Boston – Aygün Sahin, Ph.D. Created Cancer Research Simplified

Please introduce yourself.

My name is Aygün Sahin and I am from Frankfurt/Main, Germany. I am the Founder and CEO of a Boston-based global non-profit organization on cancer education CANCER RESEARCH SIMPLIFIED. We educate people about cancer in a straightforward, non-technical way and in multiple languages. We’re only one-and-a-half years old, have about 15 team members, and our educational programs have reached over 120 countries around the globe and in all 50 states in the US. I live in Boston, MA and run my international team around the globe from here.

When/where did you move to USA – how did you choose those cities/career?

I moved to the USA, more specifically to Boston, MA 8.5 years ago, when I got a job offer as a postdoctoral fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital-Harvard Medical School (MGH-HMS) in the department of Neurosurgery. Boston was my first “American experience” and I am so in love with this city that it makes it really hard to move anywhere else. I am a biologist with a Master’s degree in applied biology, earning both my undergraduate and Master’s degrees from Hacettepe University in Ankara, Turkey, where I also worked as a research and teaching faculty member. I always believed in “bringing science down to people” and that’s why I got my master’s degree specifically in applied biology.

During my undergraduate years, I got selected from over 60 applicants for a summer internship at the Turkish National Scientific and Research Council (TUBITAK) at the department of Molecular Oncology. That was the time when I started to find cancer research fascinating. After earning my Master’s, I moved back to Germany for my PhD degree in Genetics at the University of Bonn. My PhD work was all about understanding the development of one of the most aggressive, most deadly type of brain cancer in adults, Glioblastoma (GBM) and developing genetic therapies for it. I continued to work on GBM at the Center for Clinical Research at the University of Bochum, where I built and ran a neuro-oncology laboratory, developing cellular therapies for GBM. This was the time when I got a job offer as a postdoctoral fellow at MGH-HMS and moved to Boston, MA.

There, I developed cancer immunotherapy strategies for GBM and won a highly competitive research award from the well-respected American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA). After 3.5 years working as a postdoctoral fellow, I got promoted to a junior faculty position. During my career in cancer research, my experience with cancer patients’ family members around the globe, desperately searching for knowledge about their loved ones’ disease and the disconnection between the scientific world and cancer patients led me to build the nonprofit, Cancer Research Simplified.

What did your family do and where are they now?

Although I was born and raised in Germany, as you might have guessed, I have a Turkish name. My parents are Turkish and I lived 16 years of my life in Turkey, from secondary school to high school in Istanbul, and from college to masters in Ankara. We moved from Germany to Turkey in 1984 and since then my parents have lived in Istanbul. My mother supports my father at home while he still works at the age of 70 on his own business in tourism. My two older sisters moved back to Frankfurt for college, while my little brother stayed in Turkey and pursued college there. Both of my sisters have degrees in German studies and journalism, and my brother is an electrical engineer. My oldest sister is currently living in Düsseldorf with her family and is a well-published, award-winning author on children and youth literature, addressing intercultural tolerance. My middle sister lives with her family and my amazing nephew in Berlin. My brother works as a manager at a company in Istanbul, where he lives with his family.

How did you end up starting the non-profit you have now? Why – and how do you fund it?

During my career in cancer research, I always dealt with people’s questions about cancer and latest cancer research for specific cancer types. This led me to build a nonprofit that explains people their disease, guide them toward institutes and hospitals, and help educate the general public about cancer prevention. Since I have been a mentor for young people throughout my career, I strongly believe in encouraging young scientists, thus, our nonprofit also has the mission of providing cancer research scholarships to high school students around the globe. There is also a specific story behind it.

You can read more about why and how I built the nonprofit here: http://www.cancerresearchsimplified.org/about-the-founder.html
Our funds are raised by donations, board member’s contributions and in-kind donations from companies. We’re also looking for sponsors to support our specific educational programs and great cause in general.

Do you try to go back to Europe every year? The language and the culture are different from in the USA for sure. What do you miss the most – and the least?

Oh, I wish. Unfortunately, I haven’t been to Germany and haven’t seen my siblings and nephew for 5.5 years. Recently, I had to fly to Istanbul, after two years, due to a health condition of my grandmother.
What I miss the most is the close friendships that come so naturally in Europe, here in the USA, you must work very hard for it, and yet, you’re often not sure whether or not you are considered to be a “close friend”. On the other hand, I absolutely love the tolerance between cultures and religions here in the USA, the respect and care for one another, and that you are and can be who you are, which Europe really has to learn.

Workwise – how do you see Germans/Turkish being different from Americans – also culturally, what stands out in your chosen profession?

Generally speaking, I think we Europeans are very shy to present ourselves both in written form and verbally, whereas Americans have absolutely no problems with it. When I talk about my profession, Germans, like myself, work very organized and efficiently during their work hours, and are always on time, and I find Turkish people to be very smart and they ask great questions. Not that people from other cultures don’t have these qualities, but those are the ones that stand out in my opinion.

When you think about life in Europe vs USA before you moved to the USA – did you have misconceptions that turned out to be wrong?

I have to chuckle at this question. Yes, like every European, I thought that the USA was a super high-tech country. Like in Hollywood movies, I thought that tall buildings were made out of glass, and all machines were operated by robotic technology, and your coffee, tea, drinks were handed to you by pressing a button. Well, who knew that the houses, streets, and public transportation are very old here. That was a huge shocker for me.

What is your favorite food/s and drink?

Oh, my favorite foods are Karniyarik (stuffed eggplant) and dolma (stuffed peppers). I don’t think I have a favorite drink, but I don’t drink anything caffeinated, I always drink decaf Americano, herbal teas, and milk.

How is the European community in Boston vs. the USA? Who do you think are the Germans and Turkish the average American may know? Any scientists?

My goodness, we have a huge European community here in Boston. But I must say that San Francisco is also one of my favorite cities, and it also has a large European community.
As for German, I think Albert Einstein would be known by an average American, and Mehmet Öz as a Turkish physician. However, having worked at the Neurosurgery department at MGH, I was very pleased to hear the repeated mentioning of Gazi Yaşargil, the father of modern Microneurosurgery.

What would you like anyone to know and appreciate about Germany or Turkey? (food, music, culture, people, history….)

I think people know that about Germans, but I really like to emphasize that Germans are known for efficient, organized, and timely work ethic, which is praiseworthy. Turkish people are really smart and they can think on their feet. Many people know that already, but I like to emphasize here that Turkish people are very friendly and warm-hearted people, and are very hospitable.

Would you ever return to Europe to live there fulltime?

I am not sure. Haven’t thought of it (yet). I love living here in Boston and in the USA, but I miss my family and friends very much. It’s a tough call.

Could you share with us what are your plans for the future as far as your research goes – what would you like to accomplish…what has been the best, worst…My exchange family’s dad was a cancer researcher, Phd (immunology) – so I have heard a lot about this and also experiences with close family and friends the affects of cancer at many levels. I guess personally for me small kids having cancer is the most touching as it feels so unfair.

Sure. My goal with our organization is to become “the” resource and center for cancer education in the USA and around the globe, collaborating with hospitals and K-12 schools on cancer education. For cancer patients specifically, my goal is to fully empower them against their diseases, not feeling victimized by it, and being able work “together” with their medical team. To achieve this, we recently initiated a worldwide campaign in multiple languages, called #empowermentagainstcancer. People download our sign from our website and write the names and countries of their loved ones who are currently suffering from cancer and send their videos or pictures to us. We’ve received an overwhelming amount of responses and I would like to encourage everyone to join our campaign. You can learn more about our campaign here: http://www.cancerresearchsimplified.org/blog/take-part-in-our-new-campaign
I had amazing experience with people contacting us from around the globe, asking questions about their loved ones’ diseases. I cannot describe the feeling when they thank you back, writing very emotional thank you letters, it’s just heart breaking, but extremely rewarding. Then I know that I “really” do something good for humanity!
As a cancer immunology researcher, I absolutely believe in the power of cancer immunotherapy and I know that there will be amazing therapies available, hopefully in the near future.
Yes, pediatric cancer is a topic that breaks my heart as well. But I need to emphasize that not all cancer types lead straight to death. Some cancer types have a better outcome and survival rate in childhood as well as adult cancer than people might think.

Anything you think we all could do to prevent cancer realistically?

That’s what we educate the general public about. We’re the only organization that exists that informs people on what they can do on day-to-day basis to prevent cancer. Therefore, we promote healthy diet, exercise, and healthy life style. Eating healthy (e.g., some fruits and vegetables need to be consumed as organic due to pesticides, less processed food, fiber rich foods, more whole foods) and in balance (balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates), doing exercise, staying away from stress, staying in smoke-free environments, avoiding products with harsh chemicals, being more in fresh air, staying positive are some things we all could do to seriously reduce the risk of cancer. Obviously, it also depends on our genetic heritages, but some triggers caused by environmental factors can be avoided.

Connect with Dr Aygün Sahin & Cancer Research Simplified:
Aygün Şahin, M.Sc., Ph.D.
CEO and Founder
Cancer Research Simplified – 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Phone: +1 (617) 767-1070
P.O. Box 400335, Cambridge, MA 02140
USA

www.CancerResearchSimplified.org
FACEBOOK

 

Travel Impressions – Alex Fildish on His 3rd EuroCircle Adventure

Traveler bio: Born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria, Alex is an IT Consultant who lives in Aspen, Colorado. His career takes him to exotic locations like Dubai and the metropolises of south-east Asia.
Alex has joined two EuroCircle trips thus far, Peru, 2012 and Cambodia & Vietnam, 2013. This year, we look forward to catching up with him in India, 2014.

1. Having traveled with you for a couple of years now, I can safely say that you are one of the most jolly travelers we have had so far. You are always so relaxed and easy-going. What’s your secret for dealing with a big group and a tight itinerary?

Vodka.

2. Peru was a tough journey for most of the members. We traveled two days to reach Machu Pichu, then battled altitude sickness in Cuzco. Yet, you were the only one who was unfazed by the ordeal. How did you keep your cool?

Pisco Sour.

3. Asia was a big change for Eurocircle Travels. Not only was it a longer journey, but our travel style changed to make the itinerary exclusive to Eurocircle members. As a result we spent much more time together as a group. What did you think of the itinerary?

I liked it very much. For me Vietnam with its communist points of interest was the weakest link in the trip. But the boat trip was one of the highest points. I guess there was a good balance.

4. If you could change anything about our trips, what would that be?

I would do some screening on new people. The Asian trip had a couple of “difficult” people, who were not so pleasant.

5. I’m a bit anxious about taking the members to India this year. It’s an even tougher journey, and I’m worried how members will adjust to seeing all the poverty there. Do you have any travel advice for people visiting south-east Asia or India for the first time?

I would recommend if possible to stay away from the slums. The site of misery can be quite shocking for ordinary Americans. If there is no way around it and the slums are a must part of the trip, I would recommend for us to see some movies on the subject. For example the Slum Dog Millionaire or Black Cat White Cat can be a good start. Or maybe if there was one of those euro-circle gathering that includes an hour of a National Geography channel Indian Poverty series preview could help. Even if there is no organized preparation event you might send a link to the group. With the google results of “Preparing for a trip to India” search. You will be surprised what comes up. The list of references goes pretty deep.

6. You are a quite a globe trotter yourself. I always wonder what compels a seasoned, independent traveler to join a group. Enlighten me.

I usually travel on business with some delivery responsibilities. Joining a group of cool people and going to places I have not been before is quite an adventure. Since my wife does not like to travel it would be very difficult for me to find company for a trips like that.

7. What do you look forward to the most from India, 2014?

I am working with a lot of Indian Technology people. In this sense I will be looking forward to learn how to recognize their cast in the society. I guess there might be a way by their names to recognize which part of the country they come from and which cast they might belong to. I am also very interested in the Hindu and Buddhism. My personal philosophy is very much aligned with the Buddhism philosophy. I believe that our souls are borrowed or leased for the period of life time. I will be looking to get more inside while visiting India.

Alexander at Facebook
Alexander at EuroCircle

EuroCircle Travels is an annual program, that takes our members on a global adventure. So far, we have explored the silk markets of Istanbul, trekked to the top of Machu Pichu, raced tuk-tuks in Siem Reap, Cambodia, and sailed down Halong Bay for an unforgettable experience. If you would like more information about our upcoming trip to India, please E-mail Me ASAP!

As a perk for all Eurocircle travelers, we have condensed .pdf travel guides. They are easy to read on your mobile device, and best of all, they are FREE for all Eurocircle members.
To obtain a copy, let me know your destination, and your e-mail address, and I will forward a copy to you. (E-mail Me Your Request with all details)

Looking forward to traveling with you,

Sherry Kumar
E-mail Sherry

Austin – Michele Aubry, How To Live Your Life in Harmony (Czech Republic)

1. Please introduce yourself.

My name is Michele Aubry (Michele Ubryova) and I was born and raised in Prague, the Czech Republic. My mom and I moved to Austin in August of 2000 for her now ex husband. The rest of our family still lives in the Czech Republic.

I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice here in Austin, TX and I have a son, Maxx, who is 3 years old.

2. When/where did you move to USA – how did you choose those cities/career?

cities/career? We moved when I was 16 years old straight to Austin where I finished high school and then I moved to Santa Barbara, CA to start college. I moved back to Austin a year later and have been here ever since. I finished school at UT of Austin.

3. What did your family do and where are they now?

Now? My mom worked as a paralegal in Prague. In Austin she has worked for Saks Fifth Avenue and now Neiman Marcus since they opened their doors at the Domain.

4. What is important to you in life – money, freedom, food, family, hobbies, friends, travel — Why? Since you are more multicultural in my opinion you may have more varied likes/dislikes.

I grew up traveling all over Europe and I see how much those experiences taught me and enriched me. I was raised eating healthy food and spending time with friends. A deep friendship is something that I value highly, especially because it has been harder to find here. I see money as a means to security and something that I would like to have enough of for traveling purposes, so I can continue adding on new experiences.

My hobbies are fitness and food. I love to try new food and I very much enjoy cooking various types of cuisine!

5. Do you try to go back to Europe every year? The language and the culture are different than in TX for sure. What is home for you outside US, What do you miss the most – and the least?

I used to go back to Prague at least one a year but ever since I had my son, I went only once. Traveling with a toddler alone is not on my list of desired things to do. I miss seeing my family more often but nowadays, skype and Facebook make it easier to talk, see each other and share. I still speak Czech at home with my mom and my son.

We don’t miss the food much but we do miss walking around, we miss the architecture and ease of public transportation. One thing we don’t miss a bit is the jealousy and negativity that is now obvious to us – but was not when we lived there.

6.Workwise – how do you see Europeans being different from Americans – also culturally, what stands out in your chosen profession? You studied psychology. I lived 17 years in Manhattan. I recall thinking there how many people were super neurotic. I have been to dates where the guy tells you if you do have a therapist or have had some type of psychotherapy/analysis you have a problem! I prefer talking about my problems with friends and family though I am sure there are times we all could use a therapist (major changes in life, drama, illness, loss of job, death).

First of all, psychoanalysis is a type of an approach to therapy and is quite outdated nowadays. Psychotherapy however, is something that has bad stigma in Europe and it makes me quite sad. Most people don’t understand the difference between the roles of a Psychiatrist and a Psychologist, or a therapy. Truly, I think that we all can use talk
therapy as some point in our life, whether it is to resolve unfinished business or to make a positive change that will help us reach goals and feel happy.

Therapy is not for CRAZY people, those are referred to a Psychiatrist who is also a medical doctor.

Note by Kaisa: I have a friend – Dr. Byron Wilkenfeld, who is a psychiatrist here in Austin – a brilliant man, a very interesting topic to discuss the use of meds in the USA with him.

7. When you think about life in Europe (the CR) vs USA before you moved to the USA – did you have misconceptions that turned out to be wrong?

I saw on TV as a teenager. I moved from Prague to Austin. It was a culture shock and a huge surprise. I have also never seen so many homeless people and that was very shocking because people always spoke of USA as the country of the rich.

8. Is there something with the American culture or customs that you think Czechs you learn from – and vice-versa?

I think Czechs could learn from Americans to be more optimistic and more friendly towards strangers. Also, philantrophy is something that I would like to see more people in the CR do. What I would like for the US people to learn from Czechs is to work to live life, not to live to work mentality.

9. What is your favorite food/s and drink?

Sushi and wine. I could have that every day.

10. How is the European/Czech (your country’s) community in Austin vs. USA? Who do you think are the Czechs the average American may know?

The Czech community here in Austin is actually quite large. I started a Czechoslovakian group on FB few years ago and at our last Easter get together, there were around 60 Czechs I would say. Many of us have blended in this culture and enjoy this place for what it is. Many go back to the CR on regular basis to see families but I think that except our accent, we aren’t so different from the locals. Maybe, we are quite a bit more direct with others;-)

11. What would you like anyone know and appreciate about your country? (food, music, culture, people, history….)

I personally don’t care for Czech food but I have adopted the gluten free dairy free diet for personal beliefs. However, I do think our pastry is outstanding. The architecture and the way the country preserved that over all the years is admirable.

We Czechs make very loyal and trustworthy friends, I believe.

12. Would you ever return to live there full-time?

No, I would not, but my mom is also here with me so that makes my decision much easier. I lived there for 16 years but I have been here for 14 years now, so I have had time to build relationships here.

13. Could you share with us what are your plans for the future? What is it in life that makes you happy or content – that means different stuff for all of us.

In the very near future, I would like to continue growing my private practice and present on the topic of happiness and success. Throughout my journey of coming here in my teens, my marriage and divorce, my motherhood, I have found myself in the study of happiness and what drives us and makes us more resilient. I would truly enjoy reaching a larger audience
to share my knowledge and personal experience. And as a mom, I would like to focus on being the best I can be to help him achieve his full potential and help my son Maxx grow into a warm hearted, respectful man.

Connect with Misa (Michelle):
micheleaubry.com/
Misa at Facebook

New York – March 18 2014

Purchase and Sale of Residential and Investment Properties in Manhattan: looking at the current state of the market, the intricacies of the Manhattan real estate process and what you need to know even before considering a purchase or sale with an emphasis on subtleties for foreign nationals, but residents and US Citizens will also be covered.

A Manhattan Real Estate Attorney will be present. Refreshments will be served.

If there is a specific topic you would like to discuss, please send questions in advance to victoria@halstead.com

This is not an industry event. If you’re a licensed real estate professional, please do not RSVP.

PAYMENTS:
Send a check $35 payable to EuroCircle to:
Alexandra Spirer, 5 Tudor City Place apt 1315, NY NY 10017

Or send $36 ($1 fee) via PayPal to newyork@eurocircle.com

ABOUT THE ORGANIZER:
Victoria Vinokur is a Licensed Real Estate Broker with Halstead Property, LLC in Manhattan. Deemed as a reputable real estate resource, she has been profiled in the Wall Street Journal and quoted in The New York Times. She is the author of the quarterly Manhattan Market Update ‘The Real Estate Times’. Victoria works with clients who are motivated and value quality service, dedication and thorough knowledge of the Manhattan Real Estate Market, inventory and trends. She has been affiliated with EuroCircle since its inception in 1999 and has enjoyed seeing its growth to a global network it is today.

Austin – July 23 2014

La V happy hour (ends 6:30pm) features discounted cocktails and wine (by the glass and bottle) as well as an assortment of small bites all priced $7 and under.

In addition to happy hour they also still serve our full dinner menu during that time. PLEASE TRY TO GET THERE BY 7 PM – SPACE IS LIMITED.
If anyone in our group wanted to order an appetizer or small plate off our dinner menu they would be able to do so at the regular price. Those dishes include simply a spectacular cheese selections as well as their famous chicken liver pate. The wine bar is a fun, convivial space designed to encourage tasting and conversation. Adjacent to the Wine Bar is La V’s front patio which can also be utilized if some of you choose to sit outdoors.

If our group grows beyond a smaller group, La V’s team will do what they can to accommodate accordingly. July is usually our smallest, more intimate events due to many Europeans going home!
La V will also offer complimentary valet for EuroCircle guests.

Note: LA V opens at 5:00 PM and runs Happy Hour in the Wine Bar until 6:30 PM on regular basis.
Next to us is another Blue Lounge and in the back their more formal “dining” room – and a special wine room reserved for wine events. La V’s sommelier is a lovely European lady, Vilma.
For me La V is one of the nicest looking restaurants in Austin, a cool mix of modern and classic fine dining. I took Gary there for his b-day in May, had steak frites which I liked. Their desserts were great – and the wine list is excellent.

New York – Jul 22 2014

Join us for the annual fun European summertime rooftop party with multiple European groups (Italian, Swedes, Finnish, Bulgarian etc)!!

NO COVER with online RSVP by 4 pm on July 22!

The drink special will be $10 Absolut drinks all night. Food is available for purchase.

Attire: Dress to impress

Hosts: 
Arctic Circle – Finns of NYC – Harriet Kulmala & Nina Kulmala –
The Bulgarian Women’s Club – Boriana Pavlova
International Swede – Thomas Noe

Danes in NYC – Anders Krog, Dennis Schindler-Thomsen, Hannah Holt and Lars Eeg
New York Italians – Archina DAgostino
UomoModerno Magazine – Francesco Di Maio

Join us – and bring a friend/s who have never met us!!

Best,

Alexandra  & EuroCircle NY TEAM

New York – Alexandra Spirer, Making Friends Around the World!

EuroCircle Founder feels it’s time for the members to know more about the team leaders due to many requests from the members, so let’s start in New York City where EuroCircle had its first event in January 1999 (15 years + ago).

1. Please introduce yourself

My name is Alexandra Spirer. I have been living in Manhattan since 2002 (Larchmont and Boca Raton, FL are my other two home cities).
My family is spread out all over the country. My dad Gary lives in Austin, TX. My mom Karen will be moving from White Plains, NY to Florida in the fall. My younger sister Danielle lives in Westchester with her husband David.

2. What struggles have you faced in your life and how have you overcome them?

Growing up I suffered from a severe learning disability. I couldn’t understand abstract ideas well. My junior high school recommended that I enter a special education school rather than my high school. I didn’t like the idea at all. I asked my dad to study with me. I discovered ways to understand abstract ideas and the world that had been shut off from me suddenly came alive.

It was very frustrating learning how to connect the dots. I found relief in traveling to different countries and making friends that I have kept in touch with over the years. I have traveled to 40 countries and my goal is to join the 100 Traveler’s Country Club. I will add two more countries this fall when I travel on EuroCircle’s 4th Annual Trip to India with a stop in Dubai before.

In 2005, I was also diagnosed with Thyroid disease (Hashimoto’s) which is an auto-immune disease. I have struggled with my weight for many years partly due to it. It is a constant struggle but one I am determined to beat.

3. How have your learning disabilities and struggles affected your business career?

My learning disabilities had made me very shy, self-conscious. We started a family food business and it was very traumatic for me to present myself at trade shows and in supermarkets giving out samples. I had to learn how to communicate by looking people in their eyes and listening carefully to what they were saying. I found many times I would be distracted because of my learning disability.

I have always helped others learn better since it has been a challenge for me my entire life. After our family food business, we created two businesses that focus on learning and education. We have designed accelerated ways for people to learn; test what they have learned and implement what they have learned all in real – time.

It is very rewarding to see people who have struggled as I have learn about business and life in ways they never thought possible.

4. What was the inspiration behind these educational companies that you are involved in?

My father devoted years to perfecting the learning models that had helped me get through high school and become a top student in college. As I said, it became my passion to help others learn and comprehend faster. For anybody that is interested, we offer courses, coaching and mentoring to entrepreneurs, creative types and local businesses using our learning models to accelerate what they need to know to succeed.

We have a best-selling Crowdfunding/money raising book on Amazon Crowdfunding: The Next Big Thing (it has been #1 and #2 best seller in Crowdfunding for months now).

Our other company DILOGR, an interactive real-time educational marketing, training and analytics company that is integrated with IBM, Oracle/Eloqua, Salesforce, Infusionsoft and other CRMs.

5. How did you get involved with EuroCircle? Any other thoughts you’d like to share with us?

I have been a EuroCircle member since 2008. I have been the New York Organizer since 2011 (with the help of Sherry Kumar who ran it for a while from Philly after the EC Founder moved to Austin). You can check out the latest events at our website or in our group on Facebook: EuroCircle New York.
EuroCircle charges no fees for individual membership, all its expenses are paid by its founder – and we all are volunteers.

I would love to find trustworthy “country/goodwill ambassadors” or “point people”, members that are interested in representing their countries – be the face for their country, write stories, interviews, videographers/photographers to cover our events, take photos/videos for the website. All of that would help greatly. I am sure the other city leaders feel the same. I would also love to have an entire team of cool, social and reliable members that are interested in being hosts at our events and help us to arrange events. I have loved meeting so many people from different groups and countries (Arctic Circle Finns in NYC, Italians in NYC, GermansinNYC, Danes in NYC, Intl Swede, Fwd.us, welcome.us etc) and making many wonderful European friends. We have loved featuring other European groups/leaders at the site. It has been very rewarding and a great learning experience for someone who loves travelling like I do.

If you interested in becoming involved – in ANY role in EuroCircle, LISTEN {YES, it is me talking. Thanks DilogR!} to this short clip by me and E-mail me!

6. Traveling – most Americans don’t travel much outside the USA – how about you as it sounds you have a personal interest in Europe?

I have been to 40 countries so far with the goal of making the 100 Country Club (and yes it is a real club). I will get to 42 countries later this fall when I travel to Dubai and then India on our 4th Annual EuroCircle Trip at the beginning of November ! I have been to far out places like Tibet and last year Laos after the EuroCircle trip to Vietnam and Cambodia.
In college I was fortunate to spend my spring semester of my Junior year living and working in London. I got to do a lot of traveling from Greece to Czechoslovakia.

7. What is your favorite food?

Mexican food – I love a good guacamole, taco or burrito. Every year I look for a new Mexican place for my birthday dinner! I am a big foodie and love to check out the latest restaurants with friends and try new cuisines. (I probably should prefer Italian food since my mom’s heritage is Italian.)

8. When you aren’t working what do you like to do for fun?

New York City has so much to offer. I love to explore new parts of the city with friends. I love museums, The Botanical Gardens or checking out the latest Broadway musical or play.
I go to the movies whenever I can. On my list to still check out is to finally go to the Highline and explore the cool places along it.

9. Any childhood memory that makes you smile?

When my younger sister Danielle was born I woke up screaming “mommy, mommy” and then went right back to sleep not knowing that an hour away my mom was giving birth to my sister Danielle at that exact time. My mom has called me psychic ever since.

10. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?

That’s a difficult question. I loved London and would move back there in a heartbeat.
I loved being able to be at the theater in under 20 minutes and on the weekends take Britrail to places like Hartfield where the Winnie the Pooh stories were created by A.L. Milne. There is the real 500 acre woods.
I hope in the near future that I get to explore more of Europe and England.

I love Europe in general, the culture, the people and seeing so many amazing sites have made it a place that I would love to live one day. One my best friends from high school lives in Switzerland. Her heritage is partly from Montenegro so I have visited her family a few times there as well – gorgeous.

11. Anything else you would like people to know about you?

I like to cook and love trying new recipes whenever I get the chance. My mom is a master chef.
I am an avid photographer and love taking pictures wherever I go. I also love spending time with family and friends whenever I can. I LOVE traveling – I always say I would like my job to have something to do with traveling.

12. If I were able to grant you any wish – what would it be?

I would love to be able to travel more and see more of the world. I wish I had more time to spend with friends that are in different parts of the world.

Thanks Alex for sharing some of more personal memories and experiences with all of us.

Connect with Alexandra:
Email Me
Alex at EuroCircle forums
My job – DilogR.com
www.linkedin.com/in/alexandraspirer
www.facebook.com/alexandraspirer
www.twitter.com/eurocirclenyc
I mentioned I work for DILOGR, which has this interactive real-time technology that enables the users to make any photos, images, slide presentations and videos interactive. What it means is for example add audio, text, URL, etc to photos (Hover over the photo below and see what happens if you click on hotspots). With videos the users can add survey questions, call-to-actions, integrate with CRMs, add text links, collect analytics and more. All in one platform.

New York – Jul 13 2014

Join EuroCircle at this beautiful midtown lounge while we watch the World Cup Finals on large screens/tvs.
Which team are you rooting for? Bring your friends, family for a fun afternoon of soccer!

There is a full bar and food is available for purchase from Serafina restaurant.

We look forward to seeing you on July 13th!

Your Host: Frank Breuer, Germany

About the World Cup:

The FIFA World Cup™ is the biggest single-event sporting competition in the world and is contested by the senior men’s national teams from the 208 Member Associations of FIFA.

The competition has been played every four years since the inaugural tournament in 1930, except in 1942 and 1946 when it was not held because of the Second World War.

It fulfils FIFA’s objectives to touch the world, develop the game, and build a better future through a variety of ways.

San Francisco – Virginie Suos, Parisian Flair with Prélude

1. Please introduce yourself.

My name is Virginie Suos. I am from Paris, France and currently live in San Francisco, California. I’ve worked on several startups within the fashion industry and am now about to launch a clothing line on Kickstarter..
Prélude Kickstarter campaign

Comment: If you do not about crowdfunding/money raising online – Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Rockethub – go and read Gary’s interview at EuroCircle – you can get his book for a special EuroCircle price with extra bonuses.

2. Tell us about your upcoming line:

Prélude is about Women’s sleepwear + loungewear made from 100% all-natural, organic cotton. Inspired by classic French cuts and handcrafted in California. We combine timeless fashion + classic elegance to create easy, everyday pieces that are safe and delicate on even the most sensitive skin.

3. How and why was the company founded: Why?

To revolutionize the fashion industry! Nowadays, most companies are manufacturing their clothing in sweatshops overseas and using poor quality, synthetic fibers that are detrimental to our well-being and toxic to the environment. The clothing is then marked up 8x in fast retail. Prélude is about going against the status quo and abiding by healthier ethics.

4. When and why did you move to the USA

I moved to the USA about 10 years ago now. My parents immigrated to France from Cambodia in their early twenties; they’ve lived in several countries, experienced different cultures and always wished that we do the same. They firmly believe that California is the land of opportunities so my brothers and I moved here to study abroad. We spent our first couple of years in rural Modesto prior to transferring to the University of California in Berkeley.

5. What do you do after work, what interests you

Besides brainstorming and daydreaming all day, I enjoy taking fitness / yoga classes and surrounding myself with athletes + artists. I love attending art shows and classical performances. I get so much inspiration from the crazy ones who pursue their passion.

6. What is your favorite food:

I grew up eating a lot of my mom’s home-cooked French + Chinese meals! I love trying different local restaurants; Japanese + Thai foods are on top of my list, but French food is still my favorite as I find it more balanced and nutritious. More importantly, I’ve learned to seek more organic, fresh ingredients.

7. Tell me about your family, where are they now?

My dear parents are looking for a place to retire! I think they would be happy in the bay area, maybe in Marin county. I also have an older brother who’s in Los Angeles, and my younger brother is here with me in San Francisco.

8. Do you try to go back, what do you miss the most?

Sadly, I haven’t been back to Paris in over 5 years. My parents have been visiting a lot so I haven’t felt an urge to go back. I do get nostalgic at times though; I miss my French grandmother and aunt a lot. I also miss hanging out at Parisian cafés and parks with friends, and spending my summer in Southern France.

9. How do you see the French being different from Americans?

I see more similarities than differences. The lifestyle is quite the same; although French people tend to spend a lot more time traveling and enjoying the good things in life! I like French expats; the French people I meet here in SF because they tend to be more ambitious, more open-minded and more positive-minded than the typical French.

10. Would you ever return to live in France full-time?

At this point, I’m not sure. If my Kickstarter campaign does well, I’d like to keep on expanding the clothing collection/company and live in more than just one place! The world has plenty of beautiful places so I wouldn’t want to limit myself to just Europe or the USA.

11. Are there any other relevant and even not so relevant information you’d like to share?

I love interacting with different cultures! I’ve had roommates from all over the world. And l love my bitcoins! Not just for the libertarian ideas, but for the concept of global currency.

Connect with Virginie Suos:
Virginie at Facebook
Prélude Kickstarter campaign