Please tell us how you met.
As the war in Ukraine started last year, like so many other people, we (Whitney and Marc Luckett) wondered what we could do to help. A chance encounter with an old college friend led to a website where we could reach out to families looking to flee the war in Ukraine. In July of last year, Yana Malyk and her two daughters, Liza (16) and Ulia (12), arrived and have been living with us at our home in Skyway ever since. It’s been a revelation for us— getting to know the Malyks, learning about Ukraine, and understanding the horrors that have resulted from this criminal and illegal war – all have been amazing experiences.
What do you enjoy doing together?
It’s been a learning experience for all of us. We’re learning about Ukraine, and they’re learning a lot about America. A lot of things are similar, but many things are very different. We cook together, and really enjoy Ukrainian food. They are getting to know a little more about the foods we like, and are (slowly) coming to appreciate thinks like Mexican, Thai, and Italian cooking. We hike, take the dogs to the dog park, and try our best to learn each other’s language.
Getting back into the school routine has been fun too; it’s been over a decade since our kids were in school here, and the daily pickup, dropoff, concerts, student-teacher conferences… it’s been fun. I have to say, the district has been incredibly accommodating
and helpful to both girls. They’re excellent students (straight As for Ulia, 4.0 GPA for Liza), and that’s a testament to both of them, as well the teachers who have supported them.
How did Ukraine Power begin?
As winter approached last year, we asked Yana what we could do to help. She reached out to her friend, now the Governor of Luhansk, and asked. The simple answer we received was: generators. So, in November of 2022 we formed a non-profit called Ukraine Power (www.UkrainePower.org) to deliver needed humanitarian supplies, including generators, heaters, Wi-Fi hotspots, and lights to people in the Luhansk Region.
Tell us about your daughters
Whitney: I am blessed and get to work with my two amazing, wickedly smart daughters every day.
Maxine is General Manger at Simko North America, participated in Leadership Pikes Peak, an avid game player, on the board of Rocky Mountain Highway, and getting married this summer.
Ana Mai is Logistics Specialist at Simko and responsible for about 50 percent of our throughput. She formerly worked at TESSA, is an incredible friend to have, wise beyond her years, is a great dog mom, practices photography, played rugby in college, and is a born leader.
Yana: Ulia loves making jewelry, and making toys. She’s got a lot of friends, loves sleepovers, and just started skating lessons. Her first sixth grade concert was amazing. She’s already looking forward to moving up the the Junior High School. This summer she hopes to spend a lot of time in the pool.
Liza just got her permit, and has been driving every chance that she gets. She’s a fantastic student, and has worked incredibly hard to adjust to a new school in a new language. She loves to paint, to dance, and travel.
Business leaders and partners — Whitney runs a $60 million international industrial raw material supply chain and logistics company, Simko North America. Simko is a certified Women Owned Business Enterprise.
Yana owned six businesses. She donated time and resources to the resistance movement during the 2014 occupation of Crimea and was awarded a medal from the Government of Luhansk for her public service and dedication to service in honor of the people of Ukraine.
What are some interesting stories or fun facts about your family?
Whitney: We have always opened our home to others to live here. The Malyks are just the latest in a long line of people to enjoy Marc’s cooking, living with us for a prolonged period of time.
Where do you like to travel?
Yana: One of my businesses was a travel agency. As a result, we traveled all over the world: Cuba, Turkey, Egypt, Dominican Republic, Tanzania, and many other countries. We LOVE to travel. The girls loved Turkey and Egypt the most and swimming in the Mediterranean and Red Seas was unforgettable.
Whitney: I travel quite a bit for business, globally (Singapore, Germany, Indonesia, Vietnam, China, Mexico, Canada, Guatemala, Akron, Nashville, Atlanta), but | love an active trip overseas. Marc and I spent six weeks exploring Italy last year, from Rome to the Amalfi Coast to Sicilia to Umbria. We hope to be able to spend at least a month abroad every year, hiking, biking, and getting to know a country. The world is so much smaller than you think!
A women-owned business, Ukraine Power (www.ukrainepower.org) is a 501 (c) (3) company focused on providing assistance to people in need in Ukraine, with an immediate focus on delivering generators, heaters and goods needed to help people survive the Russian assaults on Ukraine. Whitney is President, and Yana is Executive Director.
In our first four months, we delivered $85,000 of aid directly to the regional Ukraine government. We continue to expand our deliveries- now we’re shipping powerbanks (large batteries), electric water heaters, Wi-Fi hotspots, and other items, including laptops for students, that are requested by the
government. Ukraine Power will continue to provide the items that are needed most as the situation in Ukraine changes.
Due to the close relationship Yana and government officials in the Luhansk Region, we have daily updates of the ‘wish list’ of equipment that is needed The regional government has setup a series of 20+ ‘hubs’ that are available for people displaced by the war. At these hubs, people can get warm, eat a hot meal, take a hot shower, charge their devices, work and do homework, and connect to the internet and communicate with friends and loved ones- sometimes for the first time since the war began. We have many pictures and videos of these hubs, and we’re very proud to see the equipment and supplies we delivered- thanks to the incredible generosity of our donors- being enjoyed by hundreds of people across the country.
Yana owned six businesses. She donated time and resources to the resistance movement during the 2014 occupation of Crimea. She was awarded a medal from the Government of Luhansk for her public
service and dedication to service in honor of the people of Ukraine.
Meet Lily and Sabi
Meet Lily, our 11 year old Boxer/Mastiff, a very sweet girl who is wary of strangers and Sabi/Sabaka
(which means dog in Ukrainian). Sabi is a 2-year-old golden lab, handsome and uber-friendly. We rescued Sabi from the Pikes Peak Humane Society because Yana and the girls left behind their own golden lab named Bailey back home in Ukraine.
BROADMOOR Friends & Neighbors ® June 2023