Until 1995 there was hardly anything known in Russia about "U.I.C.H." "Les Clefs d’Or". In 1995 the information about the organization which unites concierges around the world gradually leaked out. That was the time when I discovered the International Union of Concierges and the information about the congresses which are annually organized in different countries of the world.
Being already an experienced concierge (in 1995 I had a 3-year experience in this position), I decided to organize the national Russian section of Les Clefs d’Or in order to join the U.I.C.H. and immediately started to work on this matter.
I got in touch with Andras Gunst who was then the President of the Hungarian Section. This section was the largest and the most influential in Eastern Europe. Andras appeared to be a very professional and communicative person and enthusiastically agreed to assist. One year has passed until the Russian concierges were officially acknowledged. During that time Andras constantly supported us and provided assistance with many questions.
In December, 1996 the regular International Congress of U.I.C.H. took place in Rome. Under the support of Andras we went to our first congress together with Eugene Yakovlev (Chief Concierge of the Grand Hotel Europe in St. Petersburg).
In 1997 during the congress in Budapest we joined the Hungarian section as the affiliated members with the active assistance of Andras as well. Thus, we got one step closer to the International membership.
The founding meeting of the Russian Section of Les Clefs d’Or was held on the 16th of November, 1999. The founders were Eugene Bagdasarov, Andrey Bushuev, Alexander Lyamin, Stanislav Paykov and Lavrentiy Giyenko – the concierges of Baltschug Kempinski Hotel.
The section obtained its legal entity on the 28th of January, 2000. Mr. Hans C. Sebesta, the General Manager of Baltschug Kempinski Hotel and his Deputy Mr. Alexander Bobylev provided great assistance with numerous legal formalities related to the registration of the section.
Starting from the 1996 we took an active part in the International events of U.I.C.H. Following the congress in Rome there were events in Budapest in 1997, in Brussels in 2000 and in Athens in 2001.
Heated discussions spread around the question of accepting the Russian Section into "U.I.C.H." on the congress in Brussels in 2000. There were both supporters as well as opponents. Maria Bobarykina, chief concierge of Marriott Royal Aurora Hotel, participated in this congress together with me. By that time she began to take an active part in the promotion of our section and its activities.
A huge work has been done during all these years and much effort and time has been spent. Finally, on the congress in Athens in 2001 under the immediate support of Aldo Giacomello, who was then the President of "U.I.C.H.", it was announced, that since 2000 our organization obtains the official status of the Russian Section of Les Clefs d’Or! We became the competent members of the International Union of concierges.
I would like to express my deep gratitude to Hans C. Sebesta, Alexander Bobylev, Andras Gunst, Aldo Giacomello, Andrey Bushuev, Alexander Lyamin, Stanislav Paykov, Lavrentiy Giyenko, Maria Bobarykina for the invaluable contribution to the foundation of the Russian section of Les Clefs d’Or.
Honorary President of “Les Clefs d’Or” Russia