Dr. Detelin Elenkov
From its modest perch in the Concho Valley, Angelo State University will soon be influencing business leaders throughout the world.
Primarily as a result of the efforts of Dr. Detelin Elenkov, holder of ASU’s Norris Family Chair in International Business, Angelo State will co-host the 14th Annual Conference on Social Values and Competitiveness Development in Europe Oct. 7–8 in Sofia, Bulgaria. Business professionals, industry representatives, government officials and a host of top academics from around the world will gather for two days of educational and cultural exchange of ideas.
“The idea behind the conference is to create bridges between people from different parts of the world,” Elenkov said, “and to hear different opinions about major global issues, such as sustainable development, corporate and social responsibility, and other contemporary topics.”
“The topics focus on the situation in the European Union,” he added. “But, many delegates speak about general international business topics that are of interest to all of us.”
The conference’s originators and current co-hosts, Cologne University (Germany) and Sofia University (Bulgaria), previously enjoyed a U.S. partnership with the University of Iowa. But, after that union dissolved, the dean of Sofia University’s business faculty approached Elenkov, a former professor at SU and then a faculty member at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, looking for a new U.S. partner.
“When I moved to ASU, he reiterated his invitation,” Elenkov said.“Then, when we met with the people from Cologne University, they were also very receptive. They had several conversations with Dr. Tom Badgett and Dean (Corbett) Gaulden, and I’ve known them for many years. They were very supportive of ASU joining them in hosting the conference.”
“They also thought it very attractive,” he added, “if some time in the not-so-distant future, we could put together a conference here in the U.S., maybe even in San Angelo. It would be a similar conference, and ASU could be active in organizing it and maybe even hosting it. These types of activities tremendously enhance the international reputation of ASU.”
Badgett, ASU professor of management, and Gaulden, dean of the ASU College of Business, joined Elenkov in attending the 2010 European conference. Gaulden and Elenkov are on the organizing committee for the 2011 conference, and all three are hoping to attend and make presentations this year.
“I hope in the near future there will be other ASU faculty who participate as well,” Elenkov said. “They will have the opportunity to present their work to academics and delegates from many countries. The conference also provides a great multicultural experience, plus the opportunity to mix with people from many different areas of industry and government.”
Also the vice president of the International Academy of Business and Economics, Elenkov is using his influence to emphasize student participation in these types of international conferences, and has pledged to continue those efforts when he becomes president in 2012.
“The idea to involve young business professionals and students has been received very warmly by the academy,” Elenkov said. “We are implementing it with special student sessions and joint student-faculty sessions. Especially if we can host a conference in San Angelo, I know we have ASU students who are capable of making presentations in an international forum.”
“In the College of Business, we are very interested in being part of the global academic community,” he added. “We are also interested in enhancing the international image of ASU.”