NFCA DELEGATION ATTENDS WORLD SUMMIT OF CROATIAN BUSINESS LEADERS IN CLEVELAND, OHIO
Washington, DC (June 29, 2004) NFCA President Ed Andrus and Eastern Region Vice President Steve Rukavina led a delegation of NFCA past and current Board members and key NFCA activists that participated in the World Summit Of Croatian Business Leaders at the Group 100 meeting that was held on June 25-27. The gathering was sponsored by the American Croatian Business Association and held at the Croatian Hall in Eastlake, Ohio. There were over 250 business leaders from the global Croatian diaspora who gathered to discuss ways to invest in Croatia and to boost development of Croatia's economy. The participants heard from high level Croatian government officials including the Ministers of the Economy, Agriculture, Tourism and Finance regarding structural changes taking place which will create opportunities for investment. The Group 100 meeting concluded with the election of Executive Committee members who will be responsible on an on-going basis to promote investments and business development in Croatia.
NFCA participants included current Board Members Zvonko Labas, Dr. Judy Vogelsang, Joe Rukavina, Tom Steich, Tony Dizdar ,and past board members Miro Koletic, Mijo Radocaj, Nenad Bach, Michael Benz, Niko Hazdovac, Milan Vukovic, and Marko Rudela. Because of their expertise, Dr. Judy Vogelsang and Nenad Bach were selected to chair panel discussions on biotech-medicine and the media. They were both asked to give presentations in their respective fields before the entire audience. NFCA President Ed Andrus also helped lead a breakout session on information technology and was impressed by the number and capabilities of small businesses that have been created within Croatia despite the trying times they've been through. He stated "We were honored that the Summit Leaders recognized the talents of NFCA members and selected them to play a leadership role in this historic event by asking them to chair panel discussions."
Steve Rukavina, Ed Andrus, Zvonko Labas, and Miro Koletic joined Mark Van Fleet of Capstone International at a private meeting with Croatian Minister of the Economy, Branko Vukelic, to discuss the NFCA's efforts at supporting an innovative new program between the Capstone International-US Chamber of Commerce and its Croatian counterpart that will create working relationships between Croatian businesses and U.S. companies. Croatian Finance Minister Ivan Suker, State-Secretary in the central state office for development strategy Dr. Ante Babic, and Assistant Foreign Minister David Sopta participated in the discussions.
On Sunday, June 27, Steve Rukavina was asked by the organizers of Group 100 to moderate and chair the elections for members of the Executive Committee. He was subsequently elected the Eastern USA Vice President of Group 100. Former NFCA board member Miro Koletic was elected Western USA Vice President, and former NFCA president Mijo Radocaj was elected the Group 100 Deputy Treasurer. Marko Rudela and Nenad Bach were also elected to serve on the Board of Directors as well as the Group 100 Advisory Committee.
Steve Rukavina concluded upon his departure from Cleveland that "I am very excited about the planned and proposed development of Group 100 and the growing overall commitment of so many Croatians globally to extend their time, talent, and dollars in the international organizational efforts to invest in Croatia. I have never seen so much Croatian business synergy and Croatian diaspora talent all in one room at the same time."
The NFCA is a national umbrella group of major Croatian-American organizations which collectively have 120,000 members.