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TRIBUTES TO UKRAINIAN FEDERATION OF AMERICA AND AMBASSADOR OLEH SHAMSHUR
May 1, 2012 @ 12:00 am
The U.S.-Ukraine Foundation recently recognized the Ukrainian Federation of America (UFA) for its work and financial support of the 2011 Gala Celebration of Ukraine’s 20th Anniversary of Independence, which was held in Washington on December 1. The Gala’s conference and dinner events attracted 700 people and 38 organizational sponsors. The event held at the Foundation’s offices included: Ukrainian Federation of America officers and members – Chairman of the Board Zenia Chernyk, Director Vera M. Andryczyk and member Roman Andryczyk; The Washington Group’s President Andrew Bihun; members of the Foundation’s Ukraine 2020 Project – Ambassador Oleh Shamshur, a Co-Director of the program, Leonid Polyakov, Chairman of the Advisory Board for the Center for Armament, Conversion, and Disarmament Studies and a Co-Chair of the project, and James Greene, President of Effective Engagement Strategies LLC and a Co-Director for the Ukraine 2020 Project, and Foundation officers – President Nadia K. McConnell and Vice President John A. Kun. The Ukrainian Federation of America also recently marked its 20 years of service to the Ukrainian community and Ukraine at an Awards Reception held at the Alexander B. Chernyk Gallery of the Ukrainian Educational and Cultural Center in Jenkintown, PA. During the celebration, the Federation honored Ukrainian Ambassador Oleh Shamshur with the Alexander B. Chernyk Medal for outstanding leadership as Ukraine’s Ambassador to the U.S. (2006-2010) and for a cooperative and productive working relationship with the Ukrainian-American community. Ms. Tetiana Shamshur, the Ambassador’s daughter, traveled from Belgium for the occasion, and accepted the Chernyk Medal on behalf of her father. Ms. Shamshur said her father was most honored and pleased to receive the award from UFA and thanked the Federation for the award. Ambassador Shamshur was not able to attend due to health reasons. Former U.S. Congressman Charles F. Dougherty (R-PA) served as Master of Ceremonies. His Excellency Metropolitan Archbishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Church Stefan Soroka offered a prayer-greeting to the participants and to Ambassador Oleh Shamshur. In his remarks, Congressman Dougherty lauded the Federation’s 20 years of productive service and recognized the outstanding contributions made by Dr. Alexander B. Chernyk, founder of the Ukrainian American Federation, and the accomplishments of Ambassador Oleh Shamshur as examples of two outstanding individuals who heard the call immortalized by General Douglas McArthur: Duty – Honor – Country. Congressman Dougherty challenged attendees to also respond to that call. Congratulatory citations were presented to the Ukrainian Federation of America from the Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania by State Senator John C. Rafferty and State Representative Mike Vereb. Both elected officials also expressed their personal congratulations and best wishes to the Federation for continued growth and success in the years to come. U.S. Congressman Jim Gerlach (R-PA), Co-Chair of the Congressional Ukrainian Caucus in Washington, D.C., during his personal remarks, recalled the cordial and productive working relationship with Ambassador Shamshur and the Congress and underscored the effective work of the Federation in informing Members of Congress on Ukrainian issues. Counselor Andriy Nikitov, representing the Embassy of Ukraine, read a congratulatory greeting from Ukraine’s Ambassador, Oleksandr Motsyk, citing the Ukrainian Federation’s valuable contributions to the development of the U.S.-Ukraine relations and the preservation and promulgation of Ukrainian heritage and culture in the United States. Congressional District Director Craig Kwiecinski representing U.S. Congresswoman Allyson Y Schwartz (D-PA) presented Ms. Tetiana Shamshur with congratulatory remarks to Ambassador Shamshur and a U.S. flag that was flown over the U.S. Capitol. The U.S.-Ukraine Business Council was a sponsor of the UFA 20th Anniversary and Awards Reception. Lada Pastushak, USUBC Director of Operations and Development, expressed the sincere appreciation of the U.S. business community for the outstanding support received from Ambassador Shamshur while he was Ukrainian Ambassador to the USA. UACC AND USUF PRESIDENTS Ihor Gawdiak, President, Ukrainian American Coordinating Council (UACC) and Nadia McConnell, President, U.S.-Ukraine Foundation (USUF) paid tribute to Ambassador Shamshur’s valuable working relationship with the Ukrainian-American community. Mrs. McConnell also presented the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation’s Appreciation Awards in recognition of their outstanding leadership in the U.S. Congress to former Congressman Charles F. Dougherty, founding member and first Chairman of the Ad-Hoc Committee on the Baltic States and Ukraine (1979-1983) and to Congressman Jim Gerlach, present Co-Chair of the Congressional Ukrainian Caucus. Oleh Shamshur presently is a Senior Advisor to PBN Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Kyiv, Ukraine and Washington, D.C. Ambassador Shamshur also currently serves as Co-Director of the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation’s Ukraine 2020 Policy Dialogue Program (http://www.usukraine.org/ukraine-2020/). CREDIT: The U.S.-Ukraine Foundation thanks the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (www.usubc.org) for contributing to this story. The U.S.-Ukraine Foundation is a member of the Council.