Our team

Since the end of 2014, a team of education enthusiasts with strong support from business leaders are preparing the establishment of the National office of the Award in Slovakia, which will aim to extend the program nation-wide in Slovakia. The National Office is here for you, the Boards' chairmen and members support the organization.

Marián Zachar

Marián Zachar

Co-founder and Executive Director
Marián is passionate about impact-oriented education interventions. Between 2010 and 2012, he implemented Transparency Initiative at the Ministry of Education as an executive assistant and advisor to the Minister and co-founded several programs focused on talented high-school students at Slovak NGO LEAF. In 2015, he co-founded The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award in Slovakia which since became one of the fastest growing National Offices of the Award world-wide. He was selected to the Aspen Young Leaders Program of the Aspen Institute Central Europe and to the Map of social innovators who change Slovakia for better, the project created by Ashoka and Pontis Foundation in Slovakia. In 2017 he became Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in London. With degree in Political Science and International Relations from Charles University and experience at Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, University of California, Berkeley and INSEAD. 
marian.zachar [zavinac] dofe.sk
+421 917 860 777

Miloš Ondrášik

Miloš Ondrášik

Co-founder and program director
Enthusiast for experiential learning and the use of non-formal learning methods in youth work. He is a garant for development of instructors and also a volunteer in a youth organisation Plusko. In organisations such Iuventa, Eurodesk, Tvoj Buddy or ternYpe he was dealing with the topics of underprivileged and Roma population as well as increasing the youth mobility. He graduated from analytical philosophy at University sv. Cyril and Metod in Trnava. Further education received studying Executive development program at University of Surrey.  In 2015, he was selected with Marián to the Map of social innovators who change Slovakia for better, the project created by Ashoka and Pontis Foundation.
milos.ondrasik [zavinac] dofe.sk
+421 908 210 528

Jasna Cifrová

Jasna Cifrová

Alexandra Kello

Alexandra Kello

Business partnership manager
Sandra has been working as a teacher of education for various target groups for many years. She worked in the school environment, implemented development programs in the business sphere and in the non-profit sector. She focuses on the development of creative thinking and the support of teamwork. In her trainings she focuses on experiential learning and interactive development. She enjoys spending her free time with her family in music and joy. She cares about constant growth, so she tries to constantly develop herself so that she can inspire others.
alexandra.kello[zavinac]dofe.sk
+421905335352

Petra Kňazeová

Petra Kňazeová

Programme Manager for Bratislava region
Petra studied political science and journalism at universities in Prague, Sheffield, and Paris and after living all over Europe, she decided to return to Slovakia and contribute to its positive transformation. She is interested in human rights and social equity and believes that quality education and guidance to comprehensive character development and civic responsibility are one of the keys to overcoming the deep-seated social and economic inequalities and to building a more successful Slovakia. She went through a programme similar to DofE during high school and it was one of the most transformative experiences of her academic journey. She is thus excited to help bring this experience to the widest possible circle of young people. She is a Bratislava native and in DofE will be in charge of this region.
petra.knazeova [zavinac] dofe.sk
+421 911 722 002

Jana Kubíková

Jana Kubíková

Programme Manager for Western Slovakia
Jana studied applied economy and public policy at the Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences, Comenius University Bratislava. During her studies she worked as an intern in several non-governmental organizations such as Slovak Governance Institute and Transparency International Slovakia. However, her passion was to work as a volunteer in OZ Bublina with orphans and children from socially disadvantaged families. Jana has also 2 years of experience in Teach for Slovakia during which she taught at Elementary school in Stráne pod Tatrami. Thanks to this experience she realized how important is to build character traits among young people. In DofE she will be in charge of the Western Slovak region. 
jana.kubikova [zavinac] dofe.sk
+421 948 667 301

Simona Lučkaničová

Simona Lučkaničová

After graduating from the European Studies at FSEV UK, attending many exchange projects and working at the Ministry of Finance, Slovakia, Simona decided to get involved with a more creative world, where she can make use of her artistic experience from the past. For 2 years she worked at Teach for Slovakia as a Talent recruiter and marketing manager, where she was communicating with over a thousand of candidates, organizing various events, managing social media or moderating. In DofE she is a communication manager responsible for social media, communication and PR.
simona.luckanicova[zavinac] dofe.sk
+421 911 939 484

Mária Lukáčová, MA

Mária Lukáčová, MA

Event manager
Majka studied in the U.S., Austria and Latvia, graduated from Export-Oriented Management, Tourism and Leisure Management with Specialisations in Events, Meeting Industry and Sports Tourism. Since her childhood she has been an active member of events and this is still the case today. Due to the fact that every single event left something in her, she decided to devote herself to events and evoke positive emotions in people. She organized events in Canada, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain and Slovakia during her University studies and then at work. She believes that every young individual has the opportunity to turn his or her dreams into reality.
maria.lukacova[zavinac]dofe.sk
+421 944 124 798

Zuzana Mészárosová

Zuzana Mészárosová

Operations Manager (on maternity leave)
A stickler for student-centered learning to which she conforms with her approach to students as a PhD. candidate of the Faculty of International Relations of the Economic University in Bratislava. Her enthusiasm for education corresponds well with Quality Education being her favorite of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which she's actively promoting from her position as the Secretary General of the United Nations Association Slovakia. Responsible approach to the education of young people considers to be of key importance when it comes to a better future of us all and that's why she's a part of DofE. 
zuzana.meszarosova [zavinac] dofe.sk
+421 903 862 563

Ján Smolka

Ján Smolka

Program Manager for Easter Slovakia
Janko's scouting activity influenced him so much that he decided to study recreology with a focus on experiential education at Palacký University in Olomouc. During his studies and stays abroad he was convinced that the path of a quality education system also leads towards the change of Slovakia. Therefore, he decided to apply for the Teach for Slovakia program that let him teach for 2 years at the primary school in Spišský Štvrtok. Among other things, he got to know many challenges of Slovak education and problems of minority education. Among other things, he worked as a mentor at Divé maky and helped organize various experiential and educational projects in cooperation with Holiday School Lipnice and Plusk. In DofE he will be in charge of the East Slovak region, which he is a great fun of after two years of living in Spiš.
jan.smolka[zavinac]dofe.sk
+421 948 020 775

Vladimír Suttner

Vladimír Suttner

Operations Manager
For Vlado, his life mission is the most important premise for achieving a fulfilling life of an individual, as well as building a healthy and prosperous society. At the same time, he considers each person to be worthy of an opportunity. For this reason, he decided to use his experience from the business world in the field of education. As a member of the DofE team, he works to remove administration burden from his colleagues' shoulders, thus contributing to the better education of future "Hawking", "Doudna", "Turing", "Herschel", "Curie" or "Carson". He has already communicated with representatives of Pepsico, NASA, Diamond Foundry, Mitsubishi, or Microsoft. Now he enjoys communicating with potential scientists, peacekeepers, CEOs, CFOs and COOs to help them transcend their own shadow and discover their full potential!
vladimir.suttner@dofe.sk
+421 907 895 483

Monika Svetlíková

Monika Svetlíková

Program Manager fo Central Slovakia
Monica's previous volunteer and work experience in the human rights and migration and integration fields brought towards the education. She perceives it as pretty crucial for the development of society and social change. She also enjoys learning about food in the international Slow Food movement. She studied political science and sociology at universities in Bratislava, Prague and Amsterdam. She comes from a small village in the Banská Bystrica region and the region of central Slovakia she will be in charge of.
monika.svetlikova [zavinac] dofe.sk
+421 908 709 994

Andrea Vrbovská

Andrea Vrbovská

Communications and Fundraising Manager
andrea.vrbovska [zavinac] dofe.sk
+421 910 916 731

Why not join us?

Why not join us?

Team member, trainer, volunteer, intern or co-operator
Do you like the Award mission? Do you believe that every young person has the potential to succeed? Do you have the courage to build a nation-wide programme from a scratch ? Than why not to join us? Come and help improve not only quality of education but also quality of life specific to young people in Slovakia through reasearch-proven development programme. Send a CV to Marian Zachar at marian.zachar [at] dofe.sk with a short motivation letter and maybe we'll find a match between your passion and skills and the needs of the National Office in Slovakia.

Pavel Trenka

Pavel Trenka

Chairman of the Executive board
Honorary board member and former CEO of the HB Reavis Group. Before joining HB Reavis, Pavel worked at McKinsey & Company in USA, Central and Eastern European countries and in the investment in Bank Austria in Slovakia.

Michal Liday

Michal Liday

Member of the Executive Board
Michal graduated from the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics of Comenius University in Bratislava, majoring in mathematics and computer technology. Later he pursued postgraduate studies at the University of Economics in Bratislava where he specialized in Quantitative Methods in Economics. He completed study internships at Mankato State University in Minnesota (USA), City University London (UK) and Johannes Kepler University in Linz (Austria). In 2010 he completed the General Management Program at Harvard Business School in Boston (USA). He began his professional life in 1992 at the University of Economics in Bratislava. In 1997 he started working for Tatra banka in the position of a branch director. He became the director of the Department of Private Banking in 2000. Five years later he reoriented himself to retail banking. Since 2007 he has been a member of Tatra banka board responsible for retail banking. In 2015 he became Managing Director and Chairman of the Tatra banka Board.

Ivan Peschl

Ivan Peschl

Member of the Executive Board
Since 2021, Ivan is an advisor to the Mayor and Chief Investment Officer-City of Bratislava enterprises. Before moving to the public sector, Ivan led company Towercom, a.s., where we he worked as the CFO and deputy CEO. Previouosly he served as CFO and BoD member of salite platform Skyplink. Ivan is a co-founder of the Association of Economic appraisers and certified appraiser in the field of Economy and Management as well. Graduated at London School of Economics and Political Science with Executive Global Master degree - The LSE alternative to MBA ( 2015-2017) and at University of Economics in Bratislava (1998).

Peter Irikovský

Peter Irikovský

Chairman of the Supervisory board
Peter is Managing Partner of Central European Venture investment holeding LRJ Capital, which invested for example into the Slovak flying car company, Aeromobil. He also leads as a CEO an LRJ’s portfolio company, Exponea, which focuses on the real-time analytics for web and online applications. Previously he led the Slevomat Group, was regional director in Groupon UK and worked at McKinsey & Company and KPMG. Peter graduated from Charles University in Prague majoring in Computer Science and in 2014 was selected into the Forbes 30 under 30 list in Slovakia. 

Branislav Kleskeň

Branislav Kleskeň

Co-founder and member of the Supervisory board
Branio leads LEAF, a non-profit organization focusing on the development of young individuals with the potential to grow into shapers of Slovakia who will demonstrate moral character, excellence, entrepreneurial leadership and civic engagement; regardless of their socio-economic background.  The activities of LEAF serve individuals from about 15 to 35 years of age and cover the areas of world-class education for high school students, mitigation of ‘brain drain’ and development of young professionals. Formerly a Partner at McKinsey & Company, Branio has experience from several continents in improving corporate performance, building new businesses, and improving education. 
branislav.klesken [zavinac] leaf.sk

Jiří Zrůst

Jiří Zrůst

Co-founder and Member of the Supervisory Board
Senior Managing Director, Head of Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, Macquarie Infrastructure & Real Assets. Chairman of the Executive board of The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award Czech Republic Foundation and member of the International Council The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award Foundation. Jiri was selected in 2015 for the Financial News Extra Mile 40 list, a prestigious award for the people in "in finance that do the most for good causes" because of his engagement with the Award.
jiri.zrust [zavinac] dofe.cz

Miroslava Rychtárechová

Miroslava Rychtárechová

Igor Takáč

Igor Takáč

Katarína Michaliková

Katarína Michaliková

Ľuboš Marcinek

Ľuboš Marcinek

Marek Kmeť

Marek Kmeť

Petra Gubišová

Petra Gubišová

Tomáš Macko

Tomáš Macko

The husband of an excellent woman, the father of two beautiful daughters, a former mathematics teacher who developed various extracurricular activities: experiential stays for students, construction of a workout playground, personal development course for students. I like to learn: psychotherapeutic course, experiential pedagogy, crisis intervention. I like sports, reading and I am. I see working in DofE with a team of great people as another opportunity during which one can learn a lot.

Michal Keim

Michal Keim

DofE Slovakia Trainer
 He is passionate for mountains and experiental learing, he is a former history teacher and climbing instructor. He fell in love with nonformal education via Štúdio Zážitku Outward Bound Slovakia. Experiences on sea and land tweaked at Outward Bound Hong Kong and several international trainings. He spend his free time usually in mountains in summer and winter too. "The longest journeys begin with single step" Lao-c'

Kvetka Legerská

Kvetka Legerská

DofE Slovakia Trainer

Soňa Oravcová

Soňa Oravcová

DofE Slovakia Trainer

Lucia Rossová

Lucia Rossová

DofE Slovakia Trainer

Róbert Sabo

Róbert Sabo

DofE Slovakia Trainer

Robo Zavacký

Robo Zavacký

DofE Slovakia Trainer

Peter Janiga

Peter Janiga

advisor, volunteer
Lawyer in the private sector. "Fulltime" volunteer expert in law and counseling, external patron of volunteer opportunities in LEAF. Enthusiast for lifelong learning, civic participation and the arts. He studied law (Trnava University UIB Spain) and international relations (University).

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