March came and has passed so quickly, like a spring breeze. It brought us new opportunities and useful results. The sun is already warm and gives extra energy. It has inspired our members to create new requests and initiatives. There were a lot more events this month than ever, but what is even more pleasant, was that it created results, which you can read about below.

As often happens in life, the good comes close to tragedy. We are all heartily sympathizing with the Japanese people that suffered from a natural disaster, which took thousands of lives and destroyed hundreds of thousands of fortunes. The entire world saw a striking example of fortitude and courage of the Japanese people, their cohesion and organization in the elimination of consequences of this natural disasters. Everyone knows Japan as a high-tech country, but in this case, people were stronger than technology.

This wave of disaster has many consequences and has reached us as well. We received a question from the JETRO company to our SPIBA Hotline, concerning radiation monitoring of goods imported from Japan. Suddenly it became clear that it is a relevant issue for many companies. We received a response from our customs experts with reference to the existing legislation of the Russian Federation. Obviously there will be further clarification. We will inform everyone with the results of our research on this topic.

On March 1 we held SPIBA General Meeting, the main theme was “Development Strategy of St. Petersburg Transportation Complex through 2025”. Alexey Bakirey, chairman of the Committee on Transport and Transit Policy of St. Petersburg gave a detailed presentation of the plans and achievements of the Committee, as well as publicly responded to questions from the audience. We are all concerned about parking, traffic jams and the possibility of improving traffic flow through this city. Responses from experts and officials in these areas always help us to understand what we can expect in the future. However, the most interesting thing was that SPIBA members promptly received answers to their queries and suggestions. The BSH Bytowije Pribory Company asked to extend a bus route to its company building to solve the transport problem. Now we are very pleased to announce that the issue will be resolved soon. It received support of the Committee chairman. This is a perfect example of simple but important decisions that may be reached during such face to face meetings with representatives of city government.

Mikhail Vilensky, Head of strategic development and architecture from the company ARIN made ​​apresentation and spoke about parking spaces for trucks in St. Petersburg’s urban planning system.

We also held new elections for the Executive Committee members at the meeting. Congratulations to Stefan Van Doorslaer (Ahlers), Sergey Spasennov (Pepeliaev Group), Elena Marchenko (BSH Bytowije Pribory) and Irina Fedorova (Uniliver) with their victory!

On March 10th SPIBA HR Committee met with representatives of the Federal Migration Service of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region. Olga Zubrilova and Nila Yanushkevich answered all the questions from meeting participants about the changes related to migration registration of foreign citizens in accordance with the Federal Law № 385. This legislation traditionally has a lot of ambiguities and problems and needs to be improved, but in this case it is always useful to have the opportunity to have direct contact with authorities in order to find a solution to any problem. We have created such contact and it was concluded that we should meet more often. Further, and if there is a need, we can make phone calls to people who are the primary position of access to important information.

On March 15 Coach Institute, which recently joined the Association, gave a master class entitled “Happiness in Sales”. These master classes were very successful amongst our members, so we decided to continue our cooperation and organize another introductory seminar in April so participants can have an opportunity to complete the full training program “Happiness in Sales”. Happiness of all SPIBA members is our task!

On March 21 Lolita Ebril, Co-Chair of the Marketing Committee, had initiated a meeting in the White Hall of Committee on Culture “State Power and Business: Dialogue about Culture – Mutually Beneficial Cooperation”. At this meeting Alexander Platunov, Deputy Chairman of the Committee, spoke about exciting business opportunities and projects of the Committee, off-budget financing of municipal projects and prospects for culture in our city. Further, Faiti Salvadori, General Consul of Italy described events scheduled in St. Petersburg within the Year that showcase Italian business and opportunities for participation of companies. In addition,  Konstantin Sukhenko, Chairman of the Commission on Education, Culture and Science, Deputy Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg, spoke on the prospects for enactment of Law on patronage. Lolita Ebril, Co-Chair of the SPIBA Marketing Committee and representative of Italian sculptor A. Mandruzzato in Russia shared her experience in supporting cultural and social projects. Svetlana Pavlova, Executive Director of “SIN”, spoke about the importance of the role of interpretation in cultural events. White Hall was interesting as it was a theatrical premiere. Participants were thankful to SPIBA for such an excellent initiative.

On March 22 SPIBA invited a guest from Moscow, Tamara Dzgoeva, senior consultant of the Hay Group Company. She spoke about the Hay Method of Job evaluation. If you were unable to attend you can see her presentation here.

On March 23, SPIBA EHS Committee held a meeting in the Ernst & Young office, where the chief engineer of the Greek company Helector, made a presentation of building a new recycling plant in the Yanino project. His presntation was followed by Vsevolod Khmyrov, First Deputy Chairman of the Committee on the Improvement of Saint-Petersburg congratulated and awarded the winners of the contest of the best environmental and social projects implemented in 2008-2010 (Holding RBI, Coca-Cola, JTI & Unilever).

During the presentation of these projects, JTI received a new opportunity to solve their problems with another winner, Holding RBI. As a result, JTI will be able to obtain the necessary permission for landscaping yards.

On March 24, Acsour Company, which recently became a SPIBA member, Master class on drawing up the Personal Income Tax Return (Form 3-PIT). We thank Tatiana Modeeva and her excellent team for this initiative and desire to help our members. The presentation with all the instructions can be found here.

On Friday, March 25, we held a meeting in Vodokanal with Evgeniy Tselikov, First Deputy Director of the State Unitary Enterprise “Vodokanal St. Petersburg” to discuss current problems of water supply and channelization. A very professional presentation of Vodokanal and its plans for the near future was given. Mr. Tselikov gave detailed answers to all questions, which were prepared by our members. His exact numbers and specific facts were supplemented with the answers by the heads of the departments of the company. The meeting was attended by all important representative units of Vodokanal for our companies. Further, Unilever is building treatment facilities and investing a lot of money in this type of project. General Director, Sergey Parshin attended a meeting aimed at finding out about the possibility to compensate these costs. He immediately received a great opportunity to not only ask questions and get acquainted with the relevant Vodokanal manager, but to get an appointment for a more thorough discussion. We had great contact and an productive dialogue. As a result we created a working group on the cooperation between SPIBA and the Vodokanal.

After the meeting we visited the museum complex “World of St. Petersburg Water”. You can see pictures in our gallery.

In the last week of March, it was decided that we still need to get together in a relaxed atmosphere and have a chat. At the Museum of Russian Vodka we listened to the tour guide and tasted spirits.

On March 30 SPIBA participated in the Annual HR Management Exhibition & Conference HRM-Expo. We thank the Professional HR club, which has given us this learning opportunity. After the exhibition, Paul Bourne, English theatre director and business coach, and Somesh de Shwardt, a musician from South Africa, gave an amazing master-class “Leaders Orchestra”. See photos! Participants had a great opportunity to get acquainted with an efficient method of art in order to change corporate culture, to develop leadership and communication skills, to team building techniques and extension of relationships with clients.

This month, we launched 2 new services: Twitter and Facebook page. Now you can follow all the news and changes instantly! We would love to hear your suggestions and comments about our announcements. We want SPIBA news to come from the most convenient form for you!