Meet Ivelina Atanasova of Matrix in Bensenville

December 18 2018

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ivelina Atanasova.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Ivelina. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I started working in the Transportation industry as a Data Entry clerk for a freight forwarding company in 2010. A few months later I was promoted to Import Operations Representative and just a year later I became an Operations manager.

My achievement inspired me to become an entrepreneur and this is how I started developing Matrix.

Matrix was in fact incorporated in 2009 and the first few years of its existence, its equipment was leased to our good partner Risinger Bros. Later on, I came on board with the idea to run the company independently.

April 1st, 2013 was the first day of our journey. Vladimir Kirilov – the other owner of Matrix, Kiril Kirilov – his brother, and I were the first members of Matrix Team.

Vladimir was responsible for dispatching trucks, Kiril was driving the first truck that we ran under our authority and I was responsible for Billing and Safety Management. It was quite a journey for the first couple of months and thereafter. We were fortunate to have some good friends by our side that helped us to advance in this industry. We ended 2013 with 8 trucks as part of our small fleet and good relations with brokers such as AFN, Coyote and CH Robinson. Four of these trucks were owned by other people, who trusted us in our first steps in this journey.

In the following years, I was slowly adding valuable team members to what I call today – Matrix Team.

Back in college, I was told by one of my advisors that I have a unique quality that she barely sees in other people – “You can easily see people’s potential.” she said and she was right. My team today is outstanding and I am really proud of each one of them.

Soon after I started running Matrix, I went back to school, so that I can polish up my knowledge and get prepared for the entrepreneurs’ world. My leadership skills were recognized by one of my teachers in the first semester of attendance. The classes I took at Devry University really helped me develop my analytical skills, HR skills, accounting and financial skills, time management and many more. A couple of years later, I graduated with 4.00 GPA.

I invested a lot of time in my personal development too by reading self-development books, attending seminars, having different hobbies that would help me see the world from many different perspectives.

Business related achievements that I am really proud of besides building the outstanding team I have today are:

– in 2014 – Matrix had 200% growth
– in 2015 – I was able to move on from factoring and run the company with its own capital
– in 2016 – First steps in Outsourcing were taken
– in 2017 – Our first office overseas was establish and first few employees were hired
– beginning of 2018 (first quarter) – one of the departments was fully outsourced to Burgas, Bulgaria. This where the office overseas is located.

Looking back at this journey, I feel inspired and fulfilled by every achievement I had and it tells me that everything is possible when you only learn to follow your inner voice.

Has it been a smooth road?
The first 2 years were actually the hardest. I didn’t have the financial support to hire people to help me and I had to wear many hats. This is when I turned to business mentors in SCORE and SBA to help me easily overcome every obstacle I had on my way.

Now I realize that these 2 years were the greatest ones for me as I developed so many skills and gained so much business knowledge that I cannot even imagine what would I have done down the road without it.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Matrix – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I started as Billing and Safety Manager, but after finding the right people to take these roles, I am now a Business Development Manager, HR and CFO ? Only these three.

I specialize in all 3 of them, but I am best at finding better ways to optimize different business processes. This is what I enjoy the most too.

As a company, I am proud of the fact that for only five years we were able to get to 15 million gross revenue with honesty, integrity and high quality service.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love Chicago! Its downtown is beautiful and I enjoy spending time by the lake, in Millennium Park, visiting different museums and the various adventures that the city can offer.

I don’t like Chicago’s winter, but everything else is perfect!

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