Women in Leadership Panel Discussion Celebrating International Women's Day

Moscow Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International Celebrates International Women’s Day


Women in Leadership Event Highlights Successful Chicago Women


CHICAGO, April 21, 2016 – The Moscow Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International celebrated International Women’s Day with Women in Leadership on the evening of Thursday, March 10, 2016, at the Union League Club of Chicago. With over 80 guests, including Russian-speaking and American guests, both ladies and gentlemen, Women in Leadership featured a panel of distinguished women who have succeeded as entrepreneurs and business leaders in Chicago, along with networking and dinner.

“The Moscow Committee’s Women in Leadership event exemplified why Chicago is known as a global city where success can be possible for anyone,” said Aleksandra Efimova, Co-Chair of the Moscow Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International and Founder of Russian Pointe and Growing Through Arts, Chicago-based arts-oriented brands that provide dance supplies and educational products. “With a diverse panel of women born outside of the United States who have risen to the top of their respective fields, the Moscow Committee is proud that the evening showcased the importance of having women in leadership positions.”

Speakers at the event included Elena Mossina, Partner-in-Charge at Sikich, International Tax Services (born in Moscow, Russia); Mridu Sekhar, Ph.D, Founder of Sidvim, Inc., Chicago Center for Advanced Dentistry (born in Chennai, India); Natalia Sklyarova-Yurchenko, All Around Gold Medalist at the 1983 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships and Owner and Founder of C.I.T.Y. Club Gymnastics Academy (Born in Norilsk, Russia); and Natalya Pavchinskaya, IT Director at Abbott Laboratories, Cybersecurity Portfolio Management (born in Odessa, Ukraine).

Ms. Sekhar said, “Reliving my almost 25 tumultuous years of doing business in the USSR and then in several individual countries of the region was a treat for me. I am thrilled that I was able to meet so many of your beautiful and talented ladies from the region.

“The outstanding women on the panel were all immigrants who have contributed to America in very positive and significant ways. Most had started their lives and education in their native country, Russia and Ukraine. This education and upbringing in a culture of discipline and family definitely contributed to their accomplishments. Their work ethic as they added an American education to this strong base has been a formula for success. Being the oldest on the panel, I see women who are at the helm at an early age with many years of contribution and success ahead.

“My advice? Balance! Health, food, sleep, fun and work must be balanced. Whatever gets your time will grow and do well. All these five aspects of your life need your time. Success at life must start with success in relationships, with oneself and one’s family. We are all going to live much longer than we ever thought possible. Pay time to your physical and psychological health.”

A panel discussion with the speakers was moderated by Ms. Efimova, who said, “When I look back at events in my life that inspired, motivated and empowered me, it was hearing stories of accomplished individuals who I looked up to. It was one of the inspirations to host this event—to create an opportunity for guests to hear inspirational stories. We are very proud of the achievements of Russian-speaking immigrants in the United States and worldwide and are confident that tonight’s program will be inspirational, educational and motivational."