Damir is a Senior Advisor at Vlahovic Group, responsible for relations with international investors operating in Croatia and the Southeast European region. His executive experience in Croatia has resulted in an extensive network of contacts on all levels of government and industry. His areas of expertise include trade association management, government relations, corporate communications, public relations, community relations, and crisis management. Damir is a Croatian-American raised in Cleveland, Ohio. He graduated from the University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio, with a B.S. in Mathematics and completed his M.A. studies in Russian/East European Studies from Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida. In 1992, he returned to Croatia and volunteered as an international press guide/translator/producer for the Foreign Press Bureau, an NGO liaison office for foreign journalists. From 1993-1998, he worked for the U.S. Information Service within the U.S. Embassy in Croatia.
As the Public Relations Manager for Bechtel International, Inc. – Branch in Croatia, Damir worked on the 157km, $1 billion Croatian Motorway Project connecting Croatia’s hinterland with its Adriatic coast. Here, Damir realised his most extensive corporate experience, leading the project’s public relations and government affairs from start-up to operations and to project shut-down. In six years, the project rose from a 40-man start-up management team to over 3,000 direct hire employees and 2,000 subcontractor employees and finally to project completion and shut-down. Directly reporting to the Project Manager, Damir was the primary advisor for the project for government relations with local, regional and state officials.
For almost six years, Damir served as the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Croatia. As the highest professional of the largest international business association in Croatia, with up to 200 members from the business and NGO communities in Croatia, he was the primary public executive for AmCham both for the public and the Croatian Government at all levels. Complimenting his corporate experience with Bechtel, the AmCham experience and network, including the AmCham and US Chamber of Commerce networks in the U.S., Europe and worldwide, provide a wide spectrum of contacts.