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Lydia Istomina has an entrepreneurial mind. After a short career in engineering and nine years as Executive Branch Manager of the Russian nonprofit Association Znanie (Knowledge), Lydia founded the Institute of Management for local entrepreneurs in partnership with Ural State University. She is also a founder of a nonprofit organization in Ekaterinburg, a city of 1.4 million people on the eastern side of the Ural Mountains, a few miles from the Europe-Asia border.

Lydia IstominaLydia was very instrumental in supporting the collaboration between the Russian government and the General Board of Global Ministries to connect American businesses with Russian entrepreneurs and nonprofits. As the Director for Russia and the C.I.S. at the General Board of Global Ministries, Lydia Istomina organized negotiations between the United Methodist Committee on Relief and the Russian government. She personally met with the First Lady of Russia Mrs. Naina Yeltsin. Lydia was able to negotiate the largest military airplane AN-124 (Ruslan) to deliver humanitarian aid to Ekaterinburg, Russia during the most critical years. Lydia’s nonprofit organization became a distribution, teaching, and publishing center.

Lydia’s first book was Bringing Hidden Things to Light (Abingdon Press, 1996) describes her personal journey in the midst of dramatic changes in Russia during the early 1990s. Now in its Second Edition, the book is a living organism that continues to live and grow with the addition of experiences and perspectives on events past.

Its sequel, Why Are We Always Afraid of the Truth, is focused on the social and spiritual stagnation of the last Soviet generation. Her other book, From Misery to Mystery, is a collection of short stories about the life of an immigrant woman in Kansas City. It presents an enticing and very personal account of her life in America and how workplace bullying affects pastors’ families.

Lydia is also a short story writer. She keeps a blog site, View From the Hammock.

Lydia Istomina is a Doctoral Candidate at Saint Paul School of Theology. Her research topics are revitalizing organizations, adaptive leadership, and workplace bullying. Her company PurpleFrog, Intl. offers organizational assessment, training, coaching, writing, and public speaking.

Lydia serves on the Strength for Service Board of Directors. Lydia Istomina holds the SOJOURNER OF TRUTH AWARD for courage and justice and the ARLON O. EBRIGHT AWARD for leadership.

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