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Our Board members and consultants come from a diverse background and provide their services on a pro bono basis

Our Board of Directors

Sophia is governed by a 9-member Board of Directors, all of whom provide their services on a pro bono basis. Our Board meets approximately once a month to set strategy, monitor activities and ensure the proper allocation of resources to the various programmes run by Sophia.

Marina Shacola, Chairwoman
Marina is an award-winning photographer living between Cyprus and Kenya. Working specifically within the fields of portraiture and street photography. More recently Marina has focused on projects concerning humanitarian and social issues on an international level. Some of these projects include ‘ATHLOS’ for the Athens Olympic Games, UNHCR projects in support of refugees, ‘Just Care’ concerning the challenges of children in Africa, the ‘Green Room’ a tribute to the children of the Makarios Children’s Home in Kenya. Marina has an MBA and holds degrees in Law and Sociology as well as a diploma in History of Art. She is a founding member of the organization.

Nopi Nicolaou Telemachou, Vice Chairwoman
Nopi is a Teaching Fellow in the Department of Educational Sciences, University of Cyprus where she lectures on courses related to music education primary and early years teachers. She holds a BMEd- University of Texas at Austin, an MA in Music Education – Institute of Education at UCL, and a PhD – University of Exeter. She has been also a member of the National Committee and co-author of the Cyprus music curriculum of preschool, primary and secondary education. She has been responsible for the music in-service training of the public preschool teachers between the years 2015-2023.  She served as the General Secretary of the Board of Directors of the “Cyprus Symphony Orchestra Foundation” (2019-2021) and she is the Chairwoman of the board of the “Music Talents Program” at the University of Cyprus.

Andreas Vassiliou – Secretary
Andreas is a self-taught photographer specializing in documentary photography. He was a member of the Board of Doctors of the World, Cyprus and took part in several missions. He works on projects concerning humanitarian and social issues. He works as a cameraman for the Omega TV station. He works on projects concerning humanitarian and social issues, and he participated in several photo exhibitions.

Christina Prastitis – Treasurer
Christina is in the business sector since her graduation from Richmond University London where she obtained a BA in Business Administration.

From 1990 to 2000 she worked at a family business – E.N Prastitis and Co Ltd which were agents and distributors of electronic appliances in Cyprus and Middle East. Ten years later she moved to Ideal Grafico Ltd as a Commercial Director dealing with IT and electronic products.

Since 2008 she is the owner of a company – Acimon Trading House Ltd – representing several agencies of raw materials for the coating of aluminium and steel.

Despina Kyriakidou – Member
Despina was born in 1967 in Famagusta. She holds a BSc degree in Economics from University College London (UCL) in the UK and a Masters degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Bayes Business School (ex City Business School) in London. She is also a holder of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certificate of the CFA Institute in the USA.
Despina is the Director Treasury at Bank of Cyprus since September 2019. She started her career in 1990 at the Bank of Cyprus (London) Ltd and in 1992 she returned to Cyprus and joined the Group Treasury department of the Bank of Cyprus where she worked in various departments initially as an Officer and later as Manager. In 2010, she was appointed Group Treasurer and was responsible for the Group’s Treasury operations in Cyprus, as well as in the countries where the Group operated.

Demetris Vattis – Member
Demetris is one of the most distinguished Cypriot photographers, with a creative career of over three decades. Working specifically within the fields of fashion but also documentary photography. He has been working for 25 years at “Phileleftheros”, the largest journalistic organization in Cyprus. Studied photography in Akto Art and Design College in Athens. His latest photographic project is called “The War’s Forgotten”. It is a tribute to the Cypriot veterans who joined the struggle against Nazism.

Anna Iakovou Stylianou – Member
Anna has more than twenty years of experience as dispute resolver. She has been involved in a wide range of disputes such as construction, commerce, finance, entertainment, real estate, marine and oil and gas disputes. She has been involved in several arbitrations, mediations, adjudications and expert witness determinations. Anna is a Chartered Arbitrator (C.ARB), Chartered Surveyor (MRICS) and CEDR Accredited Mediator since 2007. She has got a diploma in Negotiation and an LLM with merit in International Dispute Resolution from Queen Mary University. She is a member of important local and international arbitration and mediation committees and panels.

Pieris Panayi – Member
Pieris studied journalism and worked for 15 years as a journalist and editor in magazines and TV shows. In 2013, he obtained a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Cyprus and for the last three years he has been working at the Cyprus airport management company, Hermes Airports, in the Marketing and Communication department.

Loucas Gregoras – Member
Loucas is the co-founder and Chief Creative/ Managing Director of Partners Connected Communications, Pr Partners και Byte Digital Agency. He has more than 30 years of experience in advertising and branding and he is still driven by the same passion for excellence as the first day. Under his creative lead the group won several awards at the Greek Advertising Festival–Ermis Awards, at international EACA-Care Awards, European Business Awards, Penta International Awards and Carob Awards.
He served as vice president of the Cyprus Communication Agencies Association and was also the president and a founding member of the committee for CAROB, the first Cyprus Advertising Festival Awards in 2019. He was also a member of an international jury team for branding & design at Ad Black Sea 2018, and for the Kyiv International Advertising Festival 2021.


We are thankful to our consultants, who provide their specialized services to Sophia on a pro bono basis.