May 15, 2014–LEAP Center students had a rare opportunity to hear directly from Croatian President Ivo Josipovic. The Croatian head of state was in Houston to discuss business relations, global diplomacy, and relations with Russia. The theme of the speech, however, was oil and energy, a nod to the 5,000 odd energy firms in the Houston area.
Josipovic spent little time talking about himself, which was unfortunate. He is an attorney, composer, and a music professor professor–in addition to being president.
The event was also an engaging cultural opportunity for us. Traditional Croatian dancers were on hand to demonstrate folk dance, and a very fine singer performed a couple of Croatian songs, including the country’s national anthem.
Following the event, we visited Cafe Pita, a Bosnian/Croatian restaurant on Westheimer. We explored various intriguing offerings–including fried anchovies.
It was a great evening with a great group–one that included some special guests: Leanne Woodward (whose grandfather immigrated to the US from Croatia) and Megan O’Flaherty, former President of the Junior Fellows.
This was the eighth head of state that LEAP Center students have seen in person. The others include: US Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, George H. W. Bush, Barack Obama; former Presidents of Mexico Vicente Fox and Felipe Calderon; and the President of Guana, John Mahama.