In an effort to raise its profile and support expanded programming as the world works its way out of the COVID pandemic, the Arlington Sister City Association has selected a new executive director, Christy Walika.
“We needed an executive director to help lead our organization to its next level,” said Libby Schollaert, who chairs the Arlington Sister City Association board.
“While we have passionate and dedicated volunteers, we identified the need to have a more comprehensive plan for the organization,” Schollaert said.
Walika is a small-business and association consultant. She will manage membership, fundraising and event planning, marketing and communications.
“I am looking forward to working on expanding programs, increasing membership and building even more community support,” she said.
The Sister City movement began an initiative of the Eisenhower administration, attempting to develop international friendships during the time of the Cold War. Arlington’s first formal partnership came in 1993-94 with Aachen, Germany, and was followed by relationships with Coyoacan, Mexico; Reims, France; San Miguel, El Salvador; and Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine.
The organization is independent of, but receives financial support from, the Arlington County government.
Initiatives have understandably been on hold since the start of the pandemic, but the organization “is looking forward to kicking off its 2021 programs as soon as it is safely possible,” its leaders said.
For information, see the Website at www.arlingtonsistercities.org.
PHOTO: Students and chaperones from the Arlington Sister City of Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine, met with Valeriy Chaly, the ambassador from Ukraine to the U.S., in the Washington Room at the embassy during a pre-COVID visit to the local area.