(Watch Cary Sherburne's video interview with Company Folders’ Vladimir Gendelman here.)
Company Folders, Inc., a printer specializing in presentation folders and business envelopes is working to get its Ukrainian team to safety and ensure they have what they need as Russia lays siege to their country.
(Pontiac, MI) As Russia lays siege to Ukraine, a US based printing company is struggling to help its Ukrainian workforce stay safe and keep working. Vladimir Gendelman is the founder and CEO of Company Folders, Inc., a printer specializing in presentation folders and business envelopes. Born in the Kharkiv, Ukraine, Gendelman emigrated to the US where he started his company and subsequently hired a team of seven graphic designers, software programmers, and quality assurance engineers. Since the Russian invasion, Gendelman and his US-based team have been working to help his employees move to safer areas and ensure they have the money they need to get to safety and see to their day-to-day needs.
At the outset of the invasion, Gendelman brought in a former US Army colonel to advise on military tactics and strategic targets. The company established multiple communication channels so they could maintain a connection if one went down. Using these channels and the military expertise, they were able to analyze the situation and advise each team member. The Ukraine team was also able to coordinate, share information, and help each other to safety.
One employee was in Lviv and was able to cross the border into Poland almost immediately, and before the declaration of martial law. One was located near a strategic railroad bridge, was advised it was likely to become a target and moved to a rural area a hundred miles away the day before the bridge was targeted for a diversion. Four employees were pinned down by shelling in Kharkiv with their families but were eventually able to get cars and leave for western Ukraine. The last employee is in Mykolaiv, directly in the path of the Russian invasion from the Black Sea. With elderly parents who cannot travel, he has chosen to stay there.
Gendelman provided funds to assist the relocation, as well as assuring the team that they would be paid, even if the disruption of relocation, interruptions in power and internet, or severe stress and mental fatigue made it impossible to work. The Company Folders team had been based in Donetsk in 2014, during the Russian separatist uprising, so Gendelman was aware that the situation could change rapidly. Toward that end, he also offered advances on salaries in case the bank infrastructure failed and organized a business crypto account as backup.
The Company Folders, Inc. US team has worked to take the stress off their colleagues in Ukraine, taking over some tasks that pertain directly to client work, and rearranging priorities around website development projects, as well as maintaining communication and providing support.
In addition to the support Gendelman is providing to his employees, he is actively engaged with both US based organizations and an international network of entrepreneurs who are working to help meet the needs for humanitarian and military aid in Ukraine.
For more information or for press inquiries, visit https://www.companyfolders.com.