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Ukrainian Museum And The Four Ukrainian Entrepreneurs

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On Thursday evening, March 22nd, we went to the Ukrainian Museum on Kenilworth Avenue in Tremont to attend a reception for five young, budding entrepreneurs who were visiting from Ukraine.

They were currently residing with four host families in Akron including retired University of Akron Professors Melvin Vye (electronic engineering) and Martha Vye (office administration) who we got to meet and visit with. We learned that they have done a lot to help/guide international students over the years.

We were also warmly welcomed by our friend Mr. Andy Fednysky, Director of the Museum, and it should be acknowledged that Mr. Alex Lackey (from Mayor Jackson's office) and Mr. John Ryan (from Senator Brown's office) were there to greet our guests.

(Note: other community leaders might have sent representatives who arrived later but Mr. Lackey and Mr. Ryan were the two there while we were there.)

We also met Ms. Adriane Clayton from "Global Ties Akron" who explained to us that the ultimate goal of the young Ukrainians was to start socially-conscious businesses and they were here as a result of a collaboration between her organization and the "Open World Program". 

She went on to tell us that on this day the Ukrainians came to Cleveland from Akron to visit both "Bloom Bakery" and "Edwin's Leadership and Restaurant Institute" which are enterprises that have contributed a lot to the Cleveland/Northeast Ohio community.

On a pleasurable note, they also had time to do a stopoff at the Rock Hall.

 Later that evening, Ms. Clayton emailed us the below information regarding the above-mentioned organizations and the Social Entrepreneurship Project:

Overview of Global Ties Akron

Global Ties Akron is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that links local and international communities by building networks and friendships to promote understanding and world harmony. 

Global Ties Akron programs strengthen academic, corporate, organizational, and personal ties between Northeast Ohio and the World. 

Global Ties Akron: 

• Implements professional programs for international dignitaries participating in leadership exchanges sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and Open World Leadership Center  

• Provides services to international scholars enrolled at the University of Akron.

• Serves the local community by providing international and cultural educational outreach programs through our local schools.

The Open World Program enables Ukrainian, Russian, and Eurasian elected officials and emerging civic leaders to observe the American democratic system firsthand. The Open World Leadership Center (OWLC) believes that principles of accountability, governance, and the role of citizenry in government are most effectively illustrated through direct interaction between participants and their U.S. professional counterparts and through hosted community and cultural activities.

The program brings groups of five to six participants, accompanied by a co-national facilitator, for theme-based visits to the United States. The visits usually begin with an orientation in Washington, D.C., followed by a program in a local community. Participants are placed in homestays and attend professional appointments during the day, escorted by a centrally assigned interpreter. Programs address the theme of federalism and representative government, as well as other topics such as rule of law, health, environment, economic development, education reform, and social services.

Open World has over 20,000 alumni and a network of over 5,300 U.S. host families. Program alumni hail from Ukraine, Russia, and other Eurasian countries and include parliamentarians, mayors, judges, regional administrators, journalists, educators, non-profit directors, and community activists.

Project Focus:  Social Entrepreneurship

In the past few years, many Ukrainian activists have established businesses aimed not only at spreading their products and services but also at developing and helping in their local communities. Some entrepreneurs allocate a part of their income to helping orphanages, the poor and women who suffer(ed) from domestic violence and abusive relationships. In addition, some volunteer soldiers returning from the war zone have established businesses where they employ other veterans and help them overcome PTSD, work with injuries/handicaps, and integrate back into society. This program will provide an excellent chance for socially-conscious legislative, business and social leaders to hone their skills and make social entrepreneurship more broadly accepted in Ukraine.

 

Michael Patterson

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC