Office

The Office supports the Board of Directors by independently delivering agreed management tasks. It is playing a critical role in organising the IE coordinators and in coordinating the annual planning and quarterly reporting of the management. The Office takes care for the members and deals with all the administration processes.

Members of the Office Team are:

Office Manager:
Helena Vičič (Slovenia)

I was raised as a nature lover. I live in an idyllic Slovenian countryside where we still pick herbs and wild foods and produce our own vegetables. More than 65% of the landscape is covered in forests, so half of my family members are employed in forestry. They did a great job, for they managed to transfer all this respect towards nature and home land on to me. My grandfather was my first interpreter. He taught me listening to the wind and recognising all sorts of plants, thus I have become well qualified to work for the national environmental agency as a phenology reporter. Man-made heritage is also my love. From my youngest days, old ruins and dusted lofts have inspired my imagination, so I decided to study history.

After my graduation, I worked in tourism as a tourist guide and a manager of the tourist information centre. I also went to Ireland for several months to gain some more experience in tourism. However, there was a discrepancy that I could not understand. All our endeavours were so very business-oriented but I couldn’t see people benefiting from them. They had their own fun which was not much influenced by what we had to offer. Only later I realised that we were forgetting about hearts and souls.

For several years I worked on rural development projects, dealing mainly with administration. This period ended in 2016 in Heritage House with a very successful project “In the Same Boat – Young Guardians of Heritage”. I contributed as a coordinator, researcher, and trainer. I am still very proud of being a part of it for it was rewarded by Europa Nostra 2017 in Finland as a “special mention of the jury”.

By coincidence, as a member of Young Project Managers, I volunteered in Interpret Europe’s Foundation Assembly in 2010. I believe it was the first time I’d heard of heritage interpretation. Ever since then, my interest has been growing. Since 2016 I have been an active member of Interpret Europe, a CIG and CIH trainer and am actively involved in IE annual events. I am also a part time student in the MSc course, Interpretation: Management and Practice, at the University of the Highlands and Islands. I run courses and workshops in Slovenia and try to implement heritage interpretation in many international projects that are being applied now in the West Balkan region.

As office manager I like to serve IE and its members with all my passion and competence.

Office Manager Deputy:
Inesa Sulaj (Albania)

I have completed bachelor studies in Archeology and Management of Cultural Heritage at the University of Tirana and am currently continuing a master’s in Urban Designing and Landscape at Polis University, Albania.

I have gained practical experience through internships at the Department of Cultural Heritage in the Ministry of Culture, the National Museum House of Leaves, and through different programmes focused on restoration of monuments and heritage interpretation. Since 2015, my interest has increasingly focused on heritage interpretation. I am especially interested in implementing the interpretive approach to the visitor experience in museums as a way to make it more enjoyable.

I have been working for more than two years as a tourism and cultural heritage expert at Creative Business Solutions, a consultant organisation in Albania. I am part of the tourism project ‘IntoAlbania’, where I mainly focus on implementing digital technologies in museums and archeological sites. I also work as a consultant for different organisations and projects in Albania and abroad.

In addition, I have participated in many professional international training courses and conferences with a focus on museum management, conservation, disaster risk management, heritage interpretation, intangible heritage. I am a member of the Balkan Museum Network and ICOM.

My work in the back office team will involve providing support to the Office Manage and managing the IE database.

Membership Support Officer:
Yasmina Vera (Spain)

I am Yasmina, from a small village close to the coast of Barcelona. I have been working in the tourism industry over the past years in Spain, the rest of Europe and overseas. I have studied a Vocational Education Training [VET] for ‘Tourist guide, information and commercial’ and worked at various touristic locations and customer service visitor centres in different sectors related to tourism, as well as transport, accommodation and cultural and natural heritage places in Spain and overseas.

Some of my experience has been at Park Güell and Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, and also at other locations further off the beaten track such as Daintree Rainforest in Australia and the Istrian Region of Croatia with the Eurodyssee program. Afterwards, I needed to improve my skills and conceptualize my previous experiences and this led me to taking a post-graduate degree in ‘Ecotourism and nature’s guiding’, where I became a Certified Interpretive Guide, certificated by Interpret Europe (the European Association for Heritage Interpretation). I have learned concepts and tools that I always try to apply as much as possible in my working life, but also in my personal time.

The IE CIG course gave me a fresh vision of how to understand, appreciate and connect with natural and cultural resources as a result of earth and human action. I realised the technique of combining topics such as science, language, culture, art, geography and history to offer a complete perspective. For that reason, I am glad to participate and collaborate with the IE Training Team; helping to spread the way IE interprets heritage.

Networking Officer:
Jaume Torres Lacruz (Spain)

Although I was born in a big city, my mind and my heart have always been attentive to nature and the rural environment. The long summers of my childhood, as well as the numerous weekends in a small village, left an imprint on me that still lingers. There I shared, with family and friends, excursions, bike trips, adventures in the woods, games, experimentation and a considerable number of sensations and experiences, difficult or impossible to enjoy when living in an urban environment.

Those were days when there were no phones or computers, when we played in freedom, when houses always had their doors open and when the field, the forest or the garden were just extensions of our house. Fun meant getting dirty with sand or mud, losing the notion of time, telling legends or inventing stories.

My relationship with that environment, with its landscapes and old buildings, could almost define it as ’love’. Love for the land, for its historical heritage and its people. That feeling has a specific word, ’bonding’. I always understood that place and felt a part of it. Moreover, surprisingly, I had almost the feeling that the site followed me. Undoubtedly, achieving the link of a person with a territory or phenomenon represents the most effective way to gain admiration, respect and the will to preserve this place.

I have a bachelor’s degree in Economic and Business Sciences and, after several years working in the world of information and communication, I went on to manage, temporarily, a mountain refuge in the Pyrenees. It was an idyllic setting, away from the big cities, where we gave lodging and food to hikers. It was a very revealing experience because I discovered the need to accompany the clients to enjoy and connect with the environment. Only then could their experience be ’full‘ and their desire to return ’high..

After a forum that took place in 2017 near Barcelona, I learned about the project called Interpret Europe. That led me to take a training course as a guide interpreter run by Interpret Europe in 2018.

Currently, I combine my enthusiasm to help ’Interpret Europe’ as Networking Officer with my work as the owner of a travel agency specialising in sustainable tourism, I arrange travel to rural environments and participation in cultural programs within Europe. I try to incorporate interpretation as an essential element of the visits.

Design Officer:
Megi Tafaruci (Albania)

I completed my MSc studies in architecture and urban planning development at the Polytechnic University of Tirana and have recently completed another master in spatial planning and GIS application at Polis University, Albania.

Through my diploma project I proposed a new touristic infrastructure itinerary for the connection of archeological and historical points of Durres, Albania, increasing the readability of the different architectural stages in the city. Durres is one of the oldest Albanian cities, with buildings dating back to Roman times, which today are fused into the urban density, hiding like gems in the city.

I have worked with architectural projects, national and international, gaining experience in dealing with reuse and transformation of historical buildings through restoration. These experiences have increased my interest for cultural heritage.

All of these have inspired me to explore the field of graphic design, initially doing little things for myself and then working as a freelancer. The impact of good design, well composed, graphic information – everything can be communicated in the best way possible in this technological era. I believe I can bring to Interpret Europe a new impact through small steps that can lead beyond.

Our mission

To serve all who use
first-hand experiences to
give natural and cultural heritage
a deeper meaning