Thirty-five-year-old Mato Frankovic, a political candidate from HDZ (Hrvatska Demokratska Zajednica–Croatian Democratic Union), was appointed to a four-year term as mayor of Dubrovnik after winning the election in his hometown last June. He said what set him apart in the race—and from his predecessors—was his leadership skills as a team player.
“An individual can have ideas and projects, but someone has to be there to implement them,” said Frankovic ’03 (hotel and resort management), who attended high school in Centerburg, Ohio, and completed his two-year degree at RIT Croatia.
“This individual is no medieval ‘doctor universalis,’ a man capable of knowing and doing everything,” he said. “My strength is knowing how to pick a team that encompasses the knowledge and skills necessary to get the job done.”
As mayor of the medieval and beautifully restored city of Dubrovnik, often called the Pearl of the Adriatic, Frankovic is intent on “restoring the harmony and balance in the city which was there for our ancestors—those who built this global pearl and led it for centuries.”
He is the former chairperson of the City Council of Dubrovnik and a member of the Croatian Parliament. He also served as director of the ACIM Marina Dubrovnik, was the regional nautical coordinator for the southern Adriatic region from 2013-2014 and throughout his life has been working in tourism.
The alumnus credits his education at RIT as preparation for every job he has held.
“What I remember most is the approach we had toward work tasks,” he said. “Preparing yourself for any problem-solving activity is the hardest part of the job. As Sun Tzu would say, and I paraphrase, if you go into war without a strategy, you will not only lose the war but also end up looking ridiculous. I’ve used the RIT approach during my career as well as for my political campaign.”
With a population of 42,000, Dubrovnik is home to RIT Croatia (with a campus also located in Zagreb) and is a well-known tourist destination. It has been the setting for Game of Thrones and for the 2018 film release of Robin Hood , starring Jamie Foxx, Jamie Dornan, Taron Egerton and Eve Hewson.
“Dubrovnik has always been attractive to global celebrities, be they literary stars, politicians, or film stars,” said Frankovic. “We are pleased that Dubrovnik is the setting of Hollywood and Bollywood films; we support anything that can promote our city.”
If the mayor of Dubrovnik could offer words of advice to RIT students, it would be to work hard, study and fulfill obligations.
“I am well aware that young people today who are 18- to 19-years-old have a hard time getting used to strict rules and obligations, but nothing else would make sense or yield any results. As the old saying goes, knowledge is power.”
To learn more about RIT Croatia, go to www.croatia.rit.edu.