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Spotlight on 25 Years of Grantmaking: Notes from SNF Creative Director Asimina Koutroumpousi

What’s your favorite part of working at SNF?

The people you meet every day, especially our grantees. Their vision and determination give me inspiration and motivation to improve, even on a personal level. It is very satisfying when you can help someone realize their vision.

Has the nature of your work changed over the years?

The nature of our work at SNF is constantly evolving and adapting to what is happening in the world. Each year seems like a new beginning, a new challenge to tackle; new ideas, new partnerships, new faces.

Thirteen years ago, I started working as an Architect-Engineer in SNF’s Technical Department. Grants have always been—and remain—the essence of my work. I’ll always think of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) as a sort of huge school for me. It was a one-of-a-kind construction project, which I actively followed from its initial design to its completion. The SNFCC is the Foundation’s largest single grant, a gift to Greek society that we wanted the world to get to know early on. It was then that a new chapter in my work began, as I became actively involved in SNF’s more extroverted activities and the organization of our events: SNF Nostos, the Foundation’s festival, which launched at the SNFCC while it was still a worksite and continues to this day; the SNF Nostos Conference; and, later, SNF Dialogues. I am involved in every aspect of these events, in terms of their technical production, stage and set design, and much more. I feel very lucky and grateful to have been able to work on such creative and unique projects through my job. At SNF, there’s never a boring moment!

What are the most important things you’ve learned since starting work here?

  • There is no such thing as “I can’t” or “It can’t be done.” Yes, I learned this too, many times in practice, going beyond the limits I thought I had. Think big, even if it seems huge!
  • How important it is to work with a team of people you trust and can rely on. My colleagues are like my second family!