The Madhatter DC
1319 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036
6:00 PM – 11:30 PM on December 13th 2019
Please register by purchasing your ticket for this event HERE.
Dear Bulgarians and friends of Bulgaria,
We are excited to invite you to our Fourth Annual Holiday Party. It will take place on Friday, December 13th at The Madhatter DC, (1319 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036).
In the holiday spirit, we encourage you to wear a Santa-inspired outfit! This year, we will have another competition for the best and most creative outfit with a special prize for the winner!
We have made sure our raffle this year is AMAZING with prizes generously provided by our partners.
There is a $10 cover charge for the event which includes 2 raffle tickets. Guests will be able to purchase food and drinks, including specials. We encourage you to invite friends interested in Bulgarian culture and having a great time! Looking forward to seeing you all on December 13th!
The BPC Team 🎄
November 15th 2019, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
We would like to invite you to an event with the organization Children of Bulgaria hosted at the Bulgarian Embassy. Children of Bulgaria is a New York-based non-profit dedicated to helping hospitals, schools, and other institutions that address the needs of children in Bulgaria. You will have the chance to hear more about their activities directly from the organization’s founders who will travel to DC especially for this event. There will also be an opportunity to contribute to the charitable cause if you so decide.
We would also like to announce some exciting additions to the event:
US Higher Education Reform and Innovation:
a Discussion with Stratsi Kulinski, President of NewU
Is college still worth it? A mountain of student debt. Low graduation rates. Persistent skills gaps. Consistent underemployment. Admissions scandals. Visa restrictions. How did we get here? How do we move forward?
In this discussion, we learned about the trends and most pressing challenges in Higher Education in the US, and heard from former American University in Bulgaria President and trustee, Mr. Stratsi Kulinski about his DC-based project to tackle many of these challenges from a new perspective.
Stratsi Kulinski is the president of NewU ( www.newu.university ), which is a novel solution to the student debt crisis. His goal is to eliminate student debt for future generations of students through innovations to the operating and academic model of traditional universities.
Before he conceived and launched NewU, Stratsi served as President of the American University in Bulgaria ( www.aubg.edu ), a private Liberal Arts university regionally accredited in the United States and accredited in the European Union.
Previously, he has been a part of a number of innovative initiatives, including TiVo, the Silicon Valley television technology pioneer, Intelsat which is the largest satellite telecom company in the world, and co-founded AURA, the first private radio station in Bulgaria. Stratsi holds an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and a BA degree in Business Administration from The American University in Bulgaria, where he served on the Board of Trustees prior to his appointment as President.
The Bulgarian Professionals Club organized a festive Happy Hour dedicated to International Women’s Day on March 14th at the covered rooftop bar of Eighteenth Street Lounge. Our special guest was Mr. Georg Georgiev, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria. The event was another informal opportunity for our members and friends of Bulgaria to network and socialize.
On December 14, we hosted our third holiday party organized by the Bulgarian Professionals Club at James Hoban restaurant! In both the holiday and patriotic spirit, we honored the Bulgarian flag colors by wearing red, green and white. We also held a raffle and the winners received awesome prizes donated by our sponsors: Agora Restaurant, Ambar Restaurant, RusUz restaurant, Georgetown Olive Oil, Geri’s Beauty Zone, Trimona, and more.
The Club’s second member highlight event was held on November 14, 2018 to learn more about Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies. The purpose of this event was to go beyond the hype and headlines and have an honest, informal discussion about the main issues surrounding this exciting field.
Our main speaker was Georgi Panterov. Georgi is a Research Assistant in the World Bank’s Chief Economist Office for Europe and Central Asia, where has worked on multiple flagship reports. His research interests focus on macro and monetary economics, machine learning, econometrics, blockchain, and cryptocurrencies. Before joining the World Bank, he worked with Google, the United States Department of Agriculture and American University.
Our discussant was Nikola Nikolov. Nikola is an attorney, who works in the market intelligence group of a major financial regulator. He is also the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Bulgarian Cultural and Educational Center. Since 2016, Nikola has been following the legal and regulatory developments surrounding blockchain technology in different jurisdictions.
Our two guest speakers- Ms. Tamara Dancheva and Mr. Ivan Doherty- offered two insiders’ perspectives on the challenges and opportunities for pursuing a career in the international relations sector. The panel addressed interesting questions for those interested in a career in international relations. What does it take to work across national boundaries and cultures? What are the dos and don’ts of chasing a career in the field? What are the current challenges in the industry and how can one get involved without necessarily pursuing a full-time job?
Tamara Dancheva is Head of the Human Rights Program of Liberal International (LI)- the world federation of liberal and democratic progressive political parties. As the organization’s only human rights expert, she is responsible for driving policy proposals among liberal parties and regional liberal political party groupings in the area of women’s rights, LGBTI rights, Responsibility to Protect and Freedom of Belief. Ms. Dancheva leads LI’s participation and representation at the United Nations Human Rights Council and the UN Commission on the Status of Women and is responsible for external outreach with human rights parliamentary caucuses at the European Parliament, Inter-Parliamentary Union and the Council of Europe.
Ms. Dancheva is currently on a three- month secondment with the National Democratic Institute. Prior to joining Liberal International, she held positions with the International Trade Council of Greater Kansas City, the European Anti-Fraud Office of the European Commission, and the United Nations Secretariat. Ms. Dancheva is originally from Sofia, Bulgaria and holds a Master’s Degree in Politics and Government in the European Union from the London School of Economics and a Bachelor’s Degree in International Business from Rockhurst University, Kansas City, Missouri, USA.
Ivan Doherty is a senior associate and director of political party programs at the National Democratic Institute (NDI). As the Institute’s principal in-house expert on political party development, he currently oversees party development programs in more than 55 countries and is responsible for building NDI’s relationships with political party international organizations and other democracy foundations. Mr. Doherty has also served as a member of the steering committee of the World Movement for Democracy and leads NDI’s participation in a number of other global and regional initiatives, including the Community of Democracies, the OAS Inter-American Forum on Political Parties, and the U.N. Conference on New or Restored Democracies.
Mr. Doherty is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University lecturing on political parties and governance and is also a guest lecturer at a number of institutions including the U.S. State Department Foreign Service Training Institute and the Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University. Mr. Doherty also served as foreign policy advisor from 2005 to 2008 to Gov. Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
Dear friends of the Bulgarian Professionals Club in Washington DC,
our team would like to invite you to a hike in the beautiful National Historical Park of Harpers Ferry, WV on Sunday, October 14th.
Please find more information and register for this event here:
or visit our Facebook page:
Washington European Society Joint Summer Happy Hour – The Washington European Society and the Bulgarian Professionals Club got together again for a happy hour at Mission Dupont to celebrate the club’s third anniversary. This was an informal networking and get-to-know-each-other event for both groups!
A successful job search involves mastering written communication. Whether it’s polishing your resume, building an effective cover letter, or drafting outreach emails, your writing skills will help you tell your story and stand out.
Our next installment of the Professional Development Series covered how to:
Vanya Kaloferova (IMF) and Krasi Shapkarova (Johns Hopkins) shared insights from their professional experience and guided members through an interactive session to help improve writing skills for job searching.
Washington European Society Joint Summer Happy Hour – The Washington European Society, Bulgarian Professionals Club, United Macedonian Diaspora, AGBU Young Professionals (Armenians), and Les Frenchies à DC got together for a summer happy hour at Eighteenth Street Lounge. This was an informal networking and get-to-know-each-other event at the Eighteen Street Lounge!
Tech Industry in Bulgaria @ the Bulgarian Embassy – We were honored to be joined by leaders from the IT industry in Bulgaria and the United States for a discussion about the development and growth of the tech sector in Bulgaria and its relations with American IT.
Tackling Corruption – What can Bulgaria Learn from the USA, a discussion about how to address the challenge of corruption. We had two great speakers who shared their views on what Bulgaria could learn from the experience of the US and other countries in Eastern Europe in fighting corruption. Mr. Frank Razzano is a renowned criminal litigation lawyer with more than 40 years of civil and criminal jury trial experience, concentrating in broker-dealer regulation, SEC enforcement and white-collar criminal defense. Frank has represented executives of Fortune 500 companies in grand jury investigations as well as SEC investigations. Mr. David Bernstein is a senior World Bank official who serves as the Lead Public Sector Specialist for Governance in the Europe and Central Asia (ECA) Region’s Public Sector Institutions unit and oversees the region’s work on governance and public administration reform. He leads or participates in a number of governance, anti-corruption and public administration operations.
Olive Oil Tasting – Great event with the invaluable help of Georgetown Olive Oil Co. Located in historic Georgetown, Washington DC, they specialize in retail of the freshest EVOO and the finest balsamic vinegar available on the market. Furthermore, the owners are Bulgarian!
Salsa Party for International Women’s Day – The Bulgarian Professionals Club in partnership with Salsa with Silvia organized International Women’s Day Salsa Party and Celebration!
Silvia Alexiev is the founder and director of Salsa with Silvia and a fellow Bulgarian who became an entrepreneur in order to share her passion for salsa with the world. She was an ideal guest speaker to honor women around the world and their accomplishments.
After a brief talk on the challenges and opportunities associated with being a small business owner, Silvia kicked off the party and led a salsa lesson!
LinkedIn Workshop – Our interactive workshop focused on 1) building your brand through your LinkedIn profile and 2) on effectively using the resource for networking and job search.
Our HR Experts Vanya Kaloferova and Krasi Shapkarova guided a group of approximately 20 attendees through LinkedIn features to help create a virtual professional image that matches their resumes and overall brand.
AUBG Happy Hour – The President of the American University in Bulgaria President, Stratsi Kulinski met with the members of our club and discussed topics of common interests. He provided updates from the University and the education in BG and got the opportunity to hear more about the Bulgarian Professionals Club work in DC.
On December 2nd, we hosted the first ever holiday party organized by the Bulgarian Professionals Club at Piola restaurant! In both the holiday and patriotic spirit, we honored the Bulgarian flag colors by wearing red, green and white. We also held a competition for the best and most creative outfit and the winners received awesome prizes donated by the RusUz restaurant and the Balkanik Taste Food Truck.
Our second annual wine tasting event was held with the founders of Parallel 43 at the Bulgarian Embassy in DC. We were excited to be joined by Ambassador Tihomir Stoychev at this event!
Parallel 43 is an American company that imports carefully selected wines from Bulgaria to the USA. The wines are highly rated by various wine experts. After an introduction about the Bulgarian wine export industry made by Mr. Ivo Konstantinov, the wine entrepreneurs shared their business experiences, provided interesting facts about wine making and tasting, and addressed any questions that the audience has. Guests had the opportunity to enjoy a variety of delicious wines and snacks during the presentation.
The Bulgarian Professionals Club facilitated a discussion with Anthony Thompson, World Bank’s Country Manager for Bulgaria and Ana Mihaylova, World Bank’s Senior Advisor for Bulgaria. They presented the World Bank’s new Country Partnership Framework for Bulgaria for the period 2017-2022 and answered questions from our members on what development challenges and opportunities Bulgaria faces today.
Ambassador Ries shared stories and lessons learned from her experiences in Bulgaria...
Ambassador Ries shared stories and lessons learned from her experiences in Bulgaria, Europe, and around the world and graciously responded to many thought-provoking questions posed by attendees.
Our first wine tasting and entrepreneurship event with the founders of Parallel 43 and the Bulgarian Embassy in DC introduced the Bulgarian wine export industry. The entrepreneurs then shared their business experiences, provided interesting facts about wine making and tasting, and addressed questions by the audience. Guests had the opportunity to enjoy complimentary wine and snacks during the presentation. They also enjoyed the great option of purchasing wine at outlet prices.
Parallel 43 is an American company that imports wines from Bulgaria to the USA. The wines are from two main vineyards: one located in the Northwest (Borovitza, close to the city of Belogradchik) and the other in the Southwest (around the city of Melnik). The wines imported by Parallel 43 are carefully selected and most of them are highly rated by various wine experts. Recently, Parallel43 received an important recognition: the experts of Wine Enthusiast reviewed and rated highly three of their wines. The wines and their reviews are featured here.
Evgenia Peeva, the Founder and CEO of Teach for Bulgaria, joined the club for a fruitful discussion on the challenges and opportunities of returning back to Bulgaria after a Harvard University degree to create a non-profit focused on equal access to education for every Bulgarian child.
The event was organized with the collaboration of DC INSEAD Alumni Association at the McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University.
The event was organized with the collaboration of DC INSEAD Alumni Association at the McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University. Meditation and mindfulness practices are rapidly becoming part of the skill set of successful executives, entrepreneurs and business leaders. Greg Robison (INSEAD MBA’82) led a panel of four entrepreneurs and senior executives who revealed why they took up meditation and the effect it had when introduced into their enterprises. The presentation was followed by a Q&A and refreshments.
This was a special event for the club: in front of a large audience, Boyan Stanoev and Petar Stoykov introduced their project--a two-day hackaton in Sofia, Bulgaria, targeting the solutions to the public and social problems in the country.
This was a special event for the club: in front of a large audience, Boyan Stanoev and Petar Stoykov introduced their project–a two-day hackaton in Sofia, Bulgaria, targeting the solutions to the public and social problems in the country. Through many challenges and even more Skype appointments in the dead of night, it is not an overstatement to indicate that Code 4 Bulgaria is a huge success for Bulgaria. The project allowed participants to gain knowledge and skills, as well as internships in leading IT companies, and highlighted Bulgaria and the World Bank in a positive light. We can only hope that there are more similar initiatives in the future.
Vlad Antikarov led a discussion of his book “3D Negotiations for Strategic Acquisitions – Unlocking the Third Dimension”. 3-D Negotiation framework broadens the set of levers a party can bring to the negotiations process to improve their position, extract a higher value and complete the negotiations successfully. Mr. Antikarov is a professional with over 20 years of experience in the field of finance and a co-author of “Real Options, A Practitioner’s Guide”.
This event was a seminar / roundtable discussion on the transformation of Eastern and Central Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The club welcomed spring with an exceptional warm and friendly social get-together with friends of Bulgaria. The guests were Peace Corps volunteers who had lived and worked in various cities and villages across our native country. Showing off their excellent Bulgarian speaking skills, the five guests shared stories about their experiences in Bulgaria and remarked on their wonderful memories of Bulgaria and the Bulgarian people. They also offered their perspectives on the fields with potential for growth and development in Bulgaria. BPC members showed significant interest in the humanitarian work of our five guests and asked many questions. Topics of discussion included ways to improve the relationship between Bulgaria and the US, options for enhancing Bulgaria’s image and its popularity as a tourist destination.
Despite the unexpected March snow storm, the Club met at the Bulgarian Embassy in Washington DC for a promotional event organized by Bulpros, Bulgaria’s leading and fast-growing BPO and IT outsourcing company. Bulpros CEO Ivaylo Slavov presented the recent achievements of the company and outlined the products and services that Bulpros offers on the American market. A reception with refreshments followed the presentation.
Despite her busy schedule during her visit to the United States, our special guest–Mrs. Kristalina Georgieva–took time to meet Bulgarian professionals in DC. In the course of more than an hour, approximately 40 members discussed a variety of EU hot topics.
Approximately 30 club members had the opportunity to enjoy a glass of wine and meet Kevin Aspergen, President of the American University in Blagoevgrad. Kevin shared information about his future plans regarding development in the fields of education and entrepreneurship in Bulgaria.
Our last event for 2014 was a fiery Christmas party combined with a Salsa lesson provided by a young Bulgarian entrepreneur – Silvia Alexiev. Silvia taught us the salsa basics and told us her interesting professional story of transitioning from an employee of NASA to a dance-studio owner. What a great way to finish our first successful year – we felt charged and ready to do much more for the Bulgarian community in 2015!
The fourth event for 2014 was organized in collaboration with the alumni association of INSEAD Business School. Mr. Emil Mladenov who is also an INSEAD alumnus, gave a presentation on the topic of „Tech Trends & Social Developments Affecting Consumers’ Behavior“. This was a very interactive event during which participants were split into two focus groups and were asked to fulfill certain interesting tasks.
In the month of October more than 50 Bulgarian professionals from the DMV area took part in a discussion on the topic of Bulgarian-American Trade and Economic Relations. The event was hosted by the Bulgarian Embassy in Washington D.C. and was introduced by Ambassador Elena Poptodorova. Mr. Ivo Konstantinov , the Bulgarian Trade Attaché, gave a presentation on the current state of trade relations between the two countries and identified the investment areas with high potential. During the second part of the event Mr. Ivaylo Guenov, a successful IT entrepreneur, took the floor. Mr. Guenov has extensive experience in working across Bulgaria, USA and Canada, and gave an excellent overview of the advantages and challenges of starting a business in Bulgaria and the States.
Our second event was dedicated to entrepreneurship and hosted Bulgarian entrepreneurs from the food industry – the “Taste of Eastern Europe” food truck and “Amore Gelato”. The owners gave an overview of their business models and told us about their successes and challenges. The presentation was followed by a discussion during which our members asked questions and gave suggestions to the young entrepreneurs. Many good ideas sprang out of this brainstorming session, thanks to the best food for thought – delicious Bulgarian dishes and refreshing gelato !
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