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Since the autumn issue of GZ News the Global-Z family gathered with tears, laughter and fond memories in celebration of the life of Irene V. Garder. Irene, deceased Oct. 18, 2008, had been an active supporter of Global-Z International during its early years. The following is her obituary. We wanted to share with you her full and courageous life story.

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Irina Vadimovna Garder, nee Bolychevtseva went to her Lord Oct. 18, at the Bennington Health and Rehabilitation Center, where she had resided for three years. She was surrounded by her loving family.

Irina was born Feb. 19, 1916, in Moscow, Russia of a prominent family of the lower nobility. Her father Vadim was active in various anti-monarchist groups, and exiled from Russia. Upon his return, Vadim joined the growing Bolshevik movement. After the revolution he worked directly under Lavrentii Beria, Stalin’s chief henchman in the 30’s. After a bitter dispute between Vadim and Beria, the latter denounced him to Stalin who issued an order for arrest and execution. Vadim was forced to flee, leaving his large family behind.

To support her family, Irina was forced to work briefly for a state-sponsored abortion clinic though still a teen. With few career options available to her, she decided to enroll in the Soviet Air Force. She obtained her wings before the age of 20, and in time became one of a small group of ace pilots, still remembered in today’s Russia. A freak accident resulted in her losing her left leg. Her career as a pilot was finished.

She married and bore a son, Leonid. Deserted by her husband, her career in tatters, she decided to try to rejoin her father in exile in the south of Russia. She left along with her younger sister Marianna and her infant son, traveling in stages and largely by foot. They were eventually able to rejoin Vadim in the region of the Crimean peninsula. At this time the victorious German armies swept into Russia, overwhelming large portions of the country. The family was now caught between two opposing armies. Irina decided to cross into German territory, at a considerable risk to herself and family. Eventually they reached the German city of Halle where they survived intense allied bombing and the eventual German surrender to the Red Army. Forced once again to flee, the family escaped at the last moment and fled to the western part of Germany. Here they saw the end of the war. Thanks to the efforts of a distant relative, they were able to emigrate to Paris where they lived into the early 50’s, at which point Irina and her son were able to emigrate once again, this time to the United States. They settled in the town of Nyack NY, home to a large Russian Orthodox community. On her meager salary of a seamstress she was able to send her son through College. Eventually she obtained employment at Columbia University’s Physics laboratory in Irvington NY. She worked there for over 25 years into her retirement.

During her many years there, she developed friendships with many leading physicists, chief among which was her life-long friend Dr. Jack Steinberger. Irina was very active in her Russian Orthodox community in Rockland County. She also maintained close friendships with members outside her community. In the 1970’s and 1980’s she helped a number of Russian Jewish families in their resettlement efforts. She was also actively involved in the Russian Muslim community, counting among her friends Sonia, a professional dress-maker, who sewed for Irina’s future daughter-in-law Sasha a beautiful wedding gown in the ancient Russian tradition. Irina had a deep respect and gratitude to the United States for harboring her and her son. In her home she would not tolerate any negative comments about the US, saying: if you don’t like it, go somewhere else.

Throughout her long life, and particularly toward the end, she maintained an active life dedicated to service to her community and to her neighbors and friends far and wide. She is today well remembered by numerous people in Rockland County. Stricken with Alzheimer’s disease, she was initially admitted to the Russian Orthodox Convent of Novo Diveevo. She was eventually transferred to the Bennington Health and Rehabilitation facility in Bennington where she was treated for nearly 3 years. The family expresses deep gratitude to the staffs and nurses at Novo Diveevo and Bennington Health and Rehabilitation for the wonderful care administered to Irina during those difficult years. She leaves behind her beloved son Leonid, her younger sister Marianna, her daughter-in-law Sasha, whom she revered as if her own daughter, seven grand-children: Natalie, Paul, Dimitri, Sophia, Nicholas, John and David, seven great-grand-children: Nicholas, Jacob, Josh, Brittany, Hope, Emma and Hans, and one great-great-grand-child Tucker.

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~By Grace Epperson

Chances are good if you’re reading this article, you already understand the value of globalizing your marketing efforts. The benefits are simple but powerful.

Whether it’s finding new customers for your products (those that are your homeruns or those that just need a new home) or experiencing higher response rates and less competition, going global is a sound way to diversify your customer base.

Marketing to multiple geographic areas helps protect you.  A few months ago you may have wondered what you might need protection against. Today, it’s glaringly obvious – protect yourself from markets that may take a steep downturn due to economic, political or other environmental factors.

So what happens in times like today, when practically all the world’s markets are impacted?
The answer is still diversification.

Here are five quick tips to consider when it comes to diversifying your marketing. These are recurring themes for me, particularly these past few months, as we hunker down and wait for an economic upswing.

1. Target countries or regions with currencies stronger than your own.

Even as the values of currencies fall, it’s all relative if you find the exchange rates that work to your advantage. For instance, the British pound is currently one and a half times the value of the US dollar. Now, that seems to pale against six months ago, when it was two to one, but it’s respectable nonetheless. What does that mean for you?

Well, if you price and process your offers in local currency, it means you’ll get 50% more revenue for each product that you sell. In my experience, as long as the promotion is strong and the product is applicable, there’s no reason why you can’t sell a $39 product for £39 and benefit from the exchange.

2. Don’t forget your neighbor.

Depending on where you’re marketing, there is likely a neighboring country or two to consider. There are lots of economies of scale, including but not limited to, printing, fulfillment, call center services and marketing support. The US and Canada are a natural fit. Australia and New Zealand go hand in hand. The list goes on. This tip seems pretty obvious, but I’m always surprised by how many companies discount testing and expanding into a neighboring country.

3. Can’t develop new product? Develop strategic partnerships instead.

This is a big one. Perhaps your budget has been cut and you’re not able to develop that next hot new product. You may want to consider pursuing a joint venture with a partner who has a product that’s fresh to your list and a perfect fit. You can even go so far as to white label it as your own. It’s a win-win situation that maximizes opportunity and minimizes risk on both sides. The deal can work both ways too, as you can then promote your product to their list. With all factors being equal, you typically work out a 50/50 split of profits.

4. Stay in the mail.

Well, if at all possible, stay in the mail. Here are some tactics that may help.

  • I’ve found that vendors, namely printers and mail shops, are hungry for business – a prime opportunity to really shop around, negotiate and lower your marketing costs.
  • You may also want to approach those list owners with whom you have longstanding rental relationships to see if they are interested in net name arrangement. This way you only pay list rental on names that make it out of the merge.  Or exchange – every list you don’t pay for could lower your costs dramatically.
  • Mail more of your house names. They’re free to mail and generally very responsive.  It may be smart to include more of them than you normally would, thereby subsidizing your prospecting in the short term.
  • Overprint and do smaller mail drops. You’ll have better control without sacrificing the economy of printing in a larger volume.

Remember, your competitors may be taking this time to play it safe and regroup, so now may be the ideal time to stay in front of your prospects.

5. Focus on making a friend (not a sale). 

Even if your offer has always been cash with order, if the response isn’t there, you may need to rethink your strategy. It may work out better for you to have 100,000 prospects versus 100 paid customers. Offers that I have seen work include:

  • Offering something for free along with your paid product offer. In publishing, this works particularly well when you promote a paid subscription and/or allow prospects to sign up for a free e-mail newsletter.
  • Delaying charging the customer during a free trial period where they can preview the product.
  • Selling a high-priced product by breaking up the price into manageable payments that are automatically charged.

In all of these scenarios, even if you don’t make the sale up front, you’ve significantly increased the number of prospects – all of whom you can put through a rigorous backend marketing program focused on conversion.