[Progress News] [Progress OpenEdge ABL] Meet Gergana Pantcheva, Principal Procurement Specialist at Progress

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Jessica Kent

Today, we shine a spotlight on Gergana Pantcheva, who has been recognized for “Uphold Trust,” one of the ProgressPROUD core values we strive to embody every day.

Life is full of twists and turns, and sooner or later everyone learns to expect the unexpected. However, when Gergana Pantcheva took on a temporary role at Progress in 2018, she didn’t expect to love it as much as she did—and certainly didn’t expect it would lead to a career change.

Fast-forward to 2024, and Gergana has been at Progress as a full-time employee for nearly four years. After starting out as a procurement specialist, Gergana quickly rose to the senior level, and she’s confident that she’s found the right place for her.

Read more about Gergana and her career journey in the interview below.

How did you get into the tech field?​

It happened by chance. Or maybe it was more a leap of faith. I graduated from a math school and although technology seemed like it would be a natural continuation of my career development, I decided to study tourism instead. I got my Bachelor’s in tourism economics and my master’s in marketing, and I worked for about 12 years as a tour operator and tour guide. I never believed I would change career paths until someone referred me to Progress.

In April 2018, I took on my first role here as a travel and procurement specialist, covering for someone who was on maternity leave. I immediately had the feeling that I had come across the right place for me. Up until that point, I had planned and overseen honeymoon trips, wedding ceremonies on remote islands, Caribbean cruises, etc. Nobody expected me to derive such satisfaction from working in tech general and administrative expenses. But Progress’ people and culture, as well as learning something new every single day, made me want to stay.

My role as a maternity cover lasted until the end of 2019. A year later, in December 2020, I was rehired as a procurement specialist. In December 2021 I was promoted to a senior specialist. Another year later, I was promoted again, and I am now at the principal level.

I have gone through several trainings in different spheres, guided two new hires and worked with various teams across IT, product development and marketing. And here I am.

How does trust factor into your day-to-day work?​

Trust is really my inner engine. The trust the stakeholders and requestors have in me drives me forward. It’s important for me to justify that trust and go beyond their expectations. In addition, the trust among my team keeps me going even when I’m under water. Before joining Progress, I was hardly a team player. My team, extended team and managers all showed me the advantage of trust and moving together as one. If I had to rank the top elements of my day-to-day work, trust would most likely be in first place.

What is your favorite part of your job right now?​

The communication. Internal, external—all of it. Communication helps me perform my job well, teaches me something new and enriches me professionally and personally.

Of course, negotiating the best deal, contributing to a key project and assisting my colleagues are the things that really make my day. The feeling that I’m contributing to the overall success of the business motivates me.

What do you think makes Progress a great company?​

The people, culture and team spirit. I recently had an experience that proved this: I announced an urgent fundraising campaign for a child fighting cancer, and so many people joined, contributed and prayed for that little girl. It was amazing.

All the corporate social responsibility initiatives, team events, wellbeing programs and willingness to move forward as one make Progress an awesome place to work.

Progress is a great company and I truly believe that the best is yet to come.

When you’re not working, what do you like to do?​

I have my three great passions—family, travel and books!

I have a 4-year-old boy, and I try to spend as much valuable time with him and my partner as possible—playing, reading, drawing, watching cartoons and laughing.

I also enjoy sightseeing and still guide groups once or twice a year. My last trip was to Australia and New Zealand. They are amazing countries. I went snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef, which was an unforgettable experience.

Reading is another never-ending hobby of mine. I love all kinds of books. The last one I read was American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer.

If you weren’t doing the job you have now, what do you think you’d be doing?​

Maybe I would still be working in a travel agency. When I was young, I had dreams related to the arts and entertainment, but it never went much further than dreaming.

What are you most excited about for the future of Progress?​

As part of the procurement team, I am always excited and thrilled about our next acquisition. Every new company is a unique experience. Although it can be challenging, each of these journeys is quite rewarding. I am also looking forward to celebrating Progress becoming a billion-dollar company!

To get to know other Progressers like Gergana, read more of our employee interviews here.


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