Sunday, 10 January 2016 18:45

One woman’s journey to the top

Styliana Pontiki-Drege Styliana Pontiki-Drege

Styliana Pontiki-Drege has moved from hotel secretary to World Trade Centre Cyprus (WTC Cyprus) Operations Manager. She has travelled the world, raised a daughter and is happily married. In a chat with The Cyprus Weekly, she talks about her successful journey.

Originally from Famagusta, she came to Limassol in 1974 and moved on to study office and hotel management in the UK.

Cheerful and outgoing by nature, Pontiki-Drege has always liked being with people and learning about different cultures. When she returned from her studies, she got a job as a secretary at the Londa Hotel which was then at its pre-opening stage. She enjoyed the often challenging job and stayed for 14 years. By that time, she had risen from the role of PA to the General Manager and was in charge of hotel events.

Never stop learning

Pontiki-Drege attended seminars whenever her busy schedule allowed. One of them was about becoming an executive secretary, where she met members of the European Management Association (EUMA). She then applied for Cyprus to become a EUMA member and Styliana Pontiki-Drege became the first national chairman, feeling very proud to have led the little island into this big European Association.

Her work with the association took her to various countries and made her realise that executive secretaries – and any woman in a senior position – were seen very differently in other European countries. She decided this is how she wanted to be seen and kept following her aspirations. With a motto that ‘Life is a long learning process’ Styliana has clearly never stopped.

WTC Cyprus

Her encounters abroad left her ambitious to do more. After 20 years in the hotel industry, the opportunity arose to work at the World Trade Centre Cyprus, which provides a forum for parties involved in global trading, serving as information office, a training centre and a meeting place.

WTC Cyprus is a member of the New York based World Trade Centres Association since 2004 and of WTC Holdings Cyprus Ltd which holds licences for 16 other offices in the Middle East, North Africa and in Perth, Australia. The mission of a World Trade Centre is to promote trade and business activities between business communities through a network of over 360 WTC locations worldwide.

The WTC Cyprus also offers fully serviced offices with business centre support.

Pontiki-Drege started as Business Development Officer and became a certified trainer in Signature Business Solutions for the hospitality industry, bringing this specific programme to Cyprus. She then launched operations in Cyprus, the Middle East and North Africa and was soon promoted to Operations Manager of the WTC Cyprus.

“I have worked very hard to get this far, and have given up a lot of personal and family time, but I certainly do not regret it,” she says.

“I have a very positive and supportive [Argentinean] husband and have been able to balance my career and my family life.” Pontiki-Drege adds that she took all opportunities coming her way and was never afraid to try new things: “It is always better to try and fail rather than not try at all.”

She travels a lot and will readily admit that business travel loses its glamour after some time, but meeting new people and learning about new cultures never does. “Even if I do not have time to visit a country, I will always make sure I try its food and understand its essence through meeting its people.”

Being the first employee of the WTC Cyprus, Pontiki-Drege has become very attached to it and cares a lot about her job and her employees.

She looks forward to continuing to advance the work of the entire group of companies that make up the WTC Holdings Cyprus and to a new year filled with challenges and opportunities to learn and to show she cares.

Article as published in The Cyprus Weekly of January 8 2016 

Mary Anglberger

I’ve been travelling the world for over 20 years teaching English and am now taking time to follow my passion for photography and writing. I want to share all the things, events and people that have inspired and inspire me and spread those positive vibes all around.

Email Me · Linked In · Twitter · Facebook

Related items