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Image by Suzanne D. Williams

Evolution of The National Consortium

The National Consortium was established  in 1931 by Viktor "Oogie" Zelepukin, a Russian philanthropist who emigrated to the US amid escalating worldwide tensions.  His mission statement for the fledgling organization was simply to spread joy and promote harmony "в крошечных местах" (in tiny places) where it often matters most. 

Viktor was the sole employee for the first two years, but soon formed a partnership with a Chicago newspaper tycoon named Robert Hicks.  Together, the two were able to coordinate and promote food, clothing and education drives within communities of need across the greater Illinois. 

Their work inspired countless individuals to mimic their magnanimity, and by 1940, the non-profit had grown to 100 employees large.  TNC's efforts had also grown in scope, extending to local communities within all 48 contiguous United States (Alaska and Hawaii following by 1950).

Zelepukin spent much of the 1960s and 70s investing in new infrastructure for his company, future-proofing it against economic downturn through savvy partnerships at both the local and state level, developing new inroads into the private sector as well for philanthropic coordination.  

In 1981, the company was at a crossroads.  Many of the mechanisms they had helped create across the nation within communities had come to a place of maturation and self-mobilization.  The National Consortium had accomplished unparalleled goodwill, but needed a way to remain relevant amidst changing times.  

In 1983, the company retooled its work, transitioning out of grassroots excellence building, and instead, adopted the model that is still being used today: excellence recognition in small towns, in rural places, and in cities, where joy and harmony certainly matter a great deal.

The organization proudly boasts over 450 employees and is being run by its current CEO, Carmine Laguzio.

Evolution of TNC: About
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