CEO, AmCham, Slovenia
Entrepreneur. Business Leader. A passionate motivator for positive change.
Mrs. Vodnik worked in media for 14 years, first as a journalist, then as editor-at-large and TV host, and later went on to launch the Slovene TV station Paprika TV when she was just 29. As an entrepreneur and leader, she realized how essential it is to lead people with positive energy. At its peak, Paprika TV employed more than 70 people. After five successful years, Mrs. Vodnik decided to sell her stake in the company and leave the field of media. She hosted more than 300 interviews with top Slovene and international businesspeople, leaders, and opinion-makers during her time. She had the privilege to also interview such notable names as American President Bill Clinton and General Colin Powell.
Mrs. Vodnik holds a master’s degree in communication, and from 2007 she has worked as a consultant for strategic communication, consultant for business communication, and a communication coach for business leaders.
She is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the American Chamber of Commerce in Slovenia – AmCham Slovenia. In this capacity, she oversees AmCham’s Advocacy program (with more than 350 experts that are involved in various AmCham Committees), AmCham’s Events and Networking programs (yearly 100+ top-level events), and AmCham’s International Collaboration initiatives. In the past she has also successfully helped with a few M&A transactions as a consultant and leader and helped Slovene companies establish their businesses in the USA.
In 2019 she was elected Vice-Chair of the AmChams in Europe network, an umbrella organization for 46 AmChams from 44 Eurasian countries. Slovenia thereby took over the seat of the organization. With that, Mrs. Vodnik has started to reinvent this most prominent business organization in Eurasia, that represents the interests of more than 17,000 American and European companies in Europe. The companies that various AmChams represent stand for what is possibly the most important economic relationship in the world. Millions of jobs, innovations and local communities’ prosperity are directly linked to the transatlantic business.
Mrs. Vodnik is the co-author of the AmCham Young Professionals ProgramTM, a platform for young leaders, which aims to develop their personal and career development. She is passionate about empowering groups of next-generation business leaders who want to develop their talents and empower others. More than 2.500 people, between the ages of 15 and 45, have been involved in the program so far, and the number is growing every year.
Mrs. Vodnik is also the co-author of the Partnership for Change program – a unique collaboration initiative between the public and private sectors. The program won the European Creative Network Award in 2016. The initiative Učitelj sem! Učiteljica sem! (I am a teacher!) grew from the Partnership for Change program, and the initiative now has the license to choose a national representative for the World Teachers Award.
Additionally, Mrs. Vodnik is an active mentor to entrepreneurs and business professionals.
She lives in Ljubljana with her husband Rok and three children, Pia, Živa, and Jan, who are her best coaches for recognizing the essential values of life.