Home: Brooklyn, NY. Age: 41. Birthplace: Sofia, Bulgaria. Profession: Customer experience and organizational culture guru. Organization: The Petrova Experience. Title: Founder and CEO. Pronouns: She/Her/Hers. Alma mater: NYU Stern. Languages spoken: English, Bulgarian, Russian, Spanish, French.
Current project: Designing a passenger experience for an AirTrain that will be built in the next five years. Also, helping a very passionate mom of a cancer survivor grow a non-profit that provides financial and mental health support to the families of kids suffering cancer. Recent recognition: “The Petrova Experience offers a really life changing experience [...]. They empower the soul of the brand" (Ann Watson, former CMO of TMRW Life Sciences). Recent professional development: Found a fantastic sales coach who gave me the confidence to communicate the value of my business to larger audiences. Latest accomplishment: Created and delivered a customized Customer Experience Strategy offsite event in just five business days for a New York City client. Latest contribution to others: Meeting with my non-profit client weekly; leading monthly mentorship sessions for WeWork Lab members. What’s been your big (or biggest) leap? Immigrating to the U.S. at 21 without much financial support; opening my firm in New York with a newborn less than two decades later.
Hobbies: Travel, movies, going out to nice restaurants. Recent travel or adventure: Ecuador. Last book read: Super Sight, by David Rose. Recently viewed and recommended: Good Girls. Recent unique acquisition: These days, I only buy things for my three year-old. So, a Barbie doctor.
Personality profile: Passionate, authentic, loyal. What one word would your closest friend use to describe you? Brave. Moral compass: I trust my gut. I also ask myself: what would my mother think? How do you define a perfect friendship? One that evolves as people go through different phases in life. What is your greatest joy? My daughter. What is your greatest fear? War. What is your guilty pleasure? Wine and cheese. What natural talent have you neglected? Dancing. What occupation, other than your own, do you most admire? Doctors. What is at the top of your bucket list? Japan. What ingredient is essential to your perfect vacation? A good book. What is your go-to workout? I don’t work out at the moment. When I do, Zumba. Favorite words: Empathy, courage, respect.
What book have you repeatedly read? Based on Values, by Anne Rhoades. What movie have you repeatedly watched? Dirty Dancing. What’s featured prominently on your home or office wall? All my memorabilia from JetBlue Airways. Who has had the greatest influence on your life? My mother. What is the best advice you received growing up? Everything in life is a phase; the good and the bad. What is the best advice you received in your career? Feedback is a gift. Learn from it, grow from it. What modern technology innovation do you most appreciate? The internet. What is your favorite app? Google Maps. What is your go-to source of news and information? Google. What is your go-to source of creative inspiration? Travel. What world event has had the greatest influence on your life? The end of the Cold War. What company or organization do you most admire? United Nations.
Why do you live where you live? Generally speaking, everyone in New York is accepted for who they are and no one here takes that for granted. What led you to your chosen profession? I love helping people and realized I could best do that working for myself, as an entrepreneur. In the corporate world, politics always has the last word.
To create a standard and recognition for the most intuitive physical customer experience design, called The Petrova Experience Award, just like J.D. Power.
What change are you working on to effect in your profession or field? Influencing more leaders to invest in better human experiences, so we can all have better lives. What change would you like to see in the world? Greater empathy, less violence and hatred. What message do you want to send out into the world? Love and forgive. What mega-trend most excites you? Advances in visual technology. What mega-trend most concerns you? AI.
What title would you choose for the movie about your life? Life is Beautiful. What actor would you choose to play you in the movie about your life? Natalie Portman. Who would you like to spend an evening with, in heaven? My dad. As a kid, what did you first want to be when you grew up? A flight attendant. What object would you first save from your burning home? My diary. How would you choose to spend tomorrow, if you knew it was your last day or earth? With my daughter. What advice would you give your younger self? Be less angry. What day in your life would you like to re-live? None. I don’t like to go back.
Personal mission: To leave the world better than I found it. Personal motto: Anything is possible. Favorite quote: The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good [people] to do nothing" (Edmund Burke). Desired epitaph: Respected the gift of life. Stayed honest and true to herself. Threw a great party.