EmpowerHer 2024: Elevate to Excellence Conference

EmpowerHer 2024: Elevate to Excellence Conference


9:00 am - 12:00 pm


Grand Hotel Millennium
89B bul. "Vitosha" , Sofia, 1463

Remind me with


Part of the founding values of our community are diversity, inclusion, and social responsibility in our daily basis as well as in the corporate world and the global economy. Moreover, we are convinced that these principles are key to effective and sustainable leadership.

On March 8th, 2024, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Grand Hotel Millennium, Shakespeare Hall, AmCham Bulgaria organizes EmpowerHer 2024: Elevate to Excellence Conference to celebrate the women who empower, unite, and elevate our knowledge, skills, and view of the world, and show us how the entrepreneurial spirit does wonders, combined with inspiration, aspiration, and feminine power. 

EmpowerHer’s Vision

EmpowerHer is a key AmCham initiative which aims to:

  • Advance women’s economic empowerment in the workplace.
  • Encourage women-led entrepreneurship.
  • Support leadership, inclusion, and corporate social responsibility in the local and global economy.
  • Foster gender equality.

We believe women’s empowerment and advancement are important to the sustainable future of the workplace and the whole society as well.

This is why AmCham’s goals are:

  • Improvement of the business environment for women.
  • Identify and create opportunities to increase awareness.
  • Enlargen companies engagement.
  • Declarations of support.


09:00 – 09:30 – Registration and Welcome Coffee

09:30 – 09:35 Opening Remarks

Ivan Mihaylov,
CEO, AmCham Bulgaria

09:35 – 09:50
Keynote Speaker
H.E. Mariya Gabriel,
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Bulgaria

09:50 – 11:00 – PANEL DISCUSSION: EmpowerBank – Lead and Inspire
Boyka Docheva,
HR Director, IBM Bulgaria

Boyka Docheva is the founder of the RiseUp Women Leadership Accelerator, received the Best Large Company Project award from BAUH and the international Stevie Bronze Award, and is also the founder of the Women at IBM Bulgaria BRG business resource group. Boyka has over 15 years of experience in people management and development positions in consulting and internal departments. Since 2007 she has been part of the HR team at IBM, most of which has also been related to managing the HR team within the company. The main motivators in her work are the long-term vision and drive to develop employees and the organizational culture as a whole, towards mature and sustainable practices in the area of working with people at all levels, empowerment and belonging.

Rumyana Peteva,
HR Director, Kamenitza

Rumyana Peteva takes up the role of Human Resources Director at Kamenitsa AD as of 1 February 2024. She has more than 12 years of extensive HR experience in the company, having progressed through various positions in HR departments at country, CEE and EMEA APAC level, as well as in the Legal and Corporate Affairs department. As an HR professional, Rumyana’s working philosophy is that “I have always tried to help others develop and in doing so I have developed myself”.

Mylena Kostova-Organdzhieva,
Managing Director, MSD Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Kosovo & Albania

Milena Organdjieva (Kostova) is the Managing Director of MSD Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Kosovo and Albania, having assumed the position as of July 1st, 2021.

Mylena began her career at MSD in 2000 and throughout 21 years acquired vast experience in different aspects of the business, including key functions, such as : Human Resource Management, Customer Relationship Management, and Business Operations. She has also participated actively in projects related to Business Development and Market Access for Bulgaria, North Macedonia, and Kosovo, where she significantly expanded MSD’s strategic portfolio, focusing on oncology and vaccines. In January 2022, Milena headed a project for the spinoff of a part of the company, where she successfully managed and coordinated all cross functional activities in Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Greece, Malta, and Cyprus.

Mylena Kostova (Orandzhieva) holds a Masters Degree in Economics from the University of Economics Varna and she also holds a CIPD diploma from the association of human resources specialists – The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Darina Stoyanova,
CEO of Prestige-96 AD

Darina Stoyanova is CEO of PRESTIGE since 2014. The company is one of the biggest food producers in Bulgaria and the market leader in all categories in which it operates – biscuits, wafers and mini cakes. Before her appointment at PRESTIGE Darina worked for the multinational company Henkel for more than 14 years. Darina is a founding member of the Council of Women in Business in Bulgaria. She is also a founding member and а member of the Board of Food & Drink Bulgaria Association.

Plamena Cherneva,
Board Member EFF and
Founder of Nordic Women in Tech

Plamena Cherneva is an IT consultant, passionate entrepreneur and relentless Diversity and Inclusion advocate.

After graduating with MSc in Computer Science and Engineering from Technical University of Denmark and experiencing all possible challenges as a minority in the Industry, she established WonderCoders NGO, to support and inspire more women to pursue careers in Technology. 

She is the founder of Nordic Women in Tech Awards, one of the biggest women in tech communities in the Nordics and a Board member of the European Female Founders Network. 

Plamena has been nominated for multiple European and Global Awards for her advocacy for DEIB.”

Moderator: Maria Atanasova,
Senior Director, People Business Partners, Progress

Maria Atanasova has been part of the People team at Progress since 2010 and has had a dynamic career path following the growth of the company. Today, Maria is Senior Director of the global Business Partner function at Progress. Her team owns the strategic partnership with the executive leadership team, focusing on building the organizational design and organization health of various leadership teams, retention and growth plans for key talent, as well as creating tailor-made people programs to support the business units’ strategic objectives. Maria has experience with the people and culture side of an M&A process from due diligence to building retention and integration plans.  

Maria has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the American University in Bulgaria, a diploma in Human Resource Management from CIPD, and an HCI Strategic HR Business Partner certification. 

11:00 – 11:15 – Coffee Break

11:15 – 11:50 – FIRESIDE CHAT: Women Beyond Success
Milena Stoycheva,
Minister of Innovation and Growth,
Republic of Bulgaria,
Tzvetanka Mintcheva,
Executive Director, Chair of the Management Board,
UniCredit Bulbank Bulgaria
Moderator: Poli Zlatareva,
TV Anchor,
Bulgarian National Television

Transforming Investment for Women in Entrepreneurship
Anne-Charlotte Joubert,
Project Coordinator,
European Female Founders,

Anne-Charlotte Joubert is an expert in securing EU funding with over a decade of experience in interdisciplinary fields including research, innovation, environment, and energy. Her breadth of knowledge and expertise in European affairs positions her as a leader in the field.

Anne-Charlotte’s passion for connecting stakeholders within the innovation ecosystem is grounded in her belief that meaningful solutions can address pressing societal needs. Her holistic approach to project management inspires her to navigate the complexities of multiple projects at once, creating a more inclusive world.

As a dedicated advocate for supporting organizations in their pursuit of public funding, Anne-Charlotte has helped numerous businesses grow and make a positive impact on society. Her unwavering commitment to empowering women in STEAM has led her to serve on several boards, offering a voice to women entrepreneurs and enabling them to reach their full potential.

Monika Stanisheva,
Chair of the Board,

Monika Stanisheva, currently serving as Chair of the Board at Bulgaria’s premier digital publisher, Dir.bg, boasts over three decades of experience in the media and communications realm. Her illustrious journey commenced as a news reporter at Bulgarian National TV, where she honed her craft before venturing into entrepreneurship, establishing her own marketing and communication agency, Active Group. 

Monika’s influence extends beyond the boardroom; she actively participates as an Angel investor and serves on the Steering Committee of the Bulgarian Innovation Forum. Recognized as one of the 50 most influential women Angel investors in the Central and Eastern European region by The Recursive media, she ardently advocates for female entrepreneurship and sustainability initiatives. 

Salome Le Goff,
Responsible of Programs,

Salomé is responsible of several incubation programs at WILLA, accompanying women-led startups in their development across various industries : amongst them women’s health, greentech and deeptech. She graduated from Dauphine University with a Masters in Entrepreneurship and Innovation and EDHEC Business School with a BBA in Global Business.

Maria Oliveira,
Executive Business Director, UPTEC, Program Director, Executive Master in Business Innovation of Porto Business School,

Maria Oliveira is the Executive Business Director of UPTEC and Program Director of the Executive Master in Business Innovation of Porto Business School where she also teaches the Challenge Based Innovation Project.

With more than 15 years’ experience working in technology transfer, entrepreneurship and innovation management, Maria worked in several capacities in Portugal and abroad, namely in innovation consultancy, heading of U.Porto Innovation, invited fellow of Boston University, Executive Director of UTEN, a component of the UT Austin | Portugal Program. She is regularly invited as an external expert to evaluate proof of concept proposals for the European Commission and to participate in conferences and seminars.

12:30 – 13:30 – Networking Cocktail

In partnership with:

More sponsorship opportunities can be found here.

About INVEST’HER, an Initiative by the European Female Founder

With the aim to bridge the funding divide for women entrepreneurs, INVEST’HER will support the European Female Founders in their mission to inspire, encourage and build a new path for women entrepreneurs in Europe. INVEST’HER is a Pan-European initiative fostering connections between women-led startups and investors across EU regions, alongside experts in high-innovation domains. This EU-funded project promotes the exchange of knowledge and experience, offers training, and streamlines cross-regional funding avenues.

Registration is closed due to full capacity. For further information, please contact [email protected]

  • Attendance is limited to two representatives per company.
  • Your participation will be additionally confirmed three days prior to the event by e-mail message, prioritising AmCham members or invited guests.
Map Unavailable