Croatian Americans Cultural Foundation’s 30th anniversary celebrated in Washington

Srecko Mavrek

croatian americans cultural foundation
Sanja Bogovic

July the 18th, 2023 – The National Federation of Croatian Americans Cultural Foundation (NFCACF) celebrated its 30th anniversary on June the 3rd in Washington, D.C.

As a national umbrella organisation, the NFCACF was founded in Chicago in September 1993.  The NFCACF continues to be a strong advocate for the Croatian American community, especially in American politics and diplomacy, thanks to the charter that was ratified by twenty Croatian American groups. Over the last decade, the organisation has undertaken many innovative cultural and educational projects of great interest to the community. 

Sanja Bogovic

The Assembly of Delegates of the NFCACF met this time with 28 delegates from a dozen Croatian American organizations to discuss a wide range of issues. Initiatives, such as the Congressional Croatian Caucus, the NFCACF-Croatian Fraternal Union (CFU), Croatian American Sports Hall of Fame (CAS-HOF), the new Youth Committee, the Art Donation Committee, and the History Speaker Series were a few of the major topics discussed. At the delegate’s meeting, the following Executive Committee officers were elected: Steve Rukavina-President, Biljana Lovrinovic-Abel, Executive Vice President, and three Vice Presidents: John Kraljic, Mario Spalatin, and Ron Zivic. National Treasurer Adam Radman was re-elected as the National Treasurer, and also, were Anna Maria Sicenica-Secretary and Mark Plavetic-Assistant Secretary, and with Officers-At-Large Bernadette Luketich-Sikaras and Carolyn Bruno.  There were seventeen Board Members elected too on Saturday. 

As a result of his incredible dedication to the NFCACF since its founding in 1993, Dr. Joseph Cindrich received the first ever “NFCACF Legacy Award.” The award was given to Dr. Cindrich for his service as former NFCACF president in 1998 and six-term member of the board. Unfortunately, Dr. Joseph Cindrich was unable to attend the event in person, but upon receiving the news at his home in Menlo Park, CA, he expressed his gratitude, stating, “As a dedicated Croatian, I was very proud in being co-founder the establishment of National Federation of Croatian Americans in the 1990s and later served as its President.” Dr. Cindrich was also honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018 for his assistance to the Republic of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina and for all his Croatian activism, including his many years on the Board of Directors of the Croatian Scholarship Fund (CA). NFCACF president, Steve Rukavina, expressed his group’s intention to annually recognise and pay tribute to Croatian American activists who played a crucial role in the establishment of our national umbrella organisation.  

The NFCACF Anne Pavlich “Volunteer of the Year” award was presented to Joe Brajevich (San Pedro CA) for his contribution to the NFCACF Special Olympics Committee. The amount of funds raised by him set a record for Croatia’s Special Olympics organization and were used to fully sponsor Croatia’s twenty-member delegation at the Summer World Games in Berlin, Germany, which begins on June 17th with 7,500 athletes from 140 countries. 

A public session was held in the afternoon featuring the Croatian Ambassador Pjer Simunovic (US-Croatian Alliance), as well as Professor Edward P. Joseph of Johns Hopkins-SAIS (Southeast Europe regional issues); Sherry Ricchiardi (War Journalism/Croatia 1991), Richard Lolich (Croatian American Sports HOF and its inaugural ceremony in Cleveland in October 2022), Joe Foley (Washington Report-Congressional Croatian Caucus), and Steve Rukavina, NFCACF President (“40 Highlights Over 30 Years”). 

Sanja Bogovic

In celebration of this milestone anniversary, the NFCACF held a reception at the Croatian Embassy on Saturday night. The Cosmopolitan Grill catered the meal for the sixty guests, while Croatian Premium Wines provided Croatian wines, including Malvazija and Plavac Mali. Speakers at the evening reception included Michael Sawkiw from the Ukrainian Congress of America, and Pulitzer Prize winner Roy Gutman (author of A Witness to Genocide). During the Embassy reception, Maya Brlecic, an internationally acclaimed pianist from Zagreb, played to fill the air with celebration music while Croatian wine smiles flourished. 


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment