Know Agro-Know: Meet Vassilis Protonotarios

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It’s been almost a year since our blog was officially launched. And in a strange way it happened that Vassilis the most active blogger, who interviewed everyone, wrote and posted about everything is still not known to the wider audience.

Vassilis is one of the most experienced Agro-Know’ers, he started his career in Agro-Know back in 2010. Somewhere in 2011 I knew Vassilis as project manager 🙂 then he changed his role couple of times, and now we know him as Marketing and Networking Manager. But besides the job titles let me say that Vassilis is the kindest person ever with great sense of humor.

 

Vassilis_Zach

I have my own Louis Vuitton!

Zach

I think I have a lookalike in Greece…see on my left!

Everybody loves Vassilis!! (imho, but this is my post, so I write what I think) 😛

After all let Vassilis speak for himself.

 

When did you join the Agro-Know team? Any interesting story behind your recruitment?

Well, this is a story I really enjoy sharing (but in Greek!): Back in 2010 I was working for the Agricultural University of Athens, as a member of the team working in Organic.Edunet (www.organic-edunet.eu). At one point there was a delay in the payments by the European Commission, due to some reporting issues by one of the consortium members. As the university did not have the capacity to pay the whole team working for this project, me and a colleague of mine were asked to do some work on behalf of GRNET in the meantime, which was the coordinator of the Organic.Edunet project. It was then when I first met Nikos Manouselis and Nikos Palavitsinis and started working as a team for a period on several things, not limited to the specific projects. Apparently we had a good collaboration so when the Organic.Edunet project ended and I was looking for a job, I was invited by Nikos to join him at GRNET for some other projects… and after some time he shared his vision for establishing a new workplace for the Agro-Know team. I still remember his excitement when he showed me the location of the new offices in Google maps, during a project meeting!

 

What is your role in the team?

Nice question! I have changed several positions since 2011; I have spent most of my time working with agricultural data and metadata (metadata management workflows, metadata authoring, agricultural educational resources and training material), curriculum development for agricultural courses, managing course management platforms as well as micro-management of some projects (but I soon realized that I was not really effective on that) – however, I am currently the Marketing and Networks Manager of Agro-Know, combining my domain-specific experience in agricultural networks (referring to both people and organizations) with my love for the social media. If you ask me, I would say that I am mostly interested in agricultural information management. Apart from that, I am challenging myself in other aspects, like preparing printed material like brochures. I also enjoy spending time for fixing computers and setting up my colleagues’ laptops (e.g. software and operating systems, installing drivers, fixing basic issues) as a member of the IT support team 🙂

 

What do you find the most interesting and challenging in your work with AK?

What I like in my work here is that I have the opportunity to be involved in heterogeneous tasks, including data and metadata management, marketing activities, …but what I find more interesting are the trips! I have been traveling quite often for the last 4 years and I have seen places that I would have never seen in a typical agronomist’s job. On top of that, through these trips I have managed to meet really interesting people, getting into interesting discussions with them. At the same time, keeping a balance between the time spent on trips (and office in general) and the time spent with the family is the most challenging aspect of my work, as I try to keep both sides happy!

 

Where can we find you online?

People who know me understand my addiction to the internet. As a rather introverted person I have several places I like to visit, create my profile and start sharing things. I love blogging, social networks and photography, so you can find me at Blogspot, Twitter, LinkedIn, SlideShare, Instagram, Google+ and maybe a couple of channels more. I have only recently been trying out Tumblr, too, and I love the way you can share info there.On top of that, as the person responsible for the Agro-Know social media, I share my AK-related thoughts in the Agro-Know blog and the AK Twitter account @AgroKnow

 

Last movie you saw / last book you read? Your favorite movie/ book/ writer/ painter? Why?

I used to read a lot (mostly literature and history book but actually whatever I found before me), a habit that I almost quit due to lack of time. I am currently using my commute time to read “Crossing the Chasm” by Geoffrey Moore, kindly lent to me by Nikos (Manouselis) – I am trying to see how it fits our marketing approach. However, the last books I actually read for my pleasure were “How Black was our Sabbath” – a Black Sabbath biography-like book as well as the Getting Things Done  by David Allen, which I never managed to finish…

A couple of days ago I ordered and looking forward to receiving “The Seasons on Henry’s Farm: A Year of Food and Life on an Organic Farm” by Terra Brockman; see a lovely synopsis here.

As for the movies, I think that last one I managed to watch was Eleni by Nick Gage; I read the book a long time ago and I happened to find the movie somewhere online during a Sunday afternoon. Can’t remember when was the last time I went to a cinema – it must have been the Lincoln movie several months ago.

I am not sure if I have a favorite author/writer or painter but I like several books, movies etc.

 

Any specific achievement for which you are proud?

I am really proud for what I have achieved so far, even the smallest things – I tend to appreciate little things in life. I had some hard times (not as hard as one can imagine) through my university & PhD years and mostly trying to find a decent job – I spent some time changing jobs every 4-6 months for several reasons while I am the type of guy who likes to settle down. Therefore I feel happy about the current situation, both personal and professional status while I am always trying to reach the next goal in both cases! As regards my AK tasks, I am really proud of our corporate blog; it seems to go pretty well until now and has the potential to do even better 😉

 

If you had a time machine, where would you go? Why?
As for the time machine, there are a lot of different periods that I would like to fit it; after all, I love traveling! I guess that Ancient Greece (e.g. Athens during the Pericles years) would be one of them but I would also like to see some parts of the future, to see how we will evolve e.g. in 100 years.

 

If we should introduce dancing day in work, every Friday. What dance will you choose? 🙂

I guess something slow, because I am really awful at dancing – no way I can memorize specific series of steps. In any case, I would strongly advise you not to introduce such an event!

Vassilis Dancing! And singing!

 

What was the last gadget you bought and why did you buy it?

My last gadget is a Nokia Lumia 720 Windows Phone. I bought it as a replacement of my last phone (LG Optimus 7, also a Windows Phone) which has been severely mistreated by me and my kids so it started malfunctioning. Lumia 720 is an excellent piece of hardware, providing a solid rock performance and some nice features, like an excellent 4.3-inch screen, an 6,7 MP camera with Zeiss optics, HD video recording etc. as well as great battery life. I am using it daily not only a typical phone but also for checking out the news (through RSS feeds), taking notes, web browsing and checking emails, taking photos and videos, social media like Instagram and Twitter etc.

 

Something else, what was first – chicken or egg?

I like to believe that chicken was first; I don’t know why  but it is easier for me to justify the existence of a chicken (out of nowhere) than of the egg 😛

 

Anything else that you would like to share with us?

According to my plans, as the person behind all the rest of the AK team interviews, I would “interview” myself as the last person. However, I deeply appreciate your offer (as well as your “tweaked” questions!), which put me out of this awkward situation and I hope that this will be the beginning of a new series of blog posts by you! I strongly believe that the Admin department that you are coordinating has a lot to present to an audience outside Agro-Know.

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