Founder | Executive Director
Chief Content Strategist
Click right for a brief backgrounder on our founder and the genesis of Spotlight Ukraine
Spotlight Ukraine founder, Christine Mariconda, was born “Christine Shevchenko” in East Orange, NJ, to Ukrainian immigrant parents. Both of her parents fled Ukraine with family as young children during WWII. Their journeys through Europe to find a safe haven were exceptionally challenging, as was life in displaced persons camps where they faced a constant barrage of bombs and difficult living conditions. Her parents finally made their way to the US after the war – no money or personal possessions – and like most WWII immigrants, life was not easy in the US: learning the language, finding work, making enough money for food, clothing, and a place to live, integrating into the American culture – but they “made it” through personal sacrifice and hard work. Christine’s parents met as adults at the Soyuzivka Ukrainian Heritage Center in NY and got married soon after. To this day they have remained closely connected to the strong local community of Ukrainian immigrants in the NY/NJ area.
Christine grew up in New York and was immersed in Ukrainian culture. Her family often spoke Ukrainian at home, attended Ukrainian festivals and cultural events, and enjoyed traditional Ukrainian cuisine. Outside family, Christine was a typical American kid. She studied marketing in college and, as an adult, pursued a successful career in marketing and communications. Today she is Founder & Managing Director at Marketing Now, a strategic marketing communications company.
Christine’s heritage and close connection to the Ukrainian community made the invasion into Ukraine and ongoing war in Ukraine all the more difficult to watch. She wanted to help and decided to leverage her professional experience to start Spotlight Ukraine. Through her work, Christine collaborates with exceptional creative, marketing, and communications professionals from around the world. Her longstanding colleagues were quick to help bring Spotlight Ukraine to life, providing support with content strategy, logo design, web design and production. Spotlight Ukraine is just getting started, but we are determined to make a difference. We aim to:
- Help maintain awareness and support for Ukraine through personal storytelling
- Celebrate the culture of Ukraine, helping to promote and preserve Ukraine’s distinct cultural identity
- Raise funds for nonprofits helping Ukrainians impacted by the war; we are promoting the amazing work of nonprofit organizations supporting Ukraine through the Spotlight Ukraine blog, social channels, and digital communications and raising money through the Spotlight Ukraine shop of Ukrainian inspired merchandise
Click here to learn more about our mission and what Spotlight Ukraine is all about.
Strategic Advisory | Creative Direction
Learning Learning Architects, LLC
Co-Founder & President, Global Head of Design and Branding
Co-Founder & CEO
Content Strategist, Copy Writer
Content Advisory & Contributors
Content Strategy & Marketing Consulting.
Click right for Suzy's bio
Suzy Kedzierski is a marketing communications professional, a people connector, ideas generator, and writer at heart. For over 20 years, she led a communications team in “the fun stuff”—conceiving and producing all the mar-comm programs for a biotech firm.
Beyond the diversity of projects, creative outlet, and opportunity to work with talented co-workers, distributors and vendors from across the globe, she took pride in knowing the company’s lab equipment was being used to research and develop drugs, vaccines and more, improving human and animal healthcare. It’s there that she first collaborated with Marketing Now agency owner and SpotlightUkraine.com founder, Christine Mariconda.
Today, Suzy is a consultant and writer, supporting select clients ranging from travel incentive marketing to the art world. The invaluable knowledge gained and friendships forged over her career are now finding a renewed sense of purpose, helping Ukrainians near and far.
Change and Impact Agent
Click right for Melina's bio
Mélina Garibyan is a trained communications manager specialized in intercultural communication. After her studies in communication sciences and philosophy she worked in renowned advertising agencies such as Boros and Palmer Hargreaves. The social storytelling agency StoryAtelier she cofounded in 2015 facilitates group workshops to find, tell and craft personal stories with a special focus on digital storytelling and narrative methods. Mélina also works as facilitator and consultant for sustainability management, communication and corporate culture within her agency ImpactAgents. in 2019 she co-founded the company baam!, a holistic accelerator for good based in Armenia.
Social commitment is close to her heart, which is why she has been involved in the social project SideWalkTalk as a city leader since 2018.
In 2020, she started her advanced training to become a futurist.
Mélina loves to integrate classical concepts and experimental ideas into her work which makes every approach unique.
Privately Mélina is a half Latvian, half French mother of two kids married to an Armenian. Diversity, contrasts and experiments have always been the emphasis of her life.
Join Our Team
Spotlight Ukraine is on a mission to help Ukraine preserve its sovereignty and distinct cultural identity. We’re just getting started and are commited to making a difference. Visit What We Do to learn more. If you’re interesting in supporting Spotlight Ukraine through written contributions, donating a design for our shop, or in other ways, please contact us now.