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American Chamber of Commerce Presents the 2020 Thanksgiving Awards for Digitalizing Ukraine’s Economy and Saving People’s Lives

American Chamber of Commerce Presents the 2020 Thanksgiving Awards  for Digitalizing Ukraine’s Economy and Saving People’s Lives

Kyiv, November 25, 2020

The American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine presented the 2020 Thanksgiving Choice of the Business Community Award to 29-year-old Mykhailo Fedorov, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine. The award was given for embracing country-wide digital transformation, making Ukraine a better place where to live and where to do business.

The business community also acknowledged Paul Niland, Founder of Lifeline Ukraine, for creating Ukraine's first national suicide prevention hotline, Lifeline Ukraine, to save people's lives, focused first and foremost on helping Ukraine's military veterans. The awards were presented online in the framework of AmCham Ukraine Thanksgiving season.

In 2015, AmCham Ukraine launched the tradition of celebrating Thanksgiving in Ukraine that has become an annual ritual. For the sixth year in a row, the American Chamber of Commerce recognizes organizations, projects, and individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the development of a favorable business and social environment in Ukraine or promoted Ukraine internationally. Representatives of the Chamber member companies named those who they would like to thank.

While receiving the award, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine Mykhailo Fedorov commented: "It is an honor for me to receive the American Chamber of Commerce 2020 Thanksgiving Choice of the Business Community Award for embracing country-wide digital transformation, making Ukraine a better place where to live and where to do business. For more than a year, the team of the Ministry of Digital Transformation has been building a digital state. One of the main goals of our Ministry is to create convenient government services. We have already created a mobile application and portal of electronic services "Diia", introduced the first digital passports in the world, launched registration of a business in 15 minutes. We create new digital opportunities for Ukrainians and are ready to share experiences with other countries. The award from the American Chamber of Commerce is a sign that our team is moving in the right direction. I am grateful to everyone who supports Ukraine's digital transformation."

"I’m thrilled to accept this award on behalf of the team at Lifeline Ukraine. They’re such a wonderful group of people, and they’re the folks who carry out our most important duty, providing support to people in times of emotional crisis. They’re here 24 hours a day and 7 days per week, and every time a call comes in, they race between themselves to be the first to answer it, I’m reminded of the quote from TV’s Mr. Rogers. “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” That sums up the mentality of the men and women at Lifeline Ukraine; they’re the helpers we can rely on when things are tough”, said Paul Niland, Founder of Lifeline Ukraine.

“On behalf of the business community, I sincerely congratulate Mykhailo Fedorov and Paul Niland with these well-deserved awards. There is no higher priority today than saving people’s lives and digitalizing Ukraine’s economy to overcome the crisis. We are in this together, pushing for making Ukraine a better place to live and do business in. I express my sincere gratitude to AmCham members, Board of Directors, U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, Ukraine’s state officials and international partners for everything they do to support the Ukrainian economy and people during these unprecedented times”, commented Andy Hunder, President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine.

“The giving of thanks each November is a strong American tradition and one that the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine is proud to uphold”, said Lenna Koszarny, Chair of the Board of Directors of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine. “Every year, we seek out leadership in Ukraine in its purest form. Those with a bold vision, who motivate and inspire a team of professionals to deliver on that vision, to achieve major milestones, and to make a significant, positive impact in Ukraine. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am honored to congratulate our two esteemed Thanksgiving Award winners this year. Our AmCham community recognizes Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine Mykhailo Fedorov for his bold digitalization agenda - with Ukraine now ranking as a leading country for the issuance of digital passports and driver’s licenses - for the successful “Diia” and e-Malyatko app implementations, for ease of business set-up, for promoting Ukraine as a global IT destination, and for his bold, declared goal that no Ukrainian citizen will be required to produce a paper document to the state by September 2021. Our second awardee is Paul Niland, Irish national, residing and contributing to Ukraine for over 18 years, and Founder of Lifeline Ukraine - a national, professional, suicide prevention and mental health support helpline. The launch of Lifeline Ukraine, open to callers 24/7 through its 7333 helpline, and also via a digital platform staffed by caring professionals, is truly ground-breaking for Ukraine – providing people with the tools, resources, and help they need while also destigmatizing mental health issues faced. Paul’s enormous compassion and commitment to saving lives is deeply acknowledged by our AmCham community. Congratulations Minister Mykhailo Fedorov and Paul Niland – for your meaningful contribution to Ukraine, to Ukrainians, and to making the world a better place!”

The American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine has many people it is grateful to, people who are changing Ukraine every day. Thanksgiving is a time to thank all those making Ukraine a better place to do business.

In 2019, AmCham Ukraine presented the Thanksgiving Choice of the Business Community Award to the National Bank of Ukraine for pursuing a credible monetary policy, continuing the cleaning-up of the banking sector, defending NBU independence, and contributing to macroeconomic stability. The business community also acknowledged Mr. Brian Bonner for delivering Ukraine’s news in English to global audiences through his dedicated service as Chief Editor of the Kyiv Post.

In 2018, the business community acknowledged Oksana Markarova, Acting Finance Minister (November 2018 – March 2020), for strengthening Ukraine’s macroeconomic stability. Another 2 Awards went to UkraineInvest – Ukraine Investment Promotion Office and National Investment Council of Ukraine for promoting Ukraine as an investment destination.

In 2017, AmCham Ukraine presented the Thanksgiving Choice of the Business Community Award to the Acting Minister of Health of Ukraine, Doctor Ulana Suprun (August 2016 – August 2019), for the development of the healthcare system in Ukraine. The American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine also presented the Awards to Valeria Gontareva and National Bank of Ukraine for exceptional efforts in cleaning up and developing Ukraine’s banking system; Jaroslava Johnson, Western NIS Enterprise Fund for shaping the future of Ukraine – for The Ukrainian Leadership Academy; and Invictus Games Team Ukraine for an incredible debut of the Ukrainian team at the Invictus Games in Toronto. And a special Presidential Award for ten years of outstanding leadership and dedicated service promoting U.S. – Ukrainian business relations was received by Morgan Williams, President of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council.

In 2016, the awards were received by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and the team at the United States Department of Commerce for the strong and continuous support of Ukraine; Business Ombudsman Council – for fighting corruption, simplifying bureaucracy, and improving the business climate; Oksana Drozach, PwC – for her contribution to the introduction of the Authorized Economic Operator concept in Ukraine. As the ceremony’s highlight, members expressed their most sincere gratitude to the Ukrainian Paralympic Team for their unbelievable will to win.

In 2015, during the first Thanksgiving Black Tie Dinner, AmCham Ukraine presented the Thanksgiving Choice of the Business Community Awards to Natalie Jaresko, Minister of Finance (December 2014 – April 2016), for delivering fiscal and financial stability; Aivaras Abromavicius, Minister of Trade and Economy (December 2014 – April 2016) for introducing ProZorro, a public e-procurement system that has made government procurement more transparent and competitive; 3G Ukraine mobile operators – lifecell, Kyivstar, and MTS/Vodafone – for the launch of 3rd generation mobile communications in Ukraine; European Bank for Reconstruction and Development for boosting investment into the Ukrainian economy; Olga Kudinenko, Founder of Tabletochki Fund, for establishing the Tabletochki Fund that helps kids to fight cancer, and promoting social responsibility and awareness; Eka Zguladze, First Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine (2014-2016), for the launch of National Police of Ukraine.

The American Chamber of Commerce is Ukraine’s most powerful international business association that has been serving members in Ukraine since 1992, helping companies grow, promote their services and brands. AmCham Ukraine is an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Being a non-governmental member-funded non-profit organization, AmCham Ukraine represents the biggest U.S. & international investors operating in Ukraine, who have invested over $50bn in Ukraine and remain committed to the country. AmCham Ukraine is the largest AmCham Office in Europe and a part of a strong global AmChams in Europe network. For 28 years, AmCham Ukraine has been delivering the voice of business at the highest level, advocating for the betterment of the business climate, and working closely with Ukrainian and U.S. Government officials. AmCham also focuses on attracting Foreign Direct Investment into the economy and advocates for predictable, transparent, and stable rules of doing business.

Contact person:
Yuliana Chyzhova, AmCham Ukraine Senior Communications Officer,
ychyzhova@chamber.ua

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