The Bulgarian American Society of Atlanta incorporated last month to facilitate the integration of some 5,000 Bulgarians living in metro Atlanta into American culture, said society founder and President Chavdar Radev.

According to Mr. Radev, an Atlanta businessman and former Olympic rowing athlete for Bulgaria, most Bulgarians living in greater Atlanta immigrated during the last six years and have not established cultural and business ties here.

“We would love to provide an environment for establishing business contacts as well as cultural contacts,” said Mr. Radev. “Bulgaria is not only a potential market for a lot of companies in Atlanta, but Bulgarians are also very good potential business partners.”

Ultimately, Mr. Radev said he would like to create a Bulgarian business council that would promote commercial ties between the U.S. and Bulgaria. But until that time BASA’s mission includes promotion of Bulgarian-owned businesses, small business counseling and professional networking locally.

“Some of our countrymen have adapted very well to the environment here,” he said, “and run their own businesses catering to American and Bulgarian customers alike.”

Bulgaria is a NATO member and is scheduled to become a member of the European Union in 2007.

Mr. Radev moved to Atlanta 11 years ago and heads South East Testing & Engineering in Lawrenceville. It is one of two facilities in the Southeast unaffiliated with a shipment carrier or box manufacturer that has been certified by the U.S. Transportation Department to test the durability of packages used to ship chemicals and other potentially dangerous substances.

Inquiries can be posted on BASA’s web site at For additional information, contact Mr. Radev at 678-886-4864 or