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    BRAMA News and Community Press

    BRAMA, Jun 6, 2006, 1:00 am ET

    Ukrainian National Association concludes 36th Convention

    Kerhonkson, N.Y. (June 2, 2006) — The Ukrainian National Association (website) held its 36th Regular Convention here at its mountaintop estate, Soyuzivka, on May 26-29, with 96 delegates and 17 members and honorary members of the General Assembly participating.

    The convention re-elected the three full-time executive officers of the Ukrainian National Association: President Stefan Kaczaraj (Budd Lake, N.J.), National Secretary Christine E. Kozak (Rutherford, N.J.) and Treasurer Roma Lisovich (Union, N.J.).

    Elected to fill the other three posts of the UNA Executive Committee, which are volunteer positions, were: First Vice-President Zenon Holubec (Parma, Ohio), Second Vice-President Michael Koziupa (Cedar Knolls, N.J.) and Director for Canada Myron Groch (Founthill, Ontario).

    Delegates also elected three new members of the UNA Auditing Committee: Slavko Tysiak (West Sand Lake, N.Y.), Wasyl Szeremeta (Huntingdon Valley, Pa.) and Vasyl Luchkiw (New City, N.Y.).

    Elected to serve as advisors on the General Assembly were (in order of votes received): Maya Lew (New York), Gloria Horbaty (Wallingford, Conn.), Nicholas Fil (Latham, N.Y.), Eugene Oscislawski (Flemington, N.J.), Myron Pylypiak (Kent, Wash.), Olya Czerkas (St. Petersburg, Fla.), Al Kachkowski (Saskatoon), Paul Prinko (Philadelphia), Bohdan Kukurudza (Chicago), Eugene Serba (Mount Laurel, N.J.) and Serguei Djoula (Montreal).

    The new General Assembly officially begins its term of office on July 1.

    The convention was opened on Friday morning, May 26, with a brief ceremony at the foot of Soyuzivka's monument to Taras Shevchenko, bard of Ukraine and patron of the UNA. President Kaczaraj opened the proceedings by underscoring that "unity and collegiality were always cornerstones in the leadership of our fraternal insurance association." He exhorted the delegates, who represented branches throughout the United States and Canada, to "openly and responsibly" discuss issues, while working "as a closely knit family devoted to common goals."

    The convention was conducted by its elected chairman, Taras Szmagala Sr. (Brecksville, Ohio), and two vice-chairmen, Vasyl Kolodchin (Warren, Mich.) and Michael Sawkiw Jr. (Washington).

    On the first day of deliberations, delegates heard addenda to the written reports of General Assembly members, as well as those of the editors-in-chief of Svoboda and The Ukrainian Weekly, the UNA's official publications. The morning session that day was addressed by Frederick Grubbe, president of the National Fraternal Congress of America, who spoke on the state of the fraternal benefit system.

    The next day's agenda included discussions of proposed changes to the UNA By-Laws and Manuals, as well as a presentation by Treasurer Lisovich on "Development Plans for Soyuzivka" and the recently created Soyuzivka Heritage Foundation, which envisions the estate as a prime venue for Ukrainian cultural and educational programs.

    "The Status of the UNA in Canada" also was a topic of discussion, with speakers pointing to the potential for the UNA's growth in that country, home to more than 1 million Ukrainians.

    Greetings to the Ukrainian National Association and its members were offered on Sunday, May 28, at the convention concert by Ukraine's consul general in New York, Mykola Kyrychenko, and at the convention banquet by Dr. Viktor O. Nikitiuk, minister-counselor of the Embassy of Ukraine.

    Many representatives of major Ukrainian organizations attended the gala banquet in recognition of the significant role played by the UNA - the oldest and largest Ukrainian fraternal organization - in the life of the Ukrainian community.

    The convention also received greetings from U.S. President George W. Bush, members of the U.S. Congress, Ukraine's diplomats in the U.S., Ukrainian Church leaders, and leaders of Ukrainian organizations and institutions in the United States, Canada and Ukraine.

    The final day of the convention, Monday, May 29, was devoted to reports by convention committees, adoption of resolutions and recommendations, a discussion on "UNA: Shaping the Future" and the swearing-in of the new General Assembly.

    The 36th Regular Convention of the UNA - whose theme was "UNA: Ukrainians United" - was adjourned after final remarks by President Kaczaraj who urged: "Let us be together for the next four years - I with you, and you with me."

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