WASHINGTON – At the conclusion of the Ukrainian American Bar Association’s 42nd Annual Meeting in Washington, on November 2, 2019, the members of the UABA elected a new slate of officers for the term ending in the fall of 2021.
The new officers are Bohdan Shandor, president; Victoria Kulik, vice-president and recording secretary; Peter Piddoubny, treasurer; and, George Pazuniak, corporate secretary. In keeping with UABA tradition, outgoing president Oksana Pelekh assumed the position of chair of the UABA Board of Governors. The outgoing chair, Taras Rudnitsky, was re-elected and continues to serve on the board. Mr. Shandor will continue to chair the Committee on Legislative Affairs.
Commenting on his election, Mr. Shandor said, “I am very excited to be leading the UABA for the second time, having been president in the 1980s. Of course, these are much different times but frankly more challenging in many ways than years ago. Today, Ukraine continues to not only survive but grow as an example to the world of a tolerant civil society and a sovereign, democratic and free nation that threw off the shackles of the Soviet Union and Russian domination. Ukraine’s progress as a democracy is unsurpassed among the 15 former Soviet republics.”
He added: “As members of the legal profession we take great pride in the contribution that UABA members have made during the 42-year history of the UABA in fostering and developing the principles that have resulted in Ukraine getting closer and closer to being a country governed by the rule of law. After all, since the break-up of the Soviet Union, Ukraine has had six presidents while opening its polling booths to world scrutiny. At the same time, Russia has had one and a half elected presidents.”
The outgoing president and new chair of the Board of Governors, Ms. Pelekh, reflected on her years as president, saying “I have greatly enjoyed my term as president and the opportunity to meet Ukrainian American attorneys from across the country as well as attorneys from Ukraine. I look forward to further working with Bohdan and the other officers on some new projects and initiatives.”
“We also invite Ukrainian American attorneys to join the UABA, especially those who are interested in Ukraine, networking with other attorneys from around the United States and being involved in something that makes a difference,” Ms. Pelekh said.
Mr. Shandor echoed this sentiment and added, “We also look forward to having former members, who may be entering into retirement, reactivate their membership and rejoin their friends. Both the UABA and Ukraine can certainly benefit from their many years of experience, especially since President [Volodymyr] Zelenskyy has reached out to the Ukrainian American community for advice and assistance on a host of topics.”
UABA co-founder Myroslaw Smorodsky announced prior to the meeting that he would not be seeking re-election to the board and would step down as communications director after a transition period. Mr. Smorodsky was individually responsible for creating the UABA website in the 1990s at a point in time when the Internet was only beginning.
Mr. Shandor remarked: “The UABA would not be here today as a thriving organization but for the tireless work and effort put forth by Myroslaw. He had the vision to recognize the importance of the Internet and its usefulness to a broad-based organization like the UABA. Myroslaw would not just talk about doing something but roll up his sleeves and get it done. We will miss his invaluable contributions and wish him continued health and success in all of his endeavors.”
Mr. Smorodsky will be succeeded in the communications role by UABA member Olga Medyukh.
One sign of the continuing vitality of the UABA is the election of the new Board of Governors, comprising 16 members. The newly elected board members are: Ivanka Bilych, Iryna Ivashchuk, Orest Jejna, Tanya Karpiak, Ms.Kulik, Walter Lupan, George Pazuniak, Ms. Pelekh, Andrew Piddoubny, Peter Piddoubny, Gregory Popadiuk, Victor Rud, Mr. Rudnitsky, Mr. Shandor, Markian Silecky, Andrew Steckiw and Christina Tershakovec.
Additional information regarding the UABA and membership may be found at www.UABA.org.