Ann-Christine Langselius – A Swedish PhD & A Visionary Entrepreneur Moves to Austin

I always want to interview European smart women and the new Swedish lady in town of Austin certainly qualifies!!

Please introduce yourself (name, country, where are you from and what do you do, where do you live now, family… and why)?

My name is Ann-Christine Langselius and I was born in northern Sweden. I have lived in Sweden, Germany and the US previously. We just moved from the Stockholm region to Austin in July, 2014. I moved to Austin together with my three sons Oliver, Maximilian and Ethan. I run an investment firm including a green tech fire and mold company that we are establishing in Austin. Together with a business partner and we also have a TV channel for high Innovation technology and products, located in the National Press Club in DC. I have also established an international business program where were assist companies and CEOs with their growth of their companies and/or organizations. We are assisting Swedish and European companies that would like to enter the US market.

When and why did you move to USA (alone??), where have you lived before that – how did you choose those cities/career?

My kids and I moved to the US this summer but have lived here before. We have also lived in Germany besides Sweden and the US. The cities were chosen due to my work and also that we like to live where we have been and where we are now. I started my career as an Air Force Officer and then continued my studies with an MBA and a PhD. I have worked both for the Swedish government as well as in the private sector.

What did your family do and where are they now?

My family lived in northern Sweden and my father worked for Skanska and my mother was a chef. They passed away 20 years and 17 years ago.

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.

My children are very important to me and I am so happy to have them in my life. We love to travel, cook and bake, experience new things, watch movies and to be out in the nature.

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

Yes, and since I have personnel in Sweden I will be commuting back to Sweden for work as well. We plan to spend some time in Sweden each year as our summer vacation. Home outside the US is Stockholm for me/us. We have not had time to miss much yet since we have been here such a short time, but we miss our family and friends in Sweden. Luckily there is Skype and other ways to communicate with everyone.

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

I think that it is more abundance here which also creates a more sharing mentality. People are very open to share network and to actually meet a stranger just to help out. This makes the opportunities for growth and success much larger and it is a very positive environment to be in. I also think that the climate here plays a big role in how open people are. In Sweden we experience a difference in the winter time when it is very cold and dark and most people get quieter.

You studied technology and business (PhD and MBA). Not a typical combination for a man, let alone a woman. I understand female entrepreneurship is close to your heart as well…how did this career turn take place?

My interest and curiosity for how things work, people and creating high performance teams and how to create new things were already there as a little girl, and I think that my time as an Air force officer was a great leadership platform for what I have been doing in my career. The female entrepreneurship has evolved the last few years due to the need for concrete hands on Due Diligence, national and international networks, investment, management board training and allocations of key board members, visibility and mentorship. I felt that I/we had lots to share and that we could make a difference by working both as a business and philanthropically in this area.

What is your favorite food/s and drink?

I like vegetarian fusion food a lot, fish and Austin BBQ. I also like French bread and macaroons.

How is the European/Swedish community in Austin vs. USA? Who do you think are the Swedes the average American may know?

I don’t know yet since we only have been here for three months.

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

We are very caring and hardworking, very innovative and especially in the music and high tech arena. We travel a lot and are very proud of Sweden and its nature.

Would you ever return to live there full-time?

I don’t know.

Could you share with us what are your plans for the future? 

I am making sure that my kids are having a good experience and I am working hard on setting up my business here and to get actively involved in the Austin community.

What is it in life that makes you happy or content – that means different stuff for all of us.

To see my kids happy, friends and family, nice warm weather and beautiful nature. Art and reading books as well to be helpful and kind to other people.

Ann-Christine at LinkedIn

Heini Tavastia from Finland shares her thoughts about life as an actress in Los Angeles

Who Is Heini Tavastia? What does Heini do and where?

I am an actress living and working in Los Angeles. I was born and raised in Finland and moved to England to study performing at the age of 21. After getting my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Media Performance I moved from London to New York to further develop my acting skills. I studied both in Manhattan and here in LA and finally got my Masters of Fine Arts in Acting in June 2014. I recently signed with an agency and now I’m really looking forward to the pilot season – or what’s left of it.

At what age did you know that you wanted to be an actress/director?

The dream of being an actress started to form around the age of eight. I had been cast as the lead role in a school play when I had an epiphany. I remember standing on the stage looking at the audience and thinking to myself this is kind of cool. I like this feeling. Ever since that moment it was somewhat clear that performing and entertaining would eventually give me my paycheck. However, when I was 17 it became official that I not only wanted to be an actress but I also had to study acting in New York.

Directing was never really my passion to be honest. However, I did learn something about it during both of my BFA and MFA studies and I have directed for both stage and camera. I enjoyed it and liked the feeling of being in charge of everything. However, my passion and focus right now is on acting. Maybe I’ll get inspired by Ben Affleck and get my head around directing later on in my career.

What has been the most exciting “thing” or role that you’ve covered during your career or should we say careers? I think you do some other stuff as well?

Yes, I do presenting and hosting as well but I wouldn’t talk about that as a career – yet? One of the most memorable acting experiences was in England when I was preparing for a role of a woman with mental illness. I did a lot of research about depression, paranoia and psychosis. The author of the play, Sarah Kane, suffered from mental illness herself and eventually committed suicide. All that affected me in a larger than life kind of way and I felt like 80% of my personality changed along the process. I wasn’t really trying to go Method with the role but I felt like I did at least to a certain extent. I started to wear all black outfits on a regular basis – not my style back then – listened only to depressing music – not my style back then – had dreams about death and anxiety – really not my style back then – stopped caring about my appearance or wellbeing and just basked in the overall misery I was experiencing. My whole posture and way of walking changed. One day I walked to class dragging my new bag on the ground not caring about the damage I did to it. That was the  second year of my studies in England and I was a little scared of the whole experience. I learned that getting out of the character sometimes requires as much work as getting into it.

Is there any particular story, moment, an award or an achievement throughout your career that you are particularly proud of?

Making my dream come true by moving to New York. I cried three times every month – yes, I did keep a record – for eight months because I was so happy to be living the life I had  always imagined. Then, two months before I had to leave I started to cry because…well, I had to leave. The whole execution of the dream was mind-blowing itself but it also opened many doors, lead to a few great achievements and introduced me to some of the most precious people in my life. None of that would have happened without the first step.

What would you say is the biggest misconception that people have about your profession?

A lot of people I’ve met who are not in the industry often think acting is easier than it actually is, that it is mostly rainbows and butterflies. Don’t get me wrong, acting is a lot of fun and actually can be all rainbows and butterflies. But if you put a lot of effort into building your character – especially if the role is emotionally demanding – then the job can  become really draining. When I was still studying the days were emotionally really hard. It took a lot of energy to live in an unhappy place mentally in order to stay in the right state of mind for your scene and push yourself to the point that you cry almost every day in front of  the entire class. Being vulnerable is the key and most people think it’s not a biggie because it’s being done “in character”. In reality you have to bring a lot of you to the table in order to access those feelings.

What do you enjoy most about being an actor vs. some “regular” job? What is the worst thing about being an actor?

The best thing is to be able to live different lives; occupations, personalities, backgrounds. I also love emotions. I love scenes and characters that are multi dimensional – well, what actor wouldn’t – and give me a ride to the moon and back. One of my teachers in New York once used an example of what actors are like. He said that only actors get happily excited when they are given a tragic story with a tragic character: ‘Oh my God, I grew up without parents? I have lived out on the streets for ten years? I almost drowned when I was a child and that has traumatized me for life? I lost both of my legs in a war two years ago when I was saving my pet hamster from a burning building? And I also have a disease that no doctor has a cure for? Wow, this is it! My time has come. This is some serious Oscar-winner

I guess the worst thing is the fact that you can’t change your hairstyle just like that. You have to look exactly as you do in your headshot so if you go and make drastic changes in your look the hairdresser is not the only one you have to pay. You’ll also have to pay hundreds of dollars for new headshots.

What have you found to be the biggest difference between acting in Finland and Los Angeles? Do you know if there is a difference between training – and how hard/easy it is to get a university level degree in each country?

The biggest difference is the size of the industry. I can’t say anything from a personal point of view because I’ve never studied acting or done acting in Finland in my adult years. I was a part of a youth theatre throughout my teenage years but that doesn’t really make me  qualified enough to talk about the differences. All I know is that the last year of my MFA studies was almost too intense. Easily the hardest year of my life. 13-hour-long days with two 15-minute breaks were not uncommon in my schedule and I almost burned out during the last few months.

What kinds of people do well in this field of work in your opinion?

Real people who never give up. It’s a cliché but it’s a cliché for a reason. It’s so true. First of all, you’re very likely not going to get a change if you don’t work hard in the first place. Determination and self-belief are fundamental. And when you do get the change you’re not going to get far if you’re not a nice, real person. And by real I mean just be yourself. Be nice to everybody. Fake it till you make it only gets you to a certain point. After that if you still feel like you’re going strong it’s probably because you’re dealing with people who put up with you just because they are the same as you.

Are there any roles that you would hate to cover? Or would love to cover.

Well, I’d love to cover that example story my teacher told my class! Seriously speaking, I would love to take on a role that requires learning something completely new or somehow puts me through hell. Comedy is close to my heart and within my comfort zone so doing something ridiculously hilarious – but with good taste – would be definitely a yes, too. There aren’t many roles that I know straight away I’d say no to. I find it relatively easy to find something in every character that makes me fall in love with them. However, I have tried to stay away from the typical tall blonde characters, meaning ditzy stereotypes that are written in only to be eye candies and don’t have a rich emotional and intellectual life to begin with.

What advice would you give to other aspiring European actors aiming for the stars in Hollywood? Anything NOT to do or expect?

Go for it. Only have a plan A because the minute you start thinking of a plan B you’re already on the wrong track. And do not say yes to everything! You don’t have to do everything you’re being offered. Even if you could use the money think about your future. For example, I have pretty systematically said no to music videos. I’ll consider doing it if the video has a meaningful story and it’s tastefully done. What you do attracts more same kind of jobs so choose wisely in the beginning. Oh and also, be artistically, mentally and physically prepared all the time. All the damn time. You don’t know when a door is going to open. Success is when preparation meets opportunity.

What and who captivate you in the world of the celebrities – and why?

Oh wow, I’ll try to keep the list short. First of all, all the legends from Marlon Brando to Meryl Streep obviously. I also like Jennifer Lawrence and Ryan Gosling. Before anyone thinks I like them because of their looks or them being hot stuff at the moment may I just say hold your horses. I think both have very honest and open approach to acting and their presences radiate those qualities also in general. That is very inviting and captivating to watch. Morgan Freeman has the same spark. I also admire people who can believably make others laugh or cry. That’s why I consider the late great Robin Williams one of a kind.

Since you are Finnish – I must ask what you miss the most from Finland. Do you think you’ll ever return to live back there? And how is the Finnish community in Los Angeles?

In New York I used to miss sauna. Now in LA I miss snow and winter. It’s almost beyond belief how much I long for rainy days, cold weather and grey misery. A rainy day in LA is automatically a happy day. That means there are about five automatically happy days in a year here. Other happy days are just happy despite the sunshine.

I have never imagined my future in Finland. I’ve always seen having a family and career in America. So no, at least at this point of my life I don’t think I’ll return to Finland. I could move back for a short period of time if there was a cool project that I wanted to be a part of but my life and network have become pretty solid out here.

As far as for the Finnish community… I don’t know much about it. I know some Finnish people here but don’t have any Finnish friends. Wow, that sounds sad. But it’s true. I’ve never had a desire to seek for Finns to feel home or some next lever connection that only another Finn could understand. Finnish or not, as long as you’re cool we’re cool.

What do you see is the best about the Finnish culture/people vs. American?

I like the American easiness when it comes to networking and making new friends. Ok yeah,it can be all small talk and lead to nowhere. Nonetheless, opening the door for a possible friendship or a business connection is easy here.

Finland taught me to be down to earth and cut the crap. Too high maintenance princess attitude doesn’t fly with me.

Is there anything else we need to know?

I have a blog and post about my life and experiences in LA (and sometimes New York). It’s in Finnish but I have tested and Google translator gives a pretty decent translation of the content.
Facebook: facebook/heinitavastia

Austin – Oct 23 2014

Food sponsored by FOUR SEASONS Austin-

Photos by Alejandro Carrasco.

It is that time again! Another great EuroCircle event is around the corner! We will have an extended happy hour for our members at Icenhauers’ (you will receive a wristband when you check in).

All drinks on the happy hour menu will be named after the artists: a red/white/sparkling wine, one wheat beer and 4 cocktails…surprise, surprise…
We will have some cheese and sweets sponsored by FOUR SEASONS/TRIO Restaurant for you to enjoy while looking at the artwork throughout Icenhauer’s. We will be using the whole space, so make sure you go explore all areas!

We will be having an Art Show featuring 7 very talented local artists (2 photographers, 5 painters). Please feel free to view their works and read about them prior to the show.

Below are links to their profiles:


Lastly, but not least, we are having a raffle! Each artist will have one piece to auction off. One raffle ticket will be $1, so be sure to bring some cash (one dollar bills, please) with you. You can pick more than one artist, and buy more than one raffle ticket to increase your chances of winning! (proceedings will go to the artists)

FOUR SEASONS is sponsoring CHEESE PLATES & SWEETS for you to enjoy throughout the evening. Be sure to go visit them and thank them personally for there contribution towards local art in Austin – great happy hour at TRIO restaurant, keep up with the events:

We always look forward to seeing everyone!

Merci a tous!

Allison Berguin and EuroCircle team

SPECIAL DRINKS: (may be slight changes)!
The Austin: Tequila, mango puree, fresh lime juice, spicy simple syrup ($6.00)
The Nima: pickle infused vodka, pickle juice ($5.50)
The Michelle: Gin, fresh lemon juice, bitters, simple syrup ($5.50)
The James: Live Oak Hefeweizen ($4.50)
The Marlene: Choice of chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio ($5.50)
The Julia: Choice of cabernet, pinot noir, malbec ($5.50)
The Luba: Hibiscus liqueur, prosecco, lemon juice, lemon ginger simple syrup ($7.00)

Philadelphia – Oct 22 2014

Eurocircle Presents: 12 Course Dinner and Talk by Explorer Ryan Pyle

Explore China and “The Middle Kingdom Ride” with Ryan Pyle and Master Chef Luo

Cocktail / Business Attire

Eurocircle, in partnership with The Geographical Society of Philadelphia, invites you to an unforgettable evening with explorer, Ryan Pyle. In 2010, Ryan and his brother Colin, set the Guinness World Record for riding a motorcycle on an 18,000 km journey around China. The television show created from this adventure has been syndicated globally.

For 124 years, the Geographical Society of Philadelphia has honored such world famous explorers as Jacques Cousteau, Robert E. Peary, and Theodore Roosevelt at its annual dinners. This year, you will have the opportunity to meet the man who traversed China, and skimmed the borders of Tibet and North Korea in 60 days. You will re-live his experiences through a live presentation and film clips documenting his ride through a changing China.

At the same time, with the help of Master Chef Luo, you will experience the delicacies of 12 distinct regions of China, each plate matching the cuisines of the points in Pyle’s journey.

6:00 pm Exclusive Meet & Greet with Ryan Pyle (for Heritage and Admiral Peary Members Only)
6:30 pm Epic Journey Through China by Film and Feast

Non-Members $125 pp
$35 http://catalog.geogr…?item_id=744567
GSP Member Tickets:
$100 http://catalog.geogr…?item_id=742661

9:00 pm Eurocircle Member Drinks & After Party (location TBD)
Celebrating Eurocircle’s Departure to India, EC members will meet afterward for cocktails in the city to wish EC Bon Voyage!

Dress Code: Cocktail / Business

HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS: If you are visiting from out of town and need accommodations in Philadelphia, please email Eurocircle Philadelphia with your date of arrival and departure, as well as room preferences, and we will do our best to find you a great deal on a hotel room in the city.

Chicago: Ian Maksin – The Talented Cellist from St. Petersburg, Russia Shares His Thoughts with Us

Please introduce yourself.

My name is Ian Maksin. I play the cello for. I grew up in St. Petersburg Russia and came to the United States when I was seventeen to study cello at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City.

When and why did you start playing – and which instruments do you play?

I played piano and guitar since as long as I remember, there is a photo of me playing piano when I was barely one years old. My
mom and dad were the ones who gave me musical training from an early age. Then I started taking cello lessons at the Special School for Gifted Children in my home city of Saint Petersburg when I was six.

What was the first tune(s) you learned?

One of the first tunes I learned was a Russian folk song “It’s Not the Wind” that my mother sang to me as a lullaby when I was little. I recently wrote a set of variations for solo cello based on this song and they are featured in my new album Soul Companion.

Is your family musical? Describe your family member’s musical interests and abilities.

Yes both of my parents are very musical, even though they both had careers outside music. My mother plays piano and my father plays several instruments quite well, and has been my biggest musical influence since I remember myself. Apart from being a physician, he had a rock band and I grew up surrounded by all kinds of music from classical to American and English rock, jazz, French and Italian pop, you name it.

Which famous musicians do you admire?

Names that come to mind right away are Sting, Rostropovich, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald… I get transported by their music.

What are your fondest musical memories? In your house? In your neighborhood or town?

Listening to different music on an old reel-to-reel with my dad: ABBA, Boney M, Joe Dassin, Mireille Matieu… Hearing the cello for the first time on an old record that I had been given to me as a birthday gift. Attending my first concert at the St. Petersburg Philharmonia in my home city when I was six…

Were you influenced by old records & tapes? Which ones? I

I partially answered the question earlier, but to add to that, later, when I was about ten or eleven, I got my hands on bootleg tapes (this music was not officially available in the Soviet Union) of such bands as Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Pink Floyd,
Eric Clapton, my favorite Russian band Akvarium… I spend most of my early teens practicing blues guitar rather than cello, but I think in the long run it has given me the versatility and helped expand my musicianship beyond classical music.

Who are your favorite musicians? Groups? CD’s? Since you are multicultural, you may have more varied likes/dislikes. Describe your own musical ambitions.

As I said before, I’ve been exposed to all sorts of music as a kid. For example, Italian pop music has had a deep impact on me since I was about five. It’s something about the Italian language and the music that creates the magic. I believe the music of the Italian language itself has defined Western music with its beautiful cadences and inflections. My ambitions? One of my biggest goals is to bring my music and share the cello with as many listeners around the world as possible. I know I can make pretty much anyone fall in love with the sound of the cello, given the opportunity. I have thousands of fans in countries I’ve never even visited or performed in, such as Turkey or Argentina, where thousands of people share my videos and Spotify tracks, giving each other musical gifts. That’s the biggest reward for me as an artist, beyond how many albums I sell on iTunes or any kind of formal recognition. I would also like to continue and further my explorations in other genres and collaborations with artists of other disciplines: dance, film, spoken word, you name it. And my ultimate goal is to create my own musical voice that I will be remembered for, making a difference in the world by fighting for peace and reconciliation through art and music.

Have you been in competitions? Any prizes?

I do have a few prizes, but I never did well in competitions in general. I find something very disconcerting and discouraging about going out there and being judged by colleagues and peers. I believe art is meant to be enjoyed by people and not judged by a small group of people that have been deemed to have the right to judge art.

Where do you perform in public? Describe those occasions? Concerts, radio, TV?

In 2014 only, by the end of December, I will have given over 200 public performances and appearances on 3 continents.
That includes concerts in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Miami, New York, Paris, London, Lucerne, Bern, Gdansk, Stockholm, appearances on National Public Radio, WFMT, WBEZ, impromptu performances in American Airlines Terminal at O’Hare, in flight, at Willis Tower and John Hancock building in Chicago, at the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco, a large number of corporate concerts and presentations as a speaker and performer, collaborations with members of Lyric Opera of Chicago, Joffrey Ballet, reading a play with members of Steppenwolf Theater Company, and the list goes on…

How do you balance your music with other obligations – mate, children, job?

My music is my job and my life. I am raising a 10-year-old son and he will always be the number one priority in my life. That means I have to tailor my career around his needs. That also sets limitations on my travels during his school year (he has been the best companion on my world travels all over the world during his vacations since an early age) but on the flipside, it compels me to do more creative projects locally in Chicago. And it’s really a fantastic challenge because I must remain creative and come up with new projects all the time to keep the Chicago audience excited, since I can’t play the same stuff for them over and over again, like I would on a concert tour. So it’s a blessing from any angle you look at it.

I always wonder how it works for many expats – having spent most of adult your life in the USA – how do you feel about your own country. That might be hard, right?? I guess I am asking also would you prefer staying here in the USA no matter what (If yes or no, why…)

Yes, at this point I consider USA my home, even though my parents still live in Russia. I am very grateful to Russia and its people for many things I have inherited: its art, literature, music, culture, legacy in sports and science. But at the same time there are many things that I have always had hard time coming to terms with and which have been the reason why I chose to remain in the United States and raise my family here.

You all-time favorite music – listening and playing?

I love any kind of music where there is room for improvisation. It could be anything: blues, rock, Arabic or African music, really anything that gives you full artistic freedom. I love classical music too, naturally, but it’s a different kind of love, the definition of freedom in classical music is very different.

How is the Russian community in Chicago (websites, amount of people etc).

The Russian-speaking diaspora in Chicago encompasses a much larger group than just Russians from Russia. It also includes many people from Ukraine, Belorus, Lithuania, many other republics of the former Soviet Union, Jewish emigrants, and even many people from other countries of the former so-called Eastern Block who had been forced to study Russian back in the Soviet Days. All of those people have one thing in common: being able to appreciate the tremendous amount of art and culture that has been shared through the Russian language, and that can hopefully offset at least some of the damages that had been brought to those people and their families by the Soviet system… As I mentioned before, I strongly believe that art’s biggest mission is to heal and bring people together.

Anything else you would like to share with us?

My new album Soul Companion has just been released on the Blue Griffin label and features my original music, several compositions by award-winning contemporary composers as well as my own arrangement for solo cello of Sting’s music. You can learn more about the album and download it on iTunes and Amazon from my website below. My next performance in Chicago is at the PianoForte Foundation on Sunday November 9th also find additional information and tickets at my website. Also please join me on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter, I will be happy to hear from all of you!

Official Website:
YouTube Channel:
Facebook FanPage:

Chicago – Oct 21 2014

No Cover.
You’re Euro. You know what to wear!

Please join us for cocktails, conversation, and networking – Euro style – at the swanky and sexy Vertigo Sky Lounge at the top of the Dana Hotel! We are long overdue for some mixing and mingling and yes, name badges are coming back! We will also be featuring a special happy hour food menu from 6 to 7 pm; no cover!

We look forward to seeing you all soon!


EuroCircle Chicago at Facebook:

New York – Oct 21 2014

Photo credits: Frank Caprino

NO COVER with online RSVP by 4 pm on October 21st and saying EuroCircle at the door!

$10 Absolut drinks all night. Food is available for purchase.
A DJ spins tunes throughout the night – so put on your dancing shoes and get ready to party!

Attire: Dress to impress


New York Italians – Pasquale De Maio & Archina DAgostino –

New York Italians
New York Italians is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving, promoting and celebrating the rich culture and heritage of Italy and its people through outstanding cultural events and culinary programs, language classes, educational lectures and charities.

Arctic Circle Finns of New York – Harriet and Nina Kulmala –
Ingrid Gregus – Health Coach and Model

We hope you will join us for a fun night out!

Alexandra & EuroCircle NY TEAM

New York – Francesco Di Maio of Uomo Moderno Magazine

Francesco Di Maio, Founder of Italian Men’s Magazine Uomo Moderno lives in Philadelphia but works a lot in New York – and attends our events here in Manhattan.

Franceso, please tell us about yourself?

My family and I are from an island in the Bay of Naples (Italy), which is called Ischia (pronounced eess key ya). Often referred to as the “Emerald Island,” Ischia is situated next to the island of Capri. Interestingly, after being DNA tested our family dates back thousands of years to the Arabs of Yemen and the Phoenicians (current day Lebanon).

How long have you been a member and involved in EuroCircle?

I have been involved with EuroCircle since the spring of this year (2014).

What is Uomo Moderno Magazine, how did you start it, and what is Uomo Moderno’s Mission?

Uomo Moderno, which means ‘modern man’ in Italian, is the first and only men’s fashion and lifestyle magazine that features exclusively “contemporary Italy,” covering Italy’s fashion, décor, music, sports, cuisine, travel, and more. The magazine is designed to teach the true essence of living in style as it uses modern-day Italy as an example—hence the complete title and tagline Uomo Moderno, Living in Italian Style.

A combination of factors motivated me to launch this new adventure. Over the years I had been deeply saddened by Italy’s economic collapse, which prevented me from establishing a lasting career in the country. Secondly, the misconceptions and stereotypes of Italy (especially Italian Americans) greatly discouraged me. Finally, the prevalent lack of style among men in the United States stirred me to decisive action!

uomo magazine

How long have you been involved in the fashion industry?

I have been increasingly involved in the fashion industry for over 20 years.

What has been the best thing you have done so far in your career?

Before I entered the world of fashion, I was working in international development. I spent 15 years in underdeveloped countries, improving education systems, fighting for human rights and democracy, and launching small businesses for young people.

What makes Italy so special?

I think all countries and people are special. I have a deep love and appreciation of all countries and cultures. Nevertheless, what probably sets Italy apart is history of design in most every field.

What time of year is the best to visit Italy and what are the must see places when visiting there?

Generally speaking, the best times to visit Italy are early spring and early autumn. There are so many amazing destinations in Italy that deciding on where to go and what to see really depends on the personal interests of the visitor.

What places do you like best in NYC and why: any favorite cafes, restaurants?

I love the smaller neighborhoods and back streets of New York, as well as the tiny cafes and restaurants that are tucked away within them. Each time I visit, I try to explore another area of the city.

How can people get in touch with you?

People can write to me, Francesco, at info (at) uomo-moderno (dot) com. They can also check out the website at

San Diego – Oct 16 2014

Join us to meet a bunch of fun and diverse Europeans living in San Diego area.
Invite a friend/s to come with you – and ask them to invite a friend/s as well.

Let us reconnect and revive European community in San Diego area.

Hosted by
Gulnaz Magauiyeva
Mira Mendoza Rubin

Stasia Lewicka – A Polish Newcomer’s Perspective in Vienna

Please introduce yourself. Tell us a little about where you are from originally and who you are.

I am Polish from origin, but right now I guess European is better word to describe how I feel about nationality. I was raised in a tiny village in western Poland, spent w few years studying and working in Poznan to eventually leave Poland 5 years ago and start my expat adventure.

How did you choose your career?

The best things in my career always happened by accident- by accidentally meetting the right people or making unexpected choices. I spent some time working in marketing and PR related area in Poland and then I worked as project manager abroad for big IT companies. I have to say that as much as I love organize things- I am trully grateful for all the coincidences in my proffesional life. They all brought me so much experience and lessons. I would probably never be where I am now having planned every sinle thing about my career.

When and why did you move to the Vienna, where have you lived before that move?

I am really new here. I just moved in a few weeks ago with my husband. With him starting his new job here we decided to completely revolutionize our life. We are just starting everything from scratch: new work, new place, new family situation. I guess that’s the thing I like about moving- whenever you are starting in a new place- you have the chance to start everything new. To redefine your needs, priorities, your plans and your idea about life. At least it always works for me like that.

Before Vienna I spent 5 years in Czech Republic. It is probably not in the top 5 coutries people go to for work, but I really liked it there. We lived in Brno, which is second biggest city. It has a nice feeling of multicultural thanks to many students coming for Erasmus programm, is big enough to give you main features you expect from the city (like decent cultural events, social lives, infrastructure) but small enough not to overwhelm you. Oh, and the beer than is cheaper than water in bars… And what a beer 🙂

What do you do after work – if you work, what interests you?

Apart of my proffesional life I always spend a lot of time in the kitchen- I am a real master of improvisation 🙂 I like various handcrafts and I love planning and making trips. No matter if big or small. I guess it would make a very bad impression in a CV, but to be honest- these are things that relax me most.

For more professional topics- my whole professional life was based on communication skills, and how I used or share them. The phenomenon of communication never fails to amaze me. It became even more important to me when I left Poland and faced completely new challanges of cross cultural communication. So as side activities to my regular work I was always around where there was some training to do, event to plan, presentation to deliver. That was a really rewarding work. And as a recovery control freak I am also a restless planner. But- as mentioned above- I am learning to embrace all the coincidences and accidents that happen on the way 🙂 One needs to learn to make more flexible plans. And tons of back up solutions

What is your favorite food?

I don’t think I have a favorite food. I love food and cooking, and I love discovering new tastes and ingredients, but from all the tastes I love- there is no single one I could tell is my favorite one.

Tell us about your family, where are they now?

My family lives in Poland. It was hard especially for my mum to accept the fact that I moved so far away. Even my siblings, altough they are really supportive, probably think I am a bit crazy choosing lonely life far from all I knew.
But it is not a lonely life 🙂 And learning new thing is amazing. I wouldn’t probably do all of this if it wasn’t my great husband, but I am pretty sure leaving Poland was a good thing to do.

Do you try to go back to Poland every year? What do you miss the most?

I visit Poland at least once a year, but there are fewer and fewer things I miss, to be honest. I guess, what I do miss- is the freedom of making myself clear in my own language 🙂 When you are abroad- the new language determines your whole communication. I still remember how hard it was for me before I learnt Czech so I could communicate on decent level. You suddenly miss all the phrases you used to use on regular basis, you need to learn not only new set of words, but the whole culture around that. And yet, even if you are fluent- nothing describes your feelings and emotions as your own language. And so what I mostly miss Poland for is the fact that I can speak there my own language wherever I go.

How do you see Polish being different from Austrians..?

Polish people are I think much more reserved and conservative, while for what I observed so far- Austrians seem much more open minded and tolerant. They might have their own more conservative personal preferences, but as a nation a see thet they are much more liberal and relaxed. I guess it is more of an attitude: live and let live. I can’t understand why in Poland we still try to fix others lives all the time by telling them arbitrarily what’s the best fre them.

When you think about life in Vienna vs other cities you know– did you have misconceptions that turned out to be wrong?

Vienna can be astonishingly beautiful and trully horrible at the same time. Even thou we’ve been visiting Vienna regularly for last couple of years I haven’t really had any picture how it would be to live here, and so my only bias was that it is big and mostly crowded. Which in every day life is also true and it can be overwhelming. But on the other hand- I believe this is one of the characteristic of any bigger city, especially capitals.

I didn’t actually expect so much bureaucracy. And here I was spending the first month in Vienna running from one institution to another to formalize my stay here.

The nice thing is that there is so much going on all the time. Just go outside during the weekend and you’ll probably find – without even looking for it – some events going on: festivals, concerts, parties, exhibitions, you name it.

Who do you think are the Polish the average Austrians or other foreigners may know?

Can’t say much about it so far. I do see however that groups of a similar background tend to keep together. And I believe than in a city so culturally mixed like Vienna there must be for sure some active groups 🙂

How is the Expat community in Vienna?

Most people I have met are great, open minded and tolerant with a desire to learn and explore new opportunities regardless their nationality. I guess I was lucky enough to hang out with the right people. On the other hand I have also met people so totally disappointed, expats – who kept complained about the place they were. I was always wondering- why are they here if they don’t like the place so much? Still a mystery to me.

Would you ever return to live in Poland full-time?

This is not really decided yet. Sometimes I feel this would be the right thing to do, sometimes I’d rather never come back there. But I do want my kids to remember that they are in fact Polish, so I don’t think I will lose contact with my homeland.

If money was not an issue at all – and you could choose to live how and where ever you want, do what ever you want – what would you love to do?

Now that is a tricky question… Honestly, I’d probably move to some place with breath taking landscapes and open a small pension house or a hotel 🙂 A place for people to hide from every day rush, stress and made up problems.

Stasia at Facebook

Stasia at LinkedIn