GBA Elects New Officers, Celebrates at Ukrainian Embassy

The Georgetown Business Association will have an entirely new slate of officers in 2015.

Charles Camp of the Law Offices of Charles Camp is the incoming president, while Sonya Bernhardt, the publisher of The Georgetowner, will assume the role of vice president. Also from the Law Offices of Charles Camp, Theresa Bowman comes to the GBA as secretary. The new treasurer will be Alan Helfer of Gingsberg & Helfer, PLC. All of the incoming leaders are new to top officer positions in the GBA, which is “committed to maintaining and improving the climate for conducting business in Georgetown.”

For their annual election and year-end party, GBA members met Dec. 12 at the Embassy of Ukraine, located at 3350 M St. NW, next to Francis Scott Key Park.

“You are at the right place,” said Ihor Baranetskyi of the Embassy of Ukraine, as he greeted GBA members. Ukrainians at the embassy, Baranetskyi said, consider themselves “part of the European family and the Georgetown family.”

Outgoing GBA president Riyad Said said membership in the business networking and advocacy non-profit has grown 25 percent over the past year. The GBA donated $1,000 to “Support Hospitals in Ukraine,” part of Project C.U.R.E.

Mayor Vincent Gray arrived to meet Ukrainian Ambassador Olexander Motsyk. Referring to his nation’s conflict with Russia, Motsyk said these are “hard times for Ukraine.” Well versed in American history, Motsyk noted the embassy offices include the Forrest-Marbury House, built in 1788, significant in the founding of D.C. It is where George Washington met prospective land purchasers, such as Uriah Forrest, a mayor of Georgetown, and Benjamin Stoddert, first Secretary of the Navy and builder of Halcyon House on Prospect Street, one block from the embassy.

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