Hungarian American Coalition Sets New Course to Strengthen Regional Support

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Aug. 10 – The Hungarian American Coalition held its semi-annual Board Meeting on August 8 in Cleveland, OH, followed by a weekend retreat to review Coalition commitments, operations, and strategies.

At its meeting, the Board of Directors passed a resolution to renew Board membership of the Hungarian Americans for Human Rights in Délvidék and the Magyar Club of Cleveland. By unanimous vote, the Board also amended the Coalition’s By-Laws to increase from 10 up to 20 the number of individual board members, thereby expanding the potential size of the Board to 45 members.

During the meeting the Board accepted reports from the Coalition’s President and Treasurer as well as from the Information and Membership Committees, and reviewed several ongoing projects. The Board also agreed to support the elaboration of a Development Strategy, spearheaded by Board Member Anne Bader, to encompass fundraising, communications, and strengthened grass-roots support through Regional Coordinators in the U.S. The Development Strategy for 1999 will be presented for Board approval at its next meeting in December 1998. Newly elected Membership Committee Chairman, Frank Dobos, will play a major role in membership development.

At the retreat which followed the meeting, the Board and other invited Coalition members reached a consensus on the need to maintain wider and more regular communications with Hungarian-American supporters, so as to better identify and respond to their needs.

Moderated by John Betchkal, former head of communications for GE Lighting, the retreat allowed for a broad-gauged and unrestricted discussion of Coalition goals and activities. By the end of the afternoon, the Board had identified four areas of renewed focus for Coalition activities: informing public officials on issues relevant to Hungarian-Americans, strengthening Hungarian-American community life, defending the human rights of Hungarian minorities in the Carpathian basin, and enhancing the Coalition’s operational effectiveness.

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