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May 21, 2022
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Downtown Download – Aid to Ukraine

March 22 @ 9:00 am - 10:00 am

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Downtown Download Webinar Aid to Ukraine on March 22, 2022.

Join Downtown Download hosts Shelonda Stokes (President, Downtown Partnership), and Councilman Eric Costello (11th District), as they welcome panelists, Alexander Chizhik (CEO, Global Operations Group (Ukraine Aid), Inc.), and Karina Mandell (Chair, Baltimore Odesa Sister Cities Committee) for an important segment focused on relief efforts in Ukraine.

With many organizations and residents Downtown looking for ways to help those affected by the war in Ukraine, our hosts and panelists will be sharing a variety of ways that Baltimoreans can engage in aid efforts from a distance.


Tuesday, March 22
9 – 10 am

This webinar is free, but registration is required.


Meet Your Panelists

Alexander Chizhik
Global Operations Group (Ukraine Aid), Inc.

Alex was born and raised in Kyiv, Ukraine.  His family immigrated to the United States in 1987 when Ukraine was still part of the Soviet Union.

Alex graduated from UBMC and attended Univ. of Baltimore School of Law.  After graduating from law school, he commissioned as a Naval Officer in the U.S. Navy’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps and spent 6 years on active duty as a military prosecutor and in-house counsel to multiple Naval commands.  After spending a year with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Virginia, he left the Navy as a Lieutenant Commander and joined Blades & Rosenfeld, the oldest law firm in the State of Maryland.

There, he became a law partner focusing on business litigation in state and federal courts.  In 2012, Alex joined a growing Maryland-based IT company as In-House Counsel and Chief Operating Officer.  After leaving the IT company in 2021, he founded his own company called Global Operations Group with a focus on helping Ukrainian businesses expand into the United States.

As of 3 weeks ago, Alex has shifted his business and personal efforts to helping Ukraine and its people survive the Russian attack.  He founded Global Operations Group Ukraine Aid, a non-profit raising funds and collecting supplies and equipment so badly needed by the Ukrainians displaced in-country, as well as those defending their homeland against the Russian invasion.


Karina Mandell
Baltimore-Odesa Sister Cities Committee

Karina Mandell was born in Dnipro, Ukraine and immigrated to Baltimore when she was seven years old. She grew up in Stevenson and studied Psychology, Sociology and Education at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. After a few years employed in social services, she switched to entrepreneurship working across the city on a range of projects from city wide hackathons, to aquaponics, to housing.

Karina has been focused on the intersection of social responsibility and the innovation economy. She has worked with businesses to help improve the culture through social entrepreneurship and community economic development.

She began working with Baltimore-Odessa Sister City Committee and continues to cultivate her engagements through the Jewish and Ukrainian community as well as relationships with the international community at large to fulfill her philosophy of living as a global citizen. 

Seven month ago, she met with  Mayor Trukhanov of Odessa, Ukraine where they discussed a wide variety of topics for collaboration including:

  • music and the arts (Peabody, Opera House, etc), 
  • culture exchange during festival and holidays, 
  • technology (cybersecurity, hackathons, entrepreneurship, workforce training), 
  • economic development and collaboration between our ports,etc