Honorary Board Members
Bert van der VaartSEAF CEO and Co-Founder
Bert van der Vaart
Bert van der Vaart co-founded Small Enterprise Assistance Funds in 1989. He managed SEAF’s first fund in Poland from 1994 to 1997, when he became SEAF’s CEO and President. He has led the growth of SEAF to more than $700 million in committed capital, 35 investment funds, and more than 400 investments. SEAF operates throughout Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa.
Prior to 1994, Mr. van der Vaart was a Partner and Associate with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Washington, D.C, and Brussels. Prior to that, he was a management consultant with Bain & Company in London and Munich.
Mr. van der Vaart holds a J.D. from Yale Law School, an M.Phil in Economics and a B.A. in Politics and Economics from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and a B.A. from the University of North Carolina, where he was a Morehead Scholar.
A Dutch national and dual citizen of the Netherlands and the United States, Mr. van der Vaart speaks Dutch, English, German, French, and some Polish.
Susan Niczowski knew her calling early in life. She started her business in the basement of her parent's house, where she and her mother, Francis, thinking 15 years ahead of their time made home replacement dinners years before it became fashionable. In 1991, Susan started Summer Fresh Salads Inc., and at that time, the company focused all of its attention servicing the local Toronto market with , prepared salads creations.
Over the years the company has grown to offer a full line of prepared salads, home meal replacement solutions, dips, appetizers and fresh soups. Since its inception, Summer Fresh Salads Inc. sales has grown in leaps and bounds; a growth of almost $10 million in 3 years, reaching over $41 million in 2005. Summer Fresh has grown today from a Toronto delivery system to a company recognized across Canada and in the USA.
Jerry Naumoff is currently the Minister of Foreign Direct Investments in the Government of the Republic of Macedonia.
Jerry Naumoff’s career in employee benefits, human resources and risk management began in 1980 after he earned a football scholarship at Ball State Universtity while majoring in marketing and business administration. He grew up in Columbus, Ohio where his family, with roots in Gavato, Macedonia, owned and operated a successful restaurant for over 30 years.
With experience from several large insurance companies and top ranked Chicago-based consulting firms he founded The Naumoff Group, Inc., a total risk management advisory firm in 1993. As a serial entrepreneur he also imported mineral water, owned a bar & grill and built one of the first web-based human resource self-service applications.
Jerry and his wife LuAnn live in the Chicago area and have six children, two of whom are twin girls adopted from the Bitola orphanage. Two of their sons are working (one with Cosmic Development) and completing their MBA’s in Skopje.
Steve Sharpe is the President and CEO of Euromax Resources. Mr. Sharpe was previously Senior Vice President, Business Development at European Goldfields Limited from July 2010 until March 2012, where he focused on raising the profile of the Company in the European and North American market and developing the optimum financing solution for the advancement of the Company's gold assets.
Prior to that, he was Managing director (Structured Finance) at Canaccord Genuity. He has over 25 years of investment banking experience, focused on the mining sector and has held senior management positions at Endeavour Financial, Standard Bank, and NM Rothschild & Sons Ltd. Mr. Sharpe holds a BA (Hons) in European Business Studies.
Emil Hristov is a start up entrepreneur in the clean tech industry and has found and managed three companies (EMSA Energy, EMSA Solar, ServoTech). Mr. Hristov found his first company (EMSA Construction) in 2006 and has built the EMSA brand to be a recognized brand in the Renewable Energy Industry in the North-East USA. His latest venture is ServoTech (www.servotechnologies.com), a renewable energy monitoring and energy asset management company.
Mr. Hristov is currently enrolled in the Wharton Business School MBA Program for Executives at the University of Pennsylvania and holds a BS in Architecture from New Jersey Institute of Technology. He also has experience working for members of the US Senate and House of Representatives. Mr. Hristov is a lifetime member of the CEO Clubs of NYC and lives in New Jersey with his wife and two children.
Professor Zoran Jolevski is currently the Minister of defence in the Government of the Republic of Macedonia. Previously he served as an Ambassador of the Republic of Macedonia to the United States . In November 2008, he also has been appointed the Macedonians chief negotiator on name differences with Greece under the auspices of the United Nations. From January 2011 he is non resident Ambassador to Mexico and to Brazil.
From 2000 to 2004, Ambassador Jolevski was Chief of Staff to the late Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski, and served as the Chief Adviser to the Macedonian Government on Macedonia's World Trade Organization accession. He has served in various other capacities in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Working for Booz Allen Hamilton, a leading US consulting firm, he was managing the Macedonian Business Environment Activity and the World Trade Organization Compliance Activity
Ambassador Jolevski has been the founder and the first President of the Institute for Economic Strategies and International Affairs Ohrid. He served also as a President of The Boris Trajkovski International Foundation from 2004 to 2005. Prior to his appointment as ambassador he served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Tobacco Company PRILEP, as well as member of the board of SEAVUS, Airports MACEDONIA and SKOPJE FAIR. He also was Vice Chairman of the UN/ECE Committee on Trade, Industry and Enterprise Development (2005-2007), as well as a Member of Team of Specialists on Internet Enterprise Development at UN/ECE (1999-2003) Ambasador Jolevski holds a Ph.D. in International Economy from the Faculty of Economy, as well as a Master of Science in International Trade Law. He is author of two books, chief editor of several books as well as author of more then hundred articles.
Zoran Jolevski married Suzana Jolevska and they have two sons: Pero (1988) and Filip Jolevski (1992).
Guido Galleni is a Senior Managing Director of KEMET Balkans, in charge of the manufacturing plants in Macedonia and Bulgaria. KEMET is a worldwide leader for electronic components, with 9,000 employees in Europe, Asia and Americas. A native of South Africa, Mr. Galleni joined the company in 1994 within the Italian operations, and moved to Bulgaria in 2000 for managing the company’s first brownfield investment in South East Europe, as well as the Macedonian greenfield investment since 2011. Mr. Galleni is part of the Extended Leadership Team of the KEMET Corporation.
Mr. Galleni is a member of the Managing Board of the Technological Industrial Development Zones (TIDZ) in Macedonia since 2013. The last 4 years, on a pro bono basis, Mr. Galleni has been actively promoting Macedonia’s investment opportunities through participation at various initiatives, road shows and meetings with prospective investors.Guido Galleni is a Senior Managing Director of KEMET Balkans, in charge of the manufacturing plants in Macedonia and Bulgaria. KEMET is a worldwide leader for electronic components, with 9,000 employees in Europe, Asia and Americas. A native of South Africa, Mr. Galleni joined the company in 1994 within the Italian operations, and moved to Bulgaria in 2000 for managing the company’s first brownfield investment in South East Europe, as well as the Macedonian greenfield investment since 2011. Mr. Galleni is part of the Extended Leadership Team of the KEMET Corporation.
Mr. Galleni is a member of the Managing Board of the Technological Industrial Development Zones (TIDZ) in Macedonia since 2013. The last 4 years, on a pro bono basis, Mr. Galleni has been actively promoting Macedonia’s investment opportunities through participation at various initiatives, road shows and meetings with prospective investors.