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Russian Businesswomen Visit Turlock and Modesto to Study Women’s Leadership in Business and Civil Society
September 17, 2004

For Immediate Release

Library of Congress-Based Open World Program Sponsors Central Valley Visit

Washington, DC — Four Russian women businesswomen participating in the Open World Program will spend Sept. 18–25 in Turlock and Modesto examining women’s leadership in business and civil society and meeting with women leaders in both cities. Sharon Silva and the Rotary Club of Turlock are hosting the delegation for Open World. Managed by the independent Open World Leadership Center at the Library of Congress, Open World enables emerging political and civic leaders from Russia and other participating countries to observe American political and civic institutions in action and to exchange views and expertise with their U.S. counterparts.

Highlights of the Open World delegation’s Turlock schedule include discussing women in politics with Turlock Vice Mayor Beverley Hatcher, meeting with local women business and medical leaders both at their workplaces and at the Turlock Chamber of Commerce, and holding discussions with Superior Court Judge Loretta Murphy Begen. The delegates will also participate in a special daylong seminar on women’s issues at California State University, Stanislaus led by its president, Dr. Marvalene Hughes, and members of the university’s Presidential Commission on the Status of Women.

In Modesto, the Russian businesswomen will meet with Lynn Dickerson, publisher of the Modesto Bee; Linda Avedon, the president/CEO of the United Way of Stanislaus County; and Carol Whiteside, the president of the nonprofit Great Valley Center. The delegation will also visit several local social services providers headed by women.

The Open World delegates visiting the Central Valley belong to a new generation of Russian entrepreneurs. Larisa Kryuchkova of Orenburg Region (on the border with Kazakhstan) is assistant general director of an event-planning company that conducts seminars, trainings, receptions, exhibitions, and other events in Russia and Kazakhstan. She is also active in the Orenburg Chamber of Commerce, and conducts workshops for private-sector and government employees. When not managing her Japanese restaurant in Kaliningrad Region (bordering Poland and Lithuania), Tatyana Tarutova does volunteer work for a women’s rights organizations and a local orphanage.

Nadiya Valeyeva began her career in the late 1980s working at a government clothing factory in Bashkortostan, a republic in the Urals. Today she owns a successful sewing supplies business in Ufa, the republic’s capital. She is also active in the Bashkortostan Republic Association of Women Entrepreneurs and the Bashkortostan Republic Council of Consumer Services Managers. Taliya Zhafyarova owns and runs a Moscow travel agency and volunteers as a career coach for a prominent women’s organization..

Homestays with local Rotary members will introduce the Russian delegates to American family and community life. Rotary International, the Rotary Club of Turlock’s parent organization, has played a major role in hosting Open World exchanges since the program began in 1999.

Open World is a unique, nonpartisan initiative of the U.S. Congress designed to build mutual understanding between the emerging leaders of Russia and other participating countries and their U.S. counterparts. More than 8,000 participants from all 89 Russian regions have stayed in all 50 U.S. states since Open World began in 1999. Over the last year, Open World has also initiated pilot exchanges with Lithuania, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. Open World delegates range from members of parliament to mayors, from innovative nonprofit directors to experienced journalists, and from political party activists to regional administrators. The program’s administering agency, the Open World Leadership Center, is an independent legislative branch entity that works cooperatively with the U.S. Department of State and other U.S. executive and judicial branch agencies.

For more information on this exchange, please contact Sharon Silva at 209-632-2221 or George Felcyn at The PBN Company at 202-466-6210. For more information on the Open World Program, please visit

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