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Ukrainian Stars Shine in Washington, DC

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Washington, DC – The U.S.-Ukraine Foundation, in cooperation with the Embassy of Ukraine in the U.S., hosted Ukraine in Washington 2012, its second annual Conference and Gala Awards Dinner, on November 30th and December 1st. Through the Ukraine in Washington Conference, the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation, seeks to provide a clear and open discussion regarding Ukraine on many topics. The date of the event was chose to commemorate the overwhelming vote for Ukrainian independence in 1991.

Ambassador Roman Popadiuk and Cynné Simpson, an Emmy Award and Edward R. Murrow Award winning anchor for ABC 7 News in Washington, DC.

The conference, Leadership in a Global World, was a two day event attracting approximately 250 people to the Omni Shoreham Hotel and The Capital Hilton. (A story specifically on the conference follows below. The Gala Awards Dinner, Celebrating People of Ukraine and Their Achievements, attracted over 300 people).

The evening program included an awards dinner with Star of Ukraine presentations in several categories made to individuals from Ukraine or whose roots are in Ukraine. The event was emceed by the unique and gracious team of Ambassador Roman Popadiuk and Cynné Simpson, an Emmy Award and Edward R. Murrow Award winning anchor for ABC 7 News in Washington, DC.

ChoirThe Reverend Volodymyr Steliac, pastor of St. Andrew’s Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in Silver Spring, MD, led the prayer of thanksgiving in English and Ukrainian. A local area choir, SPIV-Zhyttia (Living in Song), provided a stirring rendition of the national anthems of Ukraine and the United States.

Welcoming remarks were made by U.S.-Ukraine Foundation President Nadia McConnell and Ukraine’s Ambassador to the United States, Olexander Motsyk. Greetings were also extended on behalf the visiting Ukrainian delegation by Sergiy Arbuzov, Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine, who was unable to attend in person.

PrayerIn her remarks, Nadia McConnell stressed that the purpose of the evening was to celebrate the people of Ukraine and their achievements “because since Ukraine became independent there is much to celebrate about the people of Ukraine” and whose roots are in Ukraine – in contrast to the stream of negative news and images that have come to define official Ukraine and following the “dark decades of the Soviet Union when the Kremlin airbrushed Ukraine and her citizens out of existence, to the outside world they were Russians and Soviets.”

Star of Ukraine awards were made in the following categories:

Business and Technology

The QuadSquadThe QuadSquad – Winner of Microsoft Imagine Cup 2012, Sydney, Australia
The QuadSquad is a group of students, Maksim Osika, Valeriy Yasakov, Anton Pesternikov, from the Donetsk Computer Academy “Krok”. They were selected as Grand Prize winners from among 75 teams in Microsoft’s annual international IT competition, Imagine Cup. QuadSquad demonstrated briefly their winning design – a glove that translates sign language into audible speech using detection motion, finger flexes and many other variables. Bluetooth connects the glove to a Windows Mobile device and produces a synthesized voice. Thanks to this Ukrainian ingenuity, those with no voice will now literally be able to speak.

Dr. Lubomyr Romankiw – inducted into the National Inventor’s Hall of Fame

Dr RomankiwDr. Romankiw, who has been with IBM for 50 years, is an IBM Fellow and researcher at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center. He has been honored with many awards and is active in various professional societies and organizations, most notably serving as the Chief Scout for the Plast Ukrainian World Scout Organization, which this year celebrated its 100th anniversary in Lviv, Ukraine. Dr. Romankiw’s roots are from Zhovkva, Lviv oblast, Ukraine and he immigrated to Canada in 1948. After being accepted to MIT he then moved to the U.S. in 1957 and in 1962 began his work at IBM where he has been working in research for 50 years! He is a marvelous example of brilliance and perseverance.

He is listed as (co)inventor on over 65 U.S. patents, 150 papers and has edited 10 volumes of various technical symposia. Much of his work involves magnetic materials, reflective displays and copper plating. His accomplishments are too numerous to list. In March of this year, he was inducted into the National Inventor’s Hall of Fame, one of only ten inventors (including Steve Jobs) so honored. Dr. Romankiw joins another inductee from Ukraine, Igor Sikorskiy, who at the time of his induction was misidentified as being from Kiev, Russia.

The list of everyday items, including computer elements, which we have and enjoy thanks to Dr. Romankiw’s enthusiasm and creativity is indeed impressive.

Space & Science Awards
Leonid Kadeniuk – Ukrainian Astronaut

Mr. Kadeniuk Mr. Kadeniuk is the first of independent Ukraine to fly in space. He flew on NASA’s Columbia space shuttle in 1997 as part of the international mission STS-87. He holds the rank of Ukrainian Air Force Major General. After the STS-87 flight, Leonid Kadeniuk continued his Ukrainian space program career in the Ukrainian National Space Agency.

In 2002 Mr. Kadeniuk was elected to the Verkhovna Rada where he served until 2007 and was a member of the parliamentary Committee on Defense and National Security.

Mr. Kadeniuk expressed his warm gratitude for receiving an award in Washington not least because he views the U.S. as a second homeland that allowed him to fulfill his dreams of going into space. Mr. Kadeniuk’s award recognized his contribution to U.S.-Ukraine space cooperation.

Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper – NASA Astronaut

Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-PiperBorn in St. Paul, Minnesota, of Ukrainian-American heritage, Stefanyshyn-Piper is an American Naval officer and a former astronaut. She achieved the rank of Captain and is also a qualified and experienced salvage officer.

Capt. Stefanyshyn-Piper has received numerous honors and awards, such as the Meritorious Service Medal, two Navy Commendation Medals, and two Navy Achievement Medals. She flew on two Space Shuttle missions during which she completed five spacewalks. She ranks as 25th in the all-time list of space walkers by duration.

Her award recognizes her ongoing contributions to the positive image of Ukraine and active involvement in the Ukrainian-American community.

Volodymyr Horbulin – Founder of the Ukrainian Space Program

The Foundation also honored Volodymyr Horbulin who was instrumental in establishing the Ukrainian Space Agency and is generally recognized as the Founder of the Ukrainian Space Program. The Agency celebrates it’s 20th anniversary this year. Mr. Horbulin later went on to become President Kuchma’s National Security Advisor and a consistent advocate of Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic integration. He is currently working at the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences.

Arts & Entertainment
Taras Lewyckyj – Voloshky Ukrainain Dance Ensemble

Mr. Lewyckyj As artistic director of Philadelphia’s Voloshky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble, Mr. Lewyckyj oversees performances that combine Ukrainian and American dance aesthetics, culled from folkloric traditions and contemporary styles. His creative endeavors have included international fashion design, product design, advertising, brand development, and film and video production. Mr. Lewyckyj ’s designs have been exhibited worldwide and his artwork is displayed in numerous museum and private collections. He worked directly with Giorgio Armani as a designer in Rome, Italy.

Since Mr. Lewyckyj became Artistic Director for “Voloshky” their level of achievement and recognition has increased to such an extent that they are now cooperating with such masters of folk dance as Mark Morris. Mr. Lewyckyj’s travels to Ukraine involve working with Kryovchyzha and the Zoriany dance company to recreate the historic works.

Maksim Chmerkovskiy – Dancing with the Stars

Maksim Chmerkovskiy – Dancing with the StarsMr. Chmerkovskiy, a native of Odessa, Ukraine, worked through a serious injury handicap in his youth to reach success and achievement. Mr. Chmerkovskiy devotes much time and effort to charity work, which includes St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children, cancer charities and can also be seen visiting children’s hospitals in Los Angeles.

Mr. Chmerkovskiy started the Rising Stars Dance Academy and is currently a board member for the non-profit organization DanceTeamUSA, which aims to encourage youth to take up dancing and a Dance Sports school. He has a production company, “Maksim Chmerkovskiy Productions,” which organizes performances all over the world. Mr. Chmerkovskiy, a world renowned choreographer, has worked with famed director Franco Dragone revamping and updating the immensely popular performance show, Le Rêve, at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas.
Mr. Chmerkovskiy was honored for his support of charities and his achievements in arts and entertainment.

After the award presentations, there was a spectacular performance by the Voloshky Dance Ensemble followed by dessert & dancing to the music of the Hrim Band. The dancing went on until the early hours of Sunday, December 2nd.

Voloshky Voloshky

Financial Support

The U.S.-Ukraine Foundation is deeply appreciative of the generosity provided in support of Ukraine in Washington 2012 by individuals, non-profit organizations, governments and commercial companies. We extend a special expression of gratitude to Ambassador Motsyk and staff from the Embassy of Ukraine in the United States.

US-Ukraine Foundation The sponsors and partners for Ukraine in Washington 2012 included Bingham, Clinton School of Public Service – University of Arkansas, Coca-Cola, National Projects Agency – Invest Ukraine, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP, IRASET Group LLC , McConnell & Associates, Monsanto, Natalie Shear & Associates, Open World Leadership Center, Orbital Sciences Corporation, Raytheon, Self-Reliance NY – Federal Credit Union, System Capital Management, The Bush School of Government and Public Service, The Heritage Foundation of 1st Security Savings Bank, The Livingston Group, Ukrainian American Coordinating Council and UkrAutoProm.

International Conference – Leadership in a Global World Ukraine in Washington 2012

Saturday, December 1st, 2012

Andy Card, Gen. Colin Powell, Amb. Olexander Motsyk, Amb. Roman Popadiuk, and Nadia K. McConnell (from left to right)
Andy Card, Gen. Colin Powell, Amb. Olexander Motsyk, Amb. Roman Popadiuk, and Nadia K. McConnell (from left to right)

The U.S.-Ukraine Foundation, in cooperation with the Embassy of Ukraine in the U.S., hosted Ukraine in Washington 2012, its second annual Conference and Gala Awards Dinner, on November 30th and December 1st.  Through the Ukraine in Washington International Conference, the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation, sought to provide a clear and open discussion on many topics regarding Ukraine.

The conference, Leadership in a Global World, was a two-day event attracting approximately 250 key government officials, businessmen, and NGO leaders to the Omni Shoreham Hotel and The Capital Hilton in order to discuss Ukraine’s future as a growing European nation.

The conference, which began at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, focused on the future for Ukraine and its role on the international stage.   Welcoming conference participants were  U.S.-Ukraine Foundation President Nadia K. McConnell, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Kostyantyn Gryshchenko and Ukraine’s Ambassador to the U.S.  Olexander Motsyk.

The panel, Ukraine’s Vision for the 21st Century, set the tone for the rest of the weekend.  This panel included Vera Rychakivska, Deputy Chairman of the National Bank of Ukraine, who on behalf of Sergiy Arbuzov, Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine, greeted conference attendees. Dmitry Mormul, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of Ukraine, Vitaliy Sabluk, Director of Economic Development at the Agricultural Policy and Food Ministry of Ukraine, Sergiy Korablin, Director of Money Market Analysis and Forecasting Department of the National Bank of Ukraine, and Volodymyr Kuchyn, Deputy Director, External Economic Relations Department of the National Bank of Ukraine, were all contributors during this first panel.

Moderating this discussion was the first U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Roman Popadiuk.  Ambassador Popadiuk, currently with Bingham Consulting LLC, has a long history in foreign service and is on the Board of Advisers of the Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs at the Bush School of Government and Public Service.

Amb. Steven Pifer

Kostyantyn Gryshchenko              Amb. Steven Pifer                 Amb. Oleh Shamshur

During the first day of the conference, Ambassador Popadiuk would also introduce the luncheon guest speaker, Andy Card, who is a former chief of staff to President George W. Bush and is the acting Dean of The Bush School of Government & Public Service.  Card spoke on the Leaders and the Challenges of a Global Society

The State Agency for Investment and National Projects of Ukraine led a discussion, moderated by Morgan Williams, Director of Government Affairs at SigmaBleyzer Private Equity Investment Group and the President/CEO of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council, entitled, Ukraine: The Best Investment Opportunities.  This included a number of Ukrainian business experts, such as Igor Zhovkva, Director of the  International Cooperation Department, Yuriy Husyev,  Director of National Projects, Viktor Kryvenko, Head of the Technopolis National Project, and Viktor Galasiuk, Vice President of the Bionic Hill Project.

The theme of business and Ukraine continued with other panels such as Business Builds A Better Ukraine – Capitalizing on Market Opportunities, Ukraine’s IT Sector – Keeps Clicking Forward, Corporate Contributions to Community Development, and Foreign Direct Investment Opportunities to Accelerate Ukraine’s Energy Self-Sufficiency.

Contributors to the Capitalizing On Market Opportunities panel included Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute Anders Aslund, Country Representative for the International Finance Corporation Elena Voloshina, and Director of International & Investor Relations at System Capital Management Jock Mendoza.

Corporate Contributions to Community Development featured Maryna Saprykina, Executive Director for the Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility Development, Ukraine.   During her presentation, Ms. Saprykina announced the winners of the CSR Case Contest 2012 in the field of community development – firms Nycomed (a Takeda company) and Myronivsky Hliboproduct.  For more information regarding the CSR Case Contest 2012 and the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation’s partnership with the Centre, please go to:  http://www.usukraine.org/events/corporate-social-responsibility-partnership.shtml

The Ukraine 2020 Program, which supports Ukraine’s European integration and which is supported by the U.S. Government, The Maria Hulai Lion Foundation, and private donations, brought some of its task forces to the conference to discuss matters relevant to Ukraine’s future.

For more information regarding the Foundation’s Ukraine 2020 Program, go to: http://www.usukraine.org/ukraine-2020/.

Ukraine 2020’s National Security and Defense Task Force was included in the panel discussion How to Propel Ukraine’s Legacy in Science, Space, and Aeronautics to Compete Globally.  This task force was comprised of Scott Harris, former President of Lockheed Martin-Continental Europe, Jean-Paul George, European Regional Manager of Raytheon, and Peter Marquez , Vice President of Orbital Sciences Corporation.   The moderator for this discussion was Robert Nurick, Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council.

Leading the section, Foreign Direct Investment Opportunities to Accelerate Ukraine’s Energy Self-Sufficiency, was Ukraine 2020’s Energy Task Force.  This group included Edward Chow, Director of the New European Democracies Project, Jonathan Elkind, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Policy and International Affairs at the U.S. Department of Energy, and Oksana Gryshchenko, Deputy Minister at Ministery of Environment and Natural Resources of Ukraine, and Adviser to Minister at Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine.

Along with the business focus, a major theme of the weekend was Ukrainian leadership,  Various discussions took place, such as, Bipartisan Vision for Leadership Development, Ukraine’s Emerging

Skip Rutherford, Nancy Gibbs, Michael Duffy and Andy Card (from left to right)

Skip Rutherford, Nancy Gibbs, Michael Duffy and Andy Card (from left to right)

Leaders, Elections Matter-Charting a Country’s Direction, and Looking Inside the World’s Most Exclusive Club of Leaders which featured Michael Duffy, Executive Editor for TIME Magazine, Michael Duffy, and Nancy Gibbs, Deputy Managing Editor for TIME Magazine.

Mr. Duffy, co-author of the best-selling book, The Presidents Club, is one of Washington’s most distinguished journalists, specializing in U.S. national affairs.  Since beginning his work at the Washington Bureau of TIME Magazine in 1985, Mr. Duffy has produced over 50 TIME cover stories, regarding presidents, politics, the Pentagon, the White House, and the U.S. Congress. His work has earned him numerous awards such as the Gerald R. Ford Award for both his reports on the White House in 1994 and U.S. defense and national security in 2005.

Alongside publishing his distinguished work, Michael Duffy taught as a Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University and is a frequent guest on PBS’s Washington Review talk show.

Speaking at the Saturday lunch on the topic of U.S.-Ukraine relations were U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine John F. Tefft and Ukraine Ambassador to the U.S. Olexander Motsyk.

The Culture and Education Task Force of Ukraine 2020 led the Ukraine’s Emerging Leaders panel, which consisted of moderator Ambassador William Green Miller, Marta Farion, President of Kyiv Mohyla Foundation of America, Anatoliy Tolstoukhov, Former Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, and Ian Hansen of the George H.W. Bush School of Government & Public Service.

Ukraine’s Emerging Leaders segment of the conference included recipients of the first-ever 40 Under 40 awards.  The U.S.-Ukraine Foundation launched the 40 Under 40 Emerging Leaders Initiative in September 2012.  The goal of the initiative is to annually identify 40 outstanding young Ukrainians, who are under the age of 40 and who are demonstrating leadership within their profession while making a significant contribution to the development of their community and Ukraine.  Honorees Oleksander Kapitan, Aleksey Koval, George Kurbanov, Vasyl Myroshnychenko and Lesia Orobets attended the conference and were recognized with awards.

Discussing Ukrainian elections in Elections Matter – Charting a Country’s Direction was Ukraine 2020’s Foreign Policy Task Force.  The task force featured such former ambassadors as William Courtney (U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan and  Georgia), Steven Pifer (U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine), Oleh Shamshur (Ukraine’s Ambassador to the U.S.), and a Member of Verkhovna Rada, Lesia Orobets.

Marta Farion and Amb. William Green Miller

Marta Farion and Amb. William Green Miller

Skip Rutherford, Dean of Clinton School of Public Service, made opening remarks on the second day of the Conference.  Individuals from the Bush School of Government and Public Service and Clinton School of Public Service led the Bipartisan Vision for Leadership Development discussion panel.  Speakers were Senior Lecturer and Director of the Public Leadership Program at the Bush School Dr. Joe Cerami, Bush School graduate student Tatyana Mueirhead, and Clinton School Associate Professor Dr. Ellen Fitzpatrick and student Matt Orr.

The former Chief of Staff for President George W. Bush, Andy Card, was in attendance and spoke about government and public relations for Ukraine.  Card, the acting Dean at The Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University, has also served as  Secretary of Transportation under President George H. W. Bush.

The Ukraine in Washington Conference & Gala was excited to welcome retired four-star General and former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell to conclude the first day of the conference with a presentation and book signing.

General Powell recently published a book of his memoirs titled, It Worked For Me: In Life and Leadership.  The first African American to serve as Secretary of State, General Powel spoke about life experiences that have shaped his professional outlook during his distinguished public service career.

For the past two years, the Ukraine in Washington event has proven to be a superb forum for a clear message to be presented to “official Washington” on the positive developments that occur in Ukraine.   The positive accomplishments of human endeavor along with a vibrant civil society enable Ukraine’s future to be an exciting one.

For the past two years, the Ukraine in Washington event has proven to be a superb forum for a clear message to be presented to “official Washington” on the positive developments that occur in Ukraine.   The positive accomplishments of human endeavor along with a vibrant civil society enable Ukraine’s future to be an exciting one.

The U.S.-Ukraine Foundation, through the Ukraine in Washington Conference, seeks to provide an open discussion regarding Ukraine on many topics so that both the novice and expert can learn and discuss the issues impacting Ukraine and its democratic future.

The Foundation holds the Conference and Gala on or about December 1st in order to recall and celebrate the anniversary of Ukraine’s People’s Choice, The Referendum, the parliamentary declaration of independence for Ukraine.  The conference, therefore, is meant to remember this triumph and to further encourage Ukraine’s democratic path.

The mission of the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation is to support democracy, a free market, and human rights for Ukraine. The Foundation continues to work for these values through the conference, presenting to the world what Ukraine offers and what it may become in the future.

Edward Chow

Amb. John Tefft and Edward Chow

Financial Support

The U.S.-Ukraine Foundation is deeply appreciative of the generosity provided in support of Ukraine in Washington 2012 by individuals, non-profit organizations, governments and commercial companies. We extend a special expression of gratitude to Ambassador Motsyk and the staff from the Embassy of Ukraine in the United States.

The sponsors and partners for Ukraine in Washington 2012 included Bingham, Caterpillar, Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility Development – Ukraine, Clinton School of Public Service – University of Arkansas, Coca-Cola, Embassy of Ukraine in the U.S., Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP, IRASET Group LLC , McConnell & Associates, Monsanto, Natalie Shear & Associates, National Projects Agency – Invest Ukraine, Open World Leadership Center, Orbital Sciences Corporation, Raytheon, Self-Reliance NY – Federal Credit Union, System Capital Management, The Bush School of Government and Public Service, The Heritage Foundation of 1st Security Savings Bank, The Livingston Group, Ukrainian American Coordinating Council and UkrAutoProm.