Board of Directors

  • Robert Arsov
    Chairman of the Board

    Robert Arsov

    Robert Arsov is a Senior Managing Director at the investment banking and capital markets division of Guggenheim Partners.  Mr. Arsov focuses on advising companies in the Fintech (insurance services and software) and Biotech sectors and has worked with a wide variety of publicly traded and privately held companies on complex U.S. and cross-border assignments.  Mr. Arsov was previously a member of the Mergers & Acquisitions Group at Credit Suisse and its predecessor company Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette. Mr. Arsov received his BS from Haas School of Business at U.C. Berkeley, and currently resides in Greenwich, Connecticut, with his wife and two daughters.

                                                                                                                  

  • Vera Stavroff
    Vice-Chairwoman of the Board

    Vera Stavroff

    Vera Stavroff is the President & CEO of HerbalScience and AlkaloidUSA, and co- founder of GreenBeauty.

    Vera was born in Bitola, Macedonia. Her family emigrated to Ohio's heartland, where she attended The Ohio State University and received her degree in Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering. She worked in the pharmaceutical industry (Abbott Laboratories) for 13 years. Vera joined Limited Brands as a member of the Executive Committee and head of Research & Development, Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs for the Bath & Body Works division. Vera is the recipient of two U.S. and international patents. She resides in Columbus Ohio with her husband Frank and they have two children, Jacquilyn and Jeffrey.

  • Mike Zafirovski
    Co-founder

    Mike Zafirovski

    Mike Zafirovski is founder/president of The Zaf Group, a management consulting and investment firm. The Blackstone Group is the firm's principal client where Mike is an executive advisor and also serves on the board of directors of three Blackstone companies: non-executive chairman of DJO Global Inc and PGI Inc, and independent director for Apria Healthcare Services. Since 2004, he has also served on the board of directors of Boeing, and since 2012, on the board of Stericycle.

    Previously, in a 34-year corporate career, he served 21 years as President/CEO/COO at Nortel, Motorola, and five GE businesses in the high tech, industrial, consumer, and financial services industries. Demonstrated ability to develop strategy, simplify complexity, attract and develop strong teams, and drive execution (in the 21 years of P&L responsibility, revenue growth exceeded 8% per year and EBITDA gains averaged 350 BPs per year).

    Among his philanthropic activities, he is vice chairman and leads the strategy committee for AUSL, the organization that helps turnaround the most challenged public schools in Chicago. He is a co-founder and director of Macedonia 2025, an organization dedicated to enhancing the country’s economic and democracy developments. He is also a vice chairman of UI Labs, a research and commercialization collaborative focusing on digital manufacturing, design innovation, and “smart city” solutions.  He is a visiting lecturer at the Northwestern Kellogg School of Management and Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. He and his wife, Robin, are past national chairs for Duke University's Parents' Committee. Mike, Robin and their three sons Matt, Kirk and Todd are officers of the Zafirovski Family Foundation, formed in 2005 focusing on education and health issues.   

    From 2006 to 2010, Mr. Zafirovski was a presidential appointee to the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC). NSTAC provides analytics and recommendations to the President of the United States on a wide range of policy and technical issues related to telecommunications, information systems, information assurance, infrastructure protection, and other national security and emergency preparedness concerns.

    Zafirovski holds a B.A. in mathematics from Edinboro University in Pennsylvania where he captained the intercollegiate soccer and swimming teams. In 2002, Edinboro University awarded him an honorary doctorate degree in public service. A native of Macedonia, he received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2004 and the Medal of Honor from the President of Macedonia in 2013.  He also received the Distinguished Leadership Award from the NY Hall of Science in 2008.

  • John I. Bitove
    Co-founder

    John I. Bitove

     

    John I. Bitove has a distinguished record of accomplishment in the corporate and sports endeavours as well as community service in Canada. He is the sole shareholder of Obelysk, which has major investments in the wireless, satellite radio, real estate and other businesses. He is one of the founders of alternative asset investment firm, PointNorth Capital.

    He was Chairman and Director of SiriusXM Canada, Canada’s fastest growing media subscription business with 2.6 million subscribers. He was the principal shareholder and CEO of KEYreit, Canada’s premier “small-box” retail property owner with over 220 properties in eight provinces across Canada. He was the founder of Mobilicity, one of Canada’s new entrant wireless operators, recently sold to Rogers.

    A passionate Canadian, Mr. Bitove was the volunteer President and Chief Executive Officer of Toronto’s Bid for the 2008 Olympic Games (awarded to Beijing, China). He was the head of the organizing committees that brought the successful World Indoor Athletics (Track & Field) Championships and World Championships of Basketball to Canada in 1993 and 1994 respectively.

    In 1993, he founded the Toronto Raptors Basketball Club. He led the NBA franchise-bid process, launched the team and created the Air Canada Centre, Toronto’s major sports and entertainment venue.

    A strong believer of giving back to the community, Mr. Bitove founded S’Cool Life Fund, to support public elementary schools across Canada. Since the launch in 2005, S’Cool Life Fund has raised and donated over $2.8 million helping to make school life more enjoyable for thousands of public elementary school kids.

  • Mitre Kutanovski
    Co-founder

    Mitre Kutanovski

    Mitre Kutanovski is a Co-founder and a former Chairman of Macedonia 2025. Under the leadership of Mr. Kutanovski Macedonia 2025 opened a second office, started an annual golf outing and launched a series of business and professional networking opportunities for the Diaspora.

    Prior to his involvement with Macedonia 2025, Mr. Kutanovski was the President and CEO of the Mitre Group Inc. a company that consists of: Crown Financial Advisors; Mitre Group LLC. Broker Dealer; Classic and Crown Mortgage Solutions; Crown Tax and Business Services; Crown Insurance Group; Crown Travel Agency; and the weekly radio program Voice of Macedonia.

  • Zoran Martinovski

    Zoran Martinovski

    Mr. Zoran Martinovski is a U.S. educated business professional with over 20 years of diverse business experience. Since 2000, he serves as the Manager at the World Bank's International Finance Corporation for Macedonia and Montenegro. The corporation is in charge of IFC's private sector investments and advisory programs within the country. Mr. Martinovski's past experiences include working for several prominent companies in Macedonia, Europe and the United States. Among those companies are Philips Electronics, Lexmark International, CKRA Central Kentucky Research Associates, PEM Consulting, TLC Vienna and Tehnometal-Vardar.

  • Zhivko Mukaetov

    Zhivko Mukaetov

    Zhivko Mukaetov heads Alkaloid AD Skopje, Macedonia’s largest pharmaceutical company. He also sits on the boards of various institutions in Macedonia and abroad, including Vice-President of the Macedonian Chamber of Commerce, Board Member of the US-based organization Macedonia 2025, Board Member Summit 100 Business Leaders of SEE. Mukaetov is involved in numerous activities fostering social responsibility. The foundation he runs has granted 264 scholarships to students of medicine and pharmacy since its establishment in 2007. For his extraordinary involvement in the sphere of business and corporate social responsibility, he has been awarded various national and international acknowledgments, such as the Mother Theresa and Golden Medal granted by the Red Cross of Macedonia. In 2007, he was appointed Consul General of the Kingdom of Denmark to Macedonia.

     

  • Chris Pavlovski

    Chris Pavlovski

    Chris Pavlovski is the founder and CEO of Rumble, a full-service video platform and a top 100 web site connecting creators to publishers and advertisers, helping them better monetize their work through a variety of distribution and licensing models.

    Prior to Rumble, Chris worked for Microsoft and studied at the University of Toronto. Chris also founded Cosmic Development, an IT outsourcing and consultancy firm in Canada, Macedonia, and Serbia. He was also on the Board for Next Giant Leap, a space exploration company competing for the $30 million-dollar Google Lunar X Prize.

    Chris was selected as a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of The Year 2010 Awards. He serves on the board of Every Day Child, a non-profit charity organization. 

     

  • Peter Simeon

    Peter Simeon

    Peter Simeon is an experienced corporate commercial and securities lawyer. As a partner in Gowlings’ Toronto office, Peter focuses his practice on corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, and structured products.

    Working closely with issuers, underwriters, and other corporate clients, Peter delivers practical, effective advice to help businesses move their transactions forward. He has acted for clients across a range of industries, such as mining, energy and technology. His expertise includes:

    Public offerings, including initial public offerings (IPOs); Private placements; Reverse takeovers and qualifying transactions; Bought deal financings; Secondary offerings; Share and asset purchase transactions

    In addition to his work in private practice, Peter is also an experienced in-house lawyer. He spent several years as corporate counsel at a multinational technology company, and completed a secondment at the Ontario Securities Commission in its Market Regulation Group.

  • Jim Nikopoulos

    Jim Nikopoulos

    Jim Nikopoulos is the President of ECN Capital Corp., a leading commercial finance company formed from the October 2016 separation of Element Financial Corporation into two market leading companies – Element Fleet Management and ECN Capital. Prior to this, Mr. Nikopoulos served as Chief Operating Officer of ECN Capital and an executive at Element.

    Before joining Element, Mr. Nikopoulos was an executive at TeraGo Inc., a TSX-listed data centre and managed services company. He was previously a Partner at Davies Ward Phillips and Vineberg LLP.

    Mr. Nikopoulos is Board Chairman of TeraGo Inc. and an active director on numerous charitable and private boards.

    Mr. Nikopoulos earned his Honours B.A. degree (Economics & Political Science) from the University of Toronto and Law degree (JD) from Osgoode Hall Law School. Mr. Nikopoulos was named one of Canada's Top 40 under 40 Lawyers by Lexpert in 2014.

  • Robert Stevanovski

    Robert Stevanovski

    Robert Stevanovski is Co-Founder and Chairman of ACN Inc., the world’s largest direct selling telecommunications service provider. After entering the network marketing arena in the late 1980s, Robert held senior positions with two highly successful marketing companies.  These experiences positioned him as one of the driving forces behind the formulation of ACN. Robert has worked hard from the beginning, investing his own time and money to make a name for ACN in this highly competitive field. His leadership training began at a young age as he witnessed his workaholic father run their family’s restaurant business. He learned how to work with employees, vendors and customers – skills he continues to use to this day. He also learned that to be a great leader you must understand the position of those you wish to lead.

    With over 20 years experience in the network marketing arena, Robert Stevanovski has become a vital player in managing ACN’s day-to-day business operations, while also playing an integral role in ACN’s product expansion and European operations. In fact, Robert personally spearheaded the building of ACN’s own Digital Phone Service network and pushed for the latest technology in Videophones. He knows that the days of talking to someone on the phone and not seeing them are coming to an end. In the future, everyone will have a video phone. He’s placed ACN there now.

    In addition to his daily operational duties, Robert is a distinguished ACN Board Member. His success has not slowed him down but rather encouraged Robert to continually reevaluate himself and his company. He constantly strives to be better and encourages others to work hard in relentless progression toward greater success.

    -Managed several businesses throughout the 1980s, directly influencing growth and expansion.

    -Held senior positions with two highly successful direct selling companies.

    -One of the driving forces behind the formulation of ACN and a vital player in managing the company’s day-to-day business operations. 

  • Nevenka Dimitrova, Ph.D

    Nevenka Dimitrova. Ph.D

    Nevenka Dimitrova, Ph.D., is a CTO of Genome Informatics at Philips. She has been at Philips since 1995. Nevenka Dimitrova was born in Negotino, Republic of Macedonia. She is the Chief Technology Officer of Genome Informatics at Philips. With her technology passion and intrapreneurial mind, she has been in diverse areas of signal processing, cognition, genomics, healthcare informatics. She believes that innovation happens at the confluence of diverse disciplines and cultures, and has led collaborations with with research institutes and companies.  Her bibliography contains over 130 scientific articles and 50 issued patents.  Recently she has been given the Gilles Holst award - the highest science and technology peer recognition prize at Philips.

  • Ana Arsov

    Ana Arsov

    Ana Arsov is a Managing Director in Moody’s U.S. Financial Institutions team. Ana has ratings coverage responsibility for the large global systemically important universal and investment banks (European and North America based banks), securities firms, and non-bank finance ratings portfolios. Ana has extensive experience in analyzing financial institutions and managing credit professionals. Prior to joining Moody’s, Ana’s most recent role was at UBS, where she spent the last several years as Executive Director in Credit Risk, responsible for financial institutions. Prior to UBS, she was Head of Global Portfolio Management-Credit Risk Management at Morgan Stanley, focusing on comprehensive coverage, identification and analysis of risks across the firm’s trading and lending businesses. Ana began her career in Credit Risk Management at Lehman Brothers in various credit risk roles, ultimately heading up the North American Financial Institutions and Structured Finance team. Ana holds a master’s degree in Management (with a specialization in Financial Services and Banking) from Boston University, and a bachelor’s degree in Business from Pace University, New York. Ana was born in Skopje, Macedonia and resides in Greenwich Connecticut with her husband and two young daughters.

  • Michael Cklamovski

    Michael Cklamovski

    Michael Cklamovski is a Vice President and Private Client Advisor with U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management, in Chicago. Michael works with a diverse clientele including entrepreneurs, business owners, professional athletes, and multi-generational families. Prior to joining U.S. Trust, he served as Litigation Counsel at an International Law Firm and as an Associate in the Pharmaceutical industry, overseeing domestic FDA process along with International Mergers and Acquisitions.

    Michael earned his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and his J.D. from Northern Illinois University, where he was the only student-athlete in the United States to play Division I Football while enrolled in Law School.  Michael is also a Founding Member of the Heroh Foundation.

  • Jana Marin

    Jana Marin

    Dr. Jana Marin graduated from the Faculty of Dentistry at the "St. Cyril and Methodius" University in Skopje, Macedonia. She attained a Master's degree in International Healthcare Management, Economics and Policy at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. Dr. Marin obtained her first professional experience in healthcare management in the Quality Department of the German unit of Capio Group , Capio Deutsche Klinik GmbH.

     She developed an important, formative part of her professional expertise while working at the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Macedonia. During her appointment as Advisor to the Minister of Health, Dr. Marin was personally involved in a broad spectrum of issues of concern to National Healthcare Policies and Economic Planning of Public Health in Macedonia.

    Her educational background, coupled with the expertise she obtained in the last decade of independent, intensive, daily involvement in decision making processes, paved the way to Dr. Marin being holding key management positions. Due to her proven managerial capability and particularly her innovative approach to problem solving, she had been entrusted with management of key projects. Recently, she led the team, which successfully completed the prominently complex and important Joint Commission International Accreditation process and thus, brought Acibadem Sistina Hospital the title of First JCI Accredited Hospital in Macedonia.

  • Alek Icev

    Alek Icev

    Alek Icev is a Macedonian-American computer scientist and high tech executive based in Seattle, WA. Alek’s research background is in machine learning, data mining and bioinformatics. Alek’s industry experience spans designing core algorithms for life sciences startups, helping scale large enterprise software solutions and leading several engineering teams focused on making Google’s ads systems and platforms smarter. In his free time he is trying to find a sweet spot in his passion for techno-progressivism, stoicism and singularity while being below average soccer player and aspiring yogi. Alek and his wife Kati are blessed of being parents to two kids who share their excitement about skiing and the great northwest pacific outdoors.

  • Kati Iceva

    Kati Iceva

    Kati Iceva is computer science engineer and leader with 15 years of experience building and shipping Microsoft products.  As Principal Software Engineering Manager in Microsoft’s Big Data organization she currently helps shape and develop Azure Stream Analytics, a cutting-edge real-time highly scalable analytics cloud service. Her previous contributions span data technologies including multiple versions of the .NET Entity Framework and Power Query.  With her work, she hopes to contribute to advancing quality of human lives and health.

    Seeded in her experience of working on three continents, Kati has strong passion for enabling and supporting diverse and inclusive teams and working environments. Hoping to see more women thrive in technology industries, she takes advantage of every opportunity to encourage girls to explore computer science.

    Kati holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Ss. Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje and Master of Science degree in Computer Science from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

    She resides in Seattle, Washington with her husband Alek and their two children. Outside of work, you can find her practicing yoga, skiing, running, hiking or in spite of not having any noteworthy athletic achievements, as aspiring practitioner of growth mindset, attempting to pick up new sports, the latest being figure skating.

  • Jerry Naumoff

    Jerry Naumoff

    Former Minister Jerry Naumoff will remain in Macedonia in the private sector continuing to focus on business opportunities that bring high quality, well-paid jobs to the country.

    On May 23, 2013 Jerry was approved by Parliament and became Minister for Foreign Investments in the Government of the Republic of Macedonia and served as Minister until June 2017. During his 4 year mandate as Minister he attracted and realized 26 investment projects from 12 countries representing 200 million euros of capital investments and 5,000 direct jobs projected out over 5 years in the IT, BPO, Energy, Agricultural, Rx and Manufacturing Sectors.

    In 2016 Minister Naumoff received the Veles (Macedonia) Municipality’s “9th November Award” for “Contribution of Economic Development”. Jerry also received the “2014 Macedonian Hall of Fame Award” from The Macedonian Businessman’s Club of Akron, Ohio (USA).

    Prior to his appointment as Minister, he was the Founder & President of The Naumoff Group, Inc. which was a total risk management advisory firm since 1993. The Naumoff Group, Inc. had a diverse group of internationally known and Chicago headquartered corporate clients from a wide array of industries.

    As an entrepreneur Jerry also imported mineral water from Europe, owned a restaurant and built one of the first web-based HR self-service applications that was later purchased by ADP.

    He gained successful marketing and management experience from two Fortune 500 financial insurance companies and two top-ranked Chicago-based brokerage/consulting firms from 1980 to 1993. Throughout his corporate career he was promoted numerous times and achieved many national sales production and office management awards. He was appointed “Advisory Council to the President” by the CEO of one of the largest financial companies in the world. He has published the articles, “Healthcare Reform” and “Self-Funding for Small Businesses” for Business Insurance Magazine.

    Jerry is an Honorary Board Member for two worldwide non-profit organizations, Macedonia 2025 and United Macedonia Diaspora, focused on the economic development of Macedonia. In 2012 he was selected by United States Senator Mark Kirk (R-Illinois) to serve on his European Advisory Board representing the Chicago area Macedonian-American community. Recently he was appointed Distinguished Fellow of New Westminster College, Vancouver, Canada. Jerry is a frequent keynote speaker around the world at top international business forums regarding the latest economic development topics.

    Jerry’s professional career began in 1980 after he earned a football athletic scholarship at Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and Business Administration. He grew up in Columbus, Ohio in a large immigrant family with roots from Gjavato, Macedonia. From his youth, he worked alongside his extended family in the restaurant they owned and operated for many years.

    Jerry has been married to LuAnn Naumoff for over 30 years, and their six children all live in Macedonia.

  • Mihail Mateski

    Mihail Mateski

    Mihail Mateski is General Manager and Partner of Greentech, Serbia and Macedonia. Greentech is a leading recycler of PET packaging and is a member of Green Group which is the largest PET bottle recycler in Eastern Europe. Mr Mateski has extensive experience in packaging waste management, plastic processing, business development, sales, international trading, production management and team leadership. 

    Mr Mateski has served as General Manager of Greentech since 2002. From 2000 to 2002, he served as an international trade consultant for the Macedonian Business Resource Centre. From 1996 to 2000, he served in sales management for Setkom and Setkom Industries.

    Mr Mateski is the founder of the Serbian Association of Packaging Waste Recyclers, is an active member of the Serbian Solid Waste Association (SESWA), a founder of the Macedonian Solid Waste Association (MASWA), and is former President of the Recycling Council within the Serbian Chamber of Commerce.

    Mr Mateski has a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from St. Kiril and Methodius Skopje University.