I2: Gaps between our leaders’ expectations and our young professionals


I2: Gaps between our leaders’ expectations and our young professionals is sponsored by Cyprus Maritime Academy.

The Cyprus Maritime Academy (CYMA) operates in conjunction with Intercollege and both are part of the University of Nicosia educational network, the largest University on the island. CYMA serves as a hub that bridges education of aspiring young officer seafarers with the shipping industry, by combining academic knowledge with technical training and implementing an innovative system of fast-track practical placements.


I2: Gaps between our leaders’ expectations and our young professionals

If we want our businesses to be continuously successful, we need to bridge the communication and leadership gap between generations and expectations.
Can we identify the gaps between our leaders’ expectations and our young professionals?

(2nd Brainstorming event pictures of the team's presentation on highlighted link).

Maria Pastella (Initiative Leader)
I am a Real Estate Agent and have worked in Cyprus and abroad.
Through the years, I have developed my skills and now I am an office Manager at a real estate office in Limassol and I train new Agents who want to enter this sector.
I really enjoy training / coaching them and see their progress and development and inspire them with leading by example.
I love equestrian sports and I enjoy traveling around the world to meet new cultures.






Pagona Liggou is the Chief Human Resources & Communication Officer at Vassiliko Cement.
She has an extensive career in Human Resources, Communication and Corporate Governance, having worked with an Italian building material Group, prior to joining Vassiliko.
Pagona gained a Masters in Human Resources Development & Administration and a Diploma of Public Relations & Marketing from London Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Among her certifications: Executive Coach (Association of Coaching), Mediator (Cyprus Chamber of Industry & Commerce), Professional in Human Resources (HR Certification Institute), GRI Certified on GRI Sustainability Reporting Process (Global Reporting Initiative). She speaks 3 languages (English, French, Italian).
She enjoys reading, going to the theater and extreme sports.
Her favorite motto that she has been practising for several years is to work competing only with her own self. It is only if we stretch the limits of ourself and become better that we shall be successful.
(Read Pagona's interview on Maravilhosa's Blog).


Nicholas Kythreotis graduated from English School Nicosia and then served as an officer in the National Guard of the Republic of Cyprus. After completing his military service, Nicholas Kythreotis studied at City University in London where he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree of Laws (with Honours) in Business Law and then continued his studies at King’s College in London where he received a Master of Arts (with Merit) in International Relations/Mediterranean Studies.
In 2000-2001 he worked as a trainee advocate in Cyprus and then moved abroad where he pursued a long and distinguished career in the field of business. During that time, Nicholas Kythreotis founded his own companies that employ a significant number of employees, participate in several business ventures and continue their successful activity to this date.
In early 2017, he started working on a part-time basis at the University of Nicosia and in March 2019 he took up the position of Executive Director of the Intercollege Nicosia and of the Cyprus Maritime Academy.


Demetris Evripidou
I am 39 years old and I am working in the Oil and Gas industry.
Currently I am working for Multimarine Services Ltd, a Cyprus based company, in their Logistics department.
My job  is very demanding but exciting, never boring and it pushes me to think out of the box.
In my free time I usually enjoy a nice dinner with close friends or watching quality television, for example sports or NETFLIX!
I also love spending time with my dog Loki, and my favourite hobby is travelling.



Zoi Riga, MSc, CPRP, CSO
Press Office and PR & Crisis Communication Officer at Vassiliko Cement Works Public Company Ltd.
My goal is to have a positive impact, a balanced life and to be a part of a creative team.
In my free time, I love to read books and work out.
I use my creativity to design new projects that will improve the quality of daily issues (work and life issues).




Kyriacos Patsalides graduated from Kykkos B’ Lyceum in Nicosia and completed his military service in the National Guard of the Republic of Cyprus in 2005.
Following his military service, Mr. Patsalides studied at the Technical University of Crete in Greece where he graduated as a Mineral Resources Engineer with specialization in the Field of Energy.
As his passion in the field of Energy remained unhampered, he continued his postgraduate studies at the University of Aberdeen where he received his Master of Science Degree in Oil and Gas Engineering (with Distinction).
In November 2014, Mr. Patsalides started working as an associate lecturer at the Energy Training School and Research Centre of the Institute of Professional Studies at UCLan Cyprus while in April 2015 he got promoted to the position of Head of the Energy Training School and Research Centre. In May 2018, Mr. Patsalides took up the position of Academic Director of the Institute of Professional Studies until the end of March 2019.
In April 2019, Mr. Patsalides took up the position of Associate Director of the Intercollege Nicosia and of the Cyprus Maritime Academy.  




Despina Knekna
My name is Despina Knekna and I am currently working at Vassiliko Cement Works.
I am the HR Manager for almost 3 years now, and my main responsibilities are the development and support of the personnel.
My personal goals are aligned with my professional goals, as one of my main goal is to be able to help people around me, so that they can develop and recognize the things they can achieve not only in the working environment but also in their personal lives.
Part of my daily routine is exercise and the personal development since I believe that we ourselves and our bodies can achieve anything, by only convincing ourselves that we can do it!



Nafsika Thaleia Karantza has studied Business Management at The University of Westminster in the United Kingdom and continued her studies at the Institute of Chartered shipbrokers in Greece (PQE).
Currently working as a Crewing officer for River vessels at Seachefs River Cruises.  
HR and recruiting are her passion and what she really enjoys. 
She believes that we should always find time to do our hobbies, for her exercising and baking are some of them!