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As 2020 led many organizations to alter their working models, BAPA’s annual forum had to follow suit. In an all virtual environment, the 7th Annual BAPA Forum program commenced with presentations from our 2019 scholarship recipients regarding their chosen career paths star. We were excited to have Ema Mujic & Melika Konjicanin officially become part of BAPA’s growing network. Their presentations on Maternal & Child Health Epidemiology trends in BiH, as well as the impact of architecture in public space & communities in BiH were fascinating additions to our diverse programming. Our keynote speaker, Mirza Cifric, CEO and cofounder of Veritas Genetics, talked about the evolving trends in genetic research & genetic mapping, his passion for the subject, and how he believes the growth in technology and biotech industries in BiH will foster an environment for learning & growth in the next generation. Finally, our Forum concluded with multiple networking workshops – including industry specific and general networking. The Bosnian-American community continues to engage, enlighten, and excite program participants. While we were saddened that we could not meet in-person this year, the all virtual environment helped open new doors and opportunities for attendees from all over the world to connect. The BAPA Board is continuously impressed by the growing community of Bosnian-American professionals, and we look forward to the 2021 Forum.



During the  weekend of the sixth annual BAPA forum we had the honor to welcome the 2019 BAPA scholarship recipients, Raza and Elma, as well as our keynote speaker Dr. Emir Kamenica, as well as a growing BAPA network from Chicago, and across the US and Canada. Elma and Raza wowed the audience with their presentations about how food and physical therapy affect health and about the details of private equity–both aspects of their chosen career paths. Dr. Emir Kamenica, Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, our keynote speaker engaged the forum in a thoughtful discussion of the benefits and pitfalls of creating and producing versus consuming. Our program also included two networking-style workshops. Our speed networking session helped us connect participants in a very short period of time. Our industry-specific small networking workshop allowed participants to challenge themselves and their peers with actionable goals and plans for their careers. We further strengthened those newly-found connections through dinner, brunch, and attendance at the Chicago Festival of BiH Film.



The fifth annual BAPA forum program commenced with the presentations of our 2018 scholarship recipients regarding their chosen career paths. We were excited to have Amra, Hanna and Meliha officially become part of BAPA’s growing network. Further, there were a number of networking workshops, presentations, and opportunities to meet fellow attendees, and grow your own network in North America and beyond. Finally our keynote speaker Ajla Delkic, President of the Council for Bosnia and Herzegovina (ACBH), headquartered in Washington, D.C., talked about how communities affect the world of business and politics. We concluded in the evening with a networking event. The fifth annual  BAPA forum was held in the offices of the Advisory Council for Bosnia and Herzegovina.



The fourth annual BAPA forum took place in Phoenix, AZ. This is the first year our scholarship recipients were invited to present as part of the annual forum. Ena Barisic, Bajram Metjahic and Azra Osmancevic each introduced the audience to the ways they have connected to the Bosnian-American community. Furthermore, the theme of civic and community engagement was weaved through the presentations of Ida Sefer Roche, Amanda Hukanovic and Chris Mathieu. Finally our keynote speakers Marina Ridic and Dr. Esad Boskailo tasked us witha call to action. The forum was followed by dinner and brunch to continue the conversations,. 


ST. LOUIS 2016

The third annul BAPA forum kicked off with the  “Value of Networking” workshop at Fontbonne University. At the workshop, Nidzara Pecenkovic walked us through an exercise, to not only think about the contributions we want to make to our communities, but also set tangible benchmarks to achieving our goals. After the workshop, we heard from Jusuf Sarancic about the Mostar Summer Youth Program , as well as Professor Ben Moore about the Bosnia Memory ProjectIn the evening, Bosnian-American Professional Network (BAPN) hosted a reception, appropriately titled “The Power of Mentoring” at the Grbic Restaurant. BAPN was a fantastic host and the reception a great success. We had students, BAPA officers, and industry professionals from a number of different states (and Canada!) who attended the reception that evening. A few of us slipped out of our private space to enjoy a delicious dinner at the Grbic Restaurant. The following day, we gathered at Café Madeleine for a delicious Sunday brunch. This was a great opportunity to get to know each other in a more subdued setting, process the events of the day before, and contrive ideas for future forums and networking opportunities.



The second annual forum took on a unique format with BAPA attending Bosana's annual benefit. Bosana Foundation provides marginalized youth in Bosnia and Herzegovina with the tools, funds and resources to make positive life choices that enable them to maximize their personal potential. In addition to being one of the main sponsors, we tasked ourselves with attracting a new audience to the Benefit. Friends joined us from various cities including NYC, Washington D.C., Chicago, Waterloo, Denver, Grand Rapids, Salt Lake City and Toronto.

In the spirit of supporting Bosana, we saw the opportunity to connect to our homeland by sponsoring the next generation of leaders in BiH while networking with fellow attendees and building a stronger foundation for future collaborations and partnerships. The BAPA experience at Bosana 2015 will be dearly remembered. (Photo courtesy of Bosana Foundation)



During the first annual forum, BAPA featured Bosnian-American authors who shared their unique background and expertise with the Salt Lake City community. The weekend commenced with a fundraising reception where Bosnian-American professionals mingled and socialized with featured authors.  The fundraiser benefited Bosana Foundation, a 501 c(3) which offers scholarships and professional development to college students in Bosnia & Herzegovina. “This is in line with our strategy to strengthen the connection to Bosnia & Herzegovina,” said Kanita Lipjankic, BAPA founder and chair, of the $1000 raised for Bosana.


On the evening of Friday, October 3, the event’s keynote speaker Kenan Trebincevic, author of The Bosnia List, discussed his poignant memoir about his childhood in Brcko at the breakout of the Bosnian war. The City Public Library sponsored presentation was followed by a Q&A session and a book signing.  “A huge thanks to Salt Lake City for hosting us, especially to the Bosnian community that attended the events,” said Trebincevic.


On Saturday, October 4, Trebincevic was joined by three additional Bosnian writers for a panel discussion focused on immigrant and identity issues of Bosnian-Americans especially in relation to writing, literature, and language.  The event was sponsored by the Utah Humanities Book Festival and featured: Ajla Terzic, author of Lutrija and Mogla Je Biti Prosta Prica; Jasmina Dervisevic-Cesis, author of The River Runs Salt, Runs Sweet; and Elvis Hadzic, author of “The Curious Case of Benjamin Zec.”

Reflecting on the weekend of networking and collaboration, Dervisevic-Cesic said: “Huge congratulations to BAPA for a job well done. Your hard work, dedication, and kindness brought my inspiration to the next level. Also, thank you very much for the invite, hospitality, and most of all for bringing me together with my fellow authors, Ajla, Kenan, and Elvis whose company I enjoyed just as much.”

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