Ukraine finest Exports (UFE) is part of Ukraine Global Trade & Investment Corporation of United States.

Our mission is to introduce Ukrainian unique, organic and highest quality products to the world while supporting economic prosperity of small and medium size farmers of Ukraine.


  • Geoff Ventura

  • Global Ambassador Agricultural Products

Mr Ventura is a successful entrepreneur and leading business development expert.  Geoff established and grew channel sales from $0 to $60 mil within his first 4 years at Crocs, where he was a member of the founding team. Geoff is a Solutions Selling Expert.  He has worked in several different industries including the Electronics Industry, Enterprise Software, Contract Manufacturing, Solar and Water Purification industries. He recruited, hired, trained, mentored, national departments of up to 300 sales people while at Crocs.  One of Geoff’s passion is to help educate people on the health benefits of Organic Food and purified water.  Geoff coaches town lacrosse in his home town.

  • Larisa Starikova

  • President of Ukraine Agro Valley Association, UA

Larisa Starikova graduated Kyiv State University and received PhD in math from Moscow Physical Institute and has enjoyed a varied and successful career applying her analytical mind and training toward improvement of the public good. Among her projects include one under the auspices of a USAID Parliament Development Project where she helped transform press service of Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (“VR”) into a modern parliamentary press office. After the Orange Revolution she served as a methodologist for a World Bank project focused on private sector development. In this role she realilsed then convinced the State Property Fund that it should take into account intangible assets and intellectual property in privatizations. Her final career phase begin in 2012 when Larisa turned to the agrarian sphere. In her first assignment she ran the Analytical Center for the Agrarian Union of Ukraine, the sector’s oldest NGO. Today she focuses on developing agrarian policy for small to mid-sized agro business to stimulate growth through investment and innovative projects.

  • Henry Shterenberg

  • CEO
  • President of Ukraine Natural Resources, US

Mr. Shterenberg is a successful entrepreneur and international businessman who currently is a Partner at Briggs Capital an international investment bank as well as CEO of UGTI. Born and raised in Kyiv, Henry immigrated to the United States and founded an innovated sports academy that drew upon his experience as a top flight soccer player in the Soviet athletic system. Henry Shterenberg has also co- founded other businesses before joining Briggs Capital. Mr. Shterenberg has been active in Ukraine economic affairs for five years and holds the position of Senior Adviser to the Governor of Kyiv Region. Henry has an MBA from Bentley University where he often teaches and is a well known soccer coach and trainer of top flight athletes in the USA.

  • Aleks Mehrle

  • President of UGTI, US
  • President of Ukraine Intellectual Lab, US

Mr. Mehrle is a licensed attorney and experienced business development professional, working with banks and international financing organizations to secure project-related financing. His primary responsibilities at UGTI include securing the participation and coordinating collaboration with leading US partners across a variety of sectors including education, energy, finance and innovation. To meet these obligations, Aleks draws on his past experience as Licensing Counsel for a global patent licensing company where he is a lead negotiator for all active patent licensing programs and developed patent and technology monetization opportunities through partnerships with universities, technology companies, law firms and the financial industry. As Executive Advisor for Ener-Core Inc., a California based alternative energy company, his primary responsibility is to detect, evaluate and structure projects to produce clean, domestic power while significantly reducing air emissions, particularly in countries interested in enhancing their energy security.

  • Yulia Rybak

  • President of UGTI, UA
  • President of Ukraine Fines Exports, UA

Mr. Ross holds a Ph.D. in Politic Science from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations and has broad experience in international business across a variety of industries and in many different countries including foodstuffs in Cyprus, delivery of agricultural machinery in Ghana and business development in Turkey. Andrew owns a business in Russia that developed an electronic platform for state procurement, logistics and construction. In Ukraine he is the junior partner in Ukrainian Universal Exchange with responsibility for liquidation of banks.

  • Rod Robertson

  • Executive Advisor

As the Managing Partner of Briggs Capital, Mr. Robertson focuses on maximizing value for sellers through a variety of innovative exit strategies, and he brings this understanding and career experience to his role as Executive Advisor to the UGTI management team. In particular, Rod brings over 20 years of transaction experience and entrepreneurial accomplishments which include serving as President and CEO for distribution, real estate, consumer products and software companies. Over the last 12 years, Rod has successfully represented in transactions over 50 companies seeking to sell or recapitalize their business, raise equity or divest subsidiaries.Rod recently published a well-received book, “Winning at Entrepreneurship” and is a highly regarded guest speaker at the Harvard Business School, Babson MBA program among a host of other speaking engagements. Rod is a well-quoted media source in the United States and is a regular guest appearing on radio and TV on a wide range of subjects.

  • Allen Tait

  • Chief Financial Officer, UGTI Global

Allen is a highly distinguished International Executive with over twenty years of financial, operational and transaction experience. Allen has previously worked at Goldman Sachs in New York as well as Arthur Anderson as a senior consultant. Allen has operated and owned numerous corporations and has successfully raised equity and debt for a number of successful endeavors. Allen has also worked in the Private Equity sector for such blue chip firms as Sterling Partners where he was the CEO of portfolio companies as well as performed multiple functions with a number of their holdings. Allen has his Masters in Finance and undergraduate degree in Economics.

  • Dmitriy Popel

  • Chief Financial Officer of UGTI, UA
  • Director of Due Diligence

Mr. Popel has help top positions in numerous companies operating internationally and in Ukraine including, McDonald’s Ukraine Ltd., East One Group, UkrVata Ltd., Ukrainian Aviation Group, PJSC “State Food and Grain Corporation of Ukraine and Ukrainian Railways. Mr. Popel is particularly renowned for his work as CFO for McDonald’s Ukraine Ltd., a company whose financial management he raised up to Western accounting and professional standards. Mr. Popel brings a wealth of experience in financial and tax planning, IT systems and infrastructure, marketing, brand and strategy development, and personnel management in Ukraine to the UGTI team.

  • Sergiy Sek

  • Chief Operating Officer

Mr. Sek has more than 35 years' of diverse experience including as a physics teacher to CEO in major holding company. Through his work across various industries Mr. Sek developed a deep knowledge of tax, civil and labor law in Ukraine. He developed excellent leadership and management skills as a leader of a labor collective with more than 1,400 employees and where he served as a Director at the Association of Enterprises and Public Institutions. Mr. Sek also worked at the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine as an advisor to the Vice Prime Minister. Mr. Sek's core strengths are international negotiations, management and corporate governance. Having worked for more than 10 years in agriculture he became an expert in the field and looks forward to applying his skill and experience in this and other fields to help ensure UGTI is a success.

  • Joseph Simcox

  • President of Ukraine Agro Valley Association, US

Joseph Simcox is a Botanical Explorer and Global Food Plant researcher. Over his 30-year career to date Joseph has traveled to over 102 countries – including Ukraine - and examined approximately 9,500 different species. His work is to identify the world’s food plant resources, promote the use and improvement of thousands of species to ensure food security. He makes progress toward these goals by collaborating with farmers, industry, independent growers, universities, governments and non-government organizations. Mr. Simcox has also focused his career on investigating, searching and locating functional food properties with commercial and other value including: nutritional, medicinal, pro-sexual, food colorants, new possible vegetal milks, natural vegetal pigments, animal protein similes, proteins, natural non-caloric sweeteners, anti-oxidants, stimulants, flavor enhancers, glutamate aspect effects, spices, flavorings, cathartics, diuretics, anti- microbial, anti-amoebic and salt replacers.

  • Sue Baird

  • Director of Organic Sertification

Sue Baird is schooled in Food Safety (HACCP and GAP) standards, and additionally has managed three separate organic certification agencies. She has expertise in the USDA- NOP, the EU, CN and JAS organic standards. She serves on national BODs such as OMRI and MOSA, and has been nominated to serve on the NOSB board, while also serving on BODs of local organizations that promote local foods consumption in schools, hospitals and at-risk children. Sue has extensive large business relationships and global contacts as she currently owns and operates her own consulting and organic audit organization, teaching organic certification standards both domestically in the US as well as in Mexico, Guatemala, Peru and Egypt. At the same time, she serves as the Executive Director of the Mid-America Organic Association (MOA). MOA’s mission is to educate farmers and consumers about the value of organically and ecologically produced nutrient dense foods. MOA hosts an annual conference with up to 2000 attendees from predominately the heart land of America, but also from all parts of the US and internationally.

  • Aleksey Morgoonov

  • Director of Organic Fertilizers Program for Ukraine

Mr. Morgoonov has over 15 years of experience implementing successful business projects in sectors including advertising, marketing, construction and agricultural. Today his focus is in advertising where companies that he founded or owns occupy leading positions in the market. With a global reputation as a reliable partner Mr. Morgoonov works with international clients such as Nikon, Lenovo, Huawei, Mercedes-Benz, Kia, Hyundai, Coca-Cola, Bulgari and others. He has successfully guided his businesses and clients through periods of political and economic instability in Ukraine including the "Orange Revolution" in 2004, "The Global Economic Crisis" in 2008, and “The Revolution of Dignity" and its aftermath beginning in 2014. Much of this success stems from a foundation emphasis on building lasting relationships and developing talented and cohesive teams. Mr. Morgoonov's businesses succeed because he builds lasting client relationships as well as talented and cohesive teams which enable him to adapt quickly to changing markets and guide his clients and businesses to sustained growth.

  • Rhamis Kent

  • Advisor – Sustainable Agriculture and Ecosystems

Rhamis Kent is a consultant with formal training in mechanical engineering (University of Delaware, B.S.M.E. '95) and permaculture-based regenerative whole systems design serving as a registered certified Permaculture Design instructor with PRI Australia. He also serves as a co-director of the Permaculture Research Institute and a member of Permaculture Sustainable Consulting Pty. Ltd. (PSC). Having previously worked for the renowned American inventor and entrepreneur Dean Kamen at DEKA Research & Development, Rhamis had subsequently participated in engineering work ranging from medical device research and development to aerospace oriented mechanical design. He had involvement with design work connected to the development of Masdar City in UAE after PSC was contracted by AECOM/EDAW to identify solutions which fit the challenging zero emissions/carbon neutral design constraint of the project. In 2011, Rhamis collaborated with environmental filmmaker John D. Liu (, after meeting at the Caux Forum for Human Security in the making of a documentary for Dutch production company VPRO called "Green Gold" highlighting the topic of global ecosystem restoration work. He appears in the film “Inhabit: A Permaculture Perspective” which was released in March 2015. Rhamis has taught Permaculture Design (formal Certification and short Intensive courses) in Palestine/Occupied West Bank, Greece, Ethiopia, Yemen, Turkey, Thailand, Italy, Jordan and the United States. He has performed additional consultancy work on projects in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Western Sahara, and Somaliland.

  • Roman Romanskiy

  • President of Ukraine Natural Resources, UA

Mr. Romanskiy is an experienced marketing and logistics professional with over 8 years’ experience at OJSC “ArcelorMittal Krivoy Rog” where he worked as economist and also a leading specialist within the logistics department. He has a deep appreciation for the natural resources of Ukraine and understands both supply chain management for such resources as well as the import and export laws governing them. Thanks to his intimate understanding of the market for natural resources he is adept at collecting and analyzing data in the sector which facilitates efficient negotiations with buyers, suppliers, forwarders, and other representatives of foreign companies and port authorities. For UGTI Roman will facilitate all deal flow of natural resources through the UGTI Platform.

  • Viacheslav Bukovsky

  • Advisor – Agriculture and Fertilizers

Mr. Bukovsky holds a PhD in physics and mathematics and began his career as a senior researcher within the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. In 1988 he founded the Scientific and Research center "Infomir" which remains active in the chemical industry to this day. Since that time he has worked predominantly in the private sector where he built a successful career thanks to his strengths in both science and business. Since 2010 Mr. Bukovsky has been Director and a shareholder of Harmo Tech Group GmbH (“HT Group”), a German company with 5 active related entities operating in Ukraine and other Eastern European countries. HT Group focuses on developing new chemical fertilizers and related technology and systems for the agriculture industry. Mr. Bukovsky is a named inventor on 15 patents and remains an active researcher. This gives him a unique perspective on business and contributes to the success of his companies in a highly competitive industry.

  • Edward Sartan

  • President of Ukraine Finest Exports, US

Mr. Sartan moved to the United States from the Former Soviet Union (FSU) in 1973 and went on to earn an MBA in Finance and Economics from Jersey City State University. Since 1992 he has utilized both his education and experience, as well as his bi- lingual and bi-cultural skills to move a number of exciting projects in the FSU countries forward. These projects have been in sectors including real estate, petroleum processing, communication satellite systems, aerospace and commodities trading. As a result of his experience as both a consultant and executive for companies doing business between the United States and FSU countries, including Ukraine, Mr. Sartan provides expert advice, direction, guidance and consultancy services related to international business affairs, project development, risk aversion, and crisis management by designing custom-tailored solutions to market and globally distribute goods and technologies.

  • Klaus Holzinger

  • Director of Business Development, EU

Mr. Holzinger, a native of Austria, has gathered a wide range of expertise and experience from industrial design to project management, procurement, and sales of agricultural systems and solutions. His career began in his family business building grain elevators and processing plants in Austria where, after a period of military service, he rose to become Regional Sales Manager for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa of BROCK Grain & Feed Systems (USA) a Berkshire Hathaway Company. Under his leadership, BROCK became the market leader in Grain Storage Silo Installations in Ukraine, as well as in other CEE & CIS countries. Klaus was also Managing Director for all Europe at The GSI Group (USA), a worldwide leader in Grain Systems, and part of AGCO Corp., a NYSE traded company. Following a move to Germany, Klaus became International Sales Director at Petkus, the world leader in seed grain elevators and seed production plants. With extensive experience stimulating and promoting trade between Ukraine and the EU, Mr. Holzinger is a cultural bridge builder who will excel in developing EU-Ukrainian business through UGTI.

  • Andrew Ross

  • Director of Business Development, UA

Mr. Ross holds a Ph.D. in Politic Science from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations and has broad experience in international business across a variety of industries and in many different countries including foodstuffs in Cyprus, delivery of agricultural machinery in Ghana and business development in Turkey. Andrew owns a business in Russia that developed an electronic platform for state procurement, logistics and construction. In Ukraine he is the junior partner in Ukrainian Universal Exchange with responsibility for liquidation of banks.

  • Yurii Taratorin

  • Senior Advisor to the CEO of UGTI

Mr. Taratorin has managed both state and private enterprises in important sectors in Ukraine including serving as Vice President of the Ukrainian Realtors’ Association and Director General of Commodity Exchange “Universal Commodity Exchange.” He also heads the Public Council under the State Property Fund of Ukraine and is a distinguished member of the Public Council which operates under the auspices of the State Land Agency of Ukraine. His experience with manufacturing, permitting and government-facing negotiations for private businesses make him a key member of the UGTI team to which Mr. Taratorin eagerly brings his three decades of experience in Ukraine as Director and entrepreneur to UGTI. Yurii looks forward to calling upon personal and professional connections at all levels of government as well as in the military, which he enjoys as a result of a distinguished earlier career in the service.

  • Bruce Watkins

  • Advisor – Business Development(US & Middle East)

Mr. Watkins is an accomplished C-Level Executive, Entrepreneur and Advisor spanning multiple industries, personally raised (primarily from the United States and Middle East) over $135 million equity investment spanning 3 companies as Founder, over $300 million for other projects. As co-founder of Pulse~LINK, Inc. he raised over $100 million venture investment to guide the company from idea through commercialization and develop the industry’s fastest communications semiconductor technology, a patent portfolio of over 350 issued and pending worldwide patents, a team of over 100 engineers and staff and recipient of several industry awards including 2007 Emerging Technology Company of the Year from the American Electronics Association and 2008 Best of CES from Popular Mechanics. Mr. Watkins was 2005 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist and has lived and/or owned/operated companies in the US, Kuwait, Dubai, Taiwan, France, Germany, Portugal, and Japan. He co-founded, operated, served on the Board of Directors and consulted on companies spanning industries including ICT, construction, high-speed transportation, luxury hotels & resorts, TV & Film Studios, .COM, biotech, records management, foreign trade, motorsports and more.

  • Douglas Graham

  • Advisor – Innovation & Cybersecurity

Mr. Graham has over 30 years’ experience advising and leading major firms in financial services, technology and innovation management. As CEO and Chairman he restructured Circle Trust, a bank administering $8.5 Billion in assets. As Managing Director at KPMG he lead the Security and Financial Services practice which executed major projects including high level strategy for ‘C’ level executives at Chase and Citibank; NetAid, the massive joint venture with the UN intended to significantly reduce world poverty; and OASIS, the system that deregulated the electrical energy business in North America for which he won a Gartner Award. In the area of cybersecurity, Mr. Graham is CEO of InfoShield which is developing advanced Homomorphic Encryption. Together with Bob Flores, Former CTO of the Central Intelligence Agency and Major General Dan Balough, Retired US Army, Mr. Graham is an Advisor to Vidder, whose PrecisionAccess system is based on a new security model called the Software Defined Perimeter (SDP) that is being developed by the Cloud Security Alliance. Mr. Graham has advised six heads of state and has testified to the US Congress and spoken at Brookings Institution, RAND Institute, Gartner Conferences, and the US Chamber of Commerce.

  • Robert Cote

  • Advisor – Innovation & Inellectual Property

Mr. Cote is Managing Partner of Cote Capital. In the United States he is also a nationally recognized, expert litigator and trial lawyer specializing in IP law who has won major litigations for prominent technology companies. A sought-after lecturer and noted authority on IP, Robert created and co- chaired “The New IP Economy” series of conferences, which helped shape his vision for Cote Capital. As an IP lawyer, he represented many emerging companies whose businesses were put at risk by the unauthorized use of their innovations by larger, established market players. Many of these companies had few IP assets, if any, and lacked the IP expertise and resources to properly protect their innovations. Cote Capital was conceived to put these missing elements within reach of founders, enabling them and their investors to bet on a company’s technology not just market execution. The firm’s model is to build great companies by aligning their IP practices with those of successful companies they aspire to be, thereby increasing exit options and significantly improving exit values and returns for everyone.

  • Michael Pellegrino

  • Advisor – Innovation & IP Licensing, Managment

Michael Pellegrino is the President of Pellegrino & Associates, LLC (P&A), a boutique intellectual property (IP) valuation firm. Mr. Pellegrino has significant experience valuing patents and other forms of intellectual property, establishing royalty rates, evaluating businesses, and calculating economic damages. His company engagements number more than 300 for more than 200 clients, ranging from Fortune 100 companies like IBM, GE, State Farm, Liberty Mutual, American Express and Lockheed Martin to startups. Judges, attorneys, and government entities such as the IRS and the SEC have widely accepted Mr. Pellegrino’s work product. Courts at the state and federal level, tax jurisdictions, and arbitration panels have accepted Mr. Pellegrino’s work for issues including bankruptcy valuations, estate tax valuations, copyright infringement claims, trade secret misappropriation claims, patent infringement claims, breach of contract claims and others. One North Carolina court stated that Mr. Pellegrino’s work is “clearly in the mainstream of IP valuation methodologies” and that Mr. Pellegrino’s qualifications were “outstanding.”

  • Sean Clark

  • Advisor – Innovation & IP, Licensing

Sean Clark is an Intellectual Property and licensing professional with extensive experience in a broad range of industries including consumer electronics, software and semiconductors. Mr. Clark is Senior Manager for IP at a major Semiconductor company in Silicon Valley prior to which he worked in Washington State as a Licensing Executive at Intellectual Ventures and Microsoft. While at Microsoft, Mr. Clark received the 2006 Compass Award for Excellence in Driving OneHR and the 2007 OneHR Recognition of Excellence in Execution Award. In addition to over 15 years of technology and licensing practice, Mr. Clark also has experience with international tax, immigration, transfer pricing, permanent establishment and employment law compliance issues.

  • Gene Burd

  • Advisor – International Joint Ventures and Finance

Gene has almost 20 years of experience advising U.S. and foreign companies on cross-border issues. He works with clients on international regulatory matters, structures cross-border ventures, helps dealing with local law enforcement and assists with resolving business controversies. His clients include companies in the financial, construction, biotechnology, and other industries. Gene served as an adjunct professor at the Rutgers School of Law teaching students about resolution of cross-border disputes. He also served as a court expert on the cross-border currency control issues appointed by the Internal Revenue Service. Most recently, he advised a client on the foreign personal data localization issues and assisted a client with responding to questions raised by the AML authorities in a European country. Prior to obtaining his J.D. from Rutgers School of Law, Gene received his Master's Degree in Engineering from Purdue University.

  • Dr. Paul Russo

  • Advisor – Graduate Education and Studies

Dr. Paul Russo is Vice Provost at Yeshiva University and Dean for Yeshiva University’s Katz School for Graduate and Professional Studies. He is also a member of the faculty at NYU Tandon School of Engineering, Department of Technology Management. Before joining Yeshiva, he held positions as Assistant Vice President for Curriculum and Instruction at Long Island University and Director of Online Programs at The City University of New York (CUNY). Dr. Russo has over fifteen years’ experience in leading self-supporting higher education divisions. At LIU, he led the university’s strategic planning process for online education and faculty development. His accomplishments include incorporating new methods for labor market research into degree planning to ensure curricula are tightly aligned with employer needs and that students graduate ready for high-growth, high-wage careers. During Dr. Russo’s tenure at CUNY, he was part of the teams that helped to create the School of Professional Studies, Online Education, and Guttman Community College. His academic responsibilities at CUNY included oversight for Data Analytics and Information Systems Programs. He was co-PI for a $15M award to create the CUNY Center for Big Data.

  • Alex Miadelets

  • Advisor – Energy and Power Finance

Mr. Miadelets is an energy and power finance professional with experience across investment banking, capital markets, and structured commodity products. His coverage includes some of the largest blue-chip North American power and energy companies, independent power producers, renewable energy companies, as well as power-focused financial sponsors and direct investment funds. Working at UBS and Merrill Lynch, he brought the broad bank platform to his clients, including capital markets products and M&A advice.His recent transaction experience includes the sale of a 1.4 GW US-based wind generation portfolio to a large private equity fund, establishment of a JV between an international renewable IPP and a Canadian infrastructure fund, advising a large energy company on financing strategy for a $3.8bn LNG newbuild and on formation of a midstream JV with a prominent energy-focused financial sponsor. Before joining UBS, he was at Merrill Lynch Commodities where he focused on structuring commodity transactions to help clients mitigate commodity exposure risks, take commodity positions, and obtain project financing. Prior to Merrill Lynch Commodities, he was with the Global Energy and Power Investment Banking group at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. In addition to an MBA degree from the Wharton School, he earned Canadian and US professional accounting designations (CPA and CA) while in assurance and advisory departments of KPMG and PWC in Calgary, Canada and Moscow, Russia.

  • Sergiy Lukin

  • Advisor and Operational Support in Ukraine

Mr. Lukin holds a PhD in Economics and more than 15 years of experience in professional education and related fields. He has played an important role in Building Capacity in Evidence-Based Economic Development in Ukrainian Oblasts and Municipalities Project (EBED Project) which was implemented in Ukraine by The Conference Board of Canada and undertaken with financial support of the Government of Canada. To achieve its objectives, EBED joined forces with the National Academy for Public Administration under the Office of the President of Ukraine (NAPA) where Mr. Lukin was a Public Administration and Management Department expert and lecturer. Today Mr. Lukin is dedicated to the development of training programs based on practice-oriented approach and innovative educational technologies and is focused on launching of Master’s Program in Public Administration at NAPA. He also an Anti-corruption compliance trainer for the Professional Association of Corporate Management in Ukraine.

  • Val Myteberi

  • Advisor – Education, Legal

Val Myteberi is Assistant Dean for Graduate and International Programs at the Cardozo School of Law (Cardozo) where she is responsible for growing the success of graduate and international programs, as well as for future innovation. She is a member of the law school’s senior leadership team, playing a critical role in shaping the law school’s overall strategic direction and also responsible for negotiating agreements on behalf of Cardozo and building partnerships with global educational, private and public partner institutions to expand opportunities for students and Cardozo worldwide. Val was formerly the Program Director of The Samuel and Ronnie Heyman Center on Corporate Governance. She has conducted extensive research and analysis on financial reform regulations in the financial reform regulations in the U.S., UK and the EU, with a focus on systemic risk, prudential supervision, expansion of agency enforcement powers and supervisory regimes after the Dodd-Frank Act, Basel III requirements, and FSA directives. Val holds a Masters of Laws with a concentration in corporate law from Cardozo and an LL.B. from University of Tirana, Albania.

  • Maksym Surzhynskyi

  • Advisor and Operational Support in Ukraine

Mr. Surzhynskyi is an elected Chairman of the Council of Entrepreneurs under the Kyiv Regional State established by the Regulation of the Government of Ukraine in order to ensure cooperation between executive authorities and business entities on the basis of partnership, openness and transparency. Prior to the Council of Entrepreneurs he spent 10 years facilitating cooperation between Ukrainian state bodies, including the Ukrainian Parliament, and state administrations, and international institutions, including the IFC, OPIC, World Bank, EBRD, TEN-T, TRACECA, and Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency. Mr. Surzhynskyi has Masters in Finance, Honors degree in Law and Ph.D in Law from the Koretskiy Institute of State and Law within the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. He is an attorney admitted to practice in Ukraine and has received numerous honors for his work and professionalism including an award for Professional Excellence from the Koretskiy Institute of State and Law and the “Sign of Honor” from the Agrarian Union of Ukraine.

  • Victor Korsun

  • Advisor – Innovation, IP & Technology Transfer

Mr. Korsun is a technology manager with extensive technology transfer and commercialization expertise including work on patents, licensing, start-up companies and business development across a broad spectrum of technologies and healthcare. Victor is fluent in Ukrainian and he worked in Ukraine as Deputy Executive Director (US) of the Science and Technology Center in Ukraine (STCU) from 2006-2014 and as Consultant Coordinator to the Science Centers Partners Program under the US Department of State in 2003. Prior to Ukraine, Mr. Korsun was Associate Vice President for Technology Transfer and Commercialization at Drexel University and MCP Hahnemann Medical University in Philadelphia, PA as well as Vice President for Business Development at RCA Laboratories (David Sarnoff Research Center) in Princeton, NJ.

  • Ilarion Tomarov

  • Advisor – Intellectual Property

Mr. Tomarov has been an IP practitioner for more 10 years of, over 7 of those years were spent as Chief IP Legal Counsel in the Nemiroff.He has extensive experience reviewing and preparing contracts in the field of assignment of copyright, contracts with authors and performers from different jurisdictions.Mr. Tomarov has supervised national and international trademarks registration in more than 70 jurisdictions, including appeal process of refusal and overcoming objections of third parties. He has courtroom experience in the protection IP in Ukraine, Poland, France, Israel, Russia in trademark cases., patent cases, and disputes regarding license agreements and copyright protection. Mr. Tomarov also has 5 experience as a teaching fellow at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. Today Mr. Tomarov heads the IP practice at Eterna Law in Kyiv, Ukraine where his practice focuses on protection of trademarks of global jewelry manufacturer against counterfeiting; drafting franchising agreements in the medical field; IP due diligence of investor participation in several IT projects and the development of models of ownership and licensing. Mr. Tomarov is also handles all litigation in Ukraine for one of the leading electronic equipment manufacturers in the world. Ilarion keeps blog, dedicated to IP sphere, which highlights the current judicial and contractual practice of Ukraine and neighboring countries as well as in Europe and the United States.

  • Oleksiy Komar

  • Director of Cybersecurity and Education, UA

Mr. Komar holds an advanced degree in law (Ph.D. in Juridical Sciences) and is a certified practitioner in both accounting and law. He has over 13 years of law enforcement and anti-corruption experience including senior posts within the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine and as Head of the Department for Preventing and Counter-Acting Corruption with the State Agency of Land Resources of Ukraine. Since leaving the public sector two years ago, Oleksiy has applied expertise gained in public service toward developing educational programs in Ukraine in cybersecurity and related fields. Mr. Komar is President of the International Cybercrime Centre (“ICCC”) and Pro-rector (Deputy Rector) at the Nikopol Economic University.

  • Yuriy Akhtemenko

  • President of Ukraine Intellectual Lab, UA

Mr. Akhtemenko is a successful business and executive professional with over twenty years of extensive multi-scale work experience with big Ukrainian state-owned national defense enterprises and strategic industrial assets, as well as private companies. Besides he possesses strong academic background of teaching experience at one of the leading technical universities of Ukraine. Yuriy has been quite successful in launching and developing a number of private businesses under his direct or supervisory management. These companies provide international standard maintenance services and automation of high-tech gas turbine equipment for the top national enterprises. They also deal with developing and producing equipment for Oil&Gas, Energy industry and facilitating start-up projects in Industrial Engineering, Energy and Information Technologies. Mr. Akhtemenko’s interests also reach out to seeking partnership and drawing up international projects with a number of world states to promote individual companies as well as aviation and gas-turbine industry of Ukraine. Yuriy has worked as a consultant in devising a number of Strategic Development Programs for several state-owned national enterprises in compliance with international management standards. One of Mr. Akhtemenko’s greatest achievements is the fact, that under the circumstances of an ongoing military conflict and general decline of Ukrainian economy, he has managed to bring together, inspire and lead the team of highly-qualified professionals, able to tackle complex issues and respond to the challenges, confronting Ukraine in its initiative to invest national intellectual capital into the global economy.

  • Rob Dhat

  • Advisor – Innovation and IP, Finance & Licensing

Mr. Dhat is a versatile Intellectual property executive with 13 years of experience in IP related business development, strategic marketing management, new product planning, technical sales, and system engineering for consumer and semiconductor IP. Rob holds a BSEE degree from the University of Victoria and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Rob is the founder and CEO of Method Consulting LLC, a privately held IP advisory and consultancy firm. While at Method, Rob has led multiple engagements with publicly traded companies ranging from providing product development and business development leadership to developing large-scale technology licensing programs to advising on patent purchase transactions for the purpose of monetization. While managing Method, Rob also served as the CEO and Chairman of Endeavor IP, Inc., a publicly-traded, development stage company that is engaged in acquiring, developing, and commercializing intellectual property assets. Rob was hired specifically to take two non-performing patent portfolios the company acquired from independent inventors and turn them into revenue generating assets. While at Endeavor, Rob assembled a complete business infrastructure from the ground up, expanded the monetization market opportunity, and negotiated settlements directly with infringers’ counsel. Prior to joining Endeavor, Rob was vice president of Business Development at Tessera Intellectual Property Corp where he co-led the business development team responsible for developing and executing on Tessera's IP growth strategy. Prior to Tessera, Rob spent 11 years at Rambus in various technical, marketing and licensing, and strategic planning roles.

  • Yurii Pidnebesnyi

  • Head of Business Development, Chercassy

Yurii Pidnebesnyi is a UGTI representative in Cherkassy region. Nowadays he is an advisor to the Cherkassy region governor on investments and development issues. Has great experience in business seminars organization on corporate governance. Being an energetic, active and enterprising person he founded a private school in 2006 and today Mr. Pidnebesnyi is engaged in high- quality housing construction since 2012 and in social and political activities since 2014. He has theological education and is the founder of Christian mainstream private school in Cherkassy. Mr. Pidnebesnyi also has a business in the construction sector in Ukraine and Europe. Yurii is also the Master of Sports in military multiathlon.

  • Dmytro Stetsenko

  • Chief Information Officer for Ukraine

Mr. Stetsenko is a seasoned professional in management and business process automation with experience working in large private enterprises as well as public institutions. He has considerable experience in the development, implementatino and management of payment processing software, as well as trading and queuing systems. His experience as a consultant spans these and related areas and includes work on both midsize and large projects wn which responsibilities begin at project inception and often run through development, launch and maintenance. In addition to regular work as a consultant, Dmitriy has held several senior positions in processing companies and created an automatic ticketing box office.

  • Yuriy Boykiv

  • Director of Band Development and Marketing

Mr. Boykiv has over 14 years of international marketing experience and is Founder and CEO of Gravity Media, an award-winning, full-service advertising agency recognized by Advertising Age and Inc. 500 as one of the fastest growing agencies in the US for three consecutive years. Gravity builds integrated campaigns with international perspectives and its clients include Caesars Entertainment, Comcast’s Xfinity, Cohen’s Fashion Optical, Christofle, Liberty Mutual, and Western Union. Prior to founding Gravity, Yuiry was Director of International Business at DIRECTV where he drove growth of the WorldDirect platform, consisting of over 65 international channels broadcast in 18 different languages across markets including Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Before joining DIRECTV, Yuriy served as Vice President of Client Services at Global Advertising Strategies, where he developed and executed strategies for clients such as Lufthansa, the MetroStars (NY Red Bulls), MoneyGram and the CIA. Yuriy completed an MBA from Pace University and post-graduate work at Harvard Business School.

  • Larysa Polansky

  • Director - Textiles, Education/Entrepreneurship

Ms. Polansky has worked in the retail industry for 16 years and is very well versed in the buying preferences of US consumers. She has a deep knowledge and experience in analyzing and forecasting sales trends, managing relationships with overseas vendors including price negotiations and sourcing; driving pricing, profit and markdown strategies, training and managing Assistant and Associate Merchandisers, analyzing sales and provide findings to key partners for continuous improvement. Her work with fashion industry giants such as Abercrombie & Fitch, J. Crew, Pacific Sunwear, Aeropostale and Ann Inc. has helped Larysa shape a career as a team leader focused on collaboration, innovation and process improvement. She is also a philanthropist and a member of a global non-profit organization Dress for Success that promotes the economic independence of women by providing professional attire, a network of support and career development tools to help women thrive in work and life. Larysa believes investing in women is an effective way to fight poverty and stimulate growth in Ukraine and around the world

  • Olena Shapovalova

  • President of Ukraine Hospitality & Tourism, UA
  • President of Ukraine Business & Travel, UA

Ms. Shapovalova is Vice-Chair for Tourism and Resorts on the Ukrainian National Committee of the International Chamber of Commerce and is a Head of Supervisory Board of “Pan-Ukraine” LLC. She has more than 20 years’ experience in tourism development, particularly within commercial companies, non-government organizations and government authorities and also in tourism products - developing and promoting (inbound, outbound, domestic tourism). Having worked in public organization Association “Ukrainian Amber World” and State agency of Ukraine for tourism and resorts, Olena has experience in the tourism industry with non-governmental associations as well as developing legislative and policy proposals to improve the tourism industry. She has also created effective platforms for leading tourism organizations in Ukraine by uniting them around common principles that improve industry management and harmonize performance of industry professionals to promote industry growth.

  • Jose Goldner

  • Regional Director – South and Central America
  • President of Ukraine Business & Travel, US

Jose Goldner is a successful businessman, who brings over 15 years of E-Commerce, Telecom and international political experience to the UGTI team. Mr. Goldner’s keen ability to understand foreign jurisdiction climates and political lobbying in Latin America has resulted in seamless multi-million dollar real estate transactions and business acquisitions in Central America. From Government concessions to private business acquisitions, Goldner's experience covers the spectrum of transactions in a foreign country. Jose Goldner has a vast understanding of how the digital space is revolutionizing investments flowing into Latin American countries. Mr. Goldner's reputation for business acumen, integrity and an intimate knowledge of the internet and foreign investment has not been overlooked by those in power in the country. Mr. Goldner is regularly consulted on foreign investment and tourism by top government officials.

  • Daniel Aspleaf

  • Advisor – Construction, Engineering

Mr. Aspleaf is Managing Director of CDM Engineering Ukraine, an engineering and environmental consulting company providing specialized services in various industrial sectors to both public and private sector clients and a number of IFI-financed projects (EuropeAid, World Bank, EBRD). He combines a background in the physical sciences with international business development and is experienced in managing complex, large scale, multi-national projects in both the public and private sectors in industries, including environmental management, infrastructure development, water, wastewater and solid waste management, oil & gas, retail construction, transportation, and institutional and regulatory support projects. Prior to founding CDM Engineering Ukraine, Mr. Aspleaf was Head of the Regional Office for former Soviet countries for an international engineering firm. In this position, he contracted and managed over 40 million Euro in various engineering and environmental sectors. A US national, Mr. Aspleaf has lived and worked in Ukraine for 6 years.

  • David Brunell

  • Global Privatization Expert

Mr. Brunell holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and has found success as businessmen, consultant, entrepreneur as well as in government and politics. Over the course of his career he has developed deep experience across a wide range of fields and sectors including International Development, Economic Governance and Reform, Project Monitoring and Evaluation, Program Assessment and Design, Value Chain, Enterprise Restructuring and Privatization, Investment Banking, Entrepreneurship, Mentoring SME Leadership teams and Business Finance. His 25 years’ of experience in private sector have contributed significantly to development, economic growth and good governance in emerging/transitional economies. Mr. Burnell has focused in particular on privatization (national enabling policy framework and institutional system, enterprise corporatization, commercialization, market packaging, negotiation, and transactions) with assets/liabilities valued in billions USD. He has worked on five continents and in more than 15 countries and five continents - including extensive work in Eastern Europe and former Soviet States.

  • Dima Nechyporenko

  • Regional Director – Middle East

Mr. Nechyporenko is based in the United Arab Emirates where he has established himself a highly effective, multi-lingual and experienced Business Development Specialist with a track-record of helping businesses realize their growth potential by helping ensure they are strategically positioned to win large contracts with major clients by putting systems, people and processes in place to deliver projects of the highest quality on time and on budget. Mr. Nechyporenko’s rare combination of interpersonal skills, business acumen and customer relationship management expertise will make him a strong Business Development asset for UGTI as it grows in existing markets today and expands into new ones in the future.

  • Estuardo Robles

  • Advisor – Business Development (Texas & Airports)

Estuardo Robles is an International Business Development consultant and his experience includes helping companies and organizations to launch into new markets (geographical, new industries, new product launches). His background also includes significant experience in economic development where he advises state and municipal governments on the creation and development of Airport Cities and entrepreneurial clusters and angel networks. In addition, he has headed and advised in areas of international trade and investment promotion, including coalition building and orchestration of strategic alliances between public and private sector. A significant component of Robles’ experience includes creation and organization of events and trade missions. Events that have been organized in-house include the Americas IT Forums in Austin and Guatemala, the Americas IP Forum in Dallas, the Nearshore Business and Investment Forum in Honduras, and half a dozen editions of LatinComm in Austin, Las Vegas, and Miami. In addition to inhouse events, he has certain experience in attending and navigating large trade and industry shows, including ATA, CTIA, IAOP and SXSW. He also organizes the Connecting the Americas business networking party, which takes place every year during F1 race weekend in Austin. Robles holds a BBA in Marketing and International Business from the University of Texas at Austin, an MBA from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, and a semester of exchange coursework at Fundação Getulio Vargas in Brazil. He has also been a professor at the Universidad Francisco Marroquin in Guatemala, and has provided training for The University of Texas at Austin Professional Development Center and the Universidad de Monterrey. He speaks native English, Spanish and fluent Portuguese.

  • Vasyl Artazey

  • Director of Industrial Parks Development

Mr. Artazey is a highly skilled person with MBA degree from Webster University and Master of State Finance from Kyiv National Economic University. Vasyl Artazey has 17 years experience in banking investment and corporate finance. He participated in more than twenty M/A deals in Ukraine among which are: “Chernigivavtodetal”, “Ukragromlynmontazh”, “Plant Tochmash”, etc. As an advisor to the Head of Investment Agency of Ukraine, he was involved into attraction of foreign funds into existing projects. Being a director of business center for nine years and a CEO of “Plant Tochmash” for ten years, Vasyl got a great experience in Real Estate business, developing office and industrial premises. Finally, Mr. Artazey takes an active role in implementation of green energy projects with Capstone microturbines into Plant Tochmash.

  • Natalia Semenchenko

  • Executive Assistant to CEO Henry Shterenberg, US

Ms. Semenchenko has a background in education, speaks four languages and has worked in wide variety of industries including accounting, IT, education, and translation services. She has excellent communication and interpersonal skills and a keen ability to recognize sensitive material and communications and maintain them confidential. Nataly researches topics and questions necessary for UGTI team members to perform their duties and also plans and prepares all executive meetings with potential clients, schedules domestic and international travel and helps to establish and maintain strong relationships with key stakeholders within and external to the organization. All of these skills and talents ensure UGTI can smoothly manage its core operations and make Ms. Semenchenko a key team member.

  • Oleksandr Yosypenko

  • Chief Economic Analyst, UA

Mr.Yosypenko is experienced and skilled in the field of Economics. He has significant practical experience in the sphere of business and commercial activity in Ukraine. Also he has a strong working background in the oil industry of Ukraine in the context of import and export of petroleum products, their implementation within the Ukrainian market, as well as logistics. While conducting economic activities his skills of business negotiations have been honed and tested. Mr.Yosypenko is in the process of obtaining a PhD degree in economics (global investing and economic development), at the same time having practical experience in the field of investments. Oleksandr applies all the required skills and knowledge for successful implementation and support of investment projects of the company and helps in solving various economic challenges that arise during economic activities of the UGTI platform.


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Geoff Ventura