About

Our Mission

We believe in the people of the emerging democratic nation of Ukraine, and their ability to grow stronger and more prosperous. By targeting unmet needs, we facilitate broader development of social and economic infrastructure for current and future generations.

Founded in the early 1990s by Ukrainian-American immigrants and their descendents to ship humanitarian relief aid, our efforts have expanded to include partnerships with organizations in Ukraine, United States and around the world that leverage our combined resources to develop the most effective solution for specific situations.

Our History

The democratic movements that led to Ukraine’s independence from the Soviet Union in August 1991 stirred our local community of Ukrainian-American immigrants and descendants to form the California Association to Aid Ukraine. CAAU was subsequently chartered in California as a non-profit corporation, under Internal Revenue Service Code 501(c)(3) in December 1991.

CAAU initially focused on channeling humanitarian relief aid to address critical needs that were basic and immediate. Over the years, as Ukraine has evolved, CAAU’s efforts have expanded to include projects that leverage modest investments from our local community into lasting positive results for the people of Ukraine.

Our People

Board of Directors

 Anne Prokopovych, President

Anne Kokawa Prokopovych has been a board member of CAAU for over 25 years, and has served as president, secretary and newsletter editor.  In addition, Anne has been an active volunteer in the Ukrainian-American community for over 35 years.  Other volunteer roles include Director of Finance for Military Animal Project, Treasurer for the New West Symphony League, Database Director for Opera Volunteers International and past board member for the Opera League of Los Angeles (including service as Treasurer and Membership Director).

Anne is a retired vice president of finance business support for a major financial services company.  She earned a B.A. in Mathematics and Psychology and an M.B.A. with a concentration in Finance from UCLA.

Yarko Maryniuk, MD, Vice President

Yarko Maryniuk is a child of Ukrainian immigrants and was born in Detroit, Michigan. He lives in Ojai, California and practices Palliative Medicine in Ventura.

He is a member of the Ukrainian Medical Association of North America and a member of the UMANA Foundation board.

Paul Micevych, Ph.D., Secretary

Paul Micevych is Distinguished Professor of Neurobiology and Head & Neck Surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.  Currently, he is the departmental Chair and holds the Edith Agnes Plumb Professorship in Neurobiology. His research involved understanding steroid hormone signaling in the brain in regions that control reproduction in females. His laboratory has demonstrated novel aspects of estrogen and progesterone signaling including an understanding of how the production of steroids in the brain regulates ovulation.

Paul is also involved with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, serving as president of the Board of Administration of the Parish of St Andrew in Los Angeles, on the Metropolitan Council of the national Church, and a faculty member and member of the Board of Trustees of Seminary of St Sophia.  Paul has served for 6 years as the vice-president of the Society of St. Andrew, the charitable arm of the Church with strong outreach in Ukraine.  More recently, he was inducted into the Order of St Andrew the Apostle as an Archon Aktouarios of the Ecumenical Throne.  Paul has and over the past 10[?] years has served as the Secretary of its Board. Of all the projects CAAU is involved with he most proud of his participation in delivering wheelchairs and other mobility devices to Ukraine.  He is deeply grateful to all those whose contributions have made these trips possible, and to CAAU’s partners in these efforts, Global Mobility and Wheels for Humanity.  Paul is an avid skier and sometimes hikes in the Santa Monica Mountains near his home.

Luba Skoropad, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer

Shannon Micevych, Event Director

Shannon Micevych has been involved in the Ukrainian community in Los Angeles for 35 years. Since 2004 she has been the event coordinator for CAAU. In this time she has taken the lead in organizing debutante balls, receptions for visiting doctors, scientists & dignitaries from Ukraine, including the former First Lady of Ukraine, movie screenings, open houses & and other fund raising events. In addition, Shannon is active in the Parish of St. Andrew and a member of the Ukraine Culture Center, LA. Now retired from thirty years in the business of insurance, she continues her work in charity & busies herself with her life long hobbies; cooking, sewing, embroidery & travel. Shannon is grateful for the extraordinary accomplishments of CAAU and the support of the community.

Peter Maziak, Digital Media Director

Peter Maziak has been involved in the Ukrainian-American community of LA, as well as his hometown Detroit.  He has volunteered as a counselor in Ukrainian scouting, and as a board member (and soccer player) for Ukrainian Sport Club Chernyk.

Peter is a skilled User Experience Designer with over 15 years of professional experience with web and digital products.  He currently works as a Sr UX Designer at Kaiser Permanente.  He has worked at startups, in-house, and agency side on brands such as Target, Toyota, MGM, Medtronic, and Universal Music. Previously, he was faculty at Michigan State University teaching digital media.  He enjoys live music, biking, hiking, gardening, and—with 35 countries on his passport—traveling the globe.

Miroslawa Nasarenko, Board Member

Oksana Volod, MD, Board Member

Christopher Zarembinski, M.D., Board Member

Christopher Zarembinski, M.D. is an attending physician at the Pain Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.  Specializing in anesthesiology, he has practiced at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for the past 28 years practicing exclusively in pain management, and is one of the original founders of the Pain Center.  The Pain Center has become a model program for the hospital with respect to comprehensive management.  The multidisciplinary approach used translates into individually designed treatment programs that best suit patients’ needs.  He has also worked with the television show, Dancing with the Stars, as their medical consultant for the past 17 seasons.

Dr. Zarembinski previously served as Assistant Clinical Professor of Anesthesiology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Pain Management Center and at the University of Southern California (USC) Department of Anesthesiology.

Dr. Zarembinski received his medical degree from the University of Arizona School of Medicine.  He completed his internship at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix and his anesthesiology residency at Washington University in St. Louis.  He also completed a fellowship in pain management UCLA’s Anesthesiology Department.

Areas of interest include: stem cell research, joint and spine treatment, and education.

Advisory Committee
  • Ihor Hunko, MD
  • Taras Kozbur
  • Luba Lewytzkyj
  • Myroslav Nykolayev, Ukraine
  • Vira Pavliuk, MD, Ukraine
  • Orest Skoropad, Ukraine
  • Rostislav Stoika, PhD, Ukraine
  • Roman Woronowycz, Ukraine
  • Viktoria Woronowycz, Ukraine
Audit Committee
  • Wolodymyr Nasarenko
  • Irko Prokopovych
  • Basil Tarasko

Our Partnerships

Collaboration with organizations in Ukraine, United States and around the world helps us to access technical, financial and human resources to enhance the effectiveness or our efforts.