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About Us


Cactus and Tryzub was founded in March 2022 in order to connect Ukrainian and Ukrainian-American community of Arizona to resources - local and national - for all things Ukrainian.


This organization emerged in response to ever expanding Russian aggression towards Ukraine.  This aggression lasted openly for 8 years and finally culminated in a massive and devastating military attack on the country in February of this year. Our immediate mission is to provide information and connect Ukrainians in the area to available community resources and events. The mission and focus are subject to change and evolve with the needs of our community.


Activism. Fundraising. Refugees. Sociocultural.


Residents of Arizona state who care about Ukraine and its people.

Meet the team

We are a team of local volunteers working on various Ukraine support initiatives. If you are interested in joining our ranks and become part of Cactus and Tryzub in a supportive role, please contact us. We look forward to connecting with you.


Irene Amrine


Cactus and Tryzub is my passion project. I started this site to accompany initiatives which support the growing Ukrainian-American community of the greater Phoenix area. Ternopil, Ukraine, was my home until I turned 14. My family immigrated to the US in 1997 as refugees. Members of my family, in one way or another, fought in anti-Russian resistance for generations.  To this day and from abroad, I continue my family's legacy in support of Ukraine and our people's fight for freedom.

katrina headshot.jpg

Katrina Schaffner



Oli Nevinska

Co-founder, Director of

  Strategic Initiatives

Oli is the one of the most passionate and dedicated people you will ever meet. Also from Ternopil, Oli has poured her heart and soul into Ukraine support initiatives.


Khrystyna Shkudor



Olya Johnson

      Director of Public

Outreach and Engagement

I joined Cactus and Tryzub shortly after this war started, because I could not be passive about this tragedy, I had to do something. Since then, I have met so many wonderful, smart people passionate about Ukraine, Ukrainians, and this injustice. The first half of my life I spent in the town of my birth, Kropyvnytsky, Ukraine. For the second half, I have called Phoenix, Arizona, my home. This is where I bought my first home and started my family, including where my children were born. I often think that if they had been born back in Ukraine, their happy childhood would have been brutally taken away, and my heart bleeds every time. My Motherland will win. However, there is a long road ahead. Even after Ukraine’s victory, there will be a lengthy rebuilding process. I want to be a part of helping Ukraine be victorious and its reconstruction, to make it beautiful again. I do this for my children and for all others that do not have a childhood anymore. When I am not working with Cactus and Tryzub volunteers, I work in finance, with a focus on leadership development and training.


Anne Ivashchenko


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