HCGA Forms Advisory Council of Local Hungarian American Leaders

The Hungarian Club of Georgia (HCGA) has formed an Advisory Council to ensure the Club continues to represent the diverse, local Hungarian American community. Karen Higgins, President of the Haralson County Historical Society; Dr, Elizabeth Kiss, President of Agnes Scott College, Andrea Lauer Rice, Founder of HCGA,  Anne Lynch, Founder of the Atlanta Hungarian Meetup and John Parkerson, Honorary Consul for the Republic of Hungary will serve on the Council.

Dr. Elizabeth Kiss, President, Agnes Scott College
Elizabeth Kiss is the eighth president of Agnes Scott College. Before coming to Agnes Scott in 2006, she was the Nannerl O. Keohane Director of the Kenan Institute for Ethics and an associate professor of the practice of political science and philosophy at Duke University.

Dr. Kiss specializes in moral and political philosophy and has published on moral judgment and education, human rights, the application of rights theories to issues of ethnic conflict and nationalism, feminist debates about rights and justice, and justice in the aftermath of human rights violations.  She received her undergraduate degree from Davidson College and was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, where she received her D.Phil.  She has taught at Randolph-Macon College, Princeton University, and Deep Springs College, and also was a fellow at Harvard University's Safra Center for Ethics, at the National Humanities Center, and at Melbourne University's Center for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics.

She has been a member and vice chair of the board of trustees of Davidson College and is currently on the boards of the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics, The Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta, and the Women's College Coalition.  

Dr. Kiss is a proud Hungarian American. She is the daughter of 1956-ers and grew up speaking the language fluently. She and her husband, Jeff Holzgrefe, live in Decatur, Georgia.

John Parkerson, Honorary Consul
John Parkerson brings years of hands-on international legal, business, and policy experience as in-house legal counsel in the multinational corporate and governmental environments. He is an adjunct professor at Emory Law School. From 1993 until 2008, Parkerson was part of the International practice group within the Law Department of Delta Air Lines. During his Delta tenure, the company accomplished the most aggressive international business expansion of any airline in aviation history. Mr. Parkerson worked as an integral member of the senior corporate management team, advising with regard to outbound legal issues ranging from foreign labor and employment issues to international aviation liability and anti-trust, as well as a variety of foreign corporate, regulatory, marketing and related business transactions.

Prior to joining Delta, Mr. Parkerson served in a variety of international law Army assignments, including Chief of the International Law Branch in the Office of the Judge Advocate General ("JAG"), the Pentagon; Associate Professor of Law at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point; U.S. Forces Europe legal liaison at the U.S. Embassy, Bonn; and international legal advisor at the U.S. Army's European headquarters in Heidelberg. 

In May 2007, the Government of Hungary appointed Mr. Parkerson as its Honorary Consul for Georgia, Tennessee and the Carolinas. In 2001, the Clayton County Chamber of Commerce awarded Parkerson "International Business Person of the Year"; and he was a 2006 finalist for the "Governor's Award for Individual Contribution to the International Community."

He is the President of The World Trade Center Atlanta, Treasurer for The Global Soap Project, and a member of numerous non-profit boards. Mr. Parkerson is admitted to practice law before all Georgia courts and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Anne Lynch, Atlanta Hungarian Meetup Anne Lynch is a fourth generation Hungarian-American born in Cleveland, Ohio. She moved to Atlanta, Georgia in 1996 to attend Emory University and it was here that she began studying Hungarian. In 1998 she travelled to Pécs to study archeology for the summer and in 2000, moved to Eger to teach high school at Neumann Janos Közgazdasági Szakközépiskola és Gimnázium. In 2002, she moved back to Atlanta and began searching for Hungarians to practice the language with her and finally in 2004, she created the Atlanta Hungarian Meetup with nine members. It is now the 3rd largest Hungarian Meetup in the United States with more than 450 members. She has a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and currently works as a Communications Manager at the Scheller College of Business at Georgia Tech.

Karen Higgins, President of the Haralson County Historical Society (Budapest Cemetery)
Karen was born in Delaware, spent the next 3 years in Germany and then moved to South Florida where she spent the majority of her school years. Karen attended Catawba College in Salisbury, NC then joined the U.S. Marine Corps where she served for over 7 years. Karen and her family moved to Georgia in 1996 and she is currently a Construction Project Manager for the Georgia Department of Transportation.  She oversees numerous multi-million dollar projects to include new bridge construction, intersection improvements and pavement resurfacing.

Karen is very active in her community.  She is President of the Haralson County Historical Society, Co-Chair of the Budapest Group, Board Member for the Haralson County Development Authority, former Board Member for the Haralson County Chamber of Commerce, member of the Chamber’s Tourism Team and serves on the Buchanan-Haralson Library Board.  Her current project involves fund-raising for restoration efforts at the historic Budapest Cemetery located in the County.

Karen is married to Jeff Higgins and has two grown children.  Philip Haddix works for the non-profit Solar Foundation in Washington, D.C. and Rachel Haddix works for the Polk County Sheriff’s Department where she is their C.H.A.M.P.S. Instructor.

Andrea Lauer Rice, HCGA Founder
Andrea Lauer Rice is the CEO and founder of Lauer Learning, a company that specializes in creating multimedia educational tools to teach children about history, culture and language. She has authored several books and graphic novels about Hungary, among them, Freedom Fighters of ’56 and 56 Stories: Personal Recollections of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, published in two languages. In addition she has designed and produced a number of educational websites, including the oral history website www.FreedomFighter56.com, and an award-winning game for teens about the Revolution. Andrea has received honors from the World Federation of Hungarian Veterans, Arpad Academy of the Hungarian Association and the 1956 Award from the Hungarian Community Church of GA.

Prior to starting her own company, Andrea worked at IBM Learning Services where she championed the use of games and simulations in training. She graduated from the inaugural class of IBM's Marketing Leadership Development Program after completing the 5-year program. In the 1990s, she spent six years in Budapest, Hungary, where she was Director of the New York Times Center for Independent Journalism. She also worked as a journalist, teacher and consultant for the European Journalism Network, traveling the region – including the war torn countries of the former Yugoslavia - to help create student newspapers.

Andrea is involved with numerous charities and non-profit organizations. She is Vice President of the Hungarian American Coalition, a nationwide umbrella organization that promotes educational and cultural programs. She also serves on the Board of Early County 2055, an economic development initiative in Southwest Georgia, and on the Advisory Board for Emerge, an organization that provides scholarships to women returning to school. Andrea has a BA in Journalism from Lehigh University and an MBA from Emory University.

She currently lives in Roswell, GA, with her husband Barton, and  two sons. She is currently working to launch the www.GulyasPot.com web community for 2nd and 3rd generation Hungarian Americans.

updated: 5 years ago