The First Twenty Years: Dedicated Advocacy and Community Leadership

In May 2012, the Hungarian American Coalition published The First 20 Years – Dedicated Advocacy and Community Leadership.  The 124-page book, an account of the Coalition’s history, was written by Andrea Lauer Rice, Edith K. Lauer and Katica Avvakumovits, and designed by Lorelei Grazier Danilchick. (To read the book in PDF, download or open it by clicking on the cover. Size: 3.2MB)

The First 20 Years (large book cover)

The First 20 Years provides a comprehensive overview of the Coalition from its founding to the present, in chapters entitled “Education and Culture,” “Information and Advocacy”, and “Hungarian American Affairs”.  The last section, “The Coalition in Facts and Figures,” provides details on the organization’s governance, leadership and donors.  Also included are personal profiles of the Coalition’s prominent funders, as well as its past Presidents and Chairmen.

In addition to names, dates and projects, the book includes reminiscences that recall the sometimes tense, sometimes humorous aspects of events in the Coalition’s history – such as the meetings between Administration officials and U.S. ethnic organizations over NATO expansion, or the role of a celebrity chef in attracting Washington notables to the first luncheon hosted by the Coalition, then a no-name NGO.

The publication was formally presented on May 9, 2012, at the Coalition’s annual Gala Dinner in Washington, DC.  All Coalition members have received copies, and the book has also been distributed to officials and NGO leaders, in both the U.S. and Hungary, who are involved in Hungarian American relations.

The First Twenty Years has elicited many positive responses.

“Many, many thanks for the herculean effort to pull this together with the highest degree of professionalism.  Your work will serve us well to start the chronicles for the next twenty years.” – Board Member George Pogan

“A fantastic collection! My thanks and congratulations for writing this part of Hungarian American history.” – Board Member László Böjtös

“On behalf of the Hungarian Embassy and its staff, I also congratulate you and the Coalition on the wonderful work you are doing in the service of the Hungarian American community and, by helping to strengthen the relationship between the US and Hungary, in the service of the motherland.  We are very appreciative and thankful for this work.  Please share this recognition with your members.” – Hungarian Ambassador György Szapáry, to Coalition President Max Teleki

“Wow, it is just packed with great information and what a testimony to ALL the good work HAC has done.” – Dr. Jeanette G. Brown, Coalition Benefactor

“The Coalition’s First 20 Years is a remarkable book and I am hoping to get a few copies to exhibit at the Hungarian Association meeting next November.  Glad there are so many pictures because it offers a teaser to read the whole story.  Unfortunately, too few people know about the depth of your work.” – Coalition Board Member Gabriella Nadas

Hungarian Foreign Minister Dr. János Martonyi’s response to the book is attached.

Copies of The First 20 Years are available from the Coalition’s Washington office.  To obtain one, please send a request to our address above or write to

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Non-official translation

Maximilian Teleki
Hungarian American Coalition

July “   “, 2012

Dear Max, Thank you for your letter and the 20th anniversary publication of the Hungarian American Coalition.   In the name of the Government of Hungary, I would like to congratulate you on the occasion of this significant anniversary. In the past two decades the Hungarian American Coalition has grown into a remarkable Hungarian-American institution, which also plays a special role in the relationship between the Hungarian-American community and Hungary.   I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for your generous and selfless efforts undertaken to benefit the Hungarian American community and to strengthen harmonious relations between our countries.   I extend my best wishes to you and the Hungarian American Coalition for continuing success during the decades to come!   Warm regards,   János Martonyi

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