The profiles of the 2nd GIWA winners.

arts and culture

Zafirakou Andria

Secondary school Teacher and CEO of Artists in Residence

Andria was born in north-west London to Greek-Cypriot parents and was state-educated in Camden and Westminster. She went to the Institute of Education in London where she undertook a PGCE post graduate certification in Secondary Art and Design Education. Andria is an art and textiles teacher in Brent on the outskirts of London, one of the world’s most ethnically diverse places. She is passionate about education and changing the lives of young people and underserved communities through creativity. She has worked her entire teaching career of 15 years at Alperton Community School and was promoted to Deputy Head of Art within a year of her arrival. She is now an Associate Deputy Headteacher and member of the school Leadership team. In 2018, Andria was awarded the Global Teacher Prize a prestigious award given to one teacher every year. Using the prize money awarded by the Global Teacher prize, Andria founded a charity called Artists in Residence (AiR) with an aim to improve arts education in schools. In 2019 she was awarded with an MBE by the palace for her outstanding contribution to education. Andria has also been named in the top ten of The Evening Standard's 1000 Londoners List, a list of the most influential people in London. She is a Culture Leader for the World Economic Forum as well as a member of their Global Future Leaders Council. When she is not teaching she is a keynote speaker and consultant of the Arts in Education for national and international audiences ranging from Ministries of Education, Cultural and Educational institutions. She has recently become a certified Transformational Coach. Andria sits on the Advisory boards for the Cultural Leaders Alliance and for Becoming X. She is also a trustee for Metroland charity and Art UK.

business and entrepreneurship

Stanegloudi Ioanna

Co-Founder & Chief Risk Officer

Ioanna Stanegloudi is a seasoned credit risk professional with 18+ years of experience in the banking & management consulting industry. She has served in positions related to credit risk assessment, management and mitigation. She possesses significant experience within the fields of financial business modeling, as well as financial analytics for financial institutions and management consulting firms. Ioanna is the co-founder & Chief Risk Officer of Finclude, a pan-European scoring provider for individuals that assesses affordability & creditworthiness through analyzing their spending behavior on transactional data. Ioanna has pitched Finclude throughout the globe gaining more than $800K in prize money up to now. Finclude was one of the ten finalists of the Global Female Founders competition of Microsoft’s Venture Fund, won the New Venture competition of NYU Stern, as well as in the pitcHer competition of 2020’s Grace Hopper Celebration. Finclude was included in the Youth Solution Report for 2019 with the 50 solutions globally who promote the UN’sF SDGs. Ioanna was in the Greek “Fortune 40 under 40” list for 2019.


Svoronou Rania

Design Director

I began my career over 10 years ago at a local print design shop in Athens, Greece. After various stints with different start-ups, design studios, and Ad agencies that took me from Athens to London, I arrived in New York City in Spring 2019. Currently, I am a Design Director with IBM based in Manhattan, NY. I’ve been a global keynote and TEDx speaker, guest lecturer, industry mentor, and a frequent judge at hackathons and design events across the world. I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in Graphic Design from the Northumbria University, Newcastle Upon Tyne. Also, I hold a Master of Arts degree from the University of the Arts London (London College of Communication). I’m a proud member of the 'Founders of the Future' - launched by Founders Forum - a private network of the top entrepreneurial minds in Europe under the age of 35. I believe in designing for humanity and not for the sake of technology and by working for one of the most prominent tech companies in the world I’ve been able to make a global impact. My research thesis was on IoT and how we can create more humane products for the future.


Makriyianni Katerina

Jewelry designer

Katerina Makriyianni was born in Chania, Crete and was raised in a home where art was a way of life and artistic expression was encouraged. She studied ballet and theater throughout her childhood which led her to complete her degree in Theater Studies at Patra University, Greece. In 1988, her parents Nikos and Eva Makriyianni opened “Technima”, a jewelry boutique–workshop specializing in unique, one-of-a-kind designs which quickly became a highly successful business. Katerina’s love for the applied arts, and her family’s legacy, led her to focus her own interests and career in the field of jewelry design and production. She pursued specialized courses in design and engraving at the L’ Arti Orafe University in Florence while running the family boutique and developing her own personal design style. Before the launch of her first personal collection Katerina was trying to find a way to combine the world of theater that she loves so much with the art of handmade jewelry that her parents taught her. To this empty canvas she brought her Greek heritage, the Cretan tradition that she was raised with, the love of art and design and her highly developed aesthetic sense. In 2015 Katerina presented her first personal collection at the Paris Fashion Week in collaboration with Maria Kastani as global brand ambassador and as an incubator of the new brand. The worldwide journey began with the presence of the brand on Net-a-Porter, which was followed by significant stores worldwide such as Browns Fashion and Matchesfashion in London, Boutique1 in UAE, On Pedder in Asia, Jill Wolf Jewelry in Switzerland and many more to this day.


Bantanidis Sophia

Head of Regulatory Strategy and Policy TTS Innovation

Sophia Bantanidis’ career spans over 15 years in financial services covering strategy, regulation, policymaking, derivatives, technology and innovation in banking and asset management. She has worked at two financial services regulators (in France and in the UK), tier 1 banks and asset managers in global roles. She is currently the Head of Regulatory Strategy & Policy within the Treasury and Trade Solutions (TTS) Innovation Lab at Citi in London. She joined on 1 February 2016 from Northern Trust where she managed a team as the EMEA Head of Regulatory Developments enabling the bank to commercialise regulatory change for clients as well as to comply with rules and regulations. She is named on the global Innovate Finance Women in FinTech 2019, 2018 and 2017 Powerlist and a finalist for Women in Finance FinTech Champion of the Year (2018 and 2019) and Disruptor of the Year (2019) categories. Over the last 4 years at Citi she has been deeply engaged on innovation, FinTech and RegTech and how this transforms business models in banking. She is an expert in bringing external innovation to Citi having mentored and shepherded numerous international start-ups from inception to growth with a focus on women founders. She leads the TTS regulatory relationship on innovation. She actively represents Citi externally at high profile conferences, chairs industry events and briefs premium clients on the intersection of innovation, regulation and technology. Sophia speaks 5 languages; she holds an LLB in UK Law and German Law from University College London and from the University of Cologne as well as a Master’s Degree in European Business from ESCP Europe in Oxford and Paris. She is a former gymnast and coach and has competed at German national level. She continues to be passionate about health and fitness and during the covid -19 pandemic she has taken the initiative to create an international community of women with personalised workouts empowering women from all walks of life.


Nikolaou Dina

Head Chef

Dina Nikolaou’s gastronomic preoccupations started at a very young age. Although she started with economic and marketing studies in Paris, her passion for the culinary art quickly changed the course of her life. She started her culinary professional studies at Le Cordon Bleu, Ritz Escoffier, Alain Ducasse formation and Lenôtre schools in Paris. Beloved, popular, multi-award winning, obsessed with Greek gastronomic culture and Greek products. Her restaurant in Paris (Evi Evane) is synonymous with Greece and the Mediterranean diet for Parisians. In 2017 Gilles Pudlowski , the publisher and creator of the famous gastronomy guide “Publo Paris”, brought “Evi Evane” on the very top by awarding it as the best foreign restaurant in Paris. With many cookbooks, TV shows in both countries, cooking seminars and creative cuisine in many branded restaurants in Greece, Dina Nikolaou is rightly considered the ambassador of Greek gastronomy internationally.

science and technology

Asimaki Angeliki

Senior Lecturer in Cardiac Morphology and Sudden Death

I left Greece in 1999 to pursue a degree in Medical Genetics at QueenMary, University of London and then a PhD in Cardiovascular Pathology at University College London. In 2006 I joined Harvard Medical School (HMS), first as an intern, then as a graduate student where I got to complete my PhD studies, subsequently as a postgraduate fellow and finally as a faculty member. Following 11 years at the densest scientific community in the world, in 2017 I returned to the UK to establish my own group at St George’s Medical School. Today, I am a tenured Senior Lecturer in Sudden Death. I hold several prestigious young investigator awards including the Bevan Price for the highest ever average in my BSc degree and the Dennis Escande Award of Excellence. To date, I have authored 48 original peer-reviewed publications including a first author paper in the New England Journal of Medicine; the highest impact factor journal in the world (IF: 70,67). I have also authored 11 invited reviews and book chapters and have presented my work in 97 national and international meetings including a TedX conference. Throughout my career, my research has been supported by the American Heart Association, the Heart Rhythm Society and the National Institute of Health while I currently hold grants from 5 funding bodies including the Wellcome Trust and the British Heart Foundation to improve timely diagnosis and develop mechanism-based therapies in diseases underlying unheralded death in the young. Molecular cardiac pathology is the emerging discipline that brings together clinical cardiology, anatomic pathology and molecular biology. This ‘cross-over’ field is where my niche lies. As a consequence of my research, today, we are able to diagnose deadly heart diseases just by analysing cheek smears, an invention I patented in 2017. Finally, through teaching several courses and mentoring students I am heavily invested in seasoning the next generation of researchers and hence creating tomorrow’s leaders.


Papaioannou Marina

Principal Academy Advisor

I graduated from the University of Patras, Department of Geology in 1989 and received a PhD in Geophysics in 2002. I have participated in various scientific projects related to archaeological geophysics, which was also the specific topic of her Thesis titled “The application of geophysics in the investigation of underground structures in urban environment”. I worked as a free-launch geologist/geophysicist until 2000, undertaking a major part of the geophysical investigations for the construction of the Metro of Athens, participating in various NATO SFS Programs, as well as numerous archaeological /geophysical projects and civil construction works. In 2000, I started my career in the maritime business with my employment with the Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association – HELMEPA. Within my duties were to follow the works of the Committees for the Protection of the Marine Environment (MEPC) and Maritime Safety (MSC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London, translation and simplification of laws and regulations relevant to the protection of the marine environment and oil pollution prevention and response and teaching at seminars with relevant subjects. In 2008 I started her employment with Germanischer Lloyd Academy and I have been GL Academy Area Manager for Southern Europe, responsible for the training activities of GL for Greece, Italy, Cyprus, Turkey, Spain, Portugal. Since 1st January 2014, I am managing the training business under the new merged organization – DNV GL’s Maritime Academy Hellas, for which I am also a trainer and Principal Academy Advisor. I have a significant presence in national and international conferences/symposiums as a speaker, with numerous publications. Elected Secretary General of WISTA Hellas (April 2014 – March 2016).

social responsibility

Chatziioannidou Maria Nefeli

Founder of Yperoxes Gynaikes (Great Women)

My name is Maria Nefeli Chatziioannidou I am a social entrepreneur and a mother. I graduated from Bocconi University, with a Bachelor’s Degree in International Economics & Finance and from the University of Northampton with a Master’s Degree in Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship. I founded my first social enterprise "Code it Like a Girl" (CLG) in 2013, aiming to solve the problem of gender inequality in STEM fields. CLG in 2015 had 72 active volunteers and it was supported by the US Embassy, Angelopoulos and Clinton Foundation, the Ministry of Education and organizations like Microsoft and Redbull. Since 2015 I have collaborated with several organizations and start-ups in Greece, like Think Young, Entrepreneurship School, DEI College Social Innovation Hub, and Ethelon, I am a mentor in Prince’s Trust International and a Leader in Womentors. I have participated in various conferences with proposals for the refugee crisis and I was accepted in “WOMEN INNOVATORS in SOCIAL ENTERPRISES” Program, a program of the European Commission where I was awarded as one of the five Top Women Innovators of the Program. In January 2019, I created my second social venture, an online platform called “Yperoxes Gynaikes” (Great Women), aiming to empower women by creating an online community in which women interact with each other, share the admiration for other women, raise awareness about problems that need solutions and participate in activities that have a positive impact in the society. Yperoxes Gynaikes is after one year of operation, a community of 30.000 women. In October 2020, I became one of the twenty women that entered the WOMEN ACT EUROPE and I will be a speaker in Google’s global event “I am Remarkable“, in November 2020. In spring 2021, a book with the 100 most influential Greek women will be published with the title “I am Dangerous” and I am honored to be included. In 2022 I will graduate with a second Bachelor Degree in Psychology from the University of Sunderland.

social science

Klimaki Sylvia


I started my career at CNN London. I then moved to NYC where I worked for Mediakite covering the Lehman Collapse and the 2009 economic meltdown. Upon my return to Greece, I presented the morning news for Skai TV Greece. In parallel, I conceived, produced and presented for 5 seasons an innovative weekly TV programme interviewing an array of entrepreneurs for Skai TV and Skai radio. The popularity of my show led to my recruitment by the CEO of the National Bank of Greece where I worked as a Media Advisor and Head of PR. For the last 5 years, I have been living and working in London. First as a senior consultant for C Space where I worked closely with some of the world’s biggest brands, such as Ikea, Samsung, Barclays and PepsiCo, providing strategic solutions to their communications challenges. I was then headhunted by the CEO of Eigen Technologies (one of the UK’s hottest Machine Learning scale-ups, backed by Goldman Sachs) where I worked extensively on their coms strategy. For the past year, I have written, produced and presented numerous news features for The Sunday Times, Forbes, The Evening Standard, Bloomberg TV and others, focusing on business, finance and sustainability. My hard work led to me being invited to become one of Forbes’ Sustainability contributors covering European news. I have also formed a very close collaboration with Bloomberg TV where I currently work every day producing business and sustainability news. I have extensive experience as a chairman and moderator. I am the founder of the Climate and Green Economy Group of the Harvard Club of the UK. I studied Business and IT (B.Sc.) at (AUEB) and hold a master’s in Chinese Studies from Harvard University. I have studied Mandarin at Fudan, SISU and Beijing Universities in China. I am fluent in English, French with conversational ability in Mandarin and German. I am the holder of numerous athletic distinctions at an international level both as a swimmer and a water-polo player.


Patroni Katerina

Sport Assistant

EDUCATION-EKPA | University of Athens, Greece - Law School PhD in Public Administration and International Sport Events. EPFL | École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland, Masters of Advanced Studies in Sport Administration and Technology (AISTS). EKPA | University of Athens, Greece - Law School, Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Public Administration specializing in Management. PUBLICATIONS Survey: "Future Event Requirements of International Sport Federations, "RESEARCH PAPER“ Testing the Relationship between Attractiveness and Fans’ Involvement in the context of Rhythmic Gymnastics”. WORK EXPERIENCE: Sport Assistant of the Gold Paralympic Champion, Greg Polychronidis, in the Sport of Boccia. We compete together as a duo. We have won together two Paralympic medals in “Rio 2016” (1 Silver and 1 Bronze) and 18 Medals (9 Gold, 3 Silver, 6 Bronze) in Official International Competitions. We currently hold the title of World Champions since 2018 and European Champions since 2019 and we are 1st in the World Ranking Lists for 3 consecutive years. Manager of Greg Polychronidis Marketing Campaign and Sponsorship issues. INTERNATIONAL TENNIS FEDERATION (ITF): Statistics Analyst. INTERNATIONAL VOLLEYBALL FEDERATION (FIVB): Project leader, TV & Marketing Department. GREEK MINISTRY OF TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS: Marketing & Communication Assistant to Undersecretary. COUNTY REPRESENTATIVE: elected with 6000 votes. INTERNSHIPS GREEK MINISTRY OF DEFENSE: Communication & Campaign Intern to the Minister. POLITICAL OFFICE OF FOREIGN MINISTER D. BAKOYANNIS: Campaign Intern SPORTS & AWARDS - HELLENIC TENNIS FEDERATION (HTF): Current member and former competitor 3rd Place Greek National Tennis Championships 2003. VOLUNTEER FEDCUP BNP PARIBAS: Press Services Agent for access of the Press (Fribourg, Swiss) SPECIAL OLYMPICS ATHENS 2011. SKILLS: Languages Fluent in English (TOEFL 112/120), French (Sorbonne 1) & Greek (mother tongue).

young star award

Andritsaki Natasha (Anastasia)

Undergraduate Student

I am currently a 4th year Mechanical Engineering student at the NTU Athens, experienced in Marketing and Manufacturing with a demonstrated history of working in Formula related projects. In 2013, I participated as Manufacturing Engineer and Marketing Manager of Ground Force Project in F1 in Schools Greece. After winning 2nd place overall and 2 awards (Research and Development, Pit Display) me and my team were nominated for the World Finals that were held in Austin, Texas. In the World Finals we were ranked 11th among approximately 40 teams from all over the world, we were the best Greek participant and we were also nominated (top 3) for 2 awards (Research and Development, Marketing and Sponsorship). Since 2014, I have been judging various aspects of the project in all National F1 in Schools Championships. In 2014, I helped in the establishment of F1 in Schools Brazil as Consultant. It is worth mentioning that the Brazilian delegation won Best Newcomer Award in the 2014 World Finals. In 2016, I worked as Mechanics Teacher at Garage, a STEM hub for primary and high-school students. In November of 2016, I joined Prom Racing NTUA Formula Student Team. By February of 2017 I had already undertaken the role of Business and Marketing Manager of the team. In the 2017 Formula Student Austria me and my Business Plan Partner reached 12th place among approximately 30 combustion teams in the Static Event of Business Plan Presentation. In the 2018 Formula Student East we won the 3rd place and in the 2018 Formula Student Austria the 2nd place overall for our novel and entertaining Business Plan Presentation. Among other promotional actions, I also organised the 2018 Roll Out Event at Flisvos Marina. Since 2017, I have been participating as a Business Plan Judge in Formula Student Netherlands. Since 2017, I have also been consulting the new Business Plan Presenters of Prom Racing. It is worth mentioning that the 2017 Presentation reached 4th place in Formula Student East, 5th place in Formula Student Austria and 7th place in Formula Student Germany.

Honourable Awards

Τhe awards of Lifetime Achievement and International Recognition are excluded from the nomination, judging and public voting process.


Aikaterini Sofianou

President of SOFMEDICA Group, Archontisa Ekklision and Ambassador of Greek Diaspora of the Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa


Eleni Kounalakis

Ambassador, Lt. Governor of California