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The launch of the new American-Slovenian Club (ASC) in Washington D.C., USA

On December 8, 2023, the American-Slovenian Club (ASC) was formally established in Washington D.C., USA, to help Slovenian businesses in the USA better connect with the diaspora and to foster stronger collaboration among American Slovenian experts, entrepreneurs, professionals, and individuals.
Members of  American-Slovenian Club

Members of American-Slovenian Club | Author Embassy of Slovenia in Washington,DC

The American-Slovenian Club (ASC) was formally established in Washington D.C. on December 8, 2023. ASC is a non-profit club established to help Slovenian businesses in the USA better connect with the diaspora and foster stronger collaboration among American Slovenian experts, entrepreneurs, professionals, and individuals. It is the first private club of its kind in Washington D.C.

The inaugural meeting of the Club was hosted by the Embassy of Slovenia, which also played a pivotal role in launching ASC. The founders of the new club received a warm welcome from Ambassador Mirošič, who emphasized, "We are thrilled to host the formation of this club at the embassy in the context of economic diplomacy initiatives. Geopolitical relations also indicate changes in the economic realm, making it even more crucial to leverage its full potential for enhancing economic cooperation between Slovenia and the USA, both today and in the future."

Founding members of ASC are entrepreneurs and professionals living and/or working in the USA who see more opportunities for Slovenian business and the diaspora. They want to foster open collaboration, support, networking, and various initiatives. 

The driving force behind this initiative is Saša Mrak Hendrickson, the former director of the Managers Associations of Slovenia and the co-founder and current president of the club.

"Discussions about establishing this club began in 2020 when I arrived in Washington, DC. Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, the founding members connected a bit later than we would have preferred. In addition to the untapped economic opportunities, the founding members recognize a significant prospect in fostering a more interconnected diaspora spanning different generations and professions. A more robust community here will also offer enhanced support for knowledge transfer and the exchange of goods between the two countries. Primarily, we aim to inform Slovenian companies entering or already present in the American market that it is demanding, sizable, and requires considerable effort, patience, work, professional legal and tax support, as well as financial investment. We want to build a network that can, at the very least, alleviate some of these challenges and expedite the process. That's why our founding members represent diverse expertise, each contributing knowledge and experience from various fields, including legal, international relations, marketing, sales, logistics, investment, tourism, business, and more," states Saša Mrak Hendrickson.

The Club's mission is clear - to connect the Slovenian business and professional community in the area under the jurisdiction of the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia in Washington D.C., to support market entry, networking, and promoting mutual trade, the Slovenian economy, economic diplomacy, and tourism. "Anyone who feels connected to the USA in any way is and will be welcomed in the club. The club aims to be unifying and establish an open community," added Saša Mrak Hendrickson.

Consul General Alenka Jerak from Cleveland was also present at the founding of the ASC. During her visit to Washington and at a meeting with club members, she emphasized the need to establish such a unifying institution. This is especially crucial as three-quarters of all Slovenians and Americans of Slovenian origin reside in the six states of the Midwest. She highlighted the numerous untapped economic opportunities for Slovenia and Slovenian companies in the Midwest, a region that collectively represents the 4th largest economy in the world. Ms. Jerak proposed a club visit to Northeast Ohio in February 2024, including meetings with American entrepreneurs of Slovenian origin, representatives of the Slovenian community, and discussions with American business partners and economic institutions.

American-Slovenian Club is now in the phase of conducting a final program of work. Program will be finalized by March 1st, 2024.