On Sunday, June 2, 1996, the Hungarian American Coalition Board of Directors held its biannual Board Meeting at Bartholomew Vineyard in Sonoma Valley. The site of the meeting – the first Coalition meeting to be held on the West Coast – was the beautiful villa originally built by Count Agoston Haraszthy, the Hungarian founder of the California wine industry in the mid 1800’s. Following the Board Meeting, leaders of local Hungarian American organizations, including former Congressman Ernest Konnyu, joined the Board at an afternoon reception.
During its Board Meeting the Coalition adopted a position to express concern about declaring English the official language of the United States. The Board also reaffirmed its continuing support of The White House Internship by Ameritech program, which presently sponsors three Hungarian American interns at the White House.
The Board decided to partially fund and assist the fall visit to the U.S. of Jozsef Halzl of Hungary and Arpad Duka Zolyomi of Slovakia. In addition, the Board voted to purchase and disseminate copies of Andras Ludanyi’s soon-to-be-published work, Nationalities Papers on Hungarian Minorities. Board members expressed their appreciation to Helen Szablya, for offering a percentage of the sale of her book, The Fall of the Red Star, to benefit the Coalition and will continue to assist her in arranging visits to various Hungarian American communities. In an effort to improve communication between the Coalition and its members, the Board also decided that the Coalition will begin to publish a bi-monthly Newsletter.
The Coalition approved the membership and welcomed two new organizations: American Express Hungary Ltd., and the National Committee of Hungarians from Slovakia. Finally, the Board decided to hold its 1996 Annual Meeting and traditional Mikulas Dinner in Washington, D.C., on the weekend of December 5-7, 1996.