Board of Directors

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.

Kenan Kreso
Vice President

Kenan Kreso has been a director at the consulting firm Alfa Energy for five years. He led the start of Alfa Energy’s Sarajevo operations in 2008, and in 2010 moved to Chicago to spearhead the company’s U.S. operations. Prior to Alfa Energy, he set up and led operations for Cemex in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Kenan received a B.S. in Economics from the University of Arizona, and an M.B.A. in International Business from the University of Delaware. Kenan acts as a big brother to a child at SOS Kinderdorf, a children’s home in Sarajevo.

Lila S. Jokanovic, AMSECC
Secretary and Founding Member

Lila Jokanovic is a writer and educator. She is passionate in her belief that all children, everywhere, deserve a high quality education and a safe place to learn. She developed and ran a successful writing program for at-risk teens in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood for four years. At present, she concurrently teaches part time at the college level and full time at a Montessori elementary school. Her dream is to open Montessori schools for at-risk youth in Chicago, Bosnia, and where she grew up – India.
Lila’s writing has appeared in Hair Trigger, Kavithalaya, Gravity Magazine, fMagazine and NPR’s WBEZ, among other places. She has won a number of awards for her writing, served as Assistant Artistic Director for one of Chicago’s largest literary events – Story Week Festival of Writers, for five years, and is currently putting the finishing touches on her novel, American Raaga.

Ilhan Geckil
AmSECC Treasure and Member

Mr. Geckil, a Senior Consultant with Anderson Economic Group, has a background in corporate finance and economics. He serves as the Director of Finance and Business Valuation in the Company.His work includes economic and financial analyses, business valuations, commercial damages assessments, corporate finance advisory, M&A consulting, risk analyses, and strategy consulting.Mr. Geckil’s work has been applied in a range of industries, with significant focus on automotive, franchise, retail, beer, wine and spirits. He provides economic forecasts for Bloomberg’s monthly economic survey.
His book Applied Game Theory and Strategic Behavior was published in July 2009 by CRC Press. His recent papers include “A Game Theoretical Model of Corporate Average Fuel Economy,” on regulation in the automobile industry published in Business Economics, and “Pocketbook Predictions of Presidential Elections,” also published in Business Economics. The latter was awarded the Edmund A. Mennis Contributed Paper Award of the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) in 2004.Prior to joining Anderson Economic Group Mr. Geckil worked as a Consultant for BBK, Ltd., a consulting company specialized in turnaround management, corporate finance, and strategy consulting, and as an Analyst for PDF Corporate Finance in Istanbul, Turkey, a consulting company specialized in merger and acquisitions.Mr. Geckil holds a Master’s degree in economics from the Eli Broad Graduate School of Management at Michigan State University, and a Bachelor’s degree in economics from Koç University in Istanbul, Turkey. He is a member of the National Association for Business Economics (NABE), and the Institute of Business Appraisers (IBA).

Lidija Gjorgjievska

Lidija Gjorgjievska comes to AmSECC from Stip, Macedonia. She has been Chicago’s very own since 2004. She completed her Bachelors degree in Technical Management  in 2008, and Masters in Business Administration in 2011. Currently, she is an investment consultant in the Chicago office of TD Ameritrade.
Her exposure to working in both international and American markets will add to AmSECC’s ever-growing presence of expanding commerce with the southeastern region of Europe. In her leisure time, Lidija is training for the Shamrock Shuffle, and is passionate about yoga, ballroom dancing, and participating in Chicago’s Summer Dance at Millenium Park.

Alexander Bojanic


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 Biljeskovic
Founding Member


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


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


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.

Currently Stevco is President of S.N. Cleaning Inc. He is an active member of many international business associations and has won a number of awards for business. He is also a skilled Entrepreneur, Sales and Marketing Professional with a proven experience in building professional relationships, developing successful sales strategy and working with other institutions. Excellent organizational, interpersonal, and communication skills with the flexibility and experience required to remain highly focused and self-possessed in fast- paced, demanding environments. He is fluent in Macedonian, English, Bulgarian, Serbian and have working knowledge of Polish, Russian and Spanish.


Tina Meckaroski

Tina Meckaroski, originally born in Struga, Macedonia, moved to the United States with her family in 1990.  She received a Bachelor of Sciences in Finance from Purdue University. Tina is currently a Financial Advisor with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, the world’s largest global wealth management firm. She applies first-class knowledge and service in delivering and executing wealth management plans for individuals and families.  This management is blended with financial planning, tax sensitivity and estate planning, ensuring that every piece of the client’s financial puzzle is working together harmoniously. Prior to joining MSSB, she began her career at Ameriprise Financial in Indiana, as an Associate Financial Advisor.

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.

Ana Ramic

Ana Ramic joined The Chicago Council of Global Affairs in 2012 as a program coordinator in the Programs department. Prior to joining the Council, she worked for the British Consulate in Chicago, the U.S. Embassy in Athens, Greece, and the National Democratic Institute in Washington, D.C. and Sarajevo, Bosnia. She has an M.A. in international relations from the University of Chicago, and a double B.A. in international studies and French language and literature from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
 Ana is a member of British-American Business Council, Alliance Franchaise de Chicago and ART WORKS Projects.