On behalf of the Chamber, we would like to wish you and yours a very happy, healthy and successful New Year 2004. Over the past year, the Chamber has successfully expanded the scope and quality of our events and we look forward to further growth in 2004. As Russia continues its historic process of integration into the world economy and dramatic growth of its domestic market, we look forward to doing our part in the coming year to assist our members in participating in this process. We encourage your comments, suggestions, criticisms and most of all your participation in the coming year.
Dan Satinsky, President; Catherine Mannick, Vice-President and Renee Stillings, Treasurer
Holiday Dinner at the St. Petersburg Cafe
Usher in the new social year with a festive holiday dinner this January 15th at one of the premier Boston-area Russian restaurants. Members and friends of the Chamber are invited to join together for the Chamber's Holiday Dinner at St. Petersburg Cafe in Brookline, MA, beginning at 7:00 P.M. It is not exactly "Stari Novi God" (Old Russian New Year's Day), but close enough for us to get together to celebrate and socialize. The all-inclusive price includes drinks, Russian zakuski (appetizers), entrees and desserts and live entertainment. There are a limited number of spaces available so we are asking everyone to register and pay in advance. Details and registration are available on the USRCCNE website.
Duma Elections Briefing
On December 2, Chamber members gathered together for a briefing on the Duma elections in light of the Khordokovsky/YUKOS affair. We were fortunate to have presentations from two experts, Professor Timothy Colton, Director of the Davis Center for Russian Studies at Harvard University and Bruce Bean, Esq., of Counsel with Clifford Chance, Director of the Institute for Corporate Law and Governance and recently returned to Massachusetts from full-time practice in Russia from 1996. Dr. Colton shared information on the historical background to the elections and gave us the latest polling information prior to the election (which turned out to be pretty accurate). Attorney Bean spoke on the background and significance of the ongoing conflict between the Russian government and Mr. Khordokovsky. His article on this subject is available on the Chamber website.
Their presentations were followed by a lively and informed discussion among all in attendance. The success of this format has led us to consider organizing similar executive briefing sessions in the future. Thanks to Elena Chekhova for organizing this event.
Russian Retail Conference
The explosive growth of the Russian retail market was the focus of our October 29 Conference. Our expert panel of speakers described the overall statistical dimension of this growth, presented the logistical and legal aspects of participating in this market and shared successful case studies from companies active in the market. Details of the conference program and the speakers' presentations are available on the Chamber website.
This very successful conference was organized by a working committee led by Kelly Hedglin with Chamber members Catherine Mannick, Julia Govorushka, Yuri Shepktor, Elena Chekhova, Renee Stillings and Dan Satinsky. Thanks go to MASSPORT for their generous financial support of the conference and to Kathleen O'Donnell and Market Access International for the logistical aspects of the conference.
Please look for future announcements about the exciting events planned for the coming year. We are in the process of planning a Software Outsourcing Conference and our Second Annual Russian Financial Markets conference. As these events are confirmed, information will be available on the Chamber website and through future announcements.
As always, priority for participation in these events will be given to Chamber members. We urge you to join and become active in the Chamber in the coming year so you can help influence and participate in our activities. It is easy to join the Chamber online at our website.