S.-Macedonia trade ties.”

“For over a decade, Nicholas has trumped Macedonian cultural promotion in the United States through his work with IMAF, and his wife Irena’s with NGO Art Studio. His first Macedonian project was publishing the book “Macedonian Village Dress: Going, Going, Gone” by Naeda Robinson beautifully illustrating the vanishing styles of Macedonian folk dress. Nicholas’ love for Macedonia and its rich heritage, music, and language is a role-model for any friend of Macedonia,” said UMD Chairman Stojan Nikolov. “Nicholas’ generosity for the creation of the first-ever Macedonian language music CD by the Smithsonian will forever be remembered in U.S.-Macedonian history.”

“We cannot be more pleased that our 2nd Annual Reception has became so popular among Miami’s art scene, diplomatic, and business communities, especially given UMD honoring Dana and Nicholas,” said UMD Miami Representative Mishko Josifov. “We have diplomats attending from the Bahamas, Barbados, Brazil, Estonia, Finland, Jamaica, Macedonia, Slovakia, Taiwan, Thailand, and Turkey”

During the reception, Honorary Consul General Klein will make a special announcement of the appointment of NGO Art Studio’s Ms. Irena Gapkovska as the Honorary Consulate’s Cultural Attaché for Southeast Florida, and Mr. Thaw as Special Attaché.

UMD uses this opportunity to thank the generous support of NGO Art Studio, the Bakehouse Art Complex, Metzler Advisory, Empire Wine, Loews Miami Beach Hotel, and Goran Tevdovski. Proceeds from the evening will go towards UMD’s educational and charitable programs, including flood relief efforts in Macedonia.


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 as a broker and investor.

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. Some specialties include: Marketing Management and Strategy, Project and Yield Management, Branding, Media & Public Relations, Copy Writing, Client, Government, and Investor Relations, and Niche and Target Marketing.

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.

Dana Klein has a Master’s Degree from Emerson College in Media Management and a Bachelor of Science Degree from the Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communications in Radio, Television, and Film Production.

Nicholas Thaw has worked at the International Music and Art Foundation of Vaduz, Liechtenstein ( 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.

Irena Gapkovska is the President and Founder of NGO Art Studio, a non-governmental (not for profit) open art studio founded in 1998 which still operates under her direction in Skopje, Macedonia. Irena was graphic designer for the newspaper Elena and for Nova Makedonija Magazine, receiving a national award for best art illustration. She earned a Master’s Degree in Graphic Art from Ss. Cyril and Methodius University Fine Art Academy in Skopje with her thesis on Symbolism in Art. She studied the ancient Byzantine technique of fresco and Icon painting, which she learned at the Veljusa Monastery, near Strumica, Macedonia. She has also served as Art Mentor for the KIC-QIK Cultural Information Center and as an instructor at the Koncertino Music and Art School, and has represented the Republic of Macedonia at conferences and exhibitions in Switzerland, Poland, Azerbaijan, France, the Netherlands, and the United States. She has been a Resident Artist at the Bakehouse Art Complex in Miami since 2010.

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