By: Dániel Takács, HAAW President
Hello, my name is Daniel Takacs, and I’m excited to be the next president of the Hungarian-American Association of Washington. I was born in Kaposvár, Hungary and my childhood was spent living in Nagykanizsa and Budapest. When I was a teenager my family moved to Canada. I attended the University of Waterloo where I took Computer Science. After graduating I moved to Seattle to start my career at Microsoft. Currently, I work at Salesforce as a software engineer. My wife, three children and I live in Redmond. We have been members of the Hungarian-American Association since 2000 and have enjoyed the Association’s many events including the school, picnic, and Christmas party, etc.
I’m very humbled and honored to be the new president. Recently I have met with the previous board for the transition. There is a great deal of effort and talent that went into management and many hours have been spent in contributing to carrying on the association. We’ve had great leadership and volunteerism in the past. I hope we will continue this for the year to come. The newly elected leadership team is excited about the coming year.
Let me share some things that are on the top of my mind. Of course, these will be shared and solidified with the rest of the board, so all collective thoughts and opinions are factored into the plan.
These times are tough. Normally, we’ve had a great set of events and clubs organized by the association. Because of Covid-19 we are restricted on what we can do. I want to make sure that groups like Forever Young, Scouts, Dance, Library, and the Property committee are equipped with the tools they need to engage with their membership. We need to utilize technology so that the groups can stay in touch. Events like the March 15th Revolution remembrance are likely to take shape in virtual form.
I’m nostalgic about Hungary and my upbringing. I have been able to experience this through the Facebook group “Hungarian Treasures.” It’s a very positive group where Hungarians around the world post about their experiences, Hungarian culture, and traditions. I hope the HAAW can also engage with their members in a similar way, connecting members with clubs, events and other Hungarian-related activities and goods and services.
Membership is very important for the HAAW. It’s very important to make sure we keep track of our members and help people who are interested in becoming a member and want to sign up. We had great success with the newly renovated website, the mail newsletter “Hirek” and the member-run HAAW Facebook group. I believe that it is also important to keep in mind that social media is changing. The younger generation might choose different ways to communicate like Instagram, Tik Tok, Snapchat and text messaging. We should explore how we can add new ways of communication to engage all of our members.
There has been a great deal of volunteering that has been driving this organization. I will look for innovative ways to recruit more members to volunteer.
I’m very honored and happy to continue leading the success of our wonderful Hungarian-American Association.