AHEC began in 2000, as a lunch club to help me keep up with my Hungarian. My daughter Gabrielle was almost three and I began trying to teach her how to speak the language, only to find out that I was forgetting it myself. I started looking for other local Hungarians with whom I could practice speaking over a sandwich and soda. I ran into them slowly but consistently.

Mike Meszaros was an early friend I made; we had both attended a University of Maryland Business School sponsored program on raising funds for Internet companies. As soon as he stood to ask a question, I could tell he was Hungarian.

Arpad Toth I met at a wireless conference where he was presenting – we sat together at the luncheon and exchanged cards. Laszlo Horvath I met through an introduction made by the Hungarian Embassy. Others I met at NVTC sponsored programs. Slowly our meetings moved from my law offices to various locations, and grew in size and scope of interest. An early project, inspired by Arpad Toth, to develop a Hungarian technology incubator, set the framework for developing further contacts and galvanized us into longer term project planning and development.

A common interest in Hungary, friendship and business networking; perhaps add sandwiches as a footnote. These are the core elements which founded AHEC and, with the help and guidance of Laszlo Horvath and Arpad Toth, have sustained it over the last five years.

  Michael R. Geroe
Kansas City, MO
May 2005



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