Mirena Bagur, VP of Brand Management and Cofounder
Mirena is our primary liaison with the wineries in Croatia.
Mirena was born and raised in Croatia in the small town of Metkovic in the Dubrovnik-Neretva county in Dalmatia. Through numerous family members involved in the region’s cultural life, she has learned how to breathe in not only the Dalmatian breezes, the smells of the Adriatic, rosemary and lavanda, but also “inhaled” everything that tradition can bring to society.
From her parents who saved and reconstructed the traditional dance, songs and the folk costume in the Neretva region, to her grandfather who had Plavac Mali vineyards, Mirena’s passion for Croatian culture began in her home town. She started learning about the village traditions as a child when she joined her parents in conversations with people who were passing down the traditions, including hearing the old songs from the villagers and learning them on the spot. She participated in the wine harvest as a kid, when her first memory of them includes riding on a donkey to transport the wines from the vineyard to her grandfather’s wine making konoba.
While in high school, Mirena was a lead female dancer in the Metkovic folk dance group, and in college joined one of the prominent Zagreb dance groups, then called Joza Vlahovic (now ZFA) with which she performed in numerous concert halls in Zagreb and folk festivals, as well as participated in six international tours representing her homeland.
Mirena now lives in the Boston area where, in addition to her business career, she has been involved with numerous Croatia-related happenings. She is a member of Pajdasi, a band and choir focused on Croatian folk songs, which recently participated in the International Folk Festival in Zagreb representing the Croatian-American community. Most notably she has, for the last 14 years, led various programs as the President of the New England Friends of Croatia, a non-profit focused on spreading awareness about Croatia in New England. She is also a member of The Association of Croatian American Professionals (ACAP) where she is actively participating in the medical task force.
Mirena’s business career started at Weber Shandwick, a leading global marketing communications agency, where she held a senior management role focused on national-level initiatives designed to elevate Weber Shandwick’s brand and to increase visibility in new markets.
Mirena’s most recent professional role includes founding in 2005 The CONTeXO Group, a consultancy for start-up companies, where she leads a team of technology, health tech, and start-up experts, in working with a wide variety of technology-inspired companies.
To juxtapose Mirena’s interest in cultural traditions and the positive aspects it can bring to today’s society, Mirena is passionate about innovation and is active in the Boston area technology and start-up ecosystem. She has been involved as a member of Boards/Advisory Boards in various industry organizations in the Boston start up ecosystem: from The Capital Network, the MIT Enterprise Forum, and The Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council, to holding roles of reviewer, judge or mentor at various business competitions including the MIT 100K, Simmons College, and the MassChallenge Accelerator.
In addition, as the Course Co-director for 10 years at the joint Harvard-MIT Division of Health, Sciences, and Technology course HST.921 “Enabling Technology Innovation in Health Care and the Life Sciences,” she has developed curriculum and managed the execution of academic programs and real-world innovation projects with graduate students from all Harvard and MIT.
Mirena holds a Masters degree in international trade and marketing from the University of Zagreb School of Economics in Croatia, and has completed a strategic business leadership program at Columbia University. She is a member of the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA), and is involved in numerous non-profit organizations.