On December 5, 1998, the Hungarian American Coalition (“Coalition”) held its seventh Annual Meeting at the Kossuth House in Washington, DC., electing two new individual Board members Dr. Agnes Huszar Vardy and Mr. Istvan Fuzesi. Following the Annual Meeting the Board of Directors convened and elected as Chairman of the Board Mrs. Edith K. Lauer. The Board also created the new position of Honorary President unanimously electing Rev. Imre Bertalan, former Chairman of the Board of Directors. The Board elected as its new President Mr. Peter Ujvagi and renewed the terms of Mr. Julius Varallyay, Secretary; Mr. Zsolt Szekeres, Treasurer; Mr. Géza Kádár, Jr., Legal Counsel. Elected as Vice Presidents were Mr. George Dozsa, Mr. Imre Lendvai-Lintner, Rev. Istvan Mustos, Dr. Balazs Somogyi, and Bishop Francis Vitez. The following members of the Coalition were re-elected as members of the Board for another three year term: Mrs. Anne Bader; Mr. George Pogan; and the Minnesota Hungarians. It also approved membership for two organizations, the Geauga Magyar Cultural Society of Northeast Ohio and the Hungarian American Club of New Mexico. The Board increased the number of new individual Board members from the current 10 to a maximum of up to 20.
The resolutions passed by the Board included selecting Washington, DC as the site for the Annual Human Rights Workshop for 1999 and approving an expression of concern about the continued existence of the 1956 Institute in Hungary. The Coalition committed to implement a project to bring Hungarian-language broadcasting to the United States in 1999 and discussed the possibility of initiating a leadership training program called Partnership 2000 in Slovakia.
On December 4th, Coalition members participated in a White House Briefing with presentations by Mr. Stephen Flanagan, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Central and Eastern Europe; NSC, Ms. Susan Braden, Director for Central and Eastern Europe, NSC; Ambassador Larry Napper, Coordinator for Eastern European Assistance, Department of State; and Mr. James Swigert, Director, Office of North Central European Affairs, Department of State.
The Coalition members attended the traditional Mikulas Dinner hosted by His Excellency Mr. and Mrs. Géza Jeszsenszky at the Hungarian Embassy. The Coalition was honored by the presence of special guests Mr. Zsolt Németh, Political State Secretary of the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Congressman and Mrs. Tom Tancredo; and Mr. Stephen Flanagan and other officials from the Hungarian and US Governments.