20th Anniversary Letter


Dear Coalition Members,

Today, August 20, the Feast Day of Hungary’s King St. Stephen, we have much to remember:  we mark the 20th anniversary of the Hungarian American Coalition.

That day was the culmination of many months of planning by a group of dedicated Hungarian Americans who realized the importance of establishing an effective non-profit organization at a historic time. The long-standing ad hoc, individual efforts, however dedicated, were no longer sufficient to promote the newly dynamic Hungarian-American relations.  Only an institution could do them justice, and thus, the Hungarian American Coalition was founded to mobilize and coordinate the resources of its membership to promote the interests of the Hungarian American community.

The goals were ambitious and straightforward:

  • Build strong relations between the U.S. and Hungary;
  • Promote cultural and educational exchanges;
  • Advocate for human and minority rights of Hungarians living outside Hungary’s borders; and
  • Support the newly democratic institutions of Hungary.

The composition of the initial Board was the following:

Executive Board:  Rev. Imre Bertalan (Chair), Ildiko Bodoni, Dr. Edward Chaszar, Paul Fekete, Laszlo Hamos, Frank Koszorus Jr., Zsolt Szekeres, Peter Ujvagi

Officers:  Edith Lauer (President), Sandor Taraszovics (Executive Vice President), Gabor Bodnar, Bishop Andrew Harsanyi, August Molnar, Rev. Istvan Mustos, Dr. Balazs Somogyi and Bishop Zoltan Szucs (Vice Presidents), Andras Ludanyi, (Secretary), Ilona Lang (Treasurer) and Geza Kadar (Legal Counsel).  Additional people listed to serve on committees:  Geza Bankuty, Gyorgy Dozsa, Robert Gabor, Szabolcs Szekeres, Karoly Nagy, Paul Teleki was the Budapest Liaison for the Coalition.

In the past 20 years, many people have volunteered thousands of hours, donated generously, traveled tens of thousands of miles, and met with countless individuals and groups in the U.S., in Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Serbia and Ukraine in developing the network of contacts, as well as the hundreds of programs and projects that make the Hungarian American Coalition “a credible, dependable voice for the interests of Hungarians around the world.”

On behalf of the Board of Directors and elected officers of the Coalition I would like to thank all members and supporters for their work during the past 20 years.

As we look to the future, and on this 20th Anniversary, the Coalition welcomes you to visit our new website at the same address:  www.hacusa.org

This site is part of many changes and programs in the weeks and months to come. I look forward to working with you in the pursuit of the Coalition's noble endeavors in the future.

You can also visit and, hopefully, "like" our new social networking page on Facebook: www.facebook.com/HungarianAmericanCoalition

Maximilian N. Teleki

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