Grozdan Koco Popov are my given, father's and family names.
11.08.1939 in Kumanovo, Republic of Macedonia
Donau 42, 1186KM Amstelveen, The Netherlands
twofold, both Netherlandse passport and Macedonian passport
Married since 1963 to Mrs. Marija Cvetkova-Popova, lawyer;
Son Mr. Igor Popov, born 1963 and daughter Mrs. Irina Popova, born 1967
Mother tong Macedonian; English written and spoken; French, Dutch and Greek, reading and communicating; Bulgarian and Serbo-Croat for fluent communication;
ABN-Amro, ING and Stopanska banka;
Graduated with a final exam the elementary and intermediary school "Goce Delcev" in Scopje
Graduated with a final exam the higher education at the Gymnasium "Josip Broz Tito" in Skopje;
After six semesters discontinued studies at the Faculty of Economy, University of Skopje
Enrolled as a part time student with the Faculty of Philosophy begun studies of English language and Literature
with History of Arts as minor subject;
Received a British Council scholarship and attended three semesters of studies in phonetics and literature at the University College, London University;
Between November 1963 and April 1964 writes as a ±special correspondent± for the newly established "Vecer" daily in Skopje; attends the Shakespeare seminar, shows and festivities in Stratford-on-Avon;
Between September 1966 and and August 1967 completes the the obligatory military service with the JNA (Yugoslav People's Army) as a conscript in the auxiliary communications battalion of the Yugoslav Air Force in a rank of private radio-telegraphist regiment of major Bakic;
Completes the text of a guide-book on Greece commissioned and payed by NIP "Nova Makedonija" but due to the military coup in Athens the book is not published;
Graduated from the University "Kiril & Metodij" in Skopje with a major in English language and literature and a minor in History of Arts;
Enrolled post-graduate studies with the Institute of politicology of the University "Kiril & Metodij" embarking a course on Ideology and the media
Launched the first independent, privately financed publication in Macedonia, a youth monthly magazine "Tribina" which after half a year was discontinued by the authorities
Employed in "Nova Makedonija" daily as a city-desk reporter;
Correspondent from London, Great Britain for the first evening daily newspaper "Vecer" November 1963 June 1964;
City-desk editor of the daily "Vecer";
Arts and culture editor of daily "Vecer";
Deputy editor-in-chief of "Journal" the " first colour weekly magazine in Macedonia
Feature and comics editor of daily "Vecer"
Upon request from OZEHA (the largest Yugoslav advertising agency) designed and executed (in unison with the Macedonian state radio) a campaign for their prime customer, chocolate and conditionery factory "Evropa" in Skopje. It was the first ever betting game tied to a consumption of a chocolate. One million dinars were offered every week and an avalanche of reactions killed the campaign but the chocolate, known as "medallion" (it was in a form of a golden coin) was launched.
The coupons promoted Istanbul Hilton hotel and other clients. The game implied influence on the editorial policy of "3 gongs" Rather complex for execution game but huge success.
From left, the commercial director of Evropa, Mr. J. Panchevski, the editor and anchor of "3 Gonga" Gjoko Georgiev, the presidfent of the workers' council of "Evropa", the director of OZEHA Kocho Dinev control the regularity of the first drawing of the One Million Dinars prize!
Special rowing correspondent covering the devastating earthquake in Chimbote, Peru that took more than 45,000 lives;
Journalism does not only need a reporter capable of writing accurate and persuasive stories. This trip was made possible by the willingness of the then BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation, now BA, British Airways) to listen to arguments about the benefits of being promoted through a small-time provincial newspaper. Please see "The BOAC to Peru project"
Covered the UK general elections and the emergence of Edward Heath as prime-minister;
Also reported from New York, about Security Council sessions in the United Nations;
Elected Secretary-general of the Union of Journalists of Macedonia (Zdruzenie na Novinarite na Makednija, ZNM)
contributing greatly in the establishment of the Inter-disciplinary studies of journalism at the "Kiril and Metodij" University in Skopje, developed a network of international connections of the ZNM,
Organized the first ever medical check-up of all journalists in Macedonia;
With 24 distinguished editors from around the world was a VIP guest of the Federal Republic of Germany on the occasion of the XX Olympic games in Munich, met with Willy Brandt, wrote and published extensively about the social, economic and other aspects of the Olympic games for Germany;
Organized and lead the first Macedonian basketball team tour across Canada;
Appointed deputy editor-in-chief of "Vecer" daily newspaper;
Special foreign correspondent assignment in Egypt, Cad, Zaire and Guinea;
VIP guest of the US Department of State and the US Information Agency on the distinguished European Economic Journalists' Tour meeting during a 4-week long cost-to-coast sojourn for in-depth interviews with various secretaries George Schultz, Kats, of the US Government departments, the Pentagon, Mayor Daley and Milton Friedman in Chicago, John Marriott Sr.;
Launched the first tourism-only weekly colour magazine "WEEKEND" published it as a supplement to daily "Vecer";
Upon Communist Party orders. submitted to prolonged investigations for ideological deviation and relieved of the duty of deputy editor-in-chief of the daily newspaper "Vecer" as "liberal";
While everybody is dead-pan serious, I explain (to the strongman Dragoljub Stavrev, far right, mayor or Skopje, prime-minister, federal minister and president of the presidency of Macedonia among other positions) the editorial policy and why we have transformed the "party directive" into a highly readable copy: printed on treble thew usual number of pages "Vecer" sold out in two hours. My friend and editor Milco Kocev, next to Stavrev, was also relieved of his duties.
Appointed editor of "Pocinka", the tourism and weekend colour supplement to "Nova Makedonija daily;
Appointed city-desk editor of the "Nova Makedonija" daily newspaper;
Special correspondent for "Nova Makedonija" during the final weeks of president Richard Nixon's Administration and the transitional period;
Relieved of all editorial duties and appointed Senior correspondent on finance and banking;
Guest of the Australian Government and Quantas Airlines on a study trip on ethnical minorities, their integration in the society and role in developing trade and economic relations with expatriate countries;
Re-Elected for a new 4-year term as Secretary-general of the Union of Journalists of Macedonia;
Special assignment correspondent from Jerusalem.on the late president Anvar El Sadat's peace mission to Israel.
Subsequently covered the month-long peace talks in Cairo, and president Jimmy Carter's peace initiative and Menahem Begin's visit to Egypt;
Represented the Union of Journalists of Yugoslavia at the UNESCO sponsored initiative session of the Club of the CESC (Helsinki) journalists in Paris;
Organized the first session of the Club of the CESC journalists in Ohrid and Skopje, Macedonia sponsored by Blagoj Popov, the prime-minister of Macedonia;
It was a feat bringing all these KEBS (OBSE) specialized journalists, headed by Henry Schwoebel from Le Monde, fifth from right, into the southernmost corner of Macedonia to establish a Club with an ambition to promote a New Information Order for the world.
Established the basis for the Club of Journalists in Skopje crowned by acquisition through a Government grant of property as a possession of the premises инownership of the ZNM;
Was a joint manager of the Conference on the New linformation Order, organized by the Union of the Journalists of Yugoslavia in Belgrade;
Initiated the Union of Journalists of Macedonia drive to establish interdisciplinary studies in journalism at the University of "Kiril & Metodij" in Skopje, formalising the arrangement successfully.
Guest of the Swedish royal house on occasion of their majesties official visit to Yugoslavia. Extensive reporting from Sweden on economic and political topics crowned by a special interview with the King and the Queen;
Upon their majesties' invitation, over a high tea at their palace, an introductory of the record briefing before their official visit to Yugoslavia and then an interview in Ohrid after a memorable dinner and dancing shared by both King and Queen who carried home my personal gift: a book of Macedonian embroidery
Resigned from "Nova Makedonija" upon appointment to the position of director of the Yugoslav National Tourist Office for Greece and Cyprus. Remained in Athens for the full four-year term of the tenure;
With d-r Milan Mazi, deputy minister for economy of SFRY, represented Yugoslavia in the bilateral negotiations for tourist cooperation signed in Athens
Returned to "Nova Makedonija" daily as a foreign affairs senior editor writing on NATO and OECD countries.
Guest, for the second time, of the US State Department on the occasion of the Presidential Election; a guest speaker to the Secretary's Forum during 5 weeks study trip;
Guest of Information Office of Her Majesty's Government at an invitation by the British ambassador. Intensive study-trip on the question of ethnic and cultural diversity in UK and in particular Wales, Ireland and Scotland.
Engaged by WDR (West Deutsche Rundfunk) as their special correspondent for Macedonia;
Guest of the Ministry of culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey, a 5-weeks long educational and fact gathering study-trip for the updated edition of a guide-book on Turkey;
Appointed Promotion & PR manager for the official Yugoslav entry ("Happy New '49" a Stole Popov f1lm) in the Best Foreign Film category for the Academy of Motion Pictures (Oscar) Award in Hollywood, USA; Despite all odds organized hugely successful previews, discussions (Elia Kazan, George Milkovich) and shows in New York, The Kennedy Watergate Center in Washington, Los Angeles and Hollywood.
Resigned from "Nova Makedonija" daily newspaper because of ideological differences;
Worked part-time with outdoor . advertising equipment producer in Los Angeles;
Elected Secretary-general of the National Tourist Office of Macedonia;
Elected representative of the Yugoslav National Tourist Office for the Netherlands, appointed director of the office in Amsterdam with a four-year tenure; Yugoslav National Tourist Office dissolves in 1991;
Correspondent for the Macedonian Television, "Republika" daily, Macedonian Radio, and a stringer for the WDR and the BBC, "Zbor"
Appointed member of the Publishing Board of the "Macedonian Newsmagazine", the first English language media in Macedonia;
1992 to 2002
Running in the rat race
2003 to present
A bit of this and that
OTHER PROFESSIONAL AND CREATIVE WORK
Translated the novel "To Kill The Mockingbird" by Harper Lee, from its original into Macedonian. Publisbed by "Makedonska Kniga" Publishing House;
Translated the "Naked Ape" by Desmond Morris for ZID publishing house which could not publish it on grounds of "immorality";
Received a commission to write a guide book on Greece. The paid text and the project frozen because of the military coup in Greece;
Published, independently, a guidebook titled "Everybody's Turkey", in Serbo-Croat;
Translated the novel "Rabbit Run" by John Updike for the United Publishers "ZID" which published it for the first time in Yugoslavia receiving laudatory reviews
FC "Vardar" qualifies for the UEFA Cup and upon the request of the Mayor of Skopje and the leadership of the club represents the most popular soccer club of Macedonia first at the draw of the pairs and then, as the guest of the club, at the official contacts with FC Dundee in Scotland. For the return leg in Skopje conceptualizes, produces and finances the first ever "official program" for any sporting event in Macedonia. Please click here if interested in the full racount of this project;
Practically every single project I have created is a story of co-operation, expert work and complex arrangements seemingly easy to set in motion. There were less than 12 hundred people in the packed stadium of some 30,000 fans ready to shed a dollar for this souvenir edition
Once elected secretary-general, revitalizes the Macedonian National Tourist Office (Turisticki Sojuz na Makedonija) by tireless work over its organizational structure, principal documents, program, delegating people from provincial offices to travel to federal level meetings, mobilizing funds, moving the presidency to action-designed conferences out of the capital, bringing federal and commercial funds into the emptied account, publishing and supporting audacious initiatives;
The project "Summer in Macedonia" results with a small info-booklet of 42 pages designed solely for distribution abroad although it was a vehicle for collecting funds from 36 advertisers. In the left bottom corner, on Lake Prespa, two close allies, Mr. Avramchev and Mr. Zarichin, members of the Presidency of TSM and bosses of the richest regional offices and Click here please if interested in this far-reaching project.
Creates and designs a publicity campaign "Macedonia in a Search of a Young Rembrandt" targeted at 450,000 Dutch tourists visiting Yugoslavia every year;
Creates and executes in Zagreb, Croatia, a week-long enthusiastically received presentation titled "The Herbal Holidays in Macedonia" (*) in musea and top locations of the Croat capital;
The presidency of the YNTO elects and appoints me its representative (director) of the Office for the Netherlands with a seat in Amsterdam.
In co-operation with Victor Smit from Advic B.V. and Vincent Prange conceptualizes and executes complex most successful publicity campaigns. The number of arrivals, overnights and expenditure by Dutch tourists in Yugoslavia reaches all time high, record levels;
With d-r prof. Slobodan Unkovic, recor magnificus of the University of Belgrade, after a series of interviews in the Netherlands, co-authors a remarkable study about the specifics and potentials of the Dutch tourist market,
From top left: The office opposite the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is refurbished in style; d-r prof. Slobodan Unkovic, then rector of Belgrade University, latter president of the Parliament, ambassador to China, with Mrs Cvetkova-Popova and Victor Smit, probably the best advertising copy writer in the Netherlands; Presentations on Vakantiebeurs are full of events, craftsmanship presentations and maximum innovation; The Dutch are equestrian nation> for the first and last time ever I bring 20 famous lipitsaner horses from Lipica stud farm for the Jumping Amsterdam event attended by the crown prince; A special (please see the explanation) ad in the largest Dutch daily attracts maksimum attention. Overnights by Dutch tourist hit highest point ever.
With Victor Smit who runs a fine advertising enterprise ADVIC b.v. works on a complex project envolving importers of renown carmakers, Dutch automobile association ANWB, yugoslav hoteliers and local authorities to produce in one million copies the pilot of the Yugoslav Automobile Newspaper (Autokrant Jopegoslavie) as a multifaceted vehicle for Yugoslav tourist promotion. This beautiful project is torpedoed by the looming atrocious wars on the Balkans.
The project is based on the huge number of Dutch tourists traveling for holidays by car, on the 450,00 new vars purchased annually and on the link between the lettering of the Dutch and the registration plates of the (former) Yugoslav cities, towns and boroughs. The two letters "ST" mean nothing for the Duch car owner or driver but in the republics of former Yugoslavia "ST" mean that that particular car (eventually a BMW or Jaguar) comes from Split, the city of Emperor Dioclecian. Such a link in this project implied €1500 cash value. Please see how!
With d-r prof. Zlatka Popovska creates, designs and prints in Amsterdam, as a personal donation, 25,000 posters for the election campaign of the late Kiro Popovski who becomes vice-president of the parliament;
Establishes Balkan-Babylon Consulting, a family partnership firm (Dutch V.O.F. or Venotschaap onder Firma) registered with the Kamers vaan Koophandel of Amsterdam, specializing in tourism, marketing, PR, investment, advertising and publishing. The Macedonian government is the first client and in cooperation with Mr. Victor Smit from Advic B.V. it produces the first tourist maps and folders for the Dutch market and despite protests by the Greek embassy designs and executes a most successful pavilion presentation during the Vakantiebeurs Utrecht in January 1993
There are people who believe that lots of billboards with a family on a sandy beach and a tiny "from" followed by a huge " €285 a week all inclusive" is enough for success. They insult the acumen of the customer. This is a different complex multifunctional project I designed and executed firmly believing in it. Please do have a look at the Aristotelian wijnplank project..
Contracted through Balkan-Babylon Consulting to conceptualize and execute for the Ministry of economy of Macedonia the presentation of the tourist industry of that country at the ITB Berlin, the largest and most important tourist business-to-business event in the world
Philips Nederlandse Bedrijven N.V. becomes another customer and contracts Balkan-Babylon for its investment projects (reconstruction of the airports and PTT equipment) in Macedonia
In a capacity of Advisor for Philips on a basis of a Letter of Intent by the Macedonian Government organized a work visit for five directors of the electronics giant to Macedonia with business talks between Philips team and the prime-minister, CEOs of the largest firms, mayors, rectors and the Civil Aviation authority.
Philips directors and myself disappointed by blatant corruption. Huge complex project goes down the drain.
With Zito-Luks A.D. from Skopje, the largest bakery producer in Macedonia, registers a joint-venture firm "Rovako" D.O.O. on 50:50 basis (a terrible mistake) specializing in wholesales for catering industry with an exclusive retail showroom DOM for English fine bone china.
Royal Worcester Ltd grants Balkan-Babylon a status of sole dealership for Macedonia.
Arranges a Representative status with Josiah Wedgwood & Sons. Ltd
The business developed and then William Turner Master Cutlers from Sheffield, Sola Zeist cutlery, Mayflower Glass Co.Ltd., the renown Royal Talens B.V., Hallmark, Wavin Trepack, R.D. de Jong Papier, produced for us under our design packaging in plastic and paper.
Balkan-Babylon was exclusive exporter (in our special packaging) of dry yeast for the Macedonian consumer market from Gist Brocades. the world leader in yeast and bakery additives production,
On the basis of oral, telex and phone enticements the project "SUPER KVASEC" ("Super yeast") was conceptualized and designed in-house from scratch. 250,000 sachets of 8 gr. yeast were produced and delivered with 55,000 booklets and sleeves. Please read the full account about this amazing, costly and if you ever intend to deal with Macedonian firms - dramatically revealing project.
Due to one of the few gross errors of judgment of characters combined with total lack of due intelligence Balkan-Babylon accepts to become the General Agent for the Benelux of MAT, now the defunct Macedonian Airlines. The significant investment of funds, prestige and the revival of Macedonia as a tourist destination is gambled away by the gargantuan duplicity and total incompetence of the owner-managerial group of MAT; Please see "The Bitter Experience of Dealing with the Macedonian Airlines"
For the Dutch market Balkan-Babylon publishes and distributes (1000 copies circulation per issue) 8-page bulletins in English and in Macedonian languages separately, about the significance and other practical information related to the Skopje-Amsterdam direct flight;
Published the illustrated traveler's companion "Turcija". Lavishly reviewed by Mr. Guner Ismail, former minister of culture of Macedonia and Blagoja Ivanov, renown author and retired University professor, the book is introduced by HE Melpomeni Korneti, ambassador of Macedonia in Ankara.
The 400+ pages heavily illustrated book is instant success and second enlarged edition follows same year.
Guest of the Government of the Turkish Northern Cyprus Republic on occasion of the independence jubilee with the prime minister of Turkey, Recep Tayup Erdogan attending.
From prime-minister Recep Tayup Erdogan receives in Istanbul "Distinguished Senior Citizens of the World" award