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Theodora Turula

Development Professional

Fields of expertise:


Credit Union Development

Key qualifications:  Senior professional with over twenty years of progressively responsible experience in the fields of microfinance and microenterprise, with emphasis on credit union development. Experienced in analysis of potential working environments and determination of most appropriate circumstances for credit union establishment and growth;  establishing legislation and regulations;  environmental analyses and planning with credit unions and credit union leagues:  creating business plans;  assessing training needs and designing training programs;  developing policies and procedures;  risk assessment.

Foundation for Russian American Enterprise Cooperation --- 09/2002 - 12/2003
Consultant to Partnership between Flour Fed. Credit Union in California and Primorskii Krai CU Association in Russian Far East. Initiated and wrote winning proposal for USAID funded project implemented by FRAEC for strengthening capacity of credit unions to lend to small business.

World Bank/IFAD Georgian Agricultural Bank Projects Coordination Center --- 1/2002 - 12/2002
Senior Credit Union Systems Advisor to the Georgian National Credit Union Development Center (CUDC):  plan and implement technical assistance, supervision, and training.

World Education Inc. --- 9/2001 - 8/2002
Consultant to national association on development and implementation of multi-level credit union member, board, management and staff training programs for Eurasia Foundation Partnership Grant with Ukrainian National Association of Savings and Credit Unions (UNASCU).

Winrock International --- 8/2001 - 9/2001;  9/2000 - 10/2000;  02/2001

  1. Conducted training seminars and strategic planning with members of operating credit unions in Uzbekistan. Assisted with creation of savings mobilization strategy and marketing.
  2. Credit Union and CU Association Advisor for development and strengthening of credit union activity in Primorsky Krai, Russia.
  3. Consultant for start-up groups in creating credit unions in the Sakhalin Oblast of Russia.

World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU), Madison WI --- 8/1994 - 5/1998
European Coordinator - USA: 
Managed WOCCU European project activities, coordination with donors, in-country partner organizations and home office operations.
Program Officer - Europe: 
Supervisory and management responsibility for WOCCU credit union development projects in Lithuania, Latvia and Ukraine, with a staff of 4-5 in each country.

Selfreliance Ukrainian American Federal Credit Union (SUAFCU), Chicago IL --- 4/1980 - 7/1994
Branch Manager: 
Managed operations of largest full-service branch of SUAFCU, including teller area, lending department, member services and drive-up window. br>Director, Member Services Department:  Supervision and development of member services department for credit union.


SME/Business Development

Key qualifications:  Experience with support services to microenterprise, analysis of environmental and legislative conditions enabling growth of micro and small enterprise, development of programs to promote reform. Assistance to credit unions and credit union movements, as sustainable non-profit businesses, also includes business development activities.

IRIS - Center for Institutional Reform and the Informal Sector --- 10/1998 - 11/2000
University of Maryland, Department of Economics

  1. Deputy Chief of Party of two-year USAID funded SME Network Support Project for assessment and strengthening of small enterprise support network, resident in Moscow, Russia.
  2. Senior manager for IRIS of the Russia Entrepreneurial Business Service (EBS-SFE).


Project Evaluation/Assessment

Key qualifications:  Extensive experience with project management and specifics of successful activity in Eastern Europe, Eurasia and the Caucasus.

CARE (Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere, Inc.) --- 04/2004
Final evaluation of USAID Women’s Economic Opportunity Project (WEOP) in Tajikistan.  Examined and assessed activities and results of a 3 1/2 year multi-faceted project providing assistance to rural women in developing agricultural and business skills and gaining self-sufficiency, thereby improving their families and communities.

Associates in Rural Development, Inc. --- 4/2001 - 7/2001
Assessment of civil society and NGO activity in Ukraine and Moldova for USAID:  interviewed donors, implementers and practitioners, conducted round table discussions, analyzed collected data, participated in writing and presentation of report results. See publications list below.


Ukrainian Language:  Translation/Interpretation, Teaching, Writing & Editing

Key qualifications:  Extensive experience as teacher, in curriculum development, writing in various genres and to meet various requirements.  Comprehensive knowledge of the Ukrainian language as it developed in both Ukraine and among the émigré community.  Skilled translator and interpreter.

St. Volodymyr Cathedral School of Ukrainian Subjects --- 1975 - 1989
Instructor, curriculum development, examiner

Ukrainian Catholic University of Chicago --- 1985 - 1986
Instructor, Ukrainian language

Selfreliance Ukrainian American FCU -- Marketing Consultant --- 1980 - ongoing
Assist in preparation of bilingual advertising and member services materials.

US Government Federal Bureau of Information Services (FBIS) -- Translator --- 1988 - 1991
Translation of newspaper and periodical articles for US government officials.

US Department of State -- Interpreter --- 2002 - ongoing
Complete assigments as escort and/or administrative Ukrainian/English interpreter.

Sts. Volodymyr and Olha Parish -- Editor/Proofreader --- 2000 - ongoing
Edit and proof biweekly parish bulletin.


Education/Professional Certification

Bachelor of Arts, Psychology --- 5/1968
Northwestern University, Evanston IL

Certified Credit Union Executive --- 10/1988
University of Wisconsin, Madison WI

CUNA Management School --- 7/1988
Three year certificate program in credit union management.
University of Wisconsin, Madison WI


Additional Information

Ukrainian - near native
Russian - fluent comprehension, reading;  speaking proficient.

Countries of Professional Experience:
Actively and extensively involved in management of projects in Russia (Western, Siberia and Far East), Ukraine, Lithuania, and Latvia;  engaged in assessment, consulting or related activities in Poland, Moldova, Bulgaria, Republic of Georgia, Republic of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Malawi;  worked with projects in Romania, Macedonia and Belarus.

Publications, Professional Reports:

  1. Credit Unions:  Sustainable Co-operative Financial Organizations in Emerging Democracies   The World of Cooperative Enterprise, Plunkett Foundation, 1998.
  2. Numerous articles published in Ukrainian newspapers and magazines.
  3. USAID Regional Mission for Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova: Assessment of Non-governmental and Civil Society Organizations in Ukraine and Moldova   (co-authored with Melanie C.  Peyser and Mark G. Levinson).
  4. Entrepreneurial Lending Practices:  US and Russia, a Comparative Analysis   draft copy Nov.  2003;  Foundation for Russian American Enterprise Cooperation (FRAEC) Partnership Project, in cooperation with Michael Pardon, CEO Capstone FCU.
  5. CARE WEOP Final Evaluation Report;  submitted May 2004 to CARE Tajikistan.

Contact Information:

Theodora Turula
Morton Grove, Illinois,  USA
E-mail contact:   .  
Address, phone, fax, and cellphone available by e-mail.

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