Emilia I. Stefanova-Veleva - Honorary Board Member


Ms. Emilia Stefanova joined the Bulgarian Diplomatic Service in 1992. Her diplomatic work at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been dedicated mainly to the Americas and Australasia. She served as Ambassador to the Commonwealth of Australia (2014-2018), non-resident Ambassador to New Zealand (2015-2018), Chargé d’Affaires a.i., Bulgarian Embassy in Havana and Deputy Head of Mission in Caracas and Ottawa.

Ms. Stefanova holds a master’s degree in Spanish Philology and Psychology (Summa Cum Laude) from the Sofia University Saint Clement Ohridsky. She graduated in International Relations from the Spanish Diplomatic School and attended a Specialization Course for Diplomats at the Foreign Service Institute in New Delhi.

Her first professional experience was as a Professor in Spanish at the Iberoromanic Philology Cathedra of the Sofia University and at the Language Centre of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She has also served as an Interpreter, News Speaker and Correspondent at the Spanish Section of the Bulgarian National Radio. Founding member of the Hispanics Association in Bulgaria.

H.E.  Arthur Spyrou - Ambassador to Greece, Bulgaria and Romania & Honorary Board Member


Mr Spyrou is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and was most recently Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates. He has previously served overseas as Chargé d’Affaires, Australian High Commission, Nauru; Counsellor, Australian High Commission, Kuala Lumpur; Olympics Attaché for the 2004 Athens Games; and Second Secretary and Deputy Permanent Delegate to UNESCO, Australian Embassy Paris. In Canberra he has served with DFAT as Director, Management and Corporate Strategy Section; Director, Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar Section; and Director, United Nations and Commonwealth Section.

Mr Spyrou holds a Master of Arts (Foreign Affairs and Trade) from Monash University; Bachelor of Laws, Sydney University/Utrecht University; and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Sydney University.

Joana Kehlibarova - CEO and Board Member


Mrs Kehlibarova is a senior executive with verifiable year-after-year success in achieving revenue, profit, and business growth objectives with small and large companies in rapidly changing environments by combining deep-dive analysis with strategic business thinking, operational excellence, and customer success. She has extensive experience with business and manufacturing process systems, which require a solid understanding of critical business drivers in key markets and industries and has been highly successful in building high performance teams, seizing control of critical problem areas, and delivering on customer commitments.

Mrs Kehlibarova has proven achievements in ICT, Information Technology, Mining & Metals, and Renewable Energy

Serving as Chair of the Board, Mrs. Kehlibarova provides direction and assists the organization in carrying out governance functions and ensuring its viability and continued success.

Dimitar Stoimenov  - Board Member


Mr. Stoimenov started his legal career in 2003 in Osnabrück, Germany, where he has been working with various lawyers from all around Europe on the elaboration of a common European law of obligations.

After returning to Bulgaria in 2009 he started cooperating with an international law firm consulting cross-boarder acquisitions by and market entry of multinational companies. From 2013 till 2017 Mr. Stoimenov was part of the local management of the firm and leader of one of its practice groups on regional level. The experience gained intensives his interests in international trade and the protection of investments.

In 2017 he established his own law practice where he combines all his managing, legal and research knowledge serving various international clients in Bulgaria and abroad.

Along the law practice Dimitar Stoimenov has been triggering an academic career teaching law of obligations at the Legal Faculty of the Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridksy” since 2010. He is author of several books and articles in the legal field.

Eric Durand - Board Member


Mr. Eric Durand has a long background in the wool manufacturing industry. Since 2004 he is a part of Lempriere management - an Australian wool trading company. In 2013 he leaded a project to move the early stage manufacturing of Lempriere from India/China to Bulgaria and implemented the project to build a factory in Sliven, Bulgaria. The factory was commissioned in June 2016 and now employs 190 people. Eric Durand  created the commercial hub of Lempriere for Europe in Sofia in December 2017.

Nikolay Bogdanov - Executive Assistant 

Nikolay Bogdanov is an undergraduate student of sociology and political sciences at the Humboldt University of Berlin. Mr. Bogdanov is focused on the vast field of international relations and comparative political analysis. He did two internships as a credit analyst and as a marketing and communications analyst at two major Bulgarian banks. Nikolay is a young, talented, and energetic individual with strong passion to serve and support BABC.