Short Bio (Maria Tsibiropoulou)

1. a short biography in two paragraphs with the aim of getting to know Maria Tsibiropoulou better

Born in Thessaloniki 46 years ago. Finished Business Administration at the ICBS School of Liberal Studies and then her Masters in Marketing at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid in Spain. Speaks very good English and Spanish, moderate French and 1st level in Japanese. She likes to travel, dream by the sea and dance, lose herself in a book or a painting by Klimt, Van Gogh or Dali. Volunteer at the organization Arsis (social non-governmental organization for abused/abandoned children) and former member of the Hellenic Rescue Team. Married since 2004, with 2 children.

In Hospitality, we are operating with an important range of companies, mainly in Europe but also internationally, providing them with suitable staff, from junior to senior positions in all specialties and levels.

2. How did the idea of creating Silver Lining come about?

When I suddenly became unemployed in 2013, at the age of 37, with my husband recently laid off and 2 young children, I felt that I was with my family at a very critical point for our survival. It was no longer enough to look for another job, which most likely would have grueling hours, with a starvation wage and clearly without any recognition! What made me most stubborn was the realization that with 2 degrees and 4 languages I was worth much more than settling for ashes again. I finally had to spread my wings! Yes, in the midst of a crisis and against all odds! Within the first two hours of my unemployment, in a coffee shop, in the notebook of ideas that I always carry with me, I sat down and wrote down what I could do, what I am good at, which people I know could help me in my new endeavor, which services should I turn to and of course what could be more or less the cost for my new venture. So I decided to start something of my own and never look back. So in 2013, with patience and perseverance, I started operating Silver Lining, which is active in the field of Hospitality mostly and also Medical regarding employment in Greece and abroad.

The specific name which loosely translated means "the guide of optimism" represents me perfectly. The name of the company comes from the following propositions:

"Every cloud has a silver lining, which means you should never feel without hope because hard times always lead to better days, every difficult situation has a bright side. Difficult times are like dark clouds that pass over us and block the sun. But if we look at the edges of each cloud we can see the sun shining there like a silver lining.”

3.What were your initial concerns and how might they have been "overcome"?

The office started its operation on April 1, 2013, it seems like a lie to me! My main concerns were whether I could cope with my duties and the financial obligations of an office, whether I could be trusted by both employers and prospective interested parties without even knowing me to fulfill their requests. Fortunately, the support I had from my family environment and the trust shown in me by the contacts I had abroad, were of major importance and were also the springboard for my first steps.

After 9 years now, and having faced various difficult situations, I definitely feel much more experienced, creative and more flexible in handling various situations

4. The collaboration with Gordon-Charles Recruitment Ltd. between 2015 - 2022 was a huge success. What were your feelings "locking" the deal?

Undeniably a huge success! It was the checkmate approach that I took and it changed my entire professional path until now. In 2014, the 1st contact and pilot collaboration was made with the English employment agency Gordon-Charles Recruitment Ltd, which specializes in the tourism and catering sector and is based in London. It is an already established agency in its field for over 20 years in the UK, specializing in finding staff for hotels and restaurants, pubs, gastro pubs, bistros on a global level. In 2015 the proposal was made to me to essentially merge with them, but keeping my brand, respecting my identity. Our "chemistry" was evident from the first moment and I felt happy, and if I may say safer, that an already established office with experienced people, evaluated my activities until then and wanted to take me under their wing. I will always value their huge contribution in making me a better professional.

5. Which specializations in the tourism and catering industry are in the most demand?

Cooks, mainly from commis to chef de partie in the majority, and Waiters.

6. Are there any new plans that you would like to share with us?

The goal for me is definitely to become known in a global level (we have to think big!). Professionalism, attention to detail, thinking outside the box, with creative ideas and establishing solid collaborations, are the axes on which I want to always move.

One thing for sure that I can share with you is the motto I have been following for years by the author John A. Shedd: “A ship in a harbor is safe. But ships are not built for that purpose.” So my ship is constantly sailing towards new horizons.
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