The AUBG Executive MBA 20th anniversary Gala was a celebration of knowledge, long-lasting relationships, and career-transformative experiences that were shared within the walls of the Elieff Center for Education and Culture.
In this spirit, more than 160 EMBA students and alumni, corporate partners, dear friends of AUBG, members of the Board of Trustees and University Council, faculty, and staff gathered at the Grand Hotel Millennium Sofia on October 20.
Address by the Keynote Speakers
“Tonight, we gathered to celebrate not just the program but the legacy of that program,” said AUBG President Dr. Margee Ensign in her opening speech. “For two decades, the AUBG EMBA program has been a guiding force, nurturing the potential of professionals in Bulgaria and the Balkan region.”
Following the welcome address, the Board of Trustees Chair Michael Marvin expressed his admiration for the university’s development and both BA and EMBA alumni’s impact on the region over the years.
Although the Former AUBG President Julia Watkins could not be present at this grand celebration, she shared via video a story about hope, vision, and aspirations that are the driving forces behind AUBG’s success – from its establishment to the launch of the EMBA Program as well as the grand opening of the Elieff Center for Education and Culture to the present day.
Among the keynote speakers were also the EMBA Professors Yusaf Akbar (via video) and Steve McGuire. They shared how grateful they are to be a part of the program that helps executives bring their potential to the new level.
And the Winning Cohort is …
Since every celebration calls for both warm wishes and presents, at this anniversary, the AUBG EMBA Team recognized two cohorts with special awards:
- Highest Participation – Cohort 22
- Highest Contribution – Cohort 03
While the former was calculated based on the cohort’s roll-call-attendance score of the event, the latter was determined thanks to Svetoslav Georgiev’s (EMBA ’03) generous donation to the establishment of a scholarship for social entrepreneurship.
“Over the last 20 years, somehow, I became an ambassador of the EMBA program,” said Georgiev. “As long as I am alive and functioning, I will continue to be the ambassador and to help other people get through the program and pursue their dreams and professional objectives.”
NOVA EMBA Scholarship
Another special award of the night was a full scholarship for the AUBG Executive MBA program from the competition organized in collaboration with NOVA Broadcasting Group. This NOVA EMBA scholarship turned out to be not only a life-changing opportunity but also an investment in the chance to save lives as its recipient – Boyan Nedyalkov – aspires to provide the local population with free cancer screening examinations.
“There is nothing that will work against cancer, there is no single drug that will cure cancer,” said Nedyalkov. “But the truth is that if cancer is treated at stage 1, the chances of cure and survival are 100%.”
By the end of the night, the guests had a chance not only to enjoy the celebratory birthday cake but also to bid for exclusive items at the auction, all proceeds from which will go for the support and further development of the EMBA Program. Without further ado, the results of this initiative with a cause were as follows:
- One-on-one lunch with executive coach Vladimir Borachev (’95) – Gergana Krasteva-Georgieva ( ’00, EMBA ’08)
- One-night stay at Grand Hotel Millennium Sofia – Eftim Eftimov (’08, EMBA ’18)
- Two-night stay atKing’s Valley Medical and Spa Hotel – Gergana Krasteva-Georgieva (’00, EMBA ’08) and Svetozar Georgiev (’00)
- A private behind-the-scenes moviemaking experience – Evelina Van Mensel (EMBA ’16)