Newly Formed Croatian Professional Organization Aims to make a Social Impact

The Croatian community in Cleveland continues to flourish with the adoption of a local chapter of the Association of Croatian American Professionals (ACAP). The national organization’s goals are to connect Croatian communities in the United States, and around the world, to build a lifetime of connections to support business, networking and social activities.

ACAP was initiated by the President of the Republic of Croatia, Kolina Grabar-Kitarovic, and Josko Paro, Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia to the United States. Croatia is located across from Italy on the shores of the Adriatic Sea. Cleveland, along with other cities in the U.S., is home to a large number of people with Croatian roots. 

Members represent various professions, such as doctors, engineers, attorneys, journalists, artists, business executives and accountants. Students and those with non-Croatian heritage, who are active in the Croatian community, are encouraged and welcomed to join. 

“Our goal is to show how strong and vibrant the Croatian community is in Cleveland. We aim to be socially impactful, not only within our own cultural community, but in greater Cleveland as well,” says Biljana Lovrinovic, President, ACAP – Cleveland.

ACAPs mission is to:

  • Foster knowledge-sharing and networking among Croatian-American professionals and Croatian professionals around the world for mutual success
  • Promote the advancement of Croatian-American professionals and Croatian professionals around the world by leveraging this knowledge and network
  • Encourage Croatian-American business and trade
  • Foster camaraderie amongst our members
  • Work with other Croatian-American organizations and Croatian organizations around the world on matters of common concern 

“Our values – leadership, cooperation and integrity – mixed with our mission, aim to strengthen our ties with and connect our Croatian communities locally and globally,” says Mario Jurcic, Vice President, ACAP – Cleveland.

Making Connections

In 2016, ACAP hosted an inaugural conference in Washington D.C. where President Grabar-Kitarovic and Ambassador Paro were in attendance. The second annual conference will take place from May 11 to 13, 2017 in Chicago. Cleveland will be well represented by chapter members who will participate and network with fellow professionals from across the USA, Canada and Croatia. 

This year’s event will launch a first-ever Croatian-led startup competition aimed to bring together creative entrepreneurs to showcase their ideas to the conference attendees. Top entrepreneur Renato Libric will help judge the competition. Libric was recently named “Top 50 Inspirational Entrepreneurs to Watch” by Entrepreneur magazine.

Want to join?

“We’re looking for people who want to forge new friendships, take part in volunteer activities and enjoy our social activities. By participating in activities that are beneficial to the community, you can easily enhance your network on a personal and professional level as well,” says Jurcic. 

Notable members of ACAP include Bojan Bogdanovic of the Brooklyn Nets, Kate Pavlich a Fox News contributor and Neven Spahija, the Atlanta Hawks assistant coach. Robert Herjavec of “Shark Tank” and former New York Giant, Dave Diehl, are distinguished supporters of the organization.

“We hope to energize and engage our members as we to focus on internships, education, social events and networking. We’re looking for members who want to make a difference while having some fun,” says Lovrinovic. 

ACAP – Cleveland meetings are held the second Monday of the month at 6:30 p.m. in Dubrovnik Garden Restaurant at the American-Croatian Lodge in Eastlake. 

To learn more about ACAP – Cleveland or to become a member visit or contact or for additional information.

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Volume 8, Issue 5, Posted 4:01 PM, 05.07.2017