WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Ukrainian Catholic Education Foundation (UCEF), Chicago, in cooperation with the Lviv Business School (LvBS) of the Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU), Lviv, Ukraine, have been approved for membership in the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC), the USUBC executive committee announced today on behalf of the entire USUBC membership of over 135 companies and organizations who have business operations, investments or other development programs in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian Catholic Education Foundation (UCEF) is a 501(c)3 fundraising organization that raises funds to support educational needs in Ukraine, in particular the Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU). The Foundation’s mission is to inform Americans about the academic and financial needs of Ukrainian Catholic educational institutions in Ukraine.

The Lviv Business School (LvBS) was established in 2008 and is a part of the Ukrainian Catholic University. One aspect of the School’s mission is to educate Ukraine’s business managers with an ethical approach to business. The LvBS espouses European values and approaches that develop an open-minded and socially responsible business community. Their goal is to nurture visionaries who will make pro-active effort in building a Ukrainian business environment with ambitious strategic goals coupled with an understanding of society's needs.

Representing an exceptional symbiosis of a business school and a Catholic university, unique for the post-Soviet territories, LvBS engages international experts in developing its program while being committed to each student's professional and personal growth. As a member of a network of Catholic universities which host some of the world's leading business schools, the LvBS has an outstanding opportunity for international cooperation that no other Ukrainian business school can approach.

According to Taras Vervega, business development director, SoftServe, a fast-growing software development provider based in Lviv who employs 1,200 people, LvBS is needed to train the middle managers he needs to run regional offices, and branches in Florida, USA and Manila, Philippines. SoftServe is a member of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC), www.usubc.org.

A graduate of Yale University and Northeastern University School of Law, Mr. Kuzma has spent his career as a public interest executive and manager with 30 years of experience in fundraising and non-profit management, as well as strategic planning & development in challenging environments.

Mr. Kuzma worked for 16 years with the Children of Chornobyl Relief and Development Fund, serving for seven years as its Executive Director. During his tenure with CCRDF, Mr. Kuzma helped to forge new partnerships with children’s hospitals and orphanages in eleven regions (oblasts) of Ukraine, securing major corporate grants, private donations and bequests that enabled the Fund to deliver over $50 million dollars worth of advanced technology and medical training. These programs resulted in significant improvements in cancer treatment and infant survival rates in CCRDF’s partner hospitals.

Most recently Kuzma served as Director of Development for Aid to Artisans, an international economic development agency that provides business training, market access and design innovation to help handcraft producers in developing countries create profitable businesses.

Mr. Kuzma’s fundraising efforts helped ATA to introduce artisans and high quality craft products to major retailers, leading designers and trade shows and to improve the livelihoods of artisan communities in Haiti, El Salvador, Colombia, Mozambique and South Africa.

Marta Kolomayets serves as chief operating officer at UCEF. Marta Kolomayets is Chief Operating Officer. Marta is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Foundation.

Marta received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Illinois – Chicago and her Master of Science degree in Journalism from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. Born and raised in Chicago, Marta lived and worked in Kyiv for most of the last twenty years. Most recently she worked as the Country Director of Ukraine for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI).

Previously she worked as Chief of Party for the US-Ukraine Foundation (USUF) and Development Alternatives, Inc (DAI). In her career as a journalist, she served in senior positions for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Ukrainian Weekly (both in Kyiv and Jersey City, NJ), Newsweek, and the Associated Press. She has been actively involved in many community service organizations.

Marta was the producer of the acclaimed documentary about the life of Cardinal Josef Slipyj titled “Patriarch”. Most recently, Ms. Kolomayets played a leading role in the November 2009 Kyiv fundraiser that raised over $115,000 for the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv.

Sophia Opatska, Ph.D., is the CEO of the Lviv Business School. She is a graduate of Ivan Franko National University of Lviv, Department of International Economic Relations, participated in short-term programs and internship at Ross School of Management, University of Michigan, IEDC - Bled School of Management (Slovenia), Warsaw School of Economics (Poland), China Europe International Business School (China). Managerial experience - 9 years.

Ms. Opatska worked as MBA programs director at Kyiv Mohyla Business School (kmbs), Director of Corporate University of OJSC "Concern Galnaftogaz". Her areas of expertise are human resource management, organizational development, and building learning organizations.

"USUBC is very pleased to have the opportunity to work closely with the Ukrainian Catholic Education Foundation (UCEF), Chicago, in cooperation with the Lviv Business School (LvBS), Lviv. USUBC has worked with Alex Kuzma and Marta Kolomayets in their previous positions and welcomes the opportunity to work with them again for the advancement of higher education in Ukraine," said Morgan Williams, Director, Government Affairs, Washington Office, for the SigmaBleyzer Private Equity Investment Management Group, who serves president of USUBC. "Ukraine certainly needs to significantly expand the opportunities for students to receive higher education in the fields of business, management and economics."

(1) is a year and a half Key Executive MBA Programme for entrepreneurs who strive for personal development and improvement
(2) conducts corporate programmes for management development and professional training programmes that help leaders and top-managers to develop their professional and personal skills and competences
(3) holds consulting projects on the organisational development
(4) develops and builds on an intellectual capital and introduces new business development ideas in Ukraine (articles, cases, interviews, researches)
(5) organises about 35 events annually, twelve of which are part of the Business School Community life. These include conferences, coffee-seminars, round table discussions and training programmes attended by more than 1000 participants.

(1) encouraging personality development
(2) commitment to results and the ways these results are achieved
(3) continuous improvement and culture of quality
(4) respect for diversity and respect for culture

LvBS sets its priority on the development of a business school which is focused not only on growing effective managers but also on responsible entrepreneurs. This priority has been highly valued at the international level in a recent out of London in the Financial Times "Blending Ethics and Expertise," (see Financial Times article below.)

Lviv Business School (LvBS) successful synthesis of business and ethics

By Yuri Bender, Financial Times, London, UK, Mon, Feb 1, 2010

As the 46m-strong population  of Ukraine, browbeaten by  political and economic crisis,  moves towards the final leg of the presidential election, a recently established business school in the country’s western region may help revitalise a cynical business community.

Lviv Business School part of the Ukrainian Catholic University, was set up in 2008, in part with the support of three of the state’s business groups. In a country riddled with corruption, one aspect of LvBS’s mission is to inculcate Ukraine’s managers with an ethical approach to business.

Petrol station operator Galnaftogaz, software development provider SoftServe and women’s clothing manufacturer Trottola, are all regional employers in Ukraine hoping to expand their international footprint. They have given their support to the school and are also fielding members of the school’s advisory board.
The companies believe that endemic corruption has hampered Ukraine’s progress. They say that putting their managers through an ethically focused school will not only give their executives a clean bill of health morally, but also makes sound business sense.

With this in mind they approached the rector of UCU and former Harvard academic Father Borys Gudziak, with the suggestion of creating the business school to teach both their MBA hopefuls and ranks of middle managers requiring shorter courses. In the 2008/09 academic year, about 1,000 participants from the three companies and the wider community took part in short courses and seminars at LvBS.

“We want businesses to be ethical and managers to be ethical and we want those who control firms to love our land and be patriots,” says Fr Gudziak.
Chief executive of Galnaftogaz’s chain of 300 filling stations, Vitaliy Antonov, says a key factor in LvBS’s creation was the appointment of Sophia Opatska, then director of MBA programmes at Kyiv Mohyla Business School, in Kiev, to run Galnaftogaz’s corporate university in 2005.

“At that stage . . . we began to understand it would be much more effective for several business organisations to join forces and create a business school,” says Mr Antonov. Ms Opatska has since been appointed chief executive of LvBS. “LvBS represents . . .a particularly successful synthesis of business and ethics. At the moment, this is what everybody in the business community is interested in,” says Mr Antonov.

As the business community in Ukraine becomes more mature, “it’s no longer enough to just live on your wits; you need a classical education”, says Taras Vervega, business development director at the fast-growing Lviv-based SoftServe, which employs 1,200 people. Mr Vervega needs LvBS to train middle managers to run regional offices, and branches in Florida and Manila, in the Philippines.

Trottola, with its 2,000 employees, has similar requirements. The company intends to create more jobs in Ukraine in sectors such as clothing design and marketing. “The Kyiv Mohyla school is number one in Ukraine, but the fees are too high and not everybody can afford to go there,” says Yaroslav Rushchyshyn, Trottola’s chief executive.

“A business school is not just about an MBA, it’s about training people in the local area and the business mentality in Kiev is very different from that in western Ukraine. Our focus on ethics differentiates us hugely from the competition.”

Business education is enjoying a surge of popularity in Ukraine, with approximately 30 business schools in the country. However, according to Alex
Frishberg, senior partner of Kiev-based law firm Frishberg & Partners, the most sought after management education is US or English.

Kiev-based, foreign-owned consulting firms such as Boston Consulting Group, McKinsey and Bain typically retain Ukrainian graduates with Harvard or Yale MBA degrees, he adds.

The LvBS EMBA programme currently has 15 students and is taught by Ukrainian and visiting lecturers, including business specialists from companies such as Kraft Foods and Ernst & Young and academics from Moscow State University and the University of Michigan.

It is the ethical dimension of the school that Fr Gudziak, believes will help senior managers focus on legal and morally acceptable solutions to their problems early in their careers. But he does not expect changes to happen overnight. “Many people in Ukraine are trying to do something about corruption. But it’s a systemic problem and it’s not easy to change the system,” he says.

LINK: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/ace65f08-0cf9-11df-a2dc-00144feabdc0.html

USUBC is working closely with the twenty-one outstanding not-for-profit, private non-government voluntary organizations, who are members of USUBC, for the advancement of our common goals related to Ukraine including the advancement of democratic institutions and elections; rule of law; development of civil society' open and transparent government' private economic and business enterprise' growth of business, economic and other educational programs; promotion of art and culture; expansion of opportunities for study abroad and exchange opportunities and other such programs and issues.

The PVO members are the American Councils for International Education (ACIE), DAAR Charitable Foundation; The Eurasia Foundation, International Tax and Investment Council (ITIC), Kennan Institute, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Kyiv Mohyla Foundation of America (KMF), Open World Leadership Center at the U.S. Library of Congress, The Washington Group (TWG), U.S.-Ukraine Foundation (USUF), and the Ukrainian American Bar Association (UABA).

The PVO (not-for-profit) members of USUBC also includes the Ukrainian-American Environmental Association (UAEA), Ukrainian Federation of America (UFA), U.S. Civilian Research & Development Foundation (CRDF), the Ukrainian American Coordinating Council (UACC), the International Division of the Department of Business and Economic Development of the State of Maryland, The Bleyzer Foundation (TBF), the Foundation for International Arts and Education (FIAE), People First Foundation, the Institute of International Education - Ukraine (Fulbright Program administrator) and now the Ukrainian Catholic Education Foundation (UCEF)/Lviv Business School (LvBS).

USUBC membership in December 2004 was eight, in January 2007 it was twenty-two, in September 2010 membership is over one-hundred thirty-five and is expected to reach 150 members by the end of the year. The complete list of USUBC members can be found at: http://www.usubc.org/members.php.