Board of Directors
Igor Jokanovic, AmSECC
President and Founding Member
Igor’s family came to the United States from war-torn Bosnia and Herzegovina, and was settled in Rockford, IL in 1995. A year later, he enrolled in Rockford College’s Bachelor of Arts program. What followed was the discovery of the exciting business world and world economies. He studied business management and the basics of finance and accounting, and fell in love with free market forces. Philosophy was also his passion, and he was able to combine business and philosophy in entrepreneurship classes. Soon after graduation, along with his younger brother and father, he started an interior remodeling business called Arete’ Renovators Inc, and property management company Arete’ Realty LLC.He wanted to learn more about world economies, so he secured a job with one of world’s top banks, ABN AMRO. He pursued further studies at Loyola University in Chicago, earning an MBA. Soon after graduation, he began a career with Morgan Stanley, the world’s leading investment management company.
Today, Igor is in a position to merge eight years of financial industry experience with an interest in international affairs of emerging markets and transitional economies. He wants to give back to his country, region and friends that same chance he had to make opportunities for himself. He wishes to contribute to the revitalizing of economies and help finance infrastructure projects; to help entrepreneurs create and expand their businesses and elicit the needed jobs.
Lila S. Jokanovic, AMSECC
Secretary and Founding Member
AmSECC Treasure and Member
Natively from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Alexander Bojanic has lived in Canada and the USA since 1992. In the past 17 years, Alexander has worked in several technology-based companies and held leadership positions in complex software and hardware systems design and development. Most recently, Alexander assumed a position as Quality Engineering Leader with GE Healthcare.
Alexander is also recognized as an expert in the area of system and business analysis, and program management – in which capacity he presented a number of papers and lectured in several countries in North America, Europe, and Asia. While moving on with his career, Alexander kept strong ties with his origins. Through his work and job involvement he continues building business and academic relationships with his native region of Eastern Europe.
M. Scott Leonard, AmSECC
Legal Counsel and Founding Member
Scott Leonard is a business litigation attorney and mediator licensed to practice in Florida and Illinois.In his private practice, Scott represents lenders, shareholders, international and domestic corporations and individuals in a variety of commercial disputes involving breach of contract, non-compete agreements, intellectual property and trade law. Scott also represents several non-profits and is a mediator with the Center for Conflict Resolution in Chicago, Illinois.
Scott received his J.D. cum laude from the St. Thomas University School of Law. He served as two-term president of the International Law Society and was an active member of the International Moot Court Board and a Philip C. Jessup International Moot Court Competitor. During law school, he served as a federal judicial intern to Honorable Ted E. Bandstra, Chief Magistrate Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida and was a member of the Peter T. Fay American Inn of Court. Prior to practicing law, Scott earned his Master of Arts degree with distinction in Diplomatic Studies from the University of Westminster. His graduate dissertation examined the US role in mediating the Dayton Peace Accords which ended the conflict in the Balkans. The research involved interviews with journalists, academics, soldiers and diplomats in Zagreb, Sarajevo, Paris, London and Moscow, and received academic honors. Before graduate school, he lived and worked in France where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from the American University of Paris. He is married to Una Pipic and lives in Chicago.
Matija, originally from Prizren, has also lived in Split and Podgorica before moving to the United States. He received his B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Northern Illinois University. While working for Rapid Air, a stamping equipment manufacturer, he decided to expand his knowledge in the field and began pursuing a M.S. degree in electrical engineering with the concentration in power electronics. He completed his studies and earned his M.S. degree while working as a systems engineer on the Boeing 787 program at Hamilton Sundstrand.
After spending six months in Vienna and Belgrade, Matija got together with his friends and founded BalkanViator – a website serving as a search engine database for bus departure times covering Southeast Europe. He currently works for Northrop Grumman. As one of AmSECC’s website administrators, he maintains and regularly updates AmSECC’s website. With his education and work experience, he hopes to contribute toward AmSECC’s mission.
Dimitar Tchalakov has more than fifteen years experience in the Information Technology arena and especially in the area of software development and outsourcing. During this period he held positions as software developer, team leader, architect, consultant and entrepreneur working in Europe and North America interacting with teams from many different countries on different continents. His background helps him to establish many multicultural relations and see the value and innovations available from different parts of the world.
During his work assignments he was involved in building generic frameworks that were used in the area of Telecommunications and also developing and architecting products in many other areas. For the last few years he is helping IT companies from Eastern Europe in their efforts of establishing partnership relations with companies from US and other places and providing software consulting services. Dimitar is born in Bulgaria and has a master degree in Computer Engineering from “Technical University” of Sofia, Bulgaria. As of AmSECC’s website administrators, he also maintains and regularly updates AmSECC’s website.
Stevco Nikolov is originally from Macedonia, and has been in the United States since 2003. He holds Bachelor’s degree in Management from Northeastern University in Chicago and an MBA in International Business and Finance from Governors State University. Stevco has experience in business relations, domestic and international trading, Information Technology and Consulting. He has been working at Governors State University as a graduate assistant and consultant with specialties in business plans, loan proposals, marketing and advertising strategies, financial plan development, cash flow planning, business promotion, accounting, taxation, legal and patent issues, government contracting, certifications and international trade.
Tina is extremely passionate about remaining active in the community and is involved with several organizations that highlight her desire to give back. Apart from AmSECC, she serves on the Board of Directors for the School City of Hobart Educational Foundation; a not-for-profit organization established to organize partnerships with the business community for the benefit of the School City of Hobart in an effort to enhance the bond between the School City and the community. She also belongs to the Chicago Foundation for Women and is on the Young Women’s Leadership Council, where she serves on the Fund Raising and Grant Making committees.