The Serbian Unity Congress is pleased to announce the completion of its 20th Anniversary Convention held in Cleveland, Ohio, September 24-26, 2010.
Twenty Years of Work
Mr. Michael Djordjevich, founder of the Serbian Unity Congress, has been most closely involved with the challenges, successes, joys and frustrations faced by our organization and he shares these with us in his “Reflections”, which emphasize macro issues of the past and those ahead.
The two decades that passed since the founding of the Serbian Unity Congress may not have a precedent in history… continueRTS Video http://www.youtube.
Melissa Bean Video http://www.youtube.
Senator George Voinovich honored for extraordinary service
Verica Barac, President Serbia Anti-Corruption Council Exceptional Citizenship AwardGreetings Patriarch Irinej
President Boris Tadic
Minister Vuk Jeremic
Minister Dragan Sutanovac
Minister Ivica Dacic
Minister Srdjan Sreckovic
Former Minister for Diaspora Vojislav Vukcevic
Minister Oliver Dulic
Ambassador Vladimir Petrovic
Twenty Year Anniversary of the Serbian Unity Congress
What have twenty years of our work meant? In many ways, this convention allowed us to consider our past challenges, and how our new path has emerged and is still following the main mile-posts laid down 20 years ago.
Down Memory Lane
The Convention Opening Night
Friday September 24th, guests and attendees were welcomed by Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson in Cleveland’s City Hall Rotunda. The Serbian flag flew once again alongside the American flag for three days over City Hall as in 1990. Mayor Jackson presented the Serbian Unity Congress with a City of Cleveland proclamation recognizing our organization’s achievements over the last 20 years. The Serbian Unity Congress would like to thank Mayor Jackson for his gracious reception of our guests. Our guests from Serbia followed the City Hall reception with a dinner at the Marriott Club. We would also like to thank our generous host and Trustee, Mr. Machaskee, for generously hosting both the City Hall reception and the dinner, and Mr. Nikola Djukic and Mr. Nick Mavrakis, whose businesses provided the beverages at City Hall. Thanks also go to Wayne and Gayle Vidovich for catering the food.
The Saturday Convention Program
Panel presentations and discussions during the day included panels on doing business in Serbia, the status of restitution and rehabilitation in Serbia, professional networking and the new SUC Serbian American Voice Ambassador (SAVA) Network. Guests from Serbia and the Diaspora had the opportunity to interact, network and meet with our special guests and panelists.
Officials from the Serbian government who joined us as guests at the convention included Mr. Djerdj Matkovic, First Counselor of the Embassy of Serbia, Desko Nikitovic, Consul General of the Consulate of Serbia in Chicago, and Miodrag Jaksic, State Secretary of the Ministry for Diaspora. We were also joined by Mr. Keith Simmons, Former Chief of Mission for USAID in Serbia and Ms. Katherine Garry, Serbia Desk Officer at the US State Department.
Serbia Business Delegation
This convention hosted a special business delegation from Serbia, which had a separate program during the week. One of our Trustees, Mr. Alex Machaskee, organized numerous visits for the Serbia business delegation members with the academic and business communities of Cleveland and Ohio. Business program
The Saturday evening Gala Banquet
Honoring Senator George Voinovich -- We honored Ohio Senator George Voinovich for his many years of public service, served with honor and integrity, and for his special role in speaking up in Congress for the fair and objective consideration of the Serbian people and their welfare. The Senator asked if he could become a member of the Serbian Unity Congress and we informed him that he would be made an honorary member.
Keynote Speaker -- Our keynote speaker, the Co-Chair of the Serbian American Congressional Caucus Congressman Dan Burton, reported on his recent trip to the former Yugoslavia region and impressed upon us the need to be involved in the democratic process and commended the Serbian Unity Congress for its contribution in engaging the Serbian American community in that process. He expressed his deep concerns for the conditions in Kosovo for Serbs and other minorities, mentioning two letters he wrote upon his return to America, one to Secretary Clinton, the other to Hashim Thachi. Clinton letter, Thaci letter
Serbian Unity Congress Award for Exceptional Citizenship – The Serban Unity Congress Board agreed to award a Civic Tribute for Exceptional Citizenship to be issued to citizens whose moral standards, courage and leadership contribute to the development of a moral society and just and lawful state. This year we selected to award Ms. Verica Barac and the Anti-Corruption Council of Serbia of which she is President for their courageous and excellent work in fighting the core of the problem of corruption in Serbia. In our view corruption is the greatest impediment to Serbia’s economic progress and the building of a moral civil society.
Entertainment – The evening was a festive event. We had the pleasure of being entertained by the very talented baritone Dimitrie Lazich, the SROS Choral Ensemble and the Žuta Osa Orchestra.
Visit to the Serbian Cultural Garden
Congressmand Dan Burton, Co-Chair, Serbian Congressional Caucus