U.S. TEAM

 Stefania Magison

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.

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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.

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Mihaela Constantinescu

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.

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In 1985, Mihaela moved to the United States and received her license in the field of aesthetics in 1986, a Bachelor in Business Management in 1995, and a Masters in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica, Los Angeles in 1998.
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.

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Bacu Alexandru

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.

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Alex’s work for Blue Heron Foundation is focused on expanding mentor and donor networks beyond BH’s California roots to the East Coast of the United States. He has been a BH member and mentor since December 2015. In his own words: “Mentorship opened my eyes to the seemingly insurmountable (and oftentimes bureaucratic) challenges that talented youth have to deal with in their daily lives, challenges that can be easily conquered with a little bit of guidance, support and an engaged personal network.”

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Simona Bot

Simona Bot M.D. – VP 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.

ROMANIA TEAM

Cristina Porsega

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.

Valentina Ostap

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.

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In 2013 she was hired as a puppeteer and actor at the Republican Puppet Theatre „Licurici”. In September 2015 Valentina became the Coordinator of the Blue Heron Univeristy Scholarship Program in the Republic of Moldova. Since then, she has been able to successfully integrate her two careers and has become an invaluable member of the Blue Heron team. Her support helped the organization expand the program to 7 Moldovan regions and slowly increase the number of serviced youth from the initial 9 (2015) to 27 (2018). Valentina is enthusiastically supporting Blue Heron Foundation’s efforts to monitor the current college and vocational school scholarship program and the direct needs of the orphaned and abandoned Moldovan youth admited in the program.

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Horatiu Schiopu

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

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

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

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.

Alexandra Arnautu

Alexandra Arnautu – Coordonator

A linguist by education, an entrepreneur by opportunity and a networker by vocation, Alexandra Arnautu is a humanist of the XXI century. Born in Romania, she grew up in Lebanon at that time when bombs fell so often it was no longer news. From this early life experience she retained a ”seize the moment” attitude and a will to make things happen against all odds. Back in Romania, she pursued an education in humanities. She has an MA in foreign languages (French, English and Arabic) and an academic specialty in public relations and communication. She studied in Tunisia, Syria and Jordan.

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After various experiences in training institutes, private companies and the media, Alexandra joined the staff of the Royal House of Romania in 2002 and, later, became Chief of Cabinet of Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Margarita. During six years she played an important part in the institutional, social and cultural projects of the Royal Family, culminating with the Diamond Wedding of Their Majesties King Michael and Queen Anne of Romania. In 2008 she decided to take a bold step into entrepreneurship and founded If Magic, an agency where she can practice what she does best: bring together inspired people and give good ideas a chance to change the world.

Alexandra has been working with the Blue Heron team since 2008, and has been committed to the cause ever since.

“I feel so proud and inspired to be involved in the projects of the Blue Heron Foundation. Our students are the very manifestation of one of my favorite sayings: “Don’t be pushed by your problems, be led by your dreams.”

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Ada Lungu

Ada Lungu – Coordonator

Ada Lungu was born under the sign of diversity. She lived, worked and studied in six cities and three countries, on two continents. She experienced her academic specialty, intercultural communication, in every practical way. She could probably find a way to talk to an alien. Ada pursued academic and professional courses in communication, journalism and project management in Cairo, Bordeaux, Paris, Brussels and Berlin.

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Her professional journey as a marketing communications expert took her to international organizations (World Trade Centre, British Council), the media (The Romanian Broadcasting Society), public administration (European Institute of Romania) and the academic sector (University of Bucharest). As the PR Coordinator of the Royal House of Romania, Ada was also involved in coordinating historical events, from King Michael’s Return to the Peles Castle to the launch of Prince Radu’s candidacy for the Presidency of Romania. After joining If Magic’s team, she now shares her experience and expertise managing and promoting projects that make a difference in the world.

Ada joined the Blue Heron team in 2010.

“Sometimes, during Valentine’s Day Charity Ball, or while writing a press release or preparing my workshop for the Blue Heron Summer Camp, I would stop and think: I have the best job in the world! If, somehow, I manage to contribute even 1% to what the Foundation achieves to the benefit of these young people, I would have made my mark on the world.”

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