Founder, Executive Director
Sofia Mikolyash-Georgiev’s founding of Ukrainian Women in Business, an NFP organization in February of 2013, was far more than just creating an organization – it was an outcome of her lifelong desire to find a perfect outlet for her spirit of a brave warrior and her child-like heart. She established UWB with intent to utilize her sense for business and desire to help the Ukrainian community through supporting small business ventures, as well as charity work with orphans in Ukraine.
Sofia remembers her childhood days in Lviv region with great fondness, realizing how utterly defining it was for her life and career path. Her parents were young teachers, still, students when Sofia was born. She was raised by her grandmother, who was a tailor – always kind, generous, strong, and ready to sacrifice her needs for Sofia’s well-being. Sofia was named after her great-grandmother who immigrated to the USA and came back to Ukraine. Sofia always looked up to her in her own life struggles.
Sofia’s path as a leader became apparent in early years of her life. She always surrounded herself with children of all ages, organized concerts for locals, helped veterans with basic household chores, cleaned the streets. There wasn’t a stray dog or cat that didn’t get adopted by her (which didn’t always make her parents happy).
After earning her masters and migrating to the US in 2000, Sofia helped to raise an adopted baby boy. She treasures the experience of being able to love non-biological child as much as she loves her own. She still maintains a close relationship with the adoptive family to this day. That special boy from Korea made her want to be a better person, and shaped her in the deepest way, into who she is now as an individual.
Sofia owned a coffee house in Chicago and often organized baking classes for kids, an educational and fun experience for the whole family in Chicago’s Jefferson Park neighborhood. The experience of being a small business owner herself enabled Sofia to bring invaluable experience to the UWB family, a unique perspective to share with the members, and a warm, yet electric personality that inspires her whole team. In addition to being a business owner, Sofia also has experience in the field of marketing and public relations—a field that goes hand in hand with business development. She holds a Master of Science degree in Finance and Bachelor degree in Business Administration from Prykarpattya National University in Ukraine, Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration with Concentration in Accounting, Summa Cum Laude, Den’s List 2016 and 2018 Alumnus of the Year, East-West University, Chicago. Multilingual.
What drives people towards her is her magnitude, exuberance, optimism, search for justice, and love for life, combined with great pride of being a Ukrainian-American women entrepreneur. She is always willing and happy to help anyone in need.
In 2018, Sofia received a high recognition-an Amber Star as one of the Business Woman 2018 in Ukraine by Ukrainian “Бізнес Woman” magazine.
In 2019, she was awarded as one of the Top 20 Global Women of excellence by U.S. Congressman Danny K. Davis 7th Congressional District – IL Multi-Ethnic Advisory Task Force at the time of the 7th Annual International Women’s Day Celebration in Chicago. In recognition of her inspiring leadership and pioneering initiatives: reflecting the theme – Think Hard, Build Smart & Innovate For Change.
Proud native of Lviv, Ukraine, Olga Nakonechna moved to the United States to complete her Master’s Degree in Political Science. After working as entrepreneur, co-owner of the translation and interpretation services business, serving needs of the local community for several years, Olga decided to pursue her dream of becoming an attorney recognizing the growing need of legal representation for Ukrainian-speaking community. In 2019, Olga graduated from Northern Illinois University College of Law with honors.
Bi-cultural background and focus on philanthropist and humanitarian ideas has led her into seeking volunteering opportunities and involvement within the Ukrainian community in Chicago. As a member of Ukrainian Women in Business since 2013, Olga has been part of numerous charity projects and initiatives of this organization contributing to the united effort of giving out and sharing acts of kindness.
Treasurer, Special Event Curator
Ulyana Tretyak was born and raised in the West Ukraine. After she moved to the United States, she utilized her medical background by becoming a specialist in Endermologie.
Ulyana joined UWU family in 2015 believing that together we can represent Ukrainian culture to others and no matter where we are, we can find ways to help Ukraine when it needs
Secretary and Director of Public Affairs
A native of Ukraine, even as a little girl, Lacey tried to make a profit on her grandparent’s farm selling fruits and vegetables at the market. She followed her calling and graduated with degree in Finance from Loyola University Chicago. Now with over 15 years of experience in Pharmaceutical industry in Finance, Internal Audit and Compliance Management Lacey strives to help others to get ahead. Throughout her professional career Lacey has been involved supporting women and their causes professionally through organizations like Woman Leaders in Action and Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association. As Secretary and Director of Public Affairs, Lacey makes sure the world knows how UWB improves lives of Ukrainian orphans and promotes women owned business in Chicago-land area.
Director of Philanthropy
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give”, said Winston Churchill.
Olesya was a little girl with a big heart, that’s why every stray animal from a frog to a dog or cat were all her close beloved friends she cared for. Later as an adult she always felt motivated to help the needy, her every job and career connected with giving and caring. From organizing charity events while working for the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Trade, to looking after elderly visitors to Ukraine with love and compassion on cruiseships, helping adoptive parents get to know their adopted children from Ukrainian orphanages, and working as a case manager assisting immigrants from former Soviet Union.
Olesya joined UWU in 2018 during a UWU community event, where she was deeply touched by the love and kindness of the organizers. Right now she is fulfilling her mission as a giver by serving as UWU Director of Philanthropy. Her internal drive and generosity of spirit inspire those around her. Nothing is more important to her than the warmth and strong backing of the UWU team as we all achieve success and support each other and bring joy to the women and families of the Ukrainian diaspora in Chicago.
UWB Team Leadership Curators
Youth Wing Curator, Special Event Coordinator
Inna Popko is originally from Dnipro, Ukraine. Inna is an MA in Psychology and CADC, an addiction specialist. Inna also is helping the community as a mental health crisis counselor, working towards the prevention of suicide and acute psychosis in emergency situations, conducting educational anger management groups, etc.
Inna is the founder of Academy of Self-Confidence, which was initially created in 2017 as TTS fashion school and with the purpose to develop higher self-esteem in females. This is a unique project with a unique approach, where Inna started to work with females within the age range 4-35 y.o. helping them to develop adequate self-esteem using the fashion approach.
Inna joined UWU, in 2015 as a volunteer and progressed to a regular member, President, PR & Marketing Director and now as a Youth Wing Curator and Special Events Coordinator. She continues to help in the development and delivery of many successful fundraisers, events, workshops, etc. Inna is constantly striving to find better ways to serve Ukrainian Community and to those who are in need.
Members & Social Media Coordinator
Nadiya is a real estate agent with Keller Williams Success Realty serving greater Chicago area. Originally inspired by UWB Ukrainian Women United as a women empowerment organization to later realize the great impact in philanthropic and Ukrainian community fields. Now proudly serving as a part Leadership Team.
Since her very childhood, Nataliya, a native of Ukraine, has tried to be close to those, who need help.
She came to the United States in 2014 and became a member of UWU in her first year because this organization responds to needs of the vulnerable and provides charitable support to those who need it the most. Nataliya is also a member of UCCA and a volunteer at Revived Soldiers Ukraine, NFP.