Advisory Board

Dr. Svetlana Abramova is an affiliate instructor of Russian in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures atthe University of Washington, where she teaches content-based “Advanced Russian through STEM” and leads an intensive summer program for heritage learners “Russian in the Sky and Outer Space.”  She holds an MA in linguistics and teaching Russian as a foreign language from Pushkin Institute and a PhD in Russian language pedagogy from Moscow State Pedagogical University. Her research… read more
Native Slovene Polona Brooks, president of Slovenska miza, earned her Master’s degree in clinical neuropsychology from University of Texas in Tyler. She was a founding force in creating Slovene society Slovenska miza striving to connect people with Slovene heritage and those interested in Slovene language and culture in Seattle area. She is a strategy consultant and a case manager for Brooks Law Firm in Redmond, WA.
Russian-born musicologist and music producer Elena Dubinets, Ph. D., is Vice President of Artistic Planning for the Seattle Symphony, Chair of the City of Seattle Music Commission (appointed by the Seattle City Council) and member of the Advisory Board of the University of Washington’s School of Music.
Valeriy Goloborodko was born and raised in Ukraine. When he was 24 years old, he married and moved to the United States to start his family. Since his first day on American soil, Valeriy has shown great interest in serving his community and being an active member of both the Ukrainian and American communities. Valeriy is a board member of the American European Bethel Mission. He served as chairman and now is a board member of the Friends of Ukraine organization. Valeriy founded Goel Payment… read more
A native of Poland, Ryszard came to Seattle in 1989 to work for Microsoft. He and his wife Maria (Isia) became very involved in the local Polish community. He founded the Polish Home Foundation and served as its president from 2000 to 2013. During his tenure, he led the fundraising campaign for the expansion of the Polish Cultural Center and created the annual Pierogi Fest event. Ryszard is also a co-founder of the Polish Festival Seattle, the editor and publisher of the Seattle Polish News,… read more
Kristen LeMieux is a third generation Croatian-American and UW Political Science graduate. She is vice-president and co-coordinator of CroatiaFest, an annual festival that is part of the Seattle Center Festal series.  She also serves as a member of the Association of Croatian American Professionals and has worked in the Seattle area for over 20 years in Government Affairs.
Liz Martin has been with Microsoft for 20+ years in a variety of HR roles, and is currently a Senior HR Manager with the Venture Integration team. Liz has a passion for pushing herself and this comes to play in her love for bringing new teams together to synergize their leadership capabilities to achieve extraordinary results. With over twenty years as a strategic Human Resources Professional and Mergers and Acquisitions specialist, Liz is recognized for creating order out of chaos, developing… read more
Ilvana is a graduate of the University of Washington and Seattle University, where she obtained an M.Ed. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). She currently teaches in the Intensive English Program at North Seattle Community College. She is also a board member and performer for the Bosnian-Herzegovinan Cultural Artistic Association – Sevdah.
R. Lidia Mykytyn-Voronka is a first generation Ukrainian American. Originally from New York City, Lidia graduated from Columbia University with an MBA in International Finance and Political Economics and works in finance. Throughout her life she has been very active in the Ukrainian community both domestically and internationally: president of TUSM, a national Ukrainian student organization; numerous leadership roles with UAYA, an international Ukrainian youth organization; former board member… read more
A graduate of the University of Bucharest in her native Romania, Claudia’s career in the editing profession took shape in the emergent democracy, working on various local and international projects, including work with the U.S. Agency for International Development. She moved to the U.S. with her husband fifteen years ago and soon involved herself in community work, becoming an instrumental community organizer. As such, she has become a liaison for the Romanian Consulate in the Pacific Northwest… read more
Elka Rouskov is an avid supporter of arts, culture and humanities. Her passion is to promote and engage communities in art-related events. Ms. Rouskov is co-founder and president of the Bulgarian Cultural and Heritage Center of Seattle. Its mission is to preserve and share the richness of Bulgarian culture.
Krystyna Untersteiner is the UW Polish Studies Endowment Committee Chair, an alumna of the University of Washington and the University of Adam Mickiewicz in Poznan, Poland. She is a French teacher, member of the Polish Home Association and on the Board of the Polish Home Foundation.