The GWC Team are a group of professionals from different parts of the world, but all with something Greek in common, brought together by founder Ekaterina Botziou to offer help and advice in all areas of a woman’s life. Thinking about moving to Greece or Cyprus? Speak to our travel experts. Need some career advice? Contact one of our mentors. If you are a professional and would like to be part of our team please do get in touch.
EKATERINA BOTZIOU: FOUNDER
Links to Greece: Father from Greece and married to a Greek Cypriot
Expertise: Writing / Self-Publishing / Blogging / Greek men
Bio: With a bouzouki-loving father hailing from Greece and a ballerina mother with roots as mixed as a Tequila Sunrise, Ekaterina Botziou spent much of her childhood battling against the Greek stereotype that a woman’s place is in the kitchen, and now defiantly spins as many plates as she smashes. After completing a Law degree, she was signed by an acting agency and worked on Hollywood films and British television productions. Inspired and frustrated by the madness of her Big Fat semi-Greek life, Ekaterina decided to chronicle her Hellenic dramas on her blog Ekaterina’s Greek Expectations and has gained a popular following as a published author. Her debut book Greek Expectations: The Last Moussaka Standing gained critical acclaim for its humorous take on surviving life in the Greek community and her subsequent books have enjoyed similar success. Ekaterina writes for British, European and American publications as a freelance writer, columnist and copywriter, covering topics from fashion to travel to parenting and her work has been featured in The Huffington Post.
KRYSTINA KALAPOTHAKOS: CHEF
Links to Greece: Father from Greece / Studied in Greece
Expertise: Japanese, Chinese, Greek, Spanish cuisine
Bio: A jack of all trades, Krystina lived in Greece whilst completing an externship in pastry school. She was a sous chef on the island of Skiathos and after graduating from Le Cordon Bleu, she gained knowledge in four main cuisines; Japanese, Chinese, Greek, and Spanish. Previously Krystina showcased her Greek pastries and appetizers at the Land Park Farmers Market in northern California and you can shop for Greek pastries and desserts from Kouzounas Kitchen online soon. Krystina is now working toward her dream of having her own Greek coffee/bakery shop and has just published her first cookbook Back to My Roots alongside working as a food consultant for start up restaurants. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
JESSICA BELL: WRITING & PUBLISHING CONSULTANT
Links to Greece: Lives in Athens
Expertise: Writing / Publishing / Graphic Design /
Bio: If Jessica Bell could choose only one creative mentor, she’d give the role to Euterpe, the Greek muse of music and lyrics. This is not only because she currently resides in Athens, Greece, but because of her life as a 30-something Australian-native contemporary fiction author, award-winning poet and singer/songwriter/guitarist, whose literary inspiration often stems from songs she’s written. In addition to her novels, poetry collections, and her bestselling pocket writing guides (Writing in a Nutshell Series), she has published a variety of works in online and print literary journals and anthologies, including Australia’s Cordite Review, Writer’s Digest, and the anthologies 100 Stories For Queensland and From Stage Door Shadows, both released through Brisbane, Australia’s, eMergent Publishing. Jessica is the Publishing Director of Vine Leaves Literary Journal and Vine Leaves Press, the Coordinator of the Writing Day Workshops which take place throughout the United States, and she makes a living as an editor/writer for English Language Teaching publishers worldwide, such as Pearson Education, HarperCollins, Macmillan Education, Education First and Cengage Learning.
STACEY HARRIS-PAPAIOANNOU: PRESIDENT OF THE AMERICAN WOMEN’S ORGANISATION OF GREECE
Links to Greece: parents from Greece, lives in Mykonos
Expertise: Writing / Philanthropy / Living abroad
Bio: Born in suburban Chicago and raised in a bilingual Greek-American home, Stacey moved to Greece permanently in 1987. Leaving behind teaching high school English and Journalism (and grading 150 compositions weekly), she traded in her career in education for a Greek husband and retail and rental businesses on the resort island of Mykonos. During the last 10 years she divides her time living in Athens and on “the rock.” She has served as President of the Volunteers Organization of Mykonos (VAM), international wives doing good for the island, and currently, she is the President of the American Women’s Association of Greece (AWOG), international women doing good for Greece. She also edits the publication’s magazine. She is the proud mother of 2 sons and dubs herself an “aquaholic” as she continues to swim in Mykonos even during December and January because she needs her “Vitamin Sea.” And never a day goes by when she is not surprised, enchanted, frustrated or giddy about Greece.
MARIANNA OLIVEOLOGY: GREEK FOOD PRODUCE EXPERT / FOUNDER OF OLIVEOLOGY
Links to Greece: originally from Greece
Expertise: Olive oil produce / exporting
Bio: Originally from Greece, Marianna moved to the UK to study design and created UK-based company Oliveology in 2009 as a means of sharing and enjoying the culinary treasures and gastronomic traditions of Greece. Marianna has years of experience sourcing and importing Greek produce and she has successfully brought the original liquid gold of the olive tree to London showcasing the Greek produce at Borough Market.
CHRISTIANA BOTZIOU: GLUTEN FREE QUEEN
Links to Greece: Father from Greece
Expertise: Celiac Disease / Gluten Free Recipes / Primary Teaching / Private Tutor
Bio: After being diagnosed in 2012 with coeliac disease, Christiana had to make some drastic changes to her diet and lifestyle in general. Slowly but surely she regained her health and now four years on, wants to help others with their gluten free journey. Her recently launched blog The Gluten Free Greek details her recovery and the difficulties she has faced with simple everyday plans such as going out with friends to eat in places that cater for coeliacs and even just deciding what she can eat for breakfast! Bursting with recipes, reviews and more, Christiana’s blog is a must read for anyone looking at a gluten-free future.
CHRISTINE SALBOUDIS: CAREER AND LIFE COACH
Links to Greece: Parents originally from Alexandria
Expertise: Mentoring / Adjunct Professor / Philanthropy / Environment
Bio: After a lifetime of experiencing a broad array of mentoring styles, Greek academic Christine Salboudis decided to set up her own mentoring company. Designed to foster a positive and constructive world view that supports the development of philosophical and social initiatives, in 2009, Philo4Thought was born and Christine has never looked back. Having been raised in a diverse community, with strong family values, Chris’ first mentors were her strict but loving mom and grandparents. With the support of a wonderful family spanning well beyond the borders of NYC, she learned the value of resilience, strength, patience, generosity, faith, education, and her own rich and diverse cultural heritage. She learned that “community” doesn’t end at a property line; that knowledge and experience are meant to be shared for the benefit of everyone and to shift beyond the scope of geographic borders. Young people need good mentors because they are our future.
REBECCA HALL: TRAVEL EXPERT
Links to Greece: Divides time between the UK and Greece
Expertise: Writing / Travel / Life Abroad / EFL
Bio: Travel blogger, writer and Rough Guide author Rebecca Hall (Bex) started her blog back in 2010 after living in Greece for two years where she taught English. Having fallen in love with the culture, language, sights and smells of the Hellenic world, Bex wanted to share her experiences and writes about the cultural differences she has observed, the beautiful places she has visited and the people who have let her into their homes and hearts. Bex has travelled extensively all around Greece and now resides in Athens. She was the winner of the Best Expat Blog Award for Greece 2012 & 2013 and released her first novel Girl Gone Greek in 2015 as well as co-authoring that years edition of the Rough Guide to Greece.
STELLA BOMPOTSIARI: GREEK LANGUAGE SPECIALIST
Links to Greece: born in Greece to Greek parents and married to a Greek
Expertise: Greek Language Specialist
Bio: Stella grew up in Agio where she cultivated her love for the Greek language and culture. Following her graduation, acquiring an MA in Information and Communication Technology in Education from UCL in London, she wanted to create something that would be innovative and productive at the same time and so devised a plan for an online school with her partner called The Greek Lessons OnLine (Greek LOL). She worked hard for 6 years in order to equip herself and the school with all the necessary skills and curriculum and in 2014 the Greek school was finally founded. The students come from many different countries of the world, including Mexico, USA, Dubai, France, Italy, Egypt, UK, Russia, Norway, Switzerland, Egypt, Uruguay, Lebanon, and Australia! Stella would be extremely happy to welcome new students and offer them this unique learning opportunity by providing a free of charge trial lesson.
SIA ARISTIDOU: GREEK WEDDING EXPERT
Links to Greece: Australian Greek, married to a Greek-Cypriot
Expertise: Greek Weddings / Christenings / Traditions
Bio: Sia Aristidou writes about Greek Weddings and other Greek family traditions. She has been a bridesmaid more than a dozen times, a koumbara twice and after many years of patiently waiting, she has finally married the man of her dreams. Sia started the blog because she had a difficult time planning her own big fat Greek wedding. There are so many old fashioned traditions and it is hard to know which is the right thing to do. It is also really difficult to find nice stefana and lambathas without spending a fortune or travelling overseas. The blog now has a business directory which helps brides and grooms to plan their own wedding and Sia works with amazing designers from around the world to make beautiful handmade stefana. Now that Sia has a family of her own, she has recently started to write about Orthodox Christenings and she sells handmade Christening products too. Connect with Sia and say hi – especially if you would like to share your own Greek wedding story or if you have a business that you would like to advertise on the directory.