John E. Parkerson, Jr., honorary consul of Hungary for the Southeastern United States, president of the World Trade Center Atlanta (WTC), and director of International Programs for Clayton State University, reports that the visit to Atlanta of His Excellency György Szapáry, Ambassador of Hungary to the United States, represented an extremely productive two days, highlighted (at least for some students) by the opportunity to speak to a group of Clayton State and Kennesaw State MBA students who will be taking an MBA international business study abroad trip to Hungary and Austria from Mar. 2 to Mar. 11, 2012.
Parkerson worked closely with the Hungarian embassy in Washington to arrange meetings for the Ambassador, including the Feb. 18, 2012, “Hungary Day in Georgia” proclamation from the State of Georgia. While making his first trip to Atlanta, the Ambassador also attended the Hungarian Carnival Ball, or Farsang, and a reception in his honor at WTC and sponsored by Clayton State.
The forthcoming MBA international business study abroad trip will include both Clayton State and Kennesaw State University students. All but two days of the trip are in Hungary, and two of the days in Hungary will be hosted by Clayton State’s Hungarian partner institution, the University of Pannonia in Veszprem, Hungary.
“I am gratified that you were willing to meet our Clayton State University and Kennesaw State University MBA students who are going to Hungary to study international business the first week of March,” wrote Parkerson in an email to the Ambassador. “They will not forget the day that they met, in person, the Ambassador of Hungary. You made friends-for-life for Hungary among these future business leaders of America. Clayton State’s partnership with University of Pannonia in Veszprem has matured significantly during the past three years; and, as we discussed, Pannonia will be hosting these MBA students for some of the study abroad course in March.
“ I heard so many positive comments about your visit to Atlanta from members of the Hungarian and Hungarian-American community at the Ball on Saturday night. They were so pleased that the Ambassador of Hungary to the United States would find time in his busy schedule to spend quality social, community enjoyment with them. The community appreciated your summary of important developments in Hungary that are both interesting and directly relevant to them.”
Parkerson also notes that Hungary has many non-Hungarian friends in Georgia, including members of the local consulate corps from a diverse group of nations; Belgium, Haiti, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Turkey, Rwanda and Canada. Also among the friends of Hungary attending the Ambassador’s reception were representatives of Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines and NCR, as well as the Metro Atlanta Chamber and Capitol Affairs.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and it was good to meet the business and the Hungarian-American communities of Atlanta,” responded Szapáry.