Board of Directors
StayUNITED's Board of Directors governs the work of the organization. Our Board shapes the organization's direction through its mission, strategy, budget, and key policies; ensures that the finances, resources, and leadership in place are in line with the organization's vision; and monitors and improves the performance of the organization.
Chairwoman of the Board
Ismini Svensson is the Co-Founder of StayUNITED where she serves as Chairwoman of the board. She is the Founder and President of the international real estate investment firm Svensson Investments. Prior to establishing Svensson Investments, Ismini worked in Washington, D.C at the Democratic National Committee's Department of Finance. Her involvement in the American political scene allowed her to work alongside senior government officials in the Obama administration. In the years before, she founded and served as President of KConstruction and assisted in the construction of the Olympic Village for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. For her leadership and philanthropic work, Ismini has been recognized by officials at the local, state, and federal levels of government across America. She has been featured on prominent news media networks and talk shows worldwide including CNN, NBC, ABC, FOX, CBS, People Magazine and more. Ismini received her Bachelor of Arts and Master's degrees in civil engineering from the National Technical University of Athens. She speaks five languages: English, Greek, Chinese, German, and French. She is a grade 9 pianist. A ballerina since the age of 3, she received multiple honors from the Royal Academy of Dance. Ismini and her husband Mark have one daughter, Rafaela, and reside in New York.
Mark Svensson is the Co-Founder of StayUNITED where he serves as Vice-Chairman of the board. Mark is an attorney, community organizer and philanthropic leader. He currently works for the United States Small Business Administration as an Attorney Advisor helping to rebuild and strengthen American businesses and families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Previously, he has held roles with the New York State Office of the Attorney General, the United States Attorney's Office, and The United Nations Office of Internal Oversight Services. Prior to his legal career, Mark worked for Congressman Eliot Engel on Capitol Hill and served as a Fellow under Secretary Kenneth Salazar at the United States Department of the Interior. In addition to his professional pursuits, Mark has spearheaded numerous philanthropic endeavors resulting in honors from elected officials at the local, state, and federal levels of government across America. Mark and his wife Ismini have one daughter, Rafaela, and reside in Orangetown, New York.
Vice Chairman of the Board
Maria Karydi, Ph.D.
Member of the Board
Dr. Maria Vlassopoulou-Karydi is a distinguished archaeologist and author. She received her Ph.D. in Archaeology from the University of Athens. She worked at the Prehistoric Collection of the National Archaeological Museum of Athens from 1974 to 2010. She has served as the Secretary of both the prestigious Central Archaeological Council of Greece (1996-1998) and the Central Council of Modern Monuments (1984-1990). Her notable curatorial work includes '1000 years of the Olympic games: treasures of ancient Greece,’ as part of a cultural festival complementing the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sydney, Australia; ‘Goddesses - Mediterranean Female Images from Prehistoric Times to the Roman Period’ in Barcelona’s Museu d’Historia de la Ciutat; and ‘Jewelry from Greek Prehistory’ at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens. As an author, her published works include ‘Universal Athletics - Figures and History,’ and the award-winning bilingual book ‘Arcadians - Αρκάδες,’ which received honors from the Panarcadian Federation of America. Other writings include ‘Ivory mirror handles with relief female figures’, ‘Vegetal remains from Mycenae’s Grave Circle B,’ and ‘Mycenaean Terra-cotta Models of Seats and Seated Figures.' Born in Tripoli, Greece, Dr. Karydi currently resides in New York.
Kenneth Svensson, M.D.
Member of the Board
Dr. Kenneth Svensson is a board certified family practitioner, who has been serving the needs of all ages in New York for the past 25 years. Dr. Svensson established a private practice in 1988, located on the beautiful waterfront town of Nyack, New York. Dr. Svensson earned his B.A. degree from New York University and his medical doctorate from the Universidad Central Del Este in the Dominican Republic. He completed his Family Practice Residency at UMDNJ /St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Paterson, NJ and participated in a Surgical Residency at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. He is licensed to practice medicine in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Dr. Svensson is a preceptor at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine and was a preceptor at New York medical college for 10 years. He is a Diplomat at the American Board of Family Medicine and a Fellow at the American Academy of Family Physicians. Dr. Svensson is a philanthropist. He is involved with the Association for the Visually Impaired and the Mental Health Association of Rockland County. He is fluent in Spanish. In his down time, he enjoys cycling and rowing. Dr. Svensson is very passionate about teaching proper nutrition, fitness, and preventative medicine to his clients. He lives in New York with his wife and two children.
All contributions to StayUNITED are tax-deductible. StayUNITED is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with Federal Tax ID Number 46-1703447.