October, 31 2012
October 10 - First day at the American Councils office - we were introduced to LFP through a series of presentations:
1. Linnea Allison (Program Officer, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, US Department of State), who spoke about the importance of LFP and her experience in Moldova )
2. Benjamin Gaylord (Senior Program Manager, American Councils for International Education), who described the LFP selection process
3. James Dykstra (Principal, Edington, Peel & Asociates, Inc.), who spoke about how things are done in Washington D.C.
4. Adam D.Ambrogi (Chief Counel Senate Committee on Rules and Administration Chairman Charles E. Schumer), who introduced us to the election process in US.
October 11 - Peter Roudik (Director of the Global Legal Research Center, Law Library of Congress), presented the Library of Congress and its research departments.
On the same day - an amazing tour of the Capitol Building and a photo session in fron of it!
October 12 - Veronica Vragaleva travelled to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and was met at the airport by Senator Mike Brubaker himself. The Senator accompanied Veronica and her LFP colleague from Armenia to the Capitol and the building of the Senate. In the weekend, Veronica accepted Senator's Brubaker invitation to a horse racing and on Sunday she traveled to Philadelphia and visited one of the most patriotic American's city.
15 Oct - Arsen, the other legislative fellow, and I were introduced on the floor of the Senate of
Pennsylvania and were presented as honorable guests of Senator Mike Brubaker. The same day we
attended a roundtable discussion on trade and investment opportunities in the United Kingdom,
organized by The World Trade Center of Central PA and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's Office of
International Business Development. The main speakers were Senator Mike Brubaker and British Consul-General Danny Lopez. Also, I took part in the Senate Committee Meetings on Finance (in which Senator Brubaker is Chairman), Rules, Agriculture and Rural Affairs, State Government and Appropriations.
16-17 Oct - I had my "Meet and Greet" Session in which senators came to speak with me, to express
their greetings and to find out a little more about Moldova and Moldovans. These days were also
marked by several Committee Meetings on Finance and Appropriations, in which there were several
discussions on bills regarding these domains.
18 Oct - I spent my entire day at the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development
where we met with the Secretary of the Department, Mr. C. Alan Walker, and spoke about the manner
in which the Department interacts with businesses and the non-profit sphere. I also met with Eugene
F. McGill, who expressed interest in Moldovans wines, with Amy Zecha - Director of the International
Partnership Office of International Business Development, with Jennifer Leinbach - Economic
Development Consultant and with Marita J. Kelley - Local Government Policy Specialist.
19 0ct - I traveled to Lititz to work in the District Office of Senator Brubaker where we were familiarized
with the best practices which are implemented on a regional level. More than that, I visited a wonderful
open air museum, Ephrata Cloister, where I learned a lot about the history of Pennsylvania. I also visited
the Green Dragon Market, which is one of two open air farm markets in Lancaster County, where fresh
produce, meats, cheeses and specialty foods (natural (organic) food) can be taken on good prices. Some stand holders are Amish Farmers-an old order religious sect. because it is mainly raised by special kind of agriculturalists named Amish.
October, 22 - Veronica met with J. Reisteter, Vice President of Government Relations, and E. Loundenslager Kanter, Assistant Vice President, from the Pennsylvania Bankers Association. The discussion was mainly focused on the relationship between Pennsylvania's legislature and the lobbying community.
October, 23 - Veronica helped to organize activities in Senator Brubaker's office, in particular those connected with the end of the legislative session. Also, I took time to prepare for the next day's meetings with the PA Department of Revenue.
October, 24 - On this day at the PA Department of Revenue, the governmental body connected with Veronica's activity at home, Veronica met with Rene Diehl, Director of the Legislative Office. Also, Veronica met with Daniel P. Meuser, who is the Secretary of the Department of Revenue Office, and two of his Deputy Secretaries: Thomas O. Armstrong, Ph.D. Deputy Secretary for Taxation, and Robert P. Coyne, Esq., Deputy Secretary for Compliance. They discussed the challenges and also several opportunities to development in Pennsylvania.
October, 25 - Day in Philadelphia in meetings with international organizations and with Christine Stoltzfus from Senator Brubaker's Office, Veronica met:
1. Michael Scullin, who is the Honorary Consul of France in Philadelphia and the President of the Philadelphia Consular Corps Association of Philadelphia and Edouard de Limairac - legal intern from Lyon, France. The discussion was mainly focused on the international collaboration between PA and Moldova;
2. Nancy J. Gilboy, President & CEO of the International Visitors Council of Philadelphia. We discussed about the other project, developed in PA and specially in Philadelphia which involved Moldovans and about potential future projects regarding Moldovans;
3. Linda Mysliwy Conlin, President, and Dino Ramos, Senior Vice President, of the World Trade Center Greater Philadelphia. The discussion was connected to the economic development of Philadelphia and comparing Philadelphia to Chisinau and the Republic of Moldova. They also discussed the special regulations regarding tax regimes applied to the import and the export of goods and other international trade matters.
At the end of the day we visited one of the oldest private clubs in the United States - The Union League - which was created by Abraham Lincoln. The Union League was special because under its flags were fighting together with regular soldiers for that time, Afro-Americans and Europeans legionnaires for liberty and equal rights.
October, 27 - Day at Senator Brubaker's District Office.
In the weekend, Veronica accepted Senator Brubaker's invitation and assisted at charity pheasant hunting. Also she visited an Amish Farm, an old order religious sect which are living in regular society, dealing mostly with mechanical tools and usually specialize in agriculture. In addition, she attended a Charity Auction, organized by Support for Prison Ministries to raise funds for teaching religion in the prison system.
On Saturday evening, Veronica, with her colleague Tyra L. Wallace from Senator Brubaker's Office, attended the concert of R&B and rock music, performed by Smooth Like Clyde: a band of Chris Guerrissi - their colleague from the PA Senate.