Meet the BOLD Advisory Council
The BOLD Advisory Council is a unique group of progressive and successful professionals that guide the BOLD Fellowship program and share their expertise with BOLD Fellows. The Advisory Council members will add depth, experience, and knowledge to help the young BOLD entrepreneurs grow and launch successful ventures in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The BOLD Advisory Council members are selected based on their professional experience, personal values, and interest in working with young people from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Their backgrounds include finance, academia, entrepreneurship, business, and more.
The Advisory Council provides analytical and critical thinking in order to ensure the BOLD Fellowship will provide unique experiences and key introductions that will help support the Fellows in conceptualizing, strengthening, and launching new ventures, contributing to the further development of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Tijana Trkulja, Co-chair
Tijana is an Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company. She serves financial institutions on topics of business growth, risk and resilience. Tijana also spends significant time researching issues of gender equality and is a co-author of the 2021 Women in the Workplace report – a joint research effort by McKinsey & Company and LeanIn.org and the largest body of research on this topic.
Tijana’s passion is bringing transparency and data to inequalities in the workplace to enable success for women and minorities in corporate America, and empowering the financial independence of women everywhere.
She was born and raised in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina, where she lived until the age of 16. She then moved to Mostar where she graduated from the United World College Mostar in 2009. Tijana received her BA in Economics from Wellesley College. After graduating in 2013, she moved to New York and started her career on Wall Street in Equity Research Sales, making a switch into management consulting three years later. Tijana lives in Brooklyn with her boyfriend, Branko, and newly rescued dog, Cloud.
Sabina Ceric, Co-chair
Sabina is a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs, responsible for developing and enhancing the firm’s relationships with global sovereign and institutional clients – particularly across Europe and the Middle East. She also helps to lead the firm’s efforts in sustainability and inclusive growth, including the firm’s $750 billion commitment to support and accelerate the climate transition and balanced growth across its investing, financing, and advisory businesses.
Sabina serves on the boards of several community and economic development organizations, including the Bosnian-Herzegovinian Film Festival in NYC and the founding board of the Afghan Future Fund which helped to evacuate young Afghans during the fall of Kabul in summer of 2021 and provides long-term investments to advance Afghan refugee talent.
Sabina earned a BA in Government and Islamic Studies from Harvard University in 2012.
Sabina is originally from Bosanski Novi, BiH and has resided in New York City for the past 10 years.
Mirza Tihic,the BOLD Advisory Council member
Mirza Tihic is the assistant teaching professor with the College of Professional Studies and adjunct professor of entrepreneurship with the Department of Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises (EEE) at Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University. Tihic serves in a research role as a member of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) Research and Analytics team, where he plays a leading scientific role in the launch and day-to-day management of the National Survey on Military-Connected Entrepreneurs initiative, a multi-year study of military-connected (veteran and military spouse) entrepreneurs.
Between 2015 and 2019, Tihic was the Assistant Director for the Office of Vice Chancellor for Veteran and Military Affairs. He oversaw efforts and initiatives supporting veterans, military members, and members of military families on campus at Syracuse University. Tihic had served in a variety of administrative roles at Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families. Here he supported programs and initiatives directed at education and entrepreneurship for veterans, and managed program support services.
Tihic previously served as Program Director for the Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship at SU’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management. There he supported the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans (EBV), inclusive entrepreneurship through Start-Up NY and many more.
Tihic is involved with several start-ups. He is co-founder of Syracuse’s North Side Learning Center, a family literacy center that helps immigrants and destitute individuals in the community. He also is part of his family’s real estate business.
Originally from Bosnia, Tihic holds a bachelor in mathematics, masters in neuroscience, MBA, and a PhD from Syracuse University.
Brian Pasalich, the BOLD Advisory Council member
Brian Pasalich has the privilege of supporting the Syntoniq team and leading their mission to improve investor outcomes through Behavioral Science as chief executive officer. But the team prefers to call him the “Croatian Yoda” – 10x the size of the Jedi Master but equally childlike in curiosity and generous with wisdom. This is illustrated by his decades-long experience building and developing high-end sales teams in financial services and as a serial entrepreneur.
He has coached, trained and supported more than 1,000 financial advisors, earning ‘Top Advisor Retention Leader’ and ‘Top Recruiter’ awards multiple times in a row. Additionally, he serves as a Senior Mentor with Founder Institute NYC, Seattle & Silicon Valley, where he has mentored more than 20 cohorts and 300 Founders during past eight years. Before he entered the world of finance, Brian served as a flight paramedic with the US Army Reserve, a flight medic for a trauma center and two SWAT teams.
Outside the office, Brian is passionate about giving back and fighting for the good side. He regularly leads financial literacy workshops and stays active in LGBT issues by serving on the board of Marriage Equality USA and other non-profits.
Brian’s desire to bring the best out of everyone and everything is summed up by his motto: “Don’t get caught up in how it looks, have it turn out!”