Tell us something about yourself, and what do you do?
I’m an entrepreneur and active investor in businesses related to commercial real estate, food and beverage sales, and international business development. I try to add value wherever possible by solving problems and bringing people together. I enjoy learning about different economies on a macro level then applying those lessons to the individual projects that I am involved with.
I feel that moving outside you own comfort zone is one of the best ways to grow and to uncover new opportunities. This is one of the reasons I like to travel and meet new people.
You mentioned you have a company that works on importing certain wine and food. Tell us a little
more about the idea behind this company.
Macedonia Importers, LLC was started by myself and several business partners who are Americans of Macedonian ethnicity from Akron, Ohio. Upon our return from a vacation to Macedonia we felt inspired to start a business to import the best wine and food products we could find from Macedonia.
We feel that the quality and awareness of Macedonian wine is underrated globally and even more so in America. We embrace that challenge by educating our customers and retailers about the wine and the country in general. We know most people may have a hard time picking Macedonia out on the map and likely have not traveled there in person. In our opinion, that’s what makes selling Macedonian wines or other Macedonian products fun since many of our customers and retailers regard our products as an exclusive, somewhat exotic item from one of the few unknown locations in Europe.
Our group is passionate about Macedonia and as members of the diaspora we are proud to contribute any way we can to the economic development of Macedonia.
You have taken an active part in the Macedonian Businessmen’s Club. What is the purpose of this
club, and what are the activities that are connected to Macedonia?
The Macedonian Businessmen’s Club is a non-profit social club that was founded in 1950 and remains headquartered in Akron, Ohio, USA. It is believed to be the oldest continually operating business professional’s organization for Macedonian Americans in America.
The goal of the Club is to unite Macedonian Americans by preserving and perpetuating Macedonian cultural heritage. The Club operates several fundraising events each year with the main focus on providing higher education scholarship awards to students of Macedonian descent. Many of our scholarship recipients have become active in the organization as adults.
As a member and Past President, I have had an opportunity to meet many great people who are proud of their Macedonian heritage and continue to find ways to give back to the community with their time or financial resources. Our membership consists of a wide range of ages which makes our events fun and educational with historical items or current topics.
I joined the Macedonian Businessmen’s Club in college and through my experiences as a member I became more charitable and was inspired to visit Macedonia.
Although you live in the States, you try to have a lot of business relationship with Macedonia. How
do you see the diaspora impact on Macedonia and its development?
The diaspora is very valuable to the development of Macedonia. Members of the diaspora can make the most direct impact by sharing and exchanging information or knowledge gained in their respective fields of expertise through organizations like Macedonia 2025 or other contacts they have in Macedonia.
Try to speak with people that you know who reside in Macedonia or have recently arrived in your community from Macedonia. Learn from others about what is needed and try to uncover opportunities.
Decide what you are passionate about, then take action to try to help anyway that you can. Every person in the diaspora is capable of contributing. Some people can give their time, some are great at connecting people, while others may make financial contributions.
Can you tell us a little more about Multimex Americas? What services do you provide, and how many companies have you helped so far to set-up in Macedonia?
Multimex Americas consults and advises American companies on their business relationships in the Balkans. We use our specialized knowledge of local markets and industries to help grow international sales, improve relationships with suppliers and manufacturers, and ultimately help each company exceed their stated goals while doing business in the Balkans. We have a sister office in Belgrade, Multimex Trading, which helps us stay current on issues in the Balkans.
The partners in Multimex Americas come from a diverse business background. We work with and are interested in working with businesses related to advertising and marketing, food and beverages, tourism, automotive, medical, professional services, finance, and real estate
As part of the diaspora, by your opinion, what should the government do in order to enhance the cooperation between both sides?
My hope is that the government can bring people together for a common good. There should be a calling for the diaspora to find a way to contribute their knowledge or expertise for projects related to economic, legal, or humanitarian causes. It would be great to have an advisory council established from which the government can tap into the knowledge base of the diaspora.
The findings or suggestions from these sessions should be made public so the citizens and the diaspora have a dialogue. Drawing from the hundreds of thousands of members of the diaspora, I believe there must be people who could help make an immediate impact on certain topics or projects.
I also believe that a ministry of diaspora should be created which would be focused on communicating and fostering cooperation with the diaspora.
What is your recommendation to anyone who is interested in investing in Macedonia?
Be open minded and diligent. Try to establish a local partner or contact in Macedonia. There are many people in Macedonia who are looking to roll up their sleeves and work on new projects.
Macedonia should continue to promote its geographical location as a logistical hub for sales, manufacturing, and distribution of products for the Balkans and Europe.