After a few months, today I finally got the approval and
As I work for Accenture now, I got them to pay for the plane tickets and also spring for the 'Professional' registration, so more people can attend. I am very happy, and very grateful to the company and to the managers here in Riga office for being so very supportive. It is refreshing to see that even a large corporation can be quite nimble.
I hope I can get on a direct Riga - New York flight (there actually is one, once a week, by Uzbekistan Airways) which would be a wicked cool way to save travel time and worries. This might even be faster end-to-end than last year going to Spain (via Frankfurt). Now I only need to replace my passport with the new biometric one, to qualify for USA Visa Waiver and I'll be good to go :)