Core Team

Natko Vlahovic

Founder and CEO   

Natko, as the founder and CEO, is the key figure in all strategic matters at Vlahovic Group. As a true lobbying heavyweight with experience in Washington D.C., Brussels and Zagreb, Natko’s expertise is a crucial ingredient in achieving success for our clients.

Natko earned a B.A. in Political Science from St. Francis College, Brooklyn, NY (1999), an M.A. in Croatian Political System and Administration from the Faculty of Political Science in Zagreb (2005) and an Executive M.B.A. from the Bled School of Management in Slovenia (2006). In 1999, Natko took the first steps of his professional career at the Croatian Embassy in Washington D.C., where he worked on trade promotion and investment relations projects. From 2005 to 2011, Natko led the Brussels office of the Croatian Chamber of Small and Medium Enterprises (HOK), advocating for the interest of its members in the EU capital.

In 2015, Natko co-authored the first book on professional lobbying in Croatia, A Professional Lobbyist – An Interest Advocacy Manual. Natko regularly contributes to the government relations and business communities, evident from his role as a founding member of the Croatian Society of Lobbyists and serving in numerous key roles since then. It is safe to say that Natko has pioneered the lobbying business in Croatia and the Western Balkans. Natko also held the position of Untitled Governor at AmCham Croatia and was a two-term external member of the Croatian Parliament’s European Affairs Committee. In 2005, he co-founded the Croatia-EU Business Council.

Having played collegiate basketball in the US, Natko knows the importance of being a team player and always supports his teammates.

Natko Vlahovic

Founder and CEO   

Natko, as the founder and CEO, is the key figure in all strategic matters at Vlahovic Group. As a true lobbying heavyweight with experience in Washington D.C., Brussels and Zagreb, Natko’s expertise is a crucial ingredient in achieving success for our clients.

Natko earned a B.A. in Political Science from St. Francis College, Brooklyn, NY (1999), an M.A. in Croatian Political System and Administration from the Faculty of Political Science in Zagreb (2005) and an Executive M.B.A. from the Bled School of Management in Slovenia (2006). In 1999, Natko took the first steps of his professional career at the Croatian Embassy in Washington D.C., where he worked on trade promotion and investment relations projects. From 2005 to 2011, Natko led the Brussels office of the Croatian Chamber of Small and Medium Enterprises (HOK), advocating for the interest of its members in the EU capital.

In 2015, Natko co-authored the first book on professional lobbying in Croatia, A Professional Lobbyist – An Interest Advocacy Manual. Natko regularly contributes to the government relations and business communities, evident from his role as a founding member of the Croatian Society of Lobbyists and serving in numerous key roles since then. It is safe to say that Natko has pioneered the lobbying business in Croatia and the Western Balkans. Natko also held the position of Untitled Governor at AmCham Croatia and was a two-term external member of the Croatian Parliament’s European Affairs Committee. In 2005, he co-founded the Croatia-EU Business Council.

Having played collegiate basketball in the US, Natko knows the importance of being a team player and always supports his teammates.

Miljenko Pekic

Chief Operating Officer   

As Vlahovic Group’s Chief Operating Officer, Miljenko ensures our daily operations run smoothly and efficiently. In addition to overseeing internal processes, he supervises and coordinates client work in the areas of healthcare, environment, food and agriculture, and energy.

Miljenko is a seasoned veteran who spent 24 years in the civil service, during which he specialized in strategic leadership and planning. Miljenko is proud to have participated in designing and improving the legislative framework of the overall civil service system. He spent a portion of his illustrious career as a diplomat. He holds a Master of Science degree in Business Intelligence which he earned at the Faculty of Economy in his hometown of Osijek.

In his spare time, Miljenko is a competitive road cyclist and has participated in numerous international cycling marathons.

Miljenko Pekic

Chief Operating Officer   

As Vlahovic Group’s Chief Operating Officer, Miljenko ensures our daily operations run smoothly and efficiently. In addition to overseeing internal processes, he supervises and coordinates client work in the areas of healthcare, environment, food and agriculture, and energy.

Miljenko is a seasoned veteran who spent 24 years in the civil service, during which he specialized in strategic leadership and planning. Miljenko is proud to have participated in designing and improving the legislative framework of the overall civil service system. He spent a portion of his illustrious career as a diplomat. He holds a Master of Science degree in Business Intelligence which he earned at the Faculty of Economy in his hometown of Osijek.

In his spare time, Miljenko is a competitive road cyclist and has participated in numerous international cycling marathons.

Tomislav Lacovic

Senior Director and Head of Strategic Communications   

Tomislav is the digital practice lead, focusing on the EU Digital Agenda and on fintech. He takes a keen interest in emerging tech trends such as AI, IoT, and disruptive processes in the digital ecosystem value chain. He is also the head of strategic communications.

Tomislav holds an M.A. from the Faculty of Political Science in Zagreb. During his studies, he successfully completed a one-year internship in the Croatian Parliament as an MP assistant. He has meaningful experience in the state administration. Between 2010 and 2015 he worked in the Office of the President of the Republic of Croatia as an expert associate and advisor within the President’s Cabinet. Furthermore, he enriched his experience working as the Head of marketing and PR at the largest private eye care hospital in SEE and as a digital account director in the vibrant environment of a full-scale marketing and PR agency.

Outside the business arena, Tomislav is an adventurous traveler and recreational athlete, as evident from his cycling tour across the CEE region.

Tomislav Lacovic

Senior Director and Head of Strategic Communications   

Tomislav is the digital practice lead, focusing on the EU Digital Agenda and on fintech. He takes a keen interest in emerging tech trends such as AI, IoT, and disruptive processes in the digital ecosystem value chain. He is also the head of strategic communications.

Tomislav holds an M.A. from the Faculty of Political Science in Zagreb. During his studies, he successfully completed a one-year internship in the Croatian Parliament as an MP assistant. He has meaningful experience in the state administration. Between 2010 and 2015 he worked in the Office of the President of the Republic of Croatia as an expert associate and advisor within the President’s Cabinet. Furthermore, he enriched his experience working as the Head of marketing and PR at the largest private eye care hospital in SEE and as a digital account director in the vibrant environment of a full-scale marketing and PR agency.

Outside the business arena, Tomislav is an adventurous traveler and recreational athlete, as evident from his cycling tour across the CEE region.

Fabijan Popovic

Senior Account Manager  

Fabijan manages clients across all sectors but has a stronger focus on fintech and retail. He is well-versed in day-to-day Association Management and building long-term relationships within business associations. Having a keen eye for upcoming policy issues, Fabijan is an integral part of the firm’s business development operations.

Fabijan earned an M.A. in Public Policy and Management from the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Political Science. During his studies, he specialized in public policy, political psychology and EU policy. To further hone his skills, Fabijan interned at the Croatian Representation of the European Commission in Zagreb.

Prior to joining Vlahovic Group, Fabijan worked as a PR Associate at the Croatian Chamber of Trades and Crafts. In his spare time, Fabijan is an avid combat sports practitioner and aficionado.

Fabijan Popovic

Senior Account Manager  

Fabijan manages clients across all sectors but has a stronger focus on fintech and retail. He is well-versed in day-to-day Association Management and building long-term relationships within business associations. Having a keen eye for upcoming policy issues, Fabijan is an integral part of the firm’s business development operations.

Fabijan earned an M.A. in Public Policy and Management from the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Political Science. During his studies, he specialized in public policy, political psychology and EU policy. To further hone his skills, Fabijan interned at the Croatian Representation of the European Commission in Zagreb.

Prior to joining Vlahovic Group, Fabijan worked as a PR Associate at the Croatian Chamber of Trades and Crafts. In his spare time, Fabijan is an avid combat sports practitioner and aficionado.

Andrea Grubisic

Account Manager

Andrea focuses on developing market access strategies and supporting investors by connecting with public and other stakeholders at the national and local levels, facilitating their communication and permit lobbying. She is also an expert in event management.

During her longstanding work in the field of business internationalization within a business association, she gained relevant experience in providing investors support in identifying and implementing investment projects in Croatia, solving administrative and legal procedures during project implementation as well as supporting foreign companies in starting and expanding their business operations in Croatia.

Andrea graduated from the Faculty of Economics, University of Zagreb, and additionally specialized in the field of investment promotion and internationalization of business by attending courses in the country and abroad. She has extensive experience in project management, planning, coordination and implementation of promotional campaigns.

In her free time, she likes to relax by hiking.

Andrea Grubisic

Account Manager

Andrea focuses on developing market access strategies and supporting investors by connecting with public and other stakeholders at the national and local levels, facilitating their communication and permit lobbying. She is also an expert in event management.

During her longstanding work in the field of business internationalization within a business association, she gained relevant experience in providing investors support in identifying and implementing investment projects in Croatia, solving administrative and legal procedures during project implementation as well as supporting foreign companies in starting and expanding their business operations in Croatia.

Andrea graduated from the Faculty of Economics, University of Zagreb, and additionally specialized in the field of investment promotion and internationalization of business by attending courses in the country and abroad. She has extensive experience in project management, planning, coordination and implementation of promotional campaigns.

In her free time, she likes to relax by hiking.

Tomislav Vidovic

Account Manager   

Tomislav is specialized in public policy analysis across all sectors with a strong focus on digital, FMCG and consumer protection. Through working on a variety of accounts at VG, Tomislav has relevant experience in conducting policy research, comparative policy analysis and policy process monitoring.

He holds an M.A. in Public Policy and Management from the Faculty of Political Science, University of Zagreb. As part of his research for his M.A. thesis, Tomislav conducted extensive interviews with lobbyists and was given the opportunity to acquire an in-depth grasp of the government relations industry.

Tomislav completed an internship at EY’s office in Zagreb, prior to joining Vlahovic Group. As a Master’s student, he garnered additional experience by completing an internship at the Hanns Seidel Stiftung in Zagreb. Tomislav also worked in the retail and hospitality industries during his studies. In his spare time, Tomislav enjoys padel, basketball and jogging, as he is a big sports enthusiast.

Tomislav Vidovic

Account Manager   

Tomislav is specialized in public policy analysis across all sectors with a strong focus on digital, FMCG and consumer protection. Through working on a variety of accounts at VG, Tomislav has relevant experience in conducting policy research, comparative policy analysis and policy process monitoring.

He holds an M.A. in Public Policy and Management from the Faculty of Political Science, University of Zagreb. As part of his research for his M.A. thesis, Tomislav conducted extensive interviews with lobbyists and was given the opportunity to acquire an in-depth grasp of the government relations industry.

Tomislav completed an internship at EY’s office in Zagreb, prior to joining Vlahovic Group. As a Master’s student, he garnered additional experience by completing an internship at the Hanns Seidel Stiftung in Zagreb. Tomislav also worked in the retail and hospitality industries during his studies. In his spare time, Tomislav enjoys padel, basketball and jogging, as he is a big sports enthusiast.

Sandra Komorski

Office Manager  

As our Office Manager, Sandra ensures everyone feels welcome when visiting Vlahovic Group. She takes care of all administrative obligations, making her a vital part of the firm’s day-to-day activities.

Sandra has 25 years of experience as the Office Manager at some of the leading Fortune 500 companies based in Croatia, spanning from the pharmaceutical to consumer goods to insurance sectors. Due to the variety of corporate cultures she has worked in, Sandra prides herself in being highly adaptable to any administrative challenge that comes her way. Sandra holds a B.A. degree from the Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Zagreb.

In her spare time, she enjoys practicing Pilates and hiking.

Sandra Komorski

Office Manager  

As our Office Manager, Sandra ensures everyone feels welcome when visiting Vlahovic Group. She takes care of all administrative obligations, making her a vital part of the firm’s day-to-day activities.

Sandra has 25 years of experience as the Office Manager at some of the leading Fortune 500 companies based in Croatia, spanning from the pharmaceutical to consumer goods to insurance sectors. Due to the variety of corporate cultures she has worked in, Sandra prides herself in being highly adaptable to any administrative challenge that comes her way. Sandra holds a B.A. degree from the Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Zagreb.

In her spare time, she enjoys practicing Pilates and hiking.

Advisory Group

Professor emeritus Ivo Josipovic, PhD

Chairman of the Advisory Group

Prof. Ivo Josipovic, Ph.D. was the third President of the Republic of Croatia, with his term spanning from 2010 to 2015. During his tenure, the Republic of Croatia became a member of the European Union. The main determinants of his presidential term were: Croatia’s EU membership, reconciliation in the region and the fight against corruption. Among his other political duties, he was a member of the Croatian Parliament in the fifth (2003-2008) and part of the sixth convocation (2008-2010), as well as a member of the City Assembly of the City of Zagreb in the 2005-2009 convocation.

He is one of the leading Croatian criminal law experts with a significant contribution at the international level. In his academic career of more than 35 years at the Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb, he went from lecturer to full tenure professor at the Department of Criminal Procedure Law and the status of “professor emeritus”. He has published approximately a hundred scientific and professional papers. His areas of professional interest are criminal law, criminal procedure, misdemeanors, international criminal law, war crimes, international courts, human rights, the fight against corruption and organized crime. He participated in the establishment of the International Criminal Court and represented Croatia before international courts.
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In addition to his legal and political career, he is an excellent composer and music pedagogue. He taught harmony at the Zagreb Academy of Music and wrote around fifty compositions for various ensembles. He has won several Croatian and international art awards and held the role of the director of one of the largest festivals of contemporary music, the Music Biennale Zagreb. He is the founder of the modern system of copyright protection in the Republic of Croatia.
He is a member of several domestic and international law and artistic associations, as well as organizations that bring together former presidents and prime ministers. Among others, he is a member of the World Academy of Arts and Sciences, a patron member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, Croatian Legal Center, Croatian Society for European Law, Center for Democracy and Law Miko Tripalo, Croatian Association for Criminal Sciences and Practice, Croatian Society of Composers, Nizami Ganjavi International Center, Club de Madrid and others.
For his work in the field of law, art and politics, he has been awarded several national, foreign and international medals and is the holder of three honorary PhDs.

Professor emeritus Ivo Josipovic, PhD

Chairman of the Advisory Group

Prof. Ivo Josipovic, Ph.D. was the third President of the Republic of Croatia, with his term spanning from 2010 to 2015. During his tenure, the Republic of Croatia became a member of the European Union. The main determinants of his presidential term were: Croatia’s EU membership, reconciliation in the region and the fight against corruption. Among his other political duties, he was a member of the Croatian Parliament in the fifth (2003-2008) and part of the sixth convocation (2008-2010), as well as a member of the City Assembly of the City of Zagreb in the 2005-2009 convocation.

He is one of the leading Croatian criminal law experts with a significant contribution at the international level. In his academic career of more than 35 years at the Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb, he went from lecturer to full tenure professor at the Department of Criminal Procedure Law and the status of “professor emeritus”. He has published approximately a hundred scientific and professional papers. His areas of professional interest are criminal law, criminal procedure, misdemeanors, international criminal law, war crimes, international courts, human rights, the fight against corruption and organized crime. He participated in the establishment of the International Criminal Court and represented Croatia before international courts.

In addition to his legal and political career, he is an excellent composer and music pedagogue. He taught harmony at the Zagreb Academy of Music and wrote around fifty compositions for various ensembles. He has won several Croatian and international art awards and held the role of the director of one of the largest festivals of contemporary music, the Music Biennale Zagreb. He is the founder of the modern system of copyright protection in the Republic of Croatia.

He is a member of several domestic and international law and artistic associations, as well as organizations that bring together former presidents and prime ministers. Among others, he is a member of the World Academy of Arts and Sciences, a patron member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, Croatian Legal Center, Croatian Society for European Law, Center for Democracy and Law Miko Tripalo, Croatian Association for Criminal Sciences and Practice, Croatian Society of Composers, Nizami Ganjavi International Center, Club de Madrid and others.

For his work in the field of law, art and politics, he has been awarded several national, foreign and international medals and is the holder of three honorary PhDs.

Csaba Dohoczky

Healthcare and Pharma

When it comes to public and private health sectors, Csaba brings the best of both worlds. He started his career as a pharmacological clinical doctor. Later on, he joined the largest Croatian drug producer Pliva, working on R&D and clinical testing. Csaba spent a portion of his career in the Ministry of Health, specializing in registration and control of drugs and medical devices.

In the private sector, he spent fifteen years at F. Hoffmann-La Roche Croatia Ltd. as a Compliance Officer. Today, Csaba is considered one of the most competent experts in the field of pharmacology in Croatia.

During his career, Csaba held several other positions in various governmental and non-governmental committees and organizations such as EFPIA. Furthermore, he is active in the academic community as a visiting lecturer at the Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry of the University of Zagreb.

Csaba is a well-versed healthcare and pharma expert that has mastered the policy aspect of the fields.

Csaba Dohoczky

Healthcare and Pharma

When it comes to public and private health sectors, Csaba brings the best of both worlds. He started his career as a pharmacological clinical doctor. Later on, he joined the largest Croatian drug producer Pliva, working on R&D and clinical testing. Csaba spent a portion of his career in the Ministry of Health, specializing in registration and control of drugs and medical devices.

In the private sector, he spent fifteen years at F. Hoffmann-La Roche Croatia Ltd. as a Compliance Officer. Today, Csaba is considered one of the most competent experts in the field of pharmacology in Croatia.

During his career, Csaba held several other positions in various governmental and non-governmental committees and organizations such as EFPIA. Furthermore, he is active in the academic community as a visiting lecturer at the Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry of the University of Zagreb.

Csaba is a well-versed healthcare and pharma expert that has mastered the policy aspect of the fields.

Jasminka Igrc Barcic, PhD

Agriculture and Food Safety

Jasminka Igrc Barcic is a leader in Croatian agriculture scientific community. She retired from the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Agriculture, as a Professor, and her research in agronomy has made a serious impact in the field of plant protection and pesticides.

Always ready to put her knowledge to good use, Dr. Igrc Barcic was heavily involved in preparations for Croatia’s EU accession, contributing to the areas of food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary policy, and in working groups of the Ministry of Agriculture.

Her contribution to policymaking is greatly appreciated within these institutions. She published over 130 scientific and 70 professional papers in national and international journals, and contributed to more than 250 national and international scientific and professional conferences. She has participated in dozens of international research projects and has been a highly ranked member of the most prominent associations related to agriculture in Croatia.

Before retiring, Dr. Igrc Barcic spent several years as the Head of Sector for Improvement and Development at a widely known pesticides corporation. In addition, she was involved in many international projects, including those of FAO. Dr. Igrc Barcic has been the President of the Croatian Plant Protection Society for multiple terms.

Jasminka Igrc Barcic, PhD

Agriculture and Food Safety

Jasminka Igrc Barcic is a leader in Croatian agriculture scientific community. She retired from the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Agriculture, as a Professor, and her research in agronomy has made a serious impact in the field of plant protection and pesticides.

Always ready to put her knowledge to good use, Dr. Igrc Barcic was heavily involved in preparations for Croatia’s EU accession, contributing to the areas of food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary policy, and in working groups of the Ministry of Agriculture.

Her contribution to policymaking is greatly appreciated within these institutions. She published over 130 scientific and 70 professional papers in national and international journals, and contributed to more than 250 national and international scientific and professional conferences. She has participated in dozens of international research projects and has been a highly ranked member of the most prominent associations related to agriculture in Croatia.

Before retiring, Dr. Igrc Barcic spent several years as the Head of Sector for Improvement and Development at a widely known pesticides corporation. In addition, she was involved in many international projects, including those of FAO. Dr. Igrc Barcic has been the President of the Croatian Plant Protection Society for multiple terms.

Mate Perkovic

Tax and Finance

When it comes to tax and finance, Mate Perkovic is as good as it gets. His extensive experience within the Ministry of Finance and Tax Administration makes him a true veteran of the field. Mate’s professional prowess saw him hold top positions within the Tax Administration, he was the Director General for one term and the Deputy Director General for two terms. During his time there, Mate led and participated in all working groups for building the Croatian tax system, together with experts from the IMF, World Bank and OECD.

In the later days of his career, Mate presided over the supervisory board of the largest Croatian pharmaceutical wholesaler, in addition to holding several other key positions in various businesses. Mate holds a degree in economy from the University of Zagreb and is, as a certified tax advisor, a recognized force in his field of expertise.

Mate Perkovic

Tax and Finance

When it comes to tax and finance, Mate Perkovic is as good as it gets. His extensive experience within the Ministry of Finance and Tax Administration makes him a true veteran of the field. Mate’s professional prowess saw him hold top positions within the Tax Administration, he was the Director General for one term and the Deputy Director General for two terms. During his time there, Mate led and participated in all working groups for building the Croatian tax system, together with experts from the IMF, World Bank and OECD.

In the later days of his career, Mate presided over the supervisory board of the largest Croatian pharmaceutical wholesaler, in addition to holding several other key positions in various businesses. Mate holds a degree in economy from the University of Zagreb and is, as a certified tax advisor, a recognized force in his field of expertise.

Viktor Koprivnjak

Defense

Viktor is a retired Major General and war veteran with an extensive career in the Croatian Armed Forces. With almost 40 years of experience in a variety of key roles, Viktor brings Vlahovic Group unique expertise in defense matters and serves as an asset for clients in that field.

During his decades long career as a decorated helicopter pilot, Viktor held key roles in the Air Force. In the later stages of his career, he ventured into the Ministry of Defense, acting as an assistant minister and the national armaments director for NATO. As a highly ranked public official, Viktor was in charge of logistics and procurement for the Ministry of Defense. Shortly before joining the Ministry, Viktor was a highly valuable external associate for Agencija Alan, a state agency specialized in importing and exporting armament and sales of army stock surpluses.

Viktor gained his education at the school for aviation in the City of Zadar, as well as the Command and Staff School of Tactics in Belgrade. He sought further specialization in aeronautics at the Faculty of Transport in Zagreb.

Viktor Koprivnjak

Defense

Viktor is a retired Major General and war veteran with an extensive career in the Croatian Armed Forces. With almost 40 years of experience in a variety of key roles, Viktor brings Vlahovic Group unique expertise in defense matters and serves as an asset for clients in that field.

During his decades long career as a decorated helicopter pilot, Viktor held key roles in the Air Force. In the later stages of his career, he ventured into the Ministry of Defense, acting as an assistant minister and the national armaments director for NATO. As a highly ranked public official, Viktor was in charge of logistics and procurement for the Ministry of Defense. Shortly before joining the Ministry, Viktor was a highly valuable external associate for Agencija Alan, a state agency specialized in importing and exporting armament and sales of army stock surpluses.

Viktor gained his education at the school for aviation in the City of Zadar, as well as the Command and Staff School of Tactics in Belgrade. He sought further specialization in aeronautics at the Faculty of Transport in Zagreb.

Leo Dolezil

Energy and Infrastructure

Leo perfectly complements the Vlahovic Group as a renowned energy expert, following a successful career in the oil and gas industry. With both domestic and international exposure, Leo is a valuable addition to Vlahovic Group’s operations in the energy sector.

Leo started his career working for Koncar Group in Zagreb. Soon after, he entered the energy industry through ASTRA Croatia, which was his steppingstone for employment in INA, Croatia’s largest oil and gas company. Leo was also a member of the management board of DIOKI, as well as a member of the supervisory board of DINA Petrokemija. During his career, Leo took part in many key events that developed the energy industry in Croatia.

He holds a degree in Business Administration, Management and Technology from the University of Stockholm. He is fluent in English, Italian and Swedish, and enjoys skiing and sailing in his free time.

Leo Dolezil

Energy and Infrastructure

Leo perfectly complements the Vlahovic Group as a renowned energy expert, following a successful career in the oil and gas industry. With both domestic and international exposure, Leo is a valuable addition to Vlahovic Group’s operations in the energy sector.

Leo started his career working for Koncar Group in Zagreb. Soon after, he entered the energy industry through ASTRA Croatia, which was his steppingstone for employment in INA, Croatia’s largest oil and gas company. Leo was also a member of the management board of DIOKI, as well as a member of the supervisory board of DINA Petrokemija. During his career, Leo took part in many key events that developed the energy industry in Croatia.

He holds a degree in Business Administration, Management and Technology from the University of Stockholm. He is fluent in English, Italian and Swedish, and enjoys skiing and sailing in his free time.

Katherine C. Sredl, PhD

Marketing and Branding

As a marketing scholar, Katherine publishes regularly in international, peer-reviewed journals in the interrelated areas of consumer behavior, media, and gender. She is a member of the faculty of Loyola University Chicago, Quinlan School of Business, Department of Marketing, and University of Zagreb, Faculty of Economics and Business, Department of Marketing. Katherine earned a PhD in Communications from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a BA from Centre College of Kentucky.

Through her marketing consultancy, 385 LLC, Katherine applies her expertise in strategically using the mass communications process to build and measure sustainable relationships between firms and their target audiences across social media platforms and websites.

Katherine also brings a comparative understanding of US and Croatian markets and politics to VG, having worked in the US Congress and the Embassy of the Republic of Croatia in Washington, D.C. Katherine is the President of the Chicago chapter of the Association of Croatian American Professionals (ACAP); she is also a Member of the ACAP National Board. Katherine’s hobbies are tennis, swimming, and photography.

Katherine C. Sredl, PhD

Marketing and Branding

As a marketing scholar, Katherine publishes regularly in international, peer-reviewed journals in the interrelated areas of consumer behavior, media, and gender. She is a member of the faculty of Loyola University Chicago, Quinlan School of Business, Department of Marketing, and University of Zagreb, Faculty of Economics and Business, Department of Marketing. Katherine earned a PhD in Communications from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a BA from Centre College of Kentucky.

Through her marketing consultancy, 385 LLC, Katherine applies her expertise in strategically using the mass communications process to build and measure sustainable relationships between firms and their target audiences across social media platforms and websites.

Katherine also brings a comparative understanding of US and Croatian markets and politics to VG, having worked in the US Congress and the Embassy of the Republic of Croatia in Washington, D.C. Katherine is the President of the Chicago chapter of the Association of Croatian American Professionals (ACAP); she is also a Member of the ACAP National Board. Katherine’s hobbies are tennis, swimming, and photography.

Steve Rukavina

International Relations

Steve is a long time Croatian American activist and business executive. Although he grew up in Minnesota, Steve lived for 28 years in the Washington, D.C. area. He is the co-founder of the National Federation of Croatian Americans Cultural Foundation and has served as National President for ten terms and as an officer for 27 years. Steve is an international affairs expert, focused on Southeast Europe, and has been engaged in well over 100 major Croatia-related initiatives over the past thirty years – in the diplomatic, humanitarian, charity, business, cultural, and public affairs arenas. Steve is a 50-year member of the Croatian Fraternal Union (CFU) based in Pittsburgh.

Steve has served as a political aide with the U.S. Congress and as a presidential campaign press secretary. He enjoyed a successful 35-year business career in the cardiovascular medical device arena. He’s proud of his 8-year charity commitment to supporting Special Olympics organization in Croatia. Steve is a graduate of the University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, Minnesota). Steve now resides in Philadelphia.

Steve Rukavina

International Relations

Steve is a long time Croatian American activist and business executive. Although he grew up in Minnesota, Steve lived for 28 years in the Washington, D.C. area. He is the co-founder of the National Federation of Croatian Americans Cultural Foundation and has served as National President for ten terms and as an officer for 27 years. Steve is an international affairs expert, focused on Southeast Europe, and has been engaged in well over 100 major Croatia-related initiatives over the past thirty years – in the diplomatic, humanitarian, charity, business, cultural, and public affairs arenas. Steve is a 50-year member of the Croatian Fraternal Union (CFU) based in Pittsburgh.

Steve has served as a political aide with the U.S. Congress and as a presidential campaign press secretary. He enjoyed a successful 35-year business career in the cardiovascular medical device arena. He’s proud of his 8-year charity commitment to supporting Special Olympics organization in Croatia. Steve is a graduate of the University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, Minnesota). Steve now resides in Philadelphia.

Irena Relic

Environment and Circular Economy

Irena brings a unique blend of skills and experience which makes her an invaluable asset to Vlahovic Group. Her excellent knowledge of Croatian and EU environmental legislation, as well as her insight into the preparation, assessment and implementation on various strategical environmental projects make her a true powerhouse for issues related to the environment and the circular economy. After 6 years in the Croatian Ministry of Environment and Energy, Irena knows the ins and outs of various policy areas. During her time in the institution, Irena served as the Chief of Staff for several ministers, a ministerial advisor and as Head of Department for Preparation of Projects.

In 2019, Irena ventured into independent consulting, providing technical support in preparation and implementation of various private investment projects and preparation of feasibility studies for infrastructure projects co-financed from EU funds. She even served as short time expert consultant for the World Bank. Irena holds a degree in Mining Engineering.

Irena Relic

Environment and Circular Economy

Irena brings a unique blend of skills and experience which makes her an invaluable asset to Vlahovic Group. Her excellent knowledge of Croatian and EU environmental legislation, as well as her insight into the preparation, assessment and implementation on various strategical environmental projects make her a true powerhouse for issues related to the environment and the circular economy. After 6 years in the Croatian Ministry of Environment and Energy, Irena knows the ins and outs of various policy areas. During her time in the institution, Irena served as the Chief of Staff for several ministers, a ministerial advisor and as Head of Department for Preparation of Projects.

In 2019, Irena ventured into independent consulting, providing technical support in preparation and implementation of various private investment projects and preparation of feasibility studies for infrastructure projects co-financed from EU funds. She even served as short time expert consultant for the World Bank. Irena holds a degree in Mining Engineering.

Filip Lugovic

Digital Advocacy

Having spent more than 12 years working in the EU capital, Filip knows the ins and outs of the Brussels political arena. His track record speaks for itself as Filip consulted for DeHavilland, a London-based political intelligence provider, and EUobserver, one of the leading online newspapers for EU politics. He has been involved in numerous high-level Brussels-based activities involving conferences, marketing, sales and promotion. Being highly specialized in digital advocacy, Filip co-founded The Right Street, a leading firm for digital strategies, digital advocacy and social media in Brussels.

Filip holds an MBA from United Business Institutes, Brussels and a BS in Business Management and Marketing from California Baptist University. Filip’s vast knowledge of EU politics, business and digital tools make him a unique asset for Vlahovic Group’s digital advocacy operations.

Filip Lugovic

Digital Advocacy

Having spent more than 12 years working in the EU capital, Filip knows the ins and outs of the Brussels political arena. His track record speaks for itself as Filip consulted for DeHavilland, a London-based political intelligence provider, and EUobserver, one of the leading online newspapers for EU politics. He has been involved in numerous high-level Brussels-based activities involving conferences, marketing, sales and promotion. Being highly specialized in digital advocacy, Filip co-founded The Right Street, a leading firm for digital strategies, digital advocacy and social media in Brussels.

Filip holds an MBA from United Business Institutes, Brussels and a BS in Business Management and Marketing from California Baptist University. Filip’s vast knowledge of EU politics, business and digital tools make him a unique asset for Vlahovic Group’s digital advocacy operations.

Regional Associates

Matjaz Klipsteter

Slovenia

Matjaz is Vlahovic Group’s regional associate for Slovenia. He is an experienced communication strategist and an efficient tactician, offering practical advice when dire problems demand rapid response. He likes to share his knowledge and experience with others – speaking at events and publishing academic articles. Matjaz first gained experience in the industry as a consultant in PR center Maribor, followed by a partnership in PR plus, and finally as a project manager at Pristop. He is now the director of Taktik, a Slovenian communications management agency.

Having a degree in economy and being a businessman himself, Matjaz knows the Slovenian business sector well and can offer high quality support to our operations there.

Matjaz Klipsteter

Slovenia

Matjaz is Vlahovic Group’s regional associate for Slovenia. He is an experienced communication strategist and an efficient tactician, offering practical advice when dire problems demand rapid response. He likes to share his knowledge and experience with others – speaking at events and publishing academic articles. Matjaz first gained experience in the industry as a consultant in PR center Maribor, followed by a partnership in PR plus, and finally as a project manager at Pristop. He is now the director of Taktik, a Slovenian communications management agency.

Having a degree in economy and being a businessman himself, Matjaz knows the Slovenian business sector well and can offer high quality support to our operations there.

Milan Dobrosavljevic

Serbia

Milan is Vlahovic Group’s regional associate in Belgrade, Serbia. He is an expert in tax and corporate law, with demonstrated skills in advocacy and government relations. Milan is a founding partner of a Belgrade-based legal consultancy, focusing on taxes, corporate law, renewable energy and employment. Through his firm, Milan also provides lobbying and public affairs services such as public policy monitoring, legislative monitoring and coalition building.

Milan holds an MA in International Relations and an LLB in Law from the University of Belgrade. With nearly 20 years of experience, Milan has premium insight into the Belgrade policy arena, and he is uniquely positioned to be our regional associate for Serbia.

Milan Dobrosavljevic

Serbia

Milan is Vlahovic Group’s regional associate in Belgrade, Serbia. He is an expert in tax and corporate law, with demonstrated skills in advocacy and government relations. Milan is a founding partner of a Belgrade-based legal consultancy, focusing on taxes, corporate law, renewable energy and employment. Through his firm, Milan also provides lobbying and public affairs services such as public policy monitoring, legislative monitoring and coalition building.

Milan holds an MA in International Relations and an LLB in Law from the University of Belgrade. With nearly 20 years of experience, Milan has premium insight into the Belgrade policy arena, and he is uniquely positioned to be our regional associate for Serbia.

Zyhrada Kongoli

Albania

Zyhrada has 23 years of experience as a lawyer and consultant on legislative and legal issues. Since 2007, she has been working as an independent legal consultant providing legal expertise and policy analyses across various national and international projects. Zyhrada was extensively involved in the EU integration process and provided advisory services to Albanian Line Ministries on the development of the National Plan on European Integration and legislation alignment with EU acquis. She has extensive experience in projects related to social and employment policies, labor policy, environment, energy and circular economy.

Zyhrada holds a BA in Law from the University of Tirana, and an MA in International and European Studies from the Institut de Recherche et d’Enseignementen Relations Internationales and Européennes, Tirana. With her multi-sector expertise, Zyhrada is a perfect fit to be our Albanian associate.

Zyhrada Kongoli

Albania

Zyhrada has 23 years of experience as a lawyer and consultant on legislative and legal issues. Since 2007, she has been working as an independent legal consultant providing legal expertise and policy analyses across various national and international projects. Zyhrada was extensively involved in the EU integration process and provided advisory services to Albanian Line Ministries on the development of the National Plan on European Integration and legislation alignment with EU acquis. She has extensive experience in projects related to social and employment policies, labor policy, environment, energy and circular economy.

Zyhrada holds a BA in Law from the University of Tirana, and an MA in International and European Studies from the Institut de Recherche et d’Enseignementen Relations Internationales and Européennes, Tirana. With her multi-sector expertise, Zyhrada is a perfect fit to be our Albanian associate.

Maja Kambovska

North Macedonia

Maja has almost 20 years of experience in settings that combine legal analysis and policy work, including an international professional trade association in Brussels, with a focus on EU law and policies. Maja is highly skilled in advocacy, legislative drafting and influencing decision-making processes, as well as interacting with public authorities and various stakeholders. Maja is a versatile individual who held many differing roles within academia and the public, NGO and private sectors, amassing a depth and breadth of plethora of knowledge and experience relevant to government affairs.

Maja holds a PhD in Law and she prides herself in being the leading expert for EU law and intellectual property in North Macedonia. Being a highly skilled all-rounder, Maja is the perfect choice to be Vlahovic Group’s extended arm in Skopje.

Maja Kambovska

North Macedonia

Maja has almost 20 years of experience in settings that combine legal analysis and policy work, including an international professional trade association in Brussels, with a focus on EU law and policies. Maja is highly skilled in advocacy, legislative drafting and influencing decision-making processes, as well as interacting with public authorities and various stakeholders. Maja is a versatile individual who held many differing roles within academia and the public, NGO and private sectors, amassing a depth and breadth of plethora of knowledge and experience relevant to government affairs.

Maja holds a PhD in Law and she prides herself in being the leading expert for EU law and intellectual property in North Macedonia. Being a highly skilled all-rounder, Maja is the perfect choice to be Vlahovic Group’s extended arm in Skopje.

Agnieszka Anna Klasa

Montenegro

Agnieszka is a Polish national with extensive exposure to the Montenegrin business and political community, making her a perfect fit for Vlahovic Group’s Montenegro operations. Agnieszka’s experience is impressive as she worked in the Tax Chamber as a controller and auditor. Then, she was responsible for public and cultural diplomacy, public procurement, and the promotion in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Poland. Furthermore, she coordinated the implementation of promotional projects of the Polish economy, culture and science in Montenegro for several years. Her Montenegrin experience continued with her work as an executive director at the Centre for self-development and the progress of society in Podgorica. Agnieszka also has experience in the military sector in Poland.

Agnieszka holds a BA and MA in Business Management and Finance from the University of Economics in Cracow. She finished the EY Business Academy in Warsaw and is a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) – level I, II, III and IV.

Agnieszka Anna Klasa

Montenegro

Agnieszka is a Polish national with extensive exposure to the Montenegrin business and political community, making her a perfect fit for Vlahovic Group’s Montenegro operations. Agnieszka’s experience is impressive as she worked in the Tax Chamber as a controller and auditor. Then, she was responsible for public and cultural diplomacy, public procurement, and the promotion in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Poland. Furthermore, she coordinated the implementation of promotional projects of the Polish economy, culture and science in Montenegro for several years. Her Montenegrin experience continued with her work as an executive director at the Centre for self-development and the progress of society in Podgorica. Agnieszka also has experience in the military sector in Poland.

Agnieszka holds a BA and MA in Business Management and Finance from the University of Economics in Cracow. She finished the EY Business Academy in Warsaw and is a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) – level I, II, III and IV.

Fisnik Salihu

Kosovo

In over 13 years practicing law, Fisnik has extensive experience in the area of commercial and corporate law. Having worked for several years in the banking sector in Kosovo, he specialized in banking and financial law and has acquired insights into the legal framework regulating the banking sector and an in-depth knowledge of the banking and financial industry in Kosovo. Fisnik is one of the founding partners of RPHS Law, one of the leading law firms in Kosovo, and is head of their Banking and Finance Practice.

Fisnik holds an LL.M in International Economic and Business Law from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. Apart from his legal practice, Fisnik is an experienced arbitrator who worked on various arbitration cases in Kosovo and Croatia. He is a member of several domestic and international professional law and arbitration bodies, inter alia, European Handball Federation – Court of Arbitration, Arbitration Center at the American Chamber of Commerce in Kosovo, Sports Arbitration Council at Kosovo Olympic Committee.

Fisnik Salihu

Kosovo

In over 13 years practicing law, Fisnik has extensive experience in the area of commercial and corporate law. Having worked for several years in the banking sector in Kosovo, he specialized in banking and financial law and has acquired insights into the legal framework regulating the banking sector and an in-depth knowledge of the banking and financial industry in Kosovo. Fisnik is one of the founding partners of RPHS Law, one of the leading law firms in Kosovo, and is head of their Banking and Finance Practice.

Fisnik holds an LL.M in International Economic and Business Law from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. Apart from his legal practice, Fisnik is an experienced arbitrator who worked on various arbitration cases in Kosovo and Croatia. He is a member of several domestic and international professional law and arbitration bodies, inter alia, European Handball Federation – Court of Arbitration, Arbitration Center at the American Chamber of Commerce in Kosovo, Sports Arbitration Council at Kosovo Olympic Committee.

NEWS from Zagreb's St. Mark's Square

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