Odessa 2016: A Moveable Feast


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The 22nd meeting of Ukrainian family companies’ owners gathered in Odessa more than 70 participants, including 15 representatives of the youngest generation. While the synoptic forecasted rain, the weather did not let us down; all the activities that had been scheduled to be carried out in the open air were successful. It started raining only on Sunday afternoon, when all said goodbye and began to prepare for departure.

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When opening the meeting, the president of the Association Vladislav Burda “warned” straightway that that time we would have especially lots of cultural content: we were to present two new books published by the Association and visit two concerts of Odessa Classics International Festival.

Vladislav’s speech that time was devoted to four key factors of the family company’s success. He paid particular attention to the Board of Directors and came up with 21 arguments explaining why such a council should be created.

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A special guest, the Honored Artist of Ukraine and the initiator of Odessa Classics Festival, the most famous Ukrainian pianist Alexei Botvinov came to the meeting to tell participants about the history of the festival and about how he managed to make this event such a notable one in the cultural life of the country.

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Vladislav Burda and Mikhail Weisbergpresented our editorial project – the book “Founders and Successors”, dedicated to 11 families – participants of FBN-Ukraine. The sincere interviews and wonderful photo shoots of the family members created a beautiful book that gives the reader optimism and joy. Six families-book centrals participated in the unique autograph session.

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After dinner we returned to the exchange of best practices as to the creation of a family constitution. The families Taday, Kazavchinski, Khachatur Sardaryan and the family of Mikhaylenko confidentially shared their experience.

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A sound presentation on the problems of the heirs, who grew up in the “shadow” of their successful parents, was made by the other special guest of the Event, the President of FBN-USA Andrew Keith. Andrew is a recognized consultant on the family business issues, he is the author of the book “Myths and People” that was translated and published in Russian particularly by our meeting.

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The first day was completed with another discussion organized by the leader of NextGene Association Alexander Mikhaylenko. Sasha involved both all parents and their children in the deliberation of plans on the next generation development and the tools that can be applied for that by the parents.

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After dinner in the cozy restaurant di Mare, we visited a great gala concert in the open air at the colonnade of the Vorontsov Palace.

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The second day of the Event began with a visit of the Host – recently opened INVOGUE Concept Store. The founder and co-owner of this conceptual space Tatiana Burda surprised and touched everyone with her creative and very confidential presentation. We fully appreciated the artistry with which Tatiana and her colleagues moulded a fashionable clothing store into the area that, in addition to the sale of clothing, footwear and accessories, has a café, an art gallery (with the exhibition of Stepan Ryabchenko), library, laundry and a large room for educational projects.

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In Impact Hub Odessa, Ivan Liptuga, the director of the tourism department in the Ministry of Economy, told us about the trends of the global and Ukrainian tourism and entertained with a cautionary tale of Odessa branding. Ivan relates to a new type of “officials-volunteers”, and his example shows that a lot of things in the country can be improved even with the efforts of a small group of concerned people.

We also met with the head of the eco-biological center Vitolga located outside the town ofKanev, the owner of a special venue, where 23-25 September the next meeting of FBN-Ukraine will be held.

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Lunch at the restaurant “Dacha” proceeded in traditionally joyful and friendly atmosphere. It was not only delicious but also useful, as Savva Libkin shared his tips about “How to get more pleasure from eating”, and introduced his new CEO to the guests.

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A most anticipated part of the Event was thechildren’s play “Constellation FBN Junior”. It took place in the building of Odessa Film Studio. The parents with bated breath were watching the performance of children and even took part in the final part of the theatricals.

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In the evening, there was another concert scheduled in the program of Odessa Classics Festival – that time an opera star, baritone Matthias Gerne from Germany was singing in the beautiful Philharmonic Hall, and the orchestra performed Wagner’s works.

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The final part of the program – on Sunday – pleased us with a tour about the mansions of Odessa and the real feast of Odessa food specialties and folklore in an authentic patio accompanied by the musical group Money First.

In conclusion, we agreed about theindispensable meeting in September, in the eco-center Vitolga.