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Boža Kovač (1966), B.Sc. of Economy, Director

After graduating at the Faculty of Economics at the University of Ljubljana I started a career in an international transport company. After the birth of my first child I started to work at the Municipality of Jesenice. From the early beginning I was involved in the development activities of this steel based industrial town. From the initial approaches to the development of rural areas we soon turned our attention to the economic restructuring, introducing active labor policy measures and entrepreneurship in the area.

Numerous informal trainings and meetings with colleagues, sharing the same interest and ideas, helped me to learn new approaches and financial resources for community development. In 1999 I took over the leadership of the Economic development department at the Municipality of Jesenice. Development potentials, persistence and great team led to the first project, supported by EU grants in the field of regeneration of brown fields into new industrial sites and diversification of rural areas. These projects had wide response in Slovenia. The applications of new work methods soon become a practice in the governance of the Jesenice municipality.

With accession to the EU inter-municipal and regional cooperation raised in importance and provided me an opportunity to involve actively also in the regional development, its structures and programming.

After 15 years the desire for change ripped. By the end of 2007 I started my new career of an entrepreneur. The growth and development of the company are now my first objective and challenge of the coming years. But I am truly aware that any success depends exclusively on our clients satisfaction and accomplishment of their development dreams.

Slavka Zupan (1967), Msc of economy and BSc of Geography and Sociology

In the early nineties, just after my graduation at the University of Ljubljana, an interesting job opportunity at my home municipality enabled me to be one of the first to learn and introduce new ways of strategic development in local communities in Slovenia. It wasn't an easy task. But today I can be proud of my contribution to the preservation and interpretation of the nature heritage of the Dovžan gorge, rural and village development initiatives, strengthening the international and cross border cooperation of the municipality. As a head of the Economic development department I had the chance to introduce new legal framework for the promotion of entrepreneurship and employment as a tool for restructuring of the industrial town of Tržič and local regulative for the public utility services.

Seven years of experience with designing and implementing local PHARE Crossbred projects, good insight in the municipal governance and the budget planning offered me a move to the Ministry of Finance, Central finance and contracting unit. As a Counselor to the Government my job was to perform the quality control of the tender dossiers and managing the procurement process of EU pre-accession funds. The work required good knowledge of different sector policies, process management as well as the legal and communication skills in coordinating stakeholders such as the line ministries, municipalities and EU Delegation.

The ministerial work has little impact to the concrete changes on the ground therefore in 2000 I returned to the Gorenjska region. As a deputy director of BSC Kranj Regional Development Agency of Gorenjska I took over the task of regional development management in NUT3 region. In the period between 2000 and 2007 I managed the process of preparation of 2 regional development strategies, set up complex s partnership structures and networks, designed, applied for funding.