The World Trade Association of Utah recently had the privilege of interviewing Ms. Ifigeneia Vlachogianni, President of the World Trade Association of Greece. Previously the Vice President of the organization, Ms. Vlachogianni is now navigating her own businesses and the organization in a somewhat post-COVID world.
As a young girl, Ms. Vlachogianni watched her father run their family business and became curious about the managerial duties she observed. Additionally, Ms. Vlachogianni developed a great interest in math and numbers. As a result, she decided to study business, and after finishing university, she decided to start her company. In other words, she devoted her career to consulting and providing financial and management services and tools to companies all around the world, in order to grow their potential.
After studying finance and accounting and earning a master’s degree in management, Ms. Vlachogianni has spent the last 15 years as CEO of Epitodin. Moreover, Ms. Vlachogianni helps run her family’s business, which is a cinema that started in 1953. For the past year, she has been utilizing her managerial background and skills at the cinema, maintaining the business’s prosperity in a global pandemic.
Ms. Vlachogianni values the interpersonal connections gained through WTA of Greece and WTA of Utah. She shared that “it’s an honor nowadays to be part of such an organization because it deals with companies and people. I think that the most valuable asset nowadays is dealing with people.”
As the President and a CEO, Ms. Vlachogianni admires the potential that rising business leaders hold. She states that “people are capable of managing their own businesses, [and] that's why I decided to be part of this organization. [I serve] now as the President of the World Trade Association in Greece because I believe in this. We do have a mission, and of course, I believe that partnership, consumers, [and] companies are the keys nowadays in order to achieve commitments, cooperation and development.” Our mission statement defines our organization’s outlook for both internal and external purposes, which drive a new era of development, growth and productivity.
When asked about the struggles WTA of Greece has faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms. Vlachogianni does not deny that the lack of in-person communication has been difficult; however, she maintains an optimistic view of the situation. She shares that “we participated in many webinars, such as the Kainach International Forum, and webinars with...the World Trade Association of Greece [and] with the World Trade Association of Utah.” She also shared that although there were “many challenges throughout this past year, both as Vice President and President...I think it’s time to...go on because the development never stops.”
Similar to many other business leaders around the world, Ms. Vlachogianni had to adopt new business practices during the pandemic. She states that although the first few months were unpredictable, her companies eventually established a balanced and productive remote working routine for their employees. “For my company…[employees] have their own place to be more dedicated to the work they have to do. It was difficult, but through training and education, we tried to guide their daily life in order to get used to remote working.”
“I think that most of the people feel comfortable now to say that despite [having] lost more months of life outside their offices, they [can] say that they didn’t miss every part of the company or of their job because we [had] the opportunity to see each other. When you give [employees] a mission…[and] a vision, we have time to work better from home.” However, Ms. Vlachogianni is ready to “push the button of development again. This is a new year, and we have to be dedicated [to] our goals and challenges. A new era is coming.”
Ms. Ifigeneia Vlachogianni’s service to WTA of Greece and dedication to her businesses are undeniably admirable. As an organization dedicated to networking with highly esteemed individuals such as Ms. Vlachogianni, we invite you to become a member. For future event information and updates on conversations with more influential professionals, please follow our LinkedIn and Twitter.