December 23, 2016

Newly elected UCCA Executive Board holds first meeting, sets plans for 2017


NEW YORK – On Saturday, December 10, at its first meeting following the XXII Congress of Ukrainians in America, the newly elected Executive Board of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America discussed various projects for the upcoming year and approved an ambitious plan for 2017.

Andriy Futey, newly elected president of the UCCA, presided over the meeting and welcomed the new leadership, urging everyone to earnestly work together to promote the activities of the UCCA for the greater good of the Ukrainian American community and Ukraine.

Held at the national headquarters in New York City, the board meeting discussed various issues, including the principal topic of nominating members to the UCCA’s standing committees. In total, 11 standing committees were proposed, namely: Organizational, Student-Youth, Membership, Council on Aid to Ukrainians, External Affairs, Financial, Scholarly, By-Laws, Real Estate; and two newly formed committees – Public Relations and Media, and Corporate Governance. The nominations of committee members were ratified at the National Council meeting that same afternoon.

Considerable focus was also placed on a strategic plan for the UCCA in 2017. Programs and activities include: advocating the Ukrainian American community’s concerns with the new incoming Trump administration, as well meeting with and establishing working relationships with new members of Congress; conducting regional advocacy seminars; building upon cooperation with other ethnic, cultural and advocacy organizations; developing a new user-friendly website and other marketing materials for the UCCA; and fund-raising.

Discussions also included: revitalizing several of the UCCA’s branches and establishing new branches in communities where Ukrainian Americans reside; and appropriately marking various important historical anniversaries in the community. The UCCA Executive Board approved the following important anniversaries to mark in 2017: the 20th anniversary of the Congressional Ukraine Caucus; the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Ukrainian World Congress (originally known as the World Congress of Free Ukrainians); and the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Ukrainian National Information Service (UNIS), the Washington bureau of the UCCA.

The issue of unity within the organized Ukrainian American community was also addressed by the UCCA Executive Board. Although the outreach to non-member UCCA organizations began over a year ago under the previous leadership, the new board actively took up the mantle, resulting in two organizations submitting their respective documents for membership. As a result, and on the advice of the UCCA Membership Committee, the Ukrainian American Veterans and the Ukrainian Medical Association of North America were unanimously approved as new member organizations by the UCCA National Council.

The board meeting concluded with a special report by Askold Lozynskyj, former UCCA president and current chair of the UCCA Film Committee. In providing a brief overview of the UCCA co-produced feature film project titled “Secret Diary of Symon Petliura” with Oles Yanchuk and the Dovzhenko National Film Studio, Mr. Lozynskyj appealed for financial support, given that the film is to be released in 2017 to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army. Following the presentation, the UCCA Executive Board unanimously approved a donation in the sum of $5,000 to the film project and pledged to continue fund-raising for this important endeavor.