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Croatian diaspora spotlight: Q&A with Michael Misetic

Michael Misetic

“Malo nas je al nas ima.” 

The size of the Croatian community outside of Croatia is only approximate because of incomplete statistical records and naturalization, but the highest estimates suggest that the Croatian diaspora numbers between a third and a half of the total number of Croats.

In this series, we speak with various members of the diaspora who represent all facets of the international professional community, such as scientists, doctors, engineers, attorneys, artists, business executives, athletes, etc.

Q&A with Michael Misetic

Name: Michael Misetic

Title: Managing Partner

Company: Franchise Elevator PR

Education: Loyola University Chicago – B.A. Communications

Tell us about your family and Croatian ancestry.

My dad was born in Grabovnik, a small village in Bosna-Hercegovina just outside of Ljubuski. He immigrated to the United States in 1968. My mother’s side of the family is from Mostar, although she was born in Klagenfurt, Austria. It is there that my dida and baba met and married after World War II. They came to the United States in 1956. 

What is your profession? Publicist

What exactly do you do?

I provide public relations services for emerging franchise brands. Often times, when people think franchising, they think the likes of McDonald’s, SUBWAY and Dunkin, to name a few. But the truth is, the franchise industry extends well beyond the brand giants that everyone knows. In fact, there are approximately 4,000 franchise systems in North America, more than half of which have 20 or fewer units. These emerging franchises account for a critical component of the franchise industry and Franchise Elevator PR is proud to be the ONLY public relations agency in the United States that works exclusively with them.

What made you choose this profession?

The answer to this question is more “who” than “what.” In college, I had initially studied Political Science with the vague intention of becoming a lawyer. My cousin, Ana, actually encouraged me to adjust my focus and explore the possibility of becoming a public relations professional. The rest, as they say, is history.

What is/was your most successful professional accomplishment?

I’ve been fortunate enough to work and achieve quite a bit of success over the last 20+ years. However, my proudest and most exciting professional moment was working in the press office of the Croatian embassy in Washington, D.C. In a matter of weeks, I went from graduating college to bringing attention to the significance of Croatia’s historical and cultural contributions to the world as a representative of the Croatian government. It was an absolute honor.

What is the best advice you have received?

The pace of life is grueling and the energy required is exhausting. But, as my dida always reminded me, our brain needs exercise each day. “Study and learn,” he would constantly say. It is this simple advice that encourages me to always seek new knowledge and continues to teach me the value of learning as an essential part of discovering one’s true potential.

Is there any advice you would like to pass along to other professionals?

Treat the janitor with the same respect as the CEO. This is certainly not a new motivational or business quote, but unfortunately, it is forgotten quite often. In our rush to get ahead in business and life, we sometimes forget to say hello to the janitor that we pass as we make our way to a meeting hoping to impress the CEO.

Rovinj in Istria

What is your favorite place to visit in Croatia? Why? 

There’s a reason why the Istrian peninsula is heart-shaped. There is so much to love! Small and self-contained, Istra offers three of Croatia’s most attractive coastal towns (Pula, Rovinj and Porec) and is rich in history, culture and culinary treasures. I particularly like visiting Umag. In fact, that’s where my family and I stay when we visit Croatia every other year. The vibe of Umag is laid-back and calm, which is exactly what I look for when vacationing.

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