Summit 2024

15-16 May 2024 | Skopje Marriott Hotel

About the Macedonia2025 Summit

The Macedonia2025 Summit is a premier regional gathering that serves as a platform for sharing knowledge, connecting organizations, and inspiring change in Southeast Europe. Having some of the greatest minds in business, science, and technology as our speakers, we shape the present into a tomorrow in a parallel step with the world’s leading countries. Policymakers, companies operating in the region, members of the diplomatic corps and international organizations, as well as academia and civil society members attend the Summit each year.

The 2024 Summit is set to focus on the critical areas and priorities for the sustainable growth of Macedonia, the region, and the broader global community. Our discussions will encompass a diverse range of topics, including digitalization, strategic leadership, anti-corruption measures, artificial intelligence, and much more. As in previous years, the Summit will celebrate the remarkable achievements of individuals and companies from our local and regional community, highlighting the positive impacts of their contributions.

At Macedonia2025, we remain steadfast in our commitment to fostering economic growth and prosperity across Southeast Europe. Through initiatives like the Summit, we aim to facilitate meaningful dialogue, promote learning, and foster collaborations that drive our shared goals forward.

Why should you attend the Summit?

Attending the Summit provides an excellent opportunity to expand your professional network, build valuable relationships, and connect with potential partners, investors, and collaborators. The Summit also features keynote speeches and panel discussions on a wide range of topics related to business, entrepreneurship, and innovation, providing attendees with opportunities to learn from industry leaders and gain insights into emerging trends and best practices. Additionally, attending the Summit can inspire you to think bigger, aim higher, and pursue new ideas and opportunities. For businesses and startups based in Macedonia, the Summit is an excellent platform to gain exposure, showcase products or services, and connect with potential investors or partners. Overall, the Macedonia2025 Summit is a must-attend event for anyone interested in promoting economic growth, development, and innovation in Macedonia and beyond.

Summit starts in:

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Tickets are currently available from US$ 300. Join us on 15-16 May and be part of the change.

Early bird tickets are available until April 1.

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Summit Schedule

Full schedule of keynotes, panels & training sessions

Tuesday

14 May 2024

Wednesday

15 May 2024

Thursday

16 May 2024

Parallel Sessions

18:00 -21:00

VIP Networking Reception

08:00 – 09:00

Registration over coffee

09:00 – 09:30

Official Opening
Michael Cklamovski

Northern Trust

...

Michael Cklamovski is a Senior Managing Director and President of the Northern California region based in the San Francisco office.  In this role, Michael is responsible for leading the Wealth Management business in the Bay Area and neighboring communities.  Previously, Cklamovski served as West Region Market Executive, Managing Director and Banking Team Lead at CIBC Private Bank, and as a Private Client Advisor at US Trust.  Prior to his wealth management experience, Michael was a practicing litigation attorney for Fidelity National Financial. Michael received a dual B.A. degree in both Political Science and Communications from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and a J.D. from the Northern Illinois University College of Law, Cum Laude. Michael has served as an officer and board member with various charitable, civic and educational organizations in the Bay Area and Chicago. Currently, he serves as Chairman of the Board of Macedonia2025, an international ‘thank & do’tank, on the advisory board of the Veteran’s Business Project and as a Fighting Illini mentor serving current student-athletes at his Alma Mater.

Nikica M. Blazhevski

Macedonia2025

...

Professor Nikica Mojsoska-Blazevski is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Macedonia2025. Nikica’s prior experience was in academia, where she served two terms as Dean of the Business School at University American College-Skopje, as well as in the public administration where she worked as a Head of the Macroeconomic Policy Department at the Ministry of Finance of Republic of Macedonia. Nikica has an extensive experience of over 15 years in research, consultancy and advisory in economic policies, social systems and policy, labour markets, and education in Macedonia, as well as the Western Balkan region. She has been so far working with major international economic organisations and institutions, such as the World Bank, ILO, RCC, UNDP, UN Women and the European Commission. Mojsoska-Blazevski is author of many journal articles and several book chapters, mainly in the area of social policy, labour markets, education, gender issues, youth, etc. Nikica has served as an advisor to the government institutions in Macedonia and the Western Balkan region on economic, employment and social policy issues. Nikica is a member of several professional organizations in Macedonia, as well as of well-renowned international scientific organizations.

09:30 - 09:45

Address by Macedonian President

09:45 – 10:30

Navigating Change through Regional Cooperation
Mike Zafirovski

The Zaf Group

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Mike Zafirovski is the Founder, Chairman, and President of The Zaf Group, a family office engaged in operating, investment, and advisory activities. The operating activities include acquiring well-run family businesses with the intention of owning in perpetuity. Currently, the two platform companies are ACP CreativIT, an IT solutions provider and ABCO Systems, a material handling systems integrator for warehouses and distribution centers. Mike is the chairman of both companies, and Mike’s wife Robin is the co-chair of The Zaf Group.Formerly, Mike was an executive advisor to The Blackstone Group (2011-2021) and served on the board of directors of Boeing (2004-2020), Stericycle (2012-2022), Apria Healthcare (2011-2022), Nortel (2006-2009), Motorola (2002-2005), several Blackstone portfolio and other private companies.During his corporate career, Mike served as President/CEO at Nortel, Motorola, and five GE businesses. In 21 years of direct P&L responsibility, revenue growth exceeded 8% per year, annual productivity averaged over 6%, and EBITDA margin increases averaged 350bps per year.From 2006 to 2010, Mr. Zafirovski was appointed by the President of the United States to the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC), providing recommendations to the President on a wide range of policy issues related to telecommunications, IT, cybersecurity, and other national security concerns.The Zafirovski Family Foundation (established in 2005) activities focus on education, healthcare, faith-based ministries, and economic development. A native of Macedonia, Mike is co-founder and director of Macedonia 2025 (www.macedonia2025.com), an organization dedicated to enhancing the country’s economic and democratic development. One of the programs (Zafirovski Executive Development), in partnership with the Kellogg School of Management, is accelerating the development of 100 future CEOs and CXOs in the country.Mike is on Board of Directors of the Special Olympics (www.SpecialOlympics.org). His other philanthropic and civic involvements include: Council of Chief Executives (member, former Chairman), The CEO Forum (member, https://theceoforum.org/Home), American Enterprise Institute (member of National Council), The Halftime Institute (http://halftimeinstitute.org/, completed the Fellows Program in 2017), The Economic Club of Chicago (member, former director), and The Chicago Council on Global Affairs (member). Mike is co-founder of the Faith at Work ministry at the Church of the Holy Spirit in Lake Forest, Il. Mike is the former Chairman of AUSL (www.ausl-chicago.org), an organization that drove education equity at some of the most challenged public schools in Chicago.Mike holds a B.A. in Mathematics from Edinboro University in Pennsylvania, where he captained the soccer and swimming teams. In 2002, Edinboro University awarded him an honorary doctorate degree in public service. He is a visiting lecturer at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. He and his wife Robin are former national chairs of Duke University’s Parents’ Committee.He has received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor (2004); the Distinguished Leadership Award from the NY Hall of Science (2008); the Medal of Honor from the President of Macedonia (2013); and the inagural John L. Bitove Philanthropy Award (2017). In 2018, the Navy Seal Foundation bestowed on Mike and his wife Robin the “Patriot Award,” in recognition of their extensive philanthropic contributions to society, commitment to the Navy Seal community, and spirit and example of patriotism. In 2021, AUSL recognized Mike and Robin for their leadership impact in education.Mike and Robin, married for 40 years, have three married sons and seven grandchildren. All three sons are involved in The Zaf Group. Mike’s hobbies include anything with family, mentoring, friends, travel, and sports (he completed the Kona Ironman Triathlon in 2018, the NYC marathon in 2021, and is beginning to take golf seriously).

John DeBlasio

DT Global

10:30 – 11:30

Keynote Interview: Strategic Leadership in the Era of Change and Innovation
John I. Bitove

Obelysk Inc.

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John I. Bitove has a distinguished record of accomplishment in the corporate, sports and community endeavours. He is the sole shareholder of Obelysk, which has major investments in the wireless, satellite radio, real estate, restaurants and other businesses. He is one of the founders of alternative asset investment firm, PointNorth Capital. Recently Obelysk has obtained the right to develop the Canadian market for Bird e-scooters, and the franchise right to develop Dave’s Hot Chicken restaurants in Canada. Mr. Bitove was the founder, Chairman and controlling shareholder of Canadian Satellite Radio Inc. which brought satellite radio service to Canadians, in partnership with U.S.-based XM Satellite Radio. XM later merged with Sirius to become SiriusXM Canada, Canada’s fastest growing media subscription business with over 3 million subscribers. SiriusXM Canada went public in 2005 and has now gone private with Mr. Bitove remaining as a shareholder. Mr. Bitove was the founder, principal shareholder and CEO of KEYreit, Canada’s premier “small-box” retail property owner with over 220 retail real estate properties in eight provinces across Canada. He was also the founder of Mobilicity, one of Canada’s new entrant wireless operators, which was sold to Rogers in 2015. Mr. Bitove acquired Scott’s Restaurants in 1999. Scott’s was renamed as Priszm and grew to almost 700 restaurants across Canada under the KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell brands, serving 2 million customers a week and employing over 10,000 people. Priszm was eventually taken public as an Income Trust. 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 (now Scotiabank Arena), 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 $3 million helping to make school life more enjoyable for thousands of public elementary school kids.

Marija Desivojević Cvetković

Delta Holding

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Since 2012, Ms. Marija Desivojević Cvetković is the Senior Vice President for Strategy and Development at Delta

Holding. As such she is responsible for creating the company’s business strategy and managing the projects of

strategic importance for the company. Furthermore, she is responsible for all the international business

operations and international relations of Delta Holding. As the Senior Vice President for Strategy and

Development, she is in charge of the IT, HR, CSR and Corporate Communications Sectors.

Previously, she was the CEO of Food Processing, the group which operates as a part of Delta Agrar. During that

time, she organized, managed and was responsible for the operation of Yuhor, Danubius, Florida Bel and Mioni

food processing plants.

Prior to being a part of Delta Holding team, Ms. Desivojević Cvetković was the General Manager of Verano Invest

and the COO at Spinnaker New Technologies, a member of the Comtrade Group.

She holds an M.S. at Faculty of Mathematics, University of Belgrade and an M.B.A. at the Faculty of Economics,

Finance and Administration, Belgrade. In addition to this, she has successfully gained executive education at the

University of Pennsylvania, Wharton Business School (USA), at Oxford Said Business School (UK), Harvard Business

School (USA), and Columbia Business School (USA).

She is a member of the supervisory board of Addiko Bank Serbia, the President of the board of Delta Foundation,

a member of the business club “Privrednik”, the President of the Serbian Triathlon and the Vice President of the

Serbian Olympic Committee.

She is married and mother of two, a passionate marathon runner and an Ironman triathlete.

11:30 – 12:00

Coffee Break

12:00 – 12:30

One-on-one session
Vanja Josifovski

Kumo.AI

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Vanja Josifovski, CTO, PinterestVanja Josifovski is the CTO of Pinterest where he’s responsible for establishing the company’s overall technical strategy as well as leading efforts in the areas of machine learning, search, feeds, and online advertising product development. Prior to serving as CTO, Vanja led the Pinterest Discovery team overseeing content selection for home feed, search and visual discovery, as well as the Growth team responsible for user and engagement growth. Before Pinterest, he worked on large scale machine learning and information extraction at Google Research for products including Search, Search Advertising, Play and YouTube. Earlier, he was Senior Director at Yahoo Research where he led the design and initial development of two major advertising platforms and core Hadoop components.Dr. Josifovski is the co-founder of the new scientific sub-discipline of “Computational Advertising”, which defines the scientific principles behind the online advertising technology. He also taught the first course on this topic at Stanford University. Additionally, he’s an ACM Distinguished Scientist, with over 90 publications in the top peer reviewed conferences and 30 granted patents. He holds a PhD in Computer Science from Linköping University (Sweden), Master’s in Computer Science from University of Florida, and Dipl. Eng. from Ljubljana University. He attended USO Korchagin in Skopje.

Božanka Vitanova

TeamLift

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Bozhanka Vitanova is Co-Founder and CEO of TeamLift, the first HR tech company focused on improving the effectiveness of collaboration within large organizations. TeamLift’s cloud software solution scans how an organization collaborates, makes sense of the connections among employees and uses graph machine learning to suggest actionable improvements.Bozhanka is also a Fulbright scholar and an NSF I-Corps Instructor at Brandeis University. She first got introduced to the entrepreneurship space in 2013, when she co-founded Yunus&Youth (Y&Y), a social business operating in 35+ countries, supported by Nobel Peace Laureate Muhammad Yunus.

12:30 – 13:30

Bits to Bots: Navigating Digital Transformation Strategies for Businesses
Vasko Kronevski

Nextsense

...

Vasko Kronevski, B.Sc. Degree in Information Technology is an established entrepreneur and digital transformation strategist focused on the economic growth of organizations utilizing digital transformation solutions. He has been developing his expertise in digital transformation and ICT business since 1996, being General Manager at software development companies. Vasko is CEO and co-founder of Nextsense, ICT company specialized in digital transformation solutions founded in 2001 and digital transformation leader in the CEE region. Vasko is responsible for shaping the vision, strategy, and directly involved in the digital transformation products strategy. Vasko’s carrier development encounters more than 25 years of professional experience in driving digital transformation processes for prominent enterprises in the telecom and finance industry, as well as governmental institutions across Europe and wider. During his professional journey, he established a valuable partnership with business, government, and academia to generate opportunities and build capacities for sustainable economic growth, helping them build a stronger organization and improve their business opportunities. He is skilled at identifying key economic challenges of organizations and guiding them in implementing digital solutions. His strong vision and expertise in ICT and sustainable economic development placed him among the most engaged experts and digital strategists on international projects and speakers on a wide array of high level (reputable) conferences. As a strategist, strong analyst and mediator, Vasko has been a member (past and present) in many distinguished professional bodies: World Information Technology and Service Alliance (WITSA) Member of Board; MASIT – Macedonian ICT Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Assembly, President of the Board; Vice President; Steering Committee Coordinator; South East Europe ICT Forum Private sector board member; Member of EBA-European Business Association; e-Democracy Conference Chairman.

Katja Mohar Bastar

Digital Innovation Hub Slovenia

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Katja Mohar Bastar holds the position of the director of Digital innovation Hub Slovenia (DIH Slovenia) from March 2020. In the period of last four years, she established fully operational entity with the national and international position among digital innovation hubs and beyond. DIH Slovenia is primarily acting as a SME digitalization one-stop-shop, facilitating the SMEs in the system of digital vouchers subsidizing, raising awareness on the digitalization topics, forecasting the possible paths of SMEs which came through digital transformation – sustainable, social, technology. In 2021 DIH Slovenia has been invited as coordinator of Slovenian digital centre, Technology for the people, which represented Slovenian digital best practices during Slovenian presidency to the EU. In that time, we’ve organized 144 events and 146 best practices were presented. Katja is also active in a National Digital Coalition from 2017 as a co-president of a strategic working group for Regulatory and institutional issues. From 2016 until 2022, she was also active in the section for electronic communications operators at the Association for informatics and telecommunications at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia. Prior 2020 she worked in telecoms regulation for 15 years, first at national regulatory authority (AKOS) as the head of telecommunication department and later at Telekom Slovenia as the head of Regulatory department, also dealing with spectrum auction, universal service and operative regulatory business.

She held Master of science degree in economics, at the moment she is a PHD candidate in the field of information systems at the Faculty for organizational sciences, University of Maribor.

Maria Jose Perea Marquez

LD7 GmbH

...

Since 2018 Maria Jose Perea Marquez is responsible for solution design and venturing as Executive Partner at LD7, a leading digital and technology-enabled transformation agency. She has been pivotal in steering companies across the sectors of financial services, industrial manufacturing, and technology through the intricacies of business model innovation and digital transformation, ensuring their competitive edge in rapidly evolving markets.

 

As a forward-thinking investor, Maria Jose strategically supports tech startups that leverage data monetization and artificial intelligence to craft personalized user experiences. Her investments aim to elevate financial and digital literacy, demonstrating her commitment to harnessing technology for educational advancement and user empowerment.

 

Her entrepreneurial journey was grounded on a solid foundation of leadership roles within corporate and consulting spheres. At Siemens Financial Services, she excelled as the Digital Transformation Lead, devising and executing digital business strategies in collaboration with the company’s industrial divisions and driving growth and innovation at the intersection of technology and finance.

 

At Accenture Maria Jose led transformative projects across Financial Services, Energy Trading, and Captive Financing, managing the complex implementation of regulatory requirements, expansion of products and business regions.

 

In her early career at UniCredit Bank (formerly HypoVereinsbank) she managed a project portfolio to modernize the investment banking division’s systems landscape.

 

Starting at Deutsche Bank as business analyst, Maria Jose was adept at identifying and implementing strategic business solutions.

 

Maria Jose Perea Marquez is recognized as a thought leader in innovation, technology, and leadership. She holds a degree in mathematics and her extensive experience, coupled with a deep understanding of the transformative power of digital technologies, positions her as a guiding force for businesses looking to navigate the future of industry.

Marcin Czyża

Coalition for Polish Innovations

...

Marcin Czyża – President of the Coalition for Polish Innovations.

He is a graduate of Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien (Vienna University of Economics and Business), first- and second-cycle studies in business administration and first-cycle studies in business law.

In the period 2020-2021 he was the Deputy President of the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development (PARP), an organisation which is involved in the implementation of national and international programmes financed from the EU structural funds, state budget and multiannual programmes of the European Commission.

In the period 2019–2020 he was the Vice-President of the Management Board of Warmińsko-Mazurska Specjalna Strefa Ekonomiczna S.A. (Warmia and Mazury Special Economic Zone). He represented the company and supervised its departments, he was also responsible for providing support to small and medium-sized enterprises with both Polish and foreign capital choosing the Special Economic Zone as their place of business.

He has been involved in the energy sector for several years, as well as the financial sector in the area of green energy, reduction of CO2 emissions and energy efficiency. In 2014–2017, he served as Member of the Management Board of CEZ-MOL European Power International B.V., a joint venture company established by the Czech energy giant ĆEZ and the Hungarian fuel holding MOL to build CHP plants in Slovakia and Hungary. Parallel to that, in the period 2015–2017, he worked at ACT Commodities, where he was responsible for concluding transactions on the CO2 emissions market, green certificates and energy certificates.

He has nearly ten years of experience in international management, including the implementation of modern technologies.

He has given interviews on the subject of labour market developments as a result of Brexit in international media, including the BBC, The Financial Times, die Zeit and The Independent. He is also the originator and implementer of a project concerning the recruitment of professionals to work outside the UK.

13:30 – 14:30

Lunch

14:30 – 15:30

Minds and Machines: Unleashing the Power of AI and Machine Learning
Bozhanka Vitanova

TeamLift

...

Bozhanka Vitanova is Co-Founder and CEO of TeamLift, the first HR tech company focused on improving the effectiveness of collaboration within large organizations. TeamLift’s cloud software solution scans how an organization collaborates, makes sense of the connections among employees and uses graph machine learning to suggest actionable improvements.Bozhanka is also a Fulbright scholar and an NSF I-Corps Instructor at Brandeis University. She first got introduced to the entrepreneurship space in 2013, when she co-founded Yunus&Youth (Y&Y), a social business operating in 35+ countries, supported by Nobel Peace Laureate Muhammad Yunus.

Ivan Zografski

Solveo

...

Ivan Zografski is the co-founder of Solveo, a cutting-edge growth and innovation consultancy out of Skopje. We’ve played a crucial role in launching products with over 500 startups globally. At Solveo, he focuses on leveraging customer data and AI to meet needs and streamline business operations. Ivan’s expertise lies in using AI tools for business automation, helping companies become more efficient and responsive to market demands. Through Solveo, he demonstrates a commitment to innovation and practical problem-solving, guiding startups to success in a competitive landscape.

15:30 – 16:30

Succession in Family Businesses: Family Dynamics in the 2nd Generation
Altin Maliqi

Maliqi Group

Gligor Cvetanov

Makprogres

Vladislav Lalic

Goodfaith Strategic Advisory

...

Vladislav was born on September 22nd, 1969, in Belgrade. He finished his compulsory education in Sweden and in the former Yugoslavia. He has a degree in economics from the American University of Greece in Athens, Deree College.

Vladislav began his career in IKEA in Belgrade in 1991, immediately after completing his studies. His successful career in a single, internationally recognized company has been unique in today’s corporate world. Seeing as IKEA’s plans in the region were halted in 1992 due to the political crisis in Yugoslavia, he continued his career in Slovenia, and then in Romania.

He assumed the position of the company’s director for Turkey in 1998, thereby becoming, at merely 29 years old, the youngest director in IKEA (which at the time was present in over 30 countries). During those years, Turkey was the fastest growing market within the entirety of the IKEA system.

As a reward for his achievements, he was named IKEA’s regional director for Turkey, Greece, Egypt, the Middle East, and Central Asia, where he laid the groundwork for the firm’s continued success in that region, which today exceeds 500mn euros in annual turnover.

At the beginning of 2006, he assumed the position of regional director for Southwestern Europe, which encompassed Spain, Portugal, France, Belgium, and the United Kingdom. Alongside being responsible for the entirety of the firm’s strategy and supply chain in that region, he also led the process of establishing IKEA greenfield investment in two furniture production facilities in Portugal, which exceeded 100mn euros.

After IKEA made a strategic decision to return to the region, Vladislav moved back to Serbia in early 2009, where he proceeded to successfully open stores in Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Romania, and Ukraine, totalling investments more than 500mn euros.

Vladislav was the most responsible for IKEA’s return to Belgrade and Serbia after 25 years. In light of that, he was awarded a special award for bolstering Serbian-Swedish relations by the Embassy of Sweden in Serbia.

Since 2020, he is the CEO as well as partner in the consultancy company Goodfaith Strategic Advisory (www.goodfaith.rs). This successful consultancy company presently operates in the region of Southeastern Europe and specializes in two areas: supporting investors based on the “one-stop-shop” principle and assisting with the corporatization and professionalization process of businesses.

He lives and works in Belgrade. Married, father of two sons.

16:30

Unwind with Franck - Refreshments & Cocktails

08:30 – 09:00

Registration

09:00 - 09:15

Address by US Ambassador, H.E. Angela Aggeler (TBC)

09:15 – 10:00

Guardians of Integrity: Tackling Government Corruption for a Prosperous Future
Andrew Wrobel

Emerging Europe

...

Andrew Wrobel is the Founding Partner of Emerging Europe, a London-based intelligence, news and community platform, and the leader of the Tech Emerging Europe Advocates initiative, a member of the Global Tech Advocates network.Trained as a journalist, he specializes in technology and innovation, foreign direct investment, nation branding and soft power, and cross-cultural communications. Andrew regularly interviews political and business leaders and speaks at or moderates international political, economic and technology events, where he promotes discussion about emerging Europe. He is also a juror at various international business-related competitions, a media coach, a location promotion trainer and a media commentator.He has authored and contributed to a number of international business, investment and trade-related publications.

Mark Boris Andrijanič

Kumo.AI

10:00 - 10:30

One-on-one session
Andreas Kostal

KOSTAL Group

...

10:30 – 11:15

FDI Frontiers: Strategies to Attracting Investments in the Global World Era
Viktor Mizo

KOSTAL Group

...

Viktor Mizo is the Managing Director of Kostal Macedonia, part of the German family owned Kostal Group – global leader in design and manufacturing of advanced electronics and mechatronics products for the automotive industry. He is also President of the Association of foreign companies with technologically advanced manufacturing within the auspices of the Economic Chamber of Macedonia and an outside expert for McKinsey on various economic development, FDI and free zones projects around the World. Mr. Mizo brings to Kostal a record of exceptional leadership and strategic vision, responsible for numerous greenfield investment projects by multinational companies that have located their production or service operations in Macedonia as a CEO of the Macedonia Free Zone Authority over a period of six year. Prior to that, he spent four years as CEO of Invest Macedonia, where he played a critical role in putting Macedonia on the radar of potential investors looking to expand in Europe and was a key member of the Government’s economic team. He co-founded and managed a technology company specialized in digital file distribution for mobile phones in Japan, as well as an internet start-up in the media and entertainment space in London and New York. Preceding this, Mr. Mizo was a technology and financial services consultant at McKinsey’s New York office. He began his career as a design engineer at Magna International and a member of the esteemed Technical Leadership Program at General Electric where he worked on locomotive design that culminated in a Black Belt position in the Six Sigma quality initiative. Mr. Mizo received his B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology, graduating summa cum laude. An alumnus of Harvard University, he holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School.

Eileen Sharpe

IDA Ireland

Ahmed Bennis

Tanger Med Zones

...

Ahmed BENNIS is a result driven and accomplished senior director with extensive experience in implementing large

investment projects in ports, industrial and logistics. He acquired a demonstrated expertise in the deployment of

successful business development strategies with strong focus on profitability, cost optimization & establishment of

strategic partnerships.

Ahmed Bennis is actually the Managing Director of Tanger Med Zones (TMZ). He oversees the development,

implementation, and management of Special Economic Zones within Tanger Med Industrial Platform.

He succeeded in the establishment of strategic partnerships, and maintain membership and leadership roles in

international organizations such as International Maritime Organization, UNCTAD, UNIDO, WTO, African Union

Commission…

Prior to his current position, Ahmed BENNIS led the international business development that consist of designing

investment and partnership agreements with several ports and government authorities in Africa. He was also

appointed director of economic zones since 2011, where he was in charge of the implementation of Tanger Med

Automotive Industrial Platform hosting the Renault Nissan car plant and a comprehensive tier1-n ecosystem.

Ahmed BENNIS played an instrumental role in setting up the Africa Economic Zones Organization (AEZO) and the

African Ports Task Force (APTF), where he currently serves as Secretary General of both organizations. He is also a

founding member of the Global Alliance of Special Economic Zones (GASEZ) , an initiative launched in May 2021 by

UNCTAD.

Ahmed Bennis began his professional career in 2001, in IT and Financial services at NEC computers International in

Paris, France. Then he moved to Luxembourg for a business development position at FlexFinance – Oracle Group, prior

to joining Thomson Reuters in Dubai in 2007, where he was appointed to drive sales and presales activities, providing

business solutions and consultancy services for large financial institutions in Middle East and Africa.

Ahmed BENNIS holds an MBA in Market Intelligence and Strategic Management from “Ecole de Guerre Economique –

Paris” and was graduated from HEC Business School. He has strong business communication skills in English, French,

Arabic, Italian and Spanish.

Martin Kaspar

FDI Specialist

...

Martin is a specialist in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and the role of Investment Promotion

Agencies (IPAs) and other Triple Helix structures within this wider context.

As VP Strategy and Corporate Development of a German Mittelstand’s company and hidden

champion in the automotive industry, he is also responsible for internationalization projects

(Greenfields) and has thus first-hand experience of FDI promotion and facilitation from the

corporate perspective.

He has completed his PhD on “The role of Investment Promotion Agencies (IPA) in the location-

choice processes” at Durham University, and is a regular speaker / panelist at national and sub-

national IPAs, International Organizations (UNCTAD, OECD, ILO) and professional bodies (WAIPA,

AIM).

He has been invited to become a member of the Commentary Group on Investment Facilitation,

advise governments on FDI-attraction and is a regular attendee at the BoKoWiTa, bilateral multi-

party coordination meetings, and Ditchley.

Martin has a bi-monthly column in fDi intelligence (the FDI-focused magazine of the FT group)

and is regularly publishing articles in Investment Monitor and UNIDO-IAP.

11:15 – 11:45

Coffee Break

11:45 – 12:15

The Interception of Freedom: Exploring Democracy, Free Speech, and Market Forces in the Digital Age
Chris Pavlovski

Rumble Inc.

...

Chris Pavlovski is a serial and global entrepreneur. On the heels of selling multiple businesses, and founding numerous successful companies, Chris became a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2010. Shortly there after, one of the businesses Chris founded, is a global IT business with offices in Europe & North America. The business was ranked as the 2nd best employer in Macedonia and has been the recipient of numerous awards. Currently, Chris is the CEO and Founder of Rumble.com. Rumble is a video platform that has distribution partnerships with over ten established media companies, including but not limited to Microsoft, Yahoo, and Bell. Chris also sits on numerous boards. He serves on the board of Every Day Child; a non-profit charity organization. He serves on the advisory board of Close.com; a social network for close friends and family, and also sits Macedonia 2025’s Senior Board.

12:15 – 13:15

Global Supply Chain Resilience: Exploring Strategies for Building Resilient and Adaptable Supply Chains in the Face of Global Disruptions
Borijan Borozanov

Johnson Matthey

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Borijan Borozanov has more than 20 years of experience in international management and corporate leadership roles. Currently, he is serving as Manufacturing Director for Central and Eastern Europe for Johnson Matthey, a FTSE 100 company, and a leading global provider of clean air technologies. His earlier work history includes building up the new Delphi Electronic Systems factory and serving as plant manager for Aptiv Services. Borijan had a variety of positions in the European automotive sector before moving back to North Macedonia, including Strategic Manufacturing Footprint Planner as part of his Rotational Leadership Development Program. Additionally, he oversaw Invest Macedonia’s Investor Servicing Division and contributed to the execution of over 12 investment projects in North Macedonia’s automotive supply chain.

Erdžan Prešova

KIA Europe

Dinu de Kroon

McKinsey

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Leads tech-driven productivity transformations in manufacturing, supply chain and procurement in both process and discrete industries.

 

Dinu is a partner at McKinsey’s Zurich office. With a focus on elevating client aspirations in operational performance, he integrates lean principles with cutting-edge AI, digital, and automation technologies. Over the past decade, Dinu has advanced McKinsey’s digitally enabled production system for process industries. Leading the Swiss Operations Hub, Innovation & Learning Centers, and overseeing the Global Lighthouse Network’s activities in EMEA, he is at the forefront of driving impactful change.

Hansjörg Herrmann

KOSTAL Group

13:15 – 14:15

Lunch

14:15 – 15:15

Leveraging Digital Health Innovations for Enhanced Medical Services in Southeast Europe
Vera Stavroff

HerbalScience

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Vera Stavroff is the President & CEO of HerbalScience, AlkaloidUSA, and co-founder of GreenBeauty. Vera works with Tikveš Winery on a joint venture to penetrate the US market under the brand Vergina wines. 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.

Arber Shehu

AstraZeneca

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Dr. Arber Shehu is an Associate Medical Director, the US Medical Affairs, Lung Cancer, Oncology Business Unit at AstraZeneca in Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA. In his current role, within a year, he co-led the launch of FLAURA2 trial, a new treatment option recently approved by FDA for patients with non-small cell lung cancer with EGFR mutation. He and the team at AstraZeneca are diligently working in helping the science to fighting the cancer as a cause of death.

Arber is a physician who graduated from the University of Prishtina in Kosovo. At James Madison University he completed his master’s in health sciences, in Nutrition and Physical Activity.

Before joining AstraZeneca has worked in clinical research at Johns Hopkins University, Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care, co-investigating and coordinating a research program conducting many studies on Covid-19. The multi-institutional group he worked with collaborated with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide the CDC and the White House with information about Covid-19 and influenzae to make public health recommendations and policies.

Arber has co-authored several publications in top medical journals (JAMA, BMJ, MMWR, Clinical Infectious Disease etc,.) on the Covid-19 vaccine effectiveness to prevent hospitalization, ICU admission, organ failure, and death. During the global Covid-19 pandemic he has been a national voice for Kosovo and Albania, updating them with the most recent information on the Covid-19 pandemic.

Arber was honored and invited to be a commencement speaker at James Madison University in 2022 where he delivered a speech to masters and doctoral graduates in their day of graduation.

Arber is also undertaking an MBA program with a focus on Healthcare Management, Innovation, Technology, and Public and Private Sector Leadership at Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School. He envisions bridging private and public sectors to establish mutually beneficial partnerships in healthcare between business, government, and community-based case entities.

Arber is a member of the American Association for Cancer Research, a renowned organization dedicated to advancing cancer research and fostering collaborative efforts in the scientific community. Furthermore, he is a member of Medical Affairs Professional Society, and serves as a Board Member of the James Madison University International Alumni Association, actively contributing their expertise and leadership to foster global connections and support the growth of their alma mater’s international alumni network.

In his free time, Arber enjoys traveling, reading (and is passionate about reading Behavioral Psychology, Leadership, and Clinical Psychology books), running and socializing with friends.

Igor Tulevski, MD

Pulse Cardiology Center

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Igor Ivan Tulevski is Macedonian born cardiologist, living in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. He finished elementary school and gymnasium in Skopje (place of birth), while earned his medical degree, PhD and cardiology residency at the University of Amsterdam (AMC Hospital). Currently Igor is the CEO of the Cardiology Centers of The Netherlands (CCN) www.cardiologiecentra.nl which he founded in 2006. His sub-specializations are congenital cardiology, imaging (PhD thesis) and sport cardiology, He is elected fellow of the European (FESC) and American (FACC) college of cardiology. Igor also serves as a Chairman of the Supervisory Board of de Sionsberg hospital in Dokkum (acquired in 2015). His mission as disruptive innovator in cardiology and healthcare in combination with research have been predominating his professional career.His list of publications can be accessed following this link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=tulevski+iiEntrepreneurship, sports (triathlons, skiing and endurance activities), travelling and his family are the real joy of Igor’s life.

15:15 – 16:15

Data Symphony: Analytics and Intelligence for Business Success
Dusan Mitrev

Pivara

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General Manager of Pivara Skopje AD (Joint Venture of Coca Cola HBC and Heineken), the leading FMCG beverage company in North Macedonia, serving its customers and bringing excitement to consumers for over 100 years. Building on its core categories such as sparkling soft drinks and beer, Pivara Skopje is rapidly evolving into 24//7 leading beverage partner, accelerating into categories such as water, tea, juices/nectars/stills, energy drinks, sport drinks, as well as distributing premium spirits portfolio of well-known global brands. Pivara Skopje AD is also renown as a company leading the trends in people and talent development, bringing substantial know-how of two reputable global companies, and genuinely demonstrating care for the community, with particular focus on empowering youth, ESG and other cultural, sportive and sociological aspects.

Dushan is born 1985 in Skopje. He has started his career in one of the world’s leading consultancy and audit companies, from which after several years joined Pivara Skopje, growing on various finance positions to become Country CFO in the period 2016-2018. Driven by his eagerness for professional development, Dushan continued his professional journey in commercial function, starting as Sales Manager Key Accounts in Pivara Skopje AD, and then gaining international experience as Sales Manager for Coca- Cola HBC B&H. In 2023 he has been appointed as General Manager for Pivara Skopje AD, continuing the growth journey of the company, and sustainably creating value together with its customers, exciting shoppers via unique 27/7 beverage portfolio, and serving the community as responsible corporate citizen.  Dushan holds Bs. In Financial Management from UKIM Skopje, MBA in Corporate Banking & Finance from UACS Skopje and membership from ACCA (Glazgow, UK), as well as numerous professional and leadership courses. He is a member of AmCham Board of Directors as First Vice President and a member of Board of UACS Alumni Association.

Hassan Yasin

Ernest

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Hassan is a Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer at Ernest, a series A start-up building an AI-powered modern construction company. He previously was the first hire at Elemy, a health-tech unicorn, which provided in-home healthcare services to children with Autism throughout the United States. At Elemy he was the Product Manager, building the software and data analytics stack from 0 to 1 and also scaled growth & customer operations leading a team of 50+ from 0 to >$25M in ARR. Hassan studied Natural Sciences, Economics, and Math at Johns Hopkins University.

Doug Levin

Harvard Business School

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Doug Levin, a technology and business expert in AI, cybersecurity, and digital fraud detection, serves on the Board of Directors for ReversingLabs, FiVerity, and SmartOne. Additionally, he contributes as a Board Advisor to Resec and Dowsers. At the Harvard Business School, he serves as an Executive Fellow and teaches entrepreneurship. Levin was the sole founder and first CEO of Black Duck Software, a pioneer in open source software license compliance and malware threat detection (acquired by Synopsys in 2017). Levin also held senior positions at Microsoft over a nine-year period. He also worked on the original Apple Macintosh development team. He recurrently authors the “Lessons from a Startup Life” blog on Substack.

16:15

Unwind with Badel - Cocktails & Refreshments

Tuesday

14 May 2024

Wednesday

15 May 2024

Thursday

16 May 2024

Parallel Sessions

Summit Ticket

300$

  • Entrance to 2 days of Macedonia2025 Summit
  • Networking opportunities with Macedonia2025 Board members, Summit speakers, and other participants
  • Cocktail event on May 15th
  • Food and beverage throughout the event
Get ticket

Summit & Reception Ticket

395$

  • Entrance to 2 days of Macedonia2025 Summit
  • Networking opportunities with Macedonia2025 Board members, Summit speakers, and other participants
  • Cocktail event on May 15th
  • Food and beverage throughout the event
  • Entrance to the VIP networking event on May 14th
Get ticket

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