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May 31st New York City
UESA Chapter Meeting

Ukrainian Institute

The New York City Chapter of the Ukrainian Engineers' Society of America recently held a meeting and light wine & cheese reception to discuss plans for the coming year and to review some administrative items.

The evening was hosted by Chapter president Marco Shmerykowsky, PE and Chapter vice-president Tymish Hankewych and was held at the Society's newly refurbished headquarters located on the fourth floor of the Ukrainian Institute of America in New York City. Additionally, Wasyl Kinach, PE from the National Board of Directors was in attendance.

After brief introductions, the meeting immediately focused on the topic of verifying the local member contact information. In order for both the local and national boards to effectively communicate with the membership, it is vital that the address and phone numbers of the members are up to date. It was noted that approximately 50% of the data is considered "verified" because the Chapter has either received a dues payment, the national survey, or the recent member information update form from these people.

Dr. Lew Dobrjansky and Mr. Jaroslaw Kryshtalsky volunteered to take the list of "unverified" members and to contact them directly via telephone to ascertain their status.

The next topic on the agenda was the development of monthly chapter meeting starting in September 2002. It was decided that each meeting would have a similar format. Meetings will be held on Thursdays (the exact week of the of the month is still to be determined) and will begin at 7:30PM. Each meeting will have a short 20 minute presentation on either a cultural or technical topic followed by a review of chapter business. To get the ball rolling, attendee Vitaliy Kuchynsky volunteered to prepare a presentation on the Crimean Peninsula in Ukraine.

During the discussion about chapter meetings, it was agreed that the local New York City chapter would hold formal elections at the September meeting. It was noted that both a new Nominating Committee and Verification Committee needed to be created. It was agreed that Mr. Kryshtalsky and Dr. Dobrjansky would ask for volunteers to fill the positions of the Nominating Committee while calling the members to verify their status.

A review of the number of returned "member information update forms", which were distributed in the last newsletter, revealed that many copies of the newsletter are apparently not being properly delivered by the Post Office. The chapter has issued four (4) newsletters to date and is following a regular bi-monthly publication schedule. Some members have only received a single issue of the newsletter.

It was noted that the Post Office is not returning the newsletters as "undeliverable" and that the disappearance of issues is similar to what has happened with copies of publications such as the Ukrainian Weekly. It was suggested that the next issue of the newsletter be packaged differently to eliminate the possibility that copies are being excessively damaged by postal machines. It was also suggested to use a different Post Office Branch and to include definite "bad addresses" in the mailing as a means of checking the return service.

The last major topic on the evening's agenda was a review of planned chapter events. It was noted that the Chapter will hold its annual Fall Zabava in NYC in mid-October and that the annual Yalynka will take place in early December. The new York Chapter will also hold a joint conference on Bio-Terrorism with the New York City Metro Chapter of the Ukrainian Medical Association of North America. These events are already posted on the UESA web site's "Calendar of Events" and will be noted in coming issues of the NYC newsletter.

The discussion of events also covered the possibility of re-establishing the New York City Engineers and Doctors Debutante Ball and/or a Malanka event. Preliminary inquiries with various demographic groups seems to indicate that such an event may not be ideal due to competition from other Malanka and Debutante Balls in the area.

It was suggested that an alternative would be to hold a Spring Ball directly after the conclusion of Easter. Although there would be no direct "event competition" to such an event, it was noted that a "device" which would give the event a "purpose" would need to be developed. Furthermore, additional thought would need to be placed on the type of crowd which could be attracted to the event. Ideally, organizers would want a large Kalyna sized crowd covering all age groups. The final conclusion was to refine the concept some more before moving forward with actual planning.

The concluding remarks included the idea that each member should undertake the effort of bringing another member to the next meeting. Such an effort will help to increase attendance and communication between members.

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