Independent business & tourism expert / Former Vice Prime Minister of Republic of Slovenia
Zdravko Počivalšek is an independent business and tourism expert with extensive experience in managing several large companies during his career and in politics.
He graduated from the Faculty of Agriculture in Ljubljana and gained his first managerial experience in 1985 as a member of a business group that reformed the operations of the Šmarje pri Jelšah Agricultural Combine. He was soon appointed to be General Manager of the Combine. From 1994 he was CEO at Mlekarne Celeia dairy company, where he carried out an extensive reconstruction of the business. In 1999 he took over the top managerial position as CEO at Atomske toplice Spa resort, which was transformed into the modern Terme Olimia under his leadership. He was developing Terme Olimia for 15 years to one of the most popular and most awarded thermal resort in this part of Europe. He held that position until his appointment as Minister of Economic Development and Technology of the Republic of Slovenia in December 2014.
He was the Minister of Economy, Technology and Tourism in three different governments, and from 2020 to 2022 he was also the Vice Prime Minister of Republic of Slovenia. During his political career, he was very popular among business leaders, due to his positive policies regarding economic issues and implementation of many bold actions that helped the economic sector, especially during the Covid hard times for many companies. During his leadership of tourism development, Slovenia became an internationally recognized tourist destination, which profiled itself as a green, boutique and active destination of health.
In 2005, he received an Award for exceptional economic and entrepreneurial achievements from the Chamber of Commerce of Slovenia, and in 2010 he was declared Manager of the Year 2010 for outstanding achievements of long-term significance in the economy.