Founder, Executive Director
Sofia Mikolyash-Georgiev’s founding of Ukrainian Women in Business, a 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 worrier and her child-like heart. She established UWB with intent to utilize her sense for business and desire to help 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 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 raising 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 close relationship with the adaptive 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 Science Degree in Business Administration with Concentration in Accounting. Cuma Sum Laude, Den’s List 2016 East-West University, Chicago. and multilingual.
What drives people towards her is her magnitude, exuberance, optimism, search for justice, and love for life, combined with great pride of being Ukrainian-American women entrepreneur. She is always willing and happy to help anyone in need.
Dr. Nataliya Omelchenko, has recently completed doctorate degree at Loyola University Chicago. Originally from Ukraine, she completed her undergraduate and graduate degree in United States. She has more than 20 years of hands-on clinical experience working in the most pressing diseases of the human nervous system with the ultimate goal of making a difference in patients’ lives. She has dedicated the past few years trying to answer one of the most challenging question of the contemporary health care: how to improve quality and lower the cost. Nataliya is also involved in a few clinical studies aimed to improve quality of care for stroke patients. She is a teacher by nature and experienced clinical preceptor providing mentorship for Georgetown University graduate students for over three years. She believes in giving back and paying it forward, volunteering in various organizations that advocate for clinical excellence and community outreach. She is a president of Chicago Chapter (Northern Illinois) of American Association of Neuroscience Nurses. Under her leadership chapter was named “Outstanding Chapter of 2017”.
Public Relations and Marketing
Inna Popko Ukrainian originally, immigrated to USA in 2007. Back in Ukraine she worked as a midwife and, later as a clinical psychologist.
As Inna moved to Chicago, she started to study English and Liberal Arts in Oakton Community College. At the same time she is starting her modeling career in fashion industry of Chicago. Some days she worked as a free lance model and others, as a sales associate in a local clothing boutique. During those years she met a lot of interesting people and made her connections in fashion and retail industry of Chicago land. In 2016, Inna creates “ To The Stars Fashion School” where she teaches a fashion lessens to young girls, sharing her experience in modeling , fashion , and psychology. Year 2017 Inna Started to work as a substance abuse counselor intern – Counseling Center of Illinois.
Inna always tried to help people. That’s why in the year of 2015, she was very happy to join UWB, where she got an opportunity to utilize all of her knowledge and skills by helping those who are in need. In year 2017 Inna Popko was given a great honor and was chosen to be a President of the UWB.
Director of Philanthropy and Education
Proud native of Lviv, Ukraine, Olha Nakonechna moved to the United States to pursue her Master’s Degree in Political Science. She is a devoted young professional in the field of financial crimes risk reduction and compliance with regulations of global and domestic financial institutions at Accuity, Inc. as well as entrepreneur, co-owner of the translation services business, V&O Professional Center, serving needs of the local community. 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, Olha 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.
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.