Alumnus Profiled: Demetris Zenetos
Graduated: Deree ‘95
Lives in: Doha, Qatar
Current Position: Head of Strategic Planning, Qatar Football Association
Born in Boston, Demetris Zenetos graduated from Deree in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing Management. Demetris returned to the US in 1996 for his MBA at the Frank Sawyer School of Management at Suffolk University. Upon graduation, Demetris worked at the National Bank of Greece (US) and later in State Street Bank Corporation. In 2000, he moved back to Greece to work for BNP PARIBAS Securities Services, assuming the role of Project Coordinator for a series of process re-engineering projects, thus cementing his career change into Project Management.
In 2002, he joined the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, as a Project Manager for the Communications Division, before moving to several strategic engagements across the EU and the Middle East, such as Littlewoods Shop Direct (UK), UK Department of Work & Pensions, ABN AMRO Bank (Netherlands), Royal Bank of Scotland, Ernst & Young Academy of Business (Poland) and the Dubai Roads & Transport Authority (UAE).
In 2009, he made a family move to Qatar and ran mega sport event projects, such as the AFC Asian Cup 2011 Qatar™, the 2011 Arab Games Doha, the 2013 – 2018 editions of the Qatar Emir Cup, the AFC U23 Championship 2016™, the Italian Super Cups of 2014 & 2016, 23rd Arab Gulf Cup Championship 2017 Kuwait and the 24th Arab Gulf Cup Championship 2019 Doha.
Demetris’ wife (and fellow alumna) Marianna Skliri and their two young daughters, Nefeli and Natalie, live in Greece, while Demetris is a digital nomad working between Europe and Asia. He is currently working as a Strategic Advisor for the Arab Gulf Cup Football Federation while also consulting for the Qatar Football Association as the Head of Strategic Planning and Corporate Systems. Since 2018, he has further been involved in Esports and Community Sports Start-Ups while also becoming an esteemed international partner of a consultancy in the area of Business Transformation and Growth.
Q.: What are three enduring lessons you learned during your studies at Deree?
- No one ever succeeds without properly cooperating with fellow colleagues/students/friends.
- Don’t accept the status quo. Question everything.
- College is just the beginning!
Q.: Describe Deree in three words.
International, Different, Fun.
Q.: One of your favorite Deree memories?
International Talent Day – with the traditional “bachelor” fund raising event at the end of the day.
Q.: What do you miss most from your days at Deree?
Moments with the football team, and the annual trip to Thessaloniki for the tournament with Anatolia College.
Q.: Where was your favorite spot on campus?
The gym, always! As captain of the football team, and part-time assistant at the gym, this was the first and last place I visited on a daily basis!
Q.: Who was your favorite professor and why?
Truthfully, I can’t just pick one. It was a really good time for professor-student relationships, from general studies like Professor Marcos in Sociology and Toufexis in Music, all the way to concentration studies with Ioannidis in Information Technology, and Koutsomitopoulou in Marketing. The relationship was cooperative and symbiotic, inside and outside of the classroom.
Q.: Have you kept in touch with any of your classmates?
Almost all of my fellow footballers, and quite a few classmates! Facebook and LinkedIn have helped a lot in this process.
Q.: How did Deree help prepare you for your professional life?
I cannot emphasize enough how important the Deree class projects and group assignments were in introducing me to real-life work cooperation and collaboration.
Q.: What’s the greatest piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Stop complaining about what life throws at you, smile and push ahead!
Q.: What (or who) inspires you most?
Undoubtedly, my wife and two daughters. Especially since we are away from “home,” we rely and support each other on a daily basis.
Q.: Your motto in life?
“Be yourself, no matter what they say” – lyrics from the song Englishman in New York by Sting.
ACG Alumni: We Stay Connected!