Stefania Magidson – President
Stefania Magidson is the founder and president of Blue Heron Foundation, one of the largest non-profit organizations in the Romanian diaspora. Romanian-born, she has lived in the United States since 1983.
Stefania received a degree in Public Health from University of Utah and a Master’s in Applied Psychology from the University of Santa Monica. Her work in the early ‘90’s focused on designing and implementing cardiovascular health programs for the Utah State Health Department at the Center for Disease Control.
Stefania is a global citizen, fluent in Romanian and Spanish, who is dedicated to empowering her fellow human beings through strategic charitable giving and support of education and the arts.
She is the co-producer of the film Omega Rose, and author of the book “Searching for the White Magician,” a series of dialogues where she explores themes ranging from immigration and philanthropy to spiritual psychology and self-realization.
Stefania lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their two sons.
Mihaela Constantinescu – Director, Mentorship Program
Born in Romania, Mihaela was licensed as an architect at the Ion Mincu Institute in Bucharest. She participated in many building projects, mostly centered around the reconstruction of her native city, Ploiesti, after the 1978 earthquake.
After completing Dr. Jean Houston’s Summer Leadership program in Social Artistry, Mihaela was inspired to bring a meaningful contribution to young men and women in Romania.Mihaela joined the Blue Heron Foundation team in 2008 and has since worked as director of the Mentorship Program. Her responsibilities include monitoring mentors and mentees who are part of the Blue Heron Scholarship Program as well as providing on-going support and training to those involved in the program. Her service work for Blue Heron Foundation is also supported by her two years of training as a Personal and Executive Coach.Along with her continued work as a Conscious Beauty Consultant, Mihaela participates in the “Freedom to Choose” project at The Valley State Women’s Prison in Chowchilla, California. She divides her time between Sedona and Los Angeles where she works and spends time with her two daughters, Andreea and Alma.
Alex Bâcu – VP Fundraising & Community, East Coast
Born and raised in Bucharest, Romania, Alex came to the United States on a scholarship to study at Amherst College in Massachusetts. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in Economics and Fine Arts in 2003. After a brief stint in Investment Banking at Lehman Brothers, he moved to his current position as a Senior Research Equity Analyst and Associate Portfolio Manager at Neuberger Berman in New York City with a primary focus on the Technology, Media and Telecom sector. Alex is also involved as an advisor to and/or investor in several early stage start-ups in the Internet and Beauty Products sectors. Alex Bâcu is a CFA(r) charterholder.
Simona Bot M.D. – VP Fundraising & Community Outreach, West Coast
Simona graduated from the University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Timisoara, Romania, with an M.D. degree in 1993.
She worked on the treatment of autoimmune diseases, on DNA vaccines against the influenza virus and RNA based immune modulating agents and has held positions at Mount Sinai Medical Center, Alliance Pharmaceutical Company, Multicell Therapeutics and other biotech companies.
Simona has published over a dozen scholarly articles and presented her work at international conferences.
She has always been passionate about helping others, and when she met Stefania in 2011, it was only natural for her to begin working as a mentor for Blue Heron Foundation. Since then, she has taken on an increasingly intensive role in advocating, recruiting, and fundraising for the foundation.
Cristina Porsega – Director, BH Scholarship Program
Cristina graduated from the Western University of Timisoara with a degree in Sociology and Psychology and continued her graduate studies in Management & Human Services.
Cristina was a Blue Heron scholarship recipient herself (2005 – 2010), until graduating and obtaining her M.A. degree. She understands thoroughly how the program works, first as a grantee and then as a member of the Foundation’s team.
Antoaneta Andreea Muraru – Director, Mentorship Program
Antoaneta Andreea Muraru (PhD) studied Psychology at the University of Iași. She is working as a therapist, trainer and supervisor in the field of couple and family therapy and she is one of the founders of Family and Couple Psychotherapy Association in Iași. Her interest in postmodern therapies grew over the recent years and now she is specialized in narrative therapy, a therapy of solidarity. Through her work, she is aiming to make marginalized and isolated voices heard. She is working with individuals, couples and various groups who have experienced discrimination and marginalization.
With a large experience in child protection state department, private practice and many NGOs, she is passionate about the narrative approach, social justice issues, curious and respectful when interacting with persons, always looking for HOPE.
I am honored to be part of the Blue Heron team and humbled by their work, dedication and generosity. I have been working for many years in supporting people to gain agency in their lives and I wish to offer my experience and my joy of living in order to build, together with these young adults and their mentors, new stories of possibilities and new solid places on which to stand.
Valentina Ostap – BHF Scholarship Program Director, Chisinau, Republic of Moldova
Vlentina Ostap was born in Sukhumi, Georgia and currently lives and works in Chisinau, Moldova. As a teenager, she pursued her passion for painting and acting at the Calarasi Art School. Valentina was admited at the Ion Creanga University where she received a B.A. and an M.A. in psychology and also her teaching credentials. Upon graduation, she continued to pursue her artistic vocations studying at the Andries Puppet Theater. Valentina was also a volunteer for various social causes. Between 2008-2012 she worked at the Moldovan NGOs Aliance Secretariat dedicated to the Social Protection of Children and Families. For three years afterwards she was employed as a Psychologist at the Community Association CCF-Moldova.
Horatiu Schiopu – Law & Accounting Consulting
Horatiu Schiopu was born in Campina, Prahova County, Romania. He spent his childhood in the countryside, in Valea Doftanei. From an early age he came to understand the hardships that the impoverished have to endure and he resolved to do something to ameliorate their situation when the time came. That time was 2008, when Horatiu joined the Blue Heron Foundation as a mentor. Since then he has been an active participant in the foundation’s programs.
Valedictorian of his promotion, Horatiu majored in law at the University “Al.I Cuza” from Iasi. He then pursued further studies in the field and obtained an M.A. from the University “Titu Maiorescu” in Bucharest. He has built a career in banking law and is, at present, a senior partner at the the law firm Schiopu & Associates, SCA. He strongly believes that every adult can and should support children and young people by getting involved in their education.
Daniela Tordoi – Coordinator, BH Mentorship Program
Daniela majored in Psychology and Education Sciences at the University of Bucharest and then specialized in Integrative Psychotherapy.
She is an accredited career & personal development coach. Daniela’s professional experience has expanded in accessing and managing development funds, a specialty that has enabled her to initiate and coordinate educational projects, including summer camps for young people and adults.
Daniela’s professional interests are complemented by her passion for writing, traveling and sports.
Catalina Neculau – Staff Psychologist/Group Coordinator
Born in Iasi, Romania, Catalina started her carrier as a nurse in an OR facility. Partly as a result of this work she became interested in helping people not simply with their physical ailments but with their mental and emotional ones as well. Consequently she obtained a degree in psychology from The Alexandru Ioan Cuza University and continued her studies in psychosocial intervention and psychotherapy. Catalina specializes in Ericksonian therapy and hypnosis and in narrative therapy.
As a Blue Heron Group Coordinator she oversees the mentor-mentee relationships and the progress of a group of Blue Heron students based in Iasi and Suceava.
Catalina is an avid photographer and an enthusiastic traveller and mountain climber.
Lucian Mustata – IT Consulting
Lucian Mustata graduated from The Cybernetics Faculty in Bucharest and received M.A diplomas from the National School of Political and Administrative Science and the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest. Shortly thereafter he founded Lucian & Partners SRL-D, an IT company offering a broad range of services, including web design, online security, branding and search optimization.
Lucian became a Blue Heron scholarship recipient in 2011 and, after graduation, has remained an active alumnus overseeing Blue Heron’s creative and web design. He recently launched the global platform Note About Life, a site that allows people to share their life story and inspire others through their advice and example.