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The Whittemore School of Business and Economics


Russian Hotel and Hospitality Delegation Visits UNH's New England Center March 31

By Denise Hart
UNH News Bureau

March 27, 2003

Editors, News Directors: You are invited to cover the opening training session for the 11-member delegation of Russian hotel and hospitality industry business women and men at UNH's New England Center in Durham, March 31 from 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m.

DURHAM, N.H. - When a country moves from state-sponsored communism to an entrepreneurial capitalist society, who provides the business training?

Eleven Russian business women and men from the hotel and hospitality industry are visiting New Hampshire and Maine for 17 days through April 13, as part of an experiment in cross-cultural learning and business management training. They are traveling from places as far away as Siberia and as historical as St. Petersburg. They are general directors, owners and assistant directors of hotel complexes, business-class hotels and inns. Natasha Ivanova will accompany the group as tour facilitator, and Marina Kopinec will serve as interpreter.

The delegation's first training session March 31 is hosted by faculty from the Whittemore School of Business and Economics and the university's New England Center, a full-service hotel and conference center.

The day's program includes a facility tour and presentations by Gary Armitage, general manager of the New England Center; Udo A. Schlentrich, associate professor of hospitality management and director of the William Rosenberg International Center for Franchising; and Mary E. Collins, state director of the Small Business Development Center on topics from hospitality industry trends to preparing a business plan. The business training continues for the Russians over the next nine days at a variety of Maine-based conference centers, hotels and inns.

The visitors are being welcomed and hosted by the Kennebunk, Kennebunk Portside and Wells Rotary Clubs. The Rotary has arranged for all the visitors to stay with area families for cultural exchange. The home hosts will provide lodging, meals, transportation and cultural activities for their Russian guests.

The delegation is traveling under the auspices of the U.S. State Department through a program developed by the San Francisco-based Center for Citizen Initiatives ( called the Productivity Enhancement Program (PEP). Based on the Marshall Plan, PEP seeks to provide Russian entrepreneurs with access to American know-how and skills through volunteer business trainers and hosts. The citizen-to-citizen approach helps the Russians to hone their competitive edge and strengthen their emerging democracy.

WHO: Russian hotel and hospitality delegation
WHAT: A citizen's initiative to share business skills and cultural exchange
WHERE: University of New Hampshire's New England Center, Durham
WHEN: March 31, 9 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.
CONTACTS: UNH: Udo Schlentrich, 862-0137; Gary Armitage, 862-1907
Rotary Club Media Relations: Tina Clark, 207-929-6929
Rotary Club Home Host Co-Chair: Bill and Margaret Chigas, 207-646-4282


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