The NFCA Cultural Foundation is so grateful and thrilled for the generous donation by Dr. Dinko Podrug to
the NFCA a year ago in December 2016. This beautiful oil painting by Andrea Schiavone is also known as
Andrija Medulic from Zadar. The exquisite painting is currently displayed at the Zagreb Museum of Arts
and Crafts. The masterpiece is an image of the Virgin Mary with a child. Known as "Madonna and Child".
We thank Dr. Dinko Podrug, who bought this painting a few years ago in New York and wants citizens of
Zagreb and Croatia to see the masterpiece of this Croatian born and talented Italian artist - Dec 22, 2017
A Huge Crowd Gathered at the Croatian Embassy for a Christmas Reception and to Celebrate 25 years
of Croatian-American cooperation. The Main Speakers were Croatian Ambassador Pjer Simunovic
and the Representative of the Croatian Senate, Mr. Franko Vidovic. Two nights Earlier was a
Washington DC Area Christmas Party Sponsored by St Blaise Croatian Catholic Mission, CFU lodge
#1976 and HURA (Croatian Hour). Held at Our Lady of Victory Church. The Local Wash DC Area
Tamburitzan band called "Orkestar
Zivili" Entertained the 100 + people - December 11, 2017
Odlicno "40 Under 40" Winner Peter Hazdovac helped arrange a LA area Meeting and Dinner with
new US Ambassador Bob Kohorst; his Father Niko is on the left. Peter was Recently Elected President of
the Croatian Club of San Pedro, CA - December 2017
Very Productive NFCA Meeting the Morning after. With new US Ambassador Robert Kohorst, Senator
Mark Begich far left and Liam Sullivan from the State Dept far right - December 7, 2017
Six US Ambassadors to Croatia were in Attendance at the Army Navy Club which is Two Short Blocks
away from Pennsylvania Ave and the White House. From left to right: Julieta Valls Noyes, Peter Galbraith,
Robert Bradtke, Ken Merten and Jim Foley. Robert Kohorst is Not Present on this Picture.
Kolinda was the Queen of the Event - December 6, 2017
NFCA Andrea Novak-Neumann, New US Ambassador Robert (Bob) Kohorst and Croatian Embassy
Deputy Chief of Mission Lara Romano.
Can you Guess who was the First NFCA President? Answer: Ed Damich.
Ed is Standing Next to Ed Pazo. Who was the First Prime Minister? Answer: Franjo Greguric
Who was President Longer, Tudjman or Mesic? Answer: Franco Tudjman = 8 years, Stepan Mesic = 12.
NFCA/HURA Dr Steve Pavletic, Croatian President Policy Advisor Dario Mihelin, CFU President Ed Pazo
and CFU Franjo Bertovic.
Steve Rukavina, Zvonko Labas, 1st US Ambassador to Croatia Peter Galbraith, NFCA John Kraljic
(President Croatian Academy) - December 6, 2017
Hopefully the 30th Year Anniversary will be as Special as the 25th Gala Dinner.
Everyone Wishes New Croatian Ambassador Pier Simunovic (not pictured) Good luck.
Unforgettable Evening, the Embassy had a Fun Gala Dinner Celebrating 25 years US-Croatia Relations;
NFCA Exec VP Zvonko Labas, NFCA President Steve Rukavina, Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (NY),
Her Excellency Croatia's President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, US Ambassador Bob Kohorst at the
"Army and Navy Club" in Washington DC - December 6, 2017
Two NFCA "40 Under 40" Award Winners Received an Award at the Minnesota Christmas Party.
Chicago Croatian Consul Sanja Lakovic, Tom Forti, Sam Miltich and President of the Minnesota
organization Andrea Novak-Neumann. Andrea is also a NFCA Board Member. This 37th Annual Event
was held at the Hrvatska Dom in South St Paul. Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Margaret Chutich
was a Special Guest - December 2, 2017
NFCA Officers Attended the CTR SAIS 2017 Mediterranean Basin Award Ceremony in Wash DC.
Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) Co-Chair of Helsinki Commission, Joe Foley, Eric Gregrich
and Steve Rukavina - November 15, 2017
NFCA GA Joe Foley with Daniel Serwar, President of BiH Marinko Cavara, Dejan Vanjek and
Young Georgetown Graduate Valentino Grbavac at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International
Studies symposia on Bosnia - November 15, 2017
BiH Book Launch at John Hopkins University SAIS Balkans Forum on Massachusetts Ave, Wash DC.
"Bosnia and Herzegovina: Towards Its European Future". Steve Rukavina, Federation BiH President
Marinko Cavara and Joe Foley - November 15, 2017
NFCA's Ron Zivic Attended the G2.3 Conference in Zagreb.
3rd Annual Meeting of the Croatian Global Business Networking - November 7, 2017
NFCA "40 Under 40" Award Winners (Julia Jaksic, Filip Pirsl and Alex Salopek) at the Croatian Embassy
with four members of the NFCA Award Comittee. From left to right: Steve Pavletic, Filip, Steve
Rukavina, Julia, Vlatka Persins, Alexander and Eric Gregrich - November 2, 2017
NFCA Meeting at the Croatian Embassy. NFCA Lobbyist Joe Foley, NFCA Exec VP Zvonko Labas,
Mirna Vlassic-Ferketija, New Croatian Ambassador Pjer Simunovic, NFCA Pres Steve Rukavina,
NFCA Gerald Skrlin, NFCA John Kraljic, NFCA Eric Gregrich - October 6, 2017
Twelve "40 Under 40" Award Winners Gathered the first weekend in October for the New York City
Musical Event which raised $20,000 for Croatians in Banja Luka. Should this be an Annual Event?
NFCA John Kraljic, Tom Skara, Tatjana Mustac, Ella Mische, Ivana Masic, Biljana Lovrinovic,
Marko Buljan, Bishop Komarica, Teresa Scanlan, Ivana Peric, Kristin Vukovic, Alex Salopek,
Marina Masic, NFCA Eric Gregrich and NFCA President Steve Rukavina.
For Ten More Group Pictures Please see "NYC Event" Under the "Photos" Tab.
Coatian Fraternal Union (CFU) Lodge #1976, and St. Blaise Croatian Catholic Mission,
of Washington, DC picnic in honor of the late Anne (Ankica) Pavlich
- September 24, 2017
Steve Rukavina talked with BiH President Covic the night before the UN General Assembly.
All of the focus was on BiH electoral reforms needed for 2018 elections to ensure that Croats can
elect the Croat Member of the BiH Presidency - September 18, 2017
Croatian Prime minister Andrej Plenkovic met with leaders of the American Croatian community in New
York City before the 72nd session of the UN general assembly. Minister of Foreign and European Affairs
Marija Pejcinovic will also attend meetings. From left to right: Croatian ambassador Pjer Simunovic,
NFCA President Steve Rukavina, PM Plenkovic and NFCA Lawyer John Kraljic - September 18, 2017
BiH Defense Minister Pendes (middle) at NATO's Building Integrity Conference in Washington DC.
She was a panelist with US DoD's Defense Governance and Management representatives - September 2017
NFCA Executive President Zvonko Labas and NFCA Secretary Vlatka Persin with Croatian Attache to the
U.S. Brigadier General Ivica Olujic and his wife at the celebration of the Croatian National and
Armed Forces Day. At the Organization of American States (OAS) Building Close to the White House - June 2017
Joe Foley NFCA Lobbyist and Nanette Barragan, our Croatian Co-Chair who was one of two women
to play. And she got a hit and RBI in front of almost 25,000 people :) - June 15, 2017.
Pleased to hear Hoyt Yee testify before Senate FR Comm. w-Sen. Johnson, Murphy, Shaheen!
Focused talk after hearing! - June 14, 2017.
Steve Rukavina Talked With Congressman Brendan Boyle Foreign Affairs Committee and
Ulana Mazurkevich, Ukrainian Fed. Pres. Solidarity Versus Russia - June 14, 2017.
We had a Successful and Enjoyable Convention/ Weekend in Pittsburgh.
Where will the 2018 Convention be held? Vegas, Cleveland, LA, Pgh, Wash DC?
See NFCA Photo Tab for More Pictures - June 2017.
Steve with Bishop Franjo Komarica a Nobel Peace Prize Nominee. He will be Attending the NFCA NYC
"40 Under 40"/ Musical Event on October 1st. To be Held at the Nikola Tavelic Croatian
Center/ Croatian Church of St Cyril & Methodius & St Raphael - May 2017.
Steve (left) and Antuna Babica (right) were Guests of Dr. Dragan Covic the Croat member of the
Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina (middle) in Sarajevo - May 2017.
Steve Rukavina is the Everywhere Man. Special Olympics floorball tournament was in Dugo Selo,
which is a little East of Zagreb. It was a real success and all players had very much fun - May 21, 2017.
Steve and Amb Julieta Valls Noyes Discussed Croatian Diaspora Issues in Croatia - May 2017.
Thirteen Awards Were Distributed to the NFCA "40 Under 40" Winners at the ACAP Conference
in Chicago. From left to right: Tatjana Mustac, (NFCA officers: Steve Pavletic, Andrea Novak Neumann,
Steve Rukavina), Dr Carmen Mikacenic, Biljana Lovrinovic, Peter Hazdovec, Emily Hasalah, Daniel Glad,
Marko Buljan, Nick Begich III, Mario Jurcic, Derek Hohn, Mark Yelich, Jelena Rudela and Maria Sentic
- May 2017.
Steve Rukavina, Senator Mark Begich and Mauro Viskovic in Chicago - May 2017.
Steve, Andrea and David Diehl. David was the Keynote Speaker (in Chicago) and he is a Two Time
Super Bowl Winner. He was a Starting Guard for the New York Giants. Will David be a Candidate
for "40 Under 40" in October 2018? - May, 2017.
Croatian embassy in the U.S. held a reception to welcome Peter Galbraith the 1st American Ambassador
to Croatia from 1993 to 1998. NFCA Eric Gregrich, NFCA 1st Pres Ed Damich, George Huff, U.S. Amb Peter Galbraith, NFCA Tom Steich and Croatian Amb Josko Paro.
Josko's five year term is finished come July 2017 - April 22, 2017.
General Jacques Klein, 1995-1997 UNTAES mission in Eastern Slavonia and some say the most successful UN re-integration program ever
in a former war zone - April 22, 2017.
NFCA Pres Steve Rukavina meets with EU Ambassador David O'Sullivan at his Washington DC Home.
Reception was celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the Rome Treaty - March 28, 2017.
Croatian embassy in the U.S. held a reception to welcome Croatian Foreign Minister Davor Ivo Stier,
who is in Washington D.C. to attend the meeting of the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS, organized by the
U.S. Department of State, and attended by ministers from 68 countries. FM Davor Stier is in the middle,
NFCA Members with General Ivica Olujic - March 2017.
NFCA Lawyer John Kraljic, NFCA Political Affairs Zvonko Labas, Croatian FM Davor Ivo Stier,
NFCA President Steve Rukavina, Croatian Ambassador Josip Paro, NFCA Lobbyist Joe Foley and
Asst Croatian FM Gordan Bakota. Will there be Electoral Laws Changes in BiH this Year?
There were a lot of Good Conversations, Good Food and Good Wine on March, 21 2017.
A Croatian human rights attorney, Krisitna Gogic, gave a presentation on lustration, the way in which
various post-communist countries dealt with crimes that were committed by the secret service of the regime.
Croatia has not promulgated any laws to deal with that issue, although 25 years have passed since its independence.
Here, Ms. Gogic is with HURA Organizing Committee Chairman Steve Pavletic, NFCA Executive Committee Secretary Vlatka Persin,
and NFCA President Steve Rukavina - March 2017.
Vlatka, Steve, NFCA Government Affairs Representative Joe Foley met with the U.S. Ambassador to Croatia
Julieta Valls Noyes at the U.S. Department of State to discuss various projects that Ms. Valls Noyes supports in Croatia to promote prosperity,
security and shared values - March 2017.
Luncheon on the Capitol Hill with Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragan - February 2017.
NFCA President Steve Rukavina, Croatian Ambassador to the U.S. Josko Paro and NFCA Lobbyist
Joe Foley Meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister Gordan Bakota - January 2017
NFCA collected donations to purchase a piano for the Croatian embassy. Vesna Jezic and Zrinka Tomic
collected the money, purchased the piano and had it delivered to the embassy. Eric Gregrich took care of all
admin work - January/December 2016.
The NFCA Cultural Foundation is so grateful and thrilled for the generous donation by Dr. Dinko Podrug to
the NFCA of this beautiful oil painting by Andrea Schiavone, (also known as Andrija Medulic from Zadar).
A year later (December 22, 2017) the exquisite painting was displayed at the Zagreb Museum of Arts and
Crafts. The masterpiece is an image of the Virgin Mary with a child. We Thank Dr. Dinko Podrug,
a psychiatrist, who bought this painting a few years ago in New York. He had a desire to enable citizens of
Zagreb and Croatia to see this masterpiece of this Croatian born and talented Italian artist - December 2016.
Tom Begich, Croatian American from Alaska, has been elected to the State Senate. The Begich family
has another elected official serving the citizens of Alaska, like his father, Nick did as a Congressman and
as his younger brother Mark did, as the Mayor of Anchorage and U.S. Senator from Alaska, 2009- 2015.
His father was the first Croatian American to serve as U.S. Congressman and his brother, was the first
Croatian American to serve as an U.S. Senator. Tom enjoys a professional career as a musician and writer
with seven CD's of professional music - Event in Philadelphia in December 2016.
The Washington DC HURA Christmas Party was at the Embassy. There was excessive food, wine, music
(The "Zivjeli" tamburitzan band), good/ friendly conversations, singing and dancing. NFCA Officers Tom,
Tony, Vlatka and Eric along with "40 Under 40" Winners Mark Yelich and Filip Pirsl. Also joining us was a
welcomed photobomber Vlado Knezevic - December 2016.
NFCA's John Kraljic was in Vukovar for meetings of the Government's Council for Croats Living Abroad.
November was the 25th anniversary of the fall of Vukovar. Major renovations are planned for the Water
Tower, including an elevator and a restaurant on top of the tower. The park will have a playground,
parking spaces and public restrooms - December 2016.
NFCA Officer Mario Spalatin Presented "40 Under 40" Winner Mario Talanga with an Award/ Present
at the Tampa Bay area Christmas Dinner- Mario's Family - December 2016.
Reception was organized by the Association for Croatian Studies, with the support of the NFCA CF, ACAP,
HURA and the Croatian Academy of America. Took place in connection with the 2016 Convention of the
Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies which was held in Washington, D.C. Dr. Aida Vida
of Harvard University is seated in the middle and is the President of the ACS. In the middle standing
are Croatian ambassador Josko Paro, Dr Tvrtko Jakovina (TJ), professor of history at the Univ. of Zagreb
and John Kraljic. NFCA officers attending: John, Eric and Tom. At the Croatian Embassy - Nov 19, 2016.
U.S. Congresswomen Janice Hahn's Farewell Reception at the Croatian Embassy in Wash DC. She was
elected to become a Los Angeles County Board Supervisor. LA County is Bigger in Population than forty
States. She served admirably as the Congressional Croatian Caucus Co-Chair for the last three years with
Congressman, David Joyce (R-OH). Involved with several House Resolutions to help Croats in Bosnia and
recommended an American Presidential Special Envoy and more U.S. involvement to address the
shortcomings within the Dayton Peace Accord - November 15, 2016.
Congresswomen Janice Hahn (from San Pedro, CA), Croatian Ambassador to the U.S. Josko Paro, Croatian
Consul in LA Dr. Sinisa Grgic, and six NFCA Officers (Eric, Joe, Steve, Tom, Vlatka and Zvonko).
The Congressional Croatian Caucus was created eighteen years ago. She talked about the sister city
friendship between Split and Los Angeles and now a "City Friendship" relationship between San Pedro
and an Island of Vis town - November 2016.
Anne Pavlich's Funeral Mass and Reception was at Our Lady of Victory Church in Washington DC.
Anne lived an Extremely Long and Healthy Life. Volunteering at Croatian American Events was
Paramount in Anne's Life. Anne was an Original Founder of the CFU Lodge #1976 in Washington DC.
She was on the Executive Committee in NFCA when it Formed in 1994 & was Currently a Board Member.
Anne was From Minnesota and will be Buried there - November 2016.
Vanca Schrunk (first from left) and Andrea Novak-Neumann (second from left) were selected as winners of
the 2017 Croatian Woman of Influence Award in “Arts and Culture” and “Leadership & Innovation”
respectively. Both are very involved with the Croatian Cultural Society of Minnesota. The CWoI Award
recognizes leadership, innovation and community impact of women of Croatian ancestry. Eligibility: from
Croatia and the vast global Croatian diaspora - November 2016.
Dr. Ivana Vucenik gave an insightful lecture 'Nutrition and Cancer', eating the right foods and body
weight help to prevent cancer. Her research on IP6, found in beans, rice, nuts, and seeds, but also
available in a supplement form, has an effect to diminish tumors in laboratory test. Left to right:
Steve Pavletic, Ivana Vucenik, Adriana Pavletic, Vlatka Persin and Eric Gregrich - October 2016.
Congressman Brendan Boyle (PA) - House Foreign Affairs Committee
with Steve Rukavina in Philadelphia - October 2016.
NFCA President speaking with US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY)
in Philadelphia - October 2016.
NFCA President Steve and Croatia President Kolinda at the United Nations in NYC - September 2016.
BH Croat Diplomat Dejan Vanjek (President Covic's office) State Dept. meeting with
Ian Campbell, SE Europe - September 2016.
Peter Frankopan, Dr Dinko Podrug and Karlovacko in NYC - September 2016.
NFCA Meeting at Embassy: Joe Foley, Vlatka Persin, Steve Rukavina, Amb Josko Paro, Eric Gregrich
Zvonko Labas, New Embassy Staff: Mirna Vlasic Feketija, Lara Romano & Helena Simat - Sept 2016.
NFCA Pres Steve Rukavina at CFU Headquarters. Meet with Brother Pazo, Bernadette Luketich
Sikaras and Franjo Bertovic next to Bernard Luketich's statue - August 2016.
NFCA Pres Steve Rukavina at ethnic leaders meeting in Philadelphia. Croatian American activists,
Maria Jukic and Biljana Lovrinovic from Cleveland and Professor Vuk Vukovic from Zagreb with
United Macedonian Diaspora President, Meto Koloski - July 2016.
NFCA Pres Steve Rukavina and NFCA Secretary Vlatka Persin with David Simas, Asst to the President of the U.S. and Director of the Office of Political Strategy and Outreach - June 2016.
Zvonko, Dejan Vanjek a BiH Presidential aide and Steve in the U.S. State Dept lobby - June 2016.
Steve Rukavina met with US Ambassador Julietta Valls Noyes in Zagreb - May 2016.
NFCA Joe Foley, Steve Rukavina and John Kraljic (far right) with the Pres Federation Bosnia and Herzegovina, Marinko Cavara & Federation Head of Cabinet, Mira Bagaric Wash, D.C. - February 2016.
NFCA Public Affairs Director Joe Foley, Past President Steve Rukavina, Exec V.P. Zvonko Labas,
Pres Mijo Radocaj, Ambassador to Croatia Julieta Valls Noyes, CFU Pres Edward Pazo, CFU National Secretary/Treasurer Bernadette
Luketich-Sikaras, NFCA Secretary Vlatka Persin and VP John Kraljic - September 2015.
NFCA's Table at CFU Quadrennial Assembly in Baltimore. L to Rt: Zvonko Labas, Vlatka, Joe Foley,
Steve Rukavina, Jim Kresnick, Anne Pavlich, Tom Steich - September 2015.
Special Olympics - 2015.
Croatian DCM Mario Skunka and Bosnian Ambassador Jadranka Negodic with new NFCA Secretary Vlatka Persin and Pres Mijo Radocaj - June 2015.
Croatian Deputy Speaker Zeljko Reiner, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), Zvonko Labas & Joe Foley in the US Capitol - February 2015.