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NAF News and Events October 2019

NAF News and Events October 2019
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Chapter Spotlight- Western Michigan
Ambassador Henne Schuwer with students from Calvin College, Dutch Embassy staff  and NAF delegation in Grand Rapids, Michigan April 30, 2019
Ambassador Henne Schuwer with students from Calvin College, Dutch Embassy staff and NAF delegation in Grand Rapids, Michigan April 30, 2019

If you look at a list of NAF chapters, you get a sense of where most people of Dutch ancestry live in the United States. Although our list includes a chapter in Western Michigan, there are opportunities for growth: the 2010 census reports nearly 500,000 residents of Dutch ancestry.

So, when Ambassador Henne Schuwer invited us to join him and Julia Koppius, Senior Advisor and Congressional Liaison in the Political Department at the Netherlands Embassy, for a farewell visit to Western Michigan, we jumped at the chance. Representing the NAF for two days of meetings were Yvonne Simons, Executive Director of NAF; Jim Dykstra, chair of the Washington Ambassadors' Awards Dinner, and this correspondent, with help from Ton Gardeniers.
The Ambassador had an action-packed schedule, including a major address at the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan (headed by a Dutch-American Michael Van Denend), a meeting with the Dutch Caucus of the Michigan State House, a meeting with 15 political science and Dutch language majors at Calvin College organized by Professor Herman de Vries, and a tour of the West Michigan Aviation Academy.
Our goal for the visit, as NAF representatives, was to listen and learn. As you might imagine, there are many Dutch Americans already doing fine work to celebrate Dutch ancestry in Western Michigan and NAF is eager to partner with them. Several meetings stand out as particularly helpful.

The Ambassador co-hosted a dinner with the NAF with over 30 invited guests, coordinated by Paul Heule, Honorary Dutch Consul. The Ambassador gave a generous speech noting how NAF supports the work of the Embassy and promotes cultural and educational exchanges. We fielded questions from the guests and listened to their suggestions.
We also sought the advice of J.C. Huizenga, who has a long relationship with the NAF. In 2011, he received the NAF's Ambassador K. Terry Dornbush Award and he is a frequent participant in other various NAF events. (By the way, he and I grew up only blocks away in the close-knit Dutch community on the west side of Chicago.) Among his many business and philanthropic accomplishments, he is a highly successful educational reformer, having founded the National Heritage Academies. Given the tradition of NAF support for educational activities, we are interested in exploring how J.C.'s expertise in education could assist a Western Michigan chapter and other NAF chapters. 
Another stop was with Larry Wagenaar, Matt Helmus, and Arend Vander Pols, new leaders of the Dutch International Society.  The DIS was started by Dutch immigrants and produces a newsletter and an annual dinner. They also expressed interest in finding ways to work with the NAF. 

I am pleased that we received an overwhelming expression of support for helping to revitalize the Western Michigan NAF chapter.  We will continue meeting to explore new opportunities and partnerships. 

If you are interested in joining our efforts, please contact NAF's Executive Director Yvonne Simons, [email protected] or me, Robert Ottenhoff, [email protected].  
Robert G. Ottenhoff
Tuesday, October 15, 2019, 4:00 pm-7:00 pm
NAF Houston & NBSO
Spacebuzz - Ambassadors of the Planet Earth

Hilton Houston NASA Clear Lake
3000 East Nasa Parkway
Houston, TX
Register HERE
Wednesday, October 23, 2019 at 6:00 - 8:30 pm
Financial, Tax and Trust & Estate Planning for Dutch People in the US

Baker Mackenzie
452 5th Ave
New York, NY
Register HERE
Thursday, October 24, 2019, 5:00 - 8:00 pm
NAF Boston
Financial, Tax and Trust & Estate Planning for Dutch People in the US

45 Prospect Street
Cambridge, MA
Register HERE
Wednesday, October 30, 2019
New York- American Friends of the Mauritshuis
Series of Talks 

A Year at the Mauritshuis: Conservation, Technical Study, and Research of Cornelis de Heem's Fruit Still Life 
Colnaghi Foundation
38 East 70thStreet
New York, NY 10021
6:00 - 7:00 pm
Register HERE

Carel Fabritius'The Goldfinch: A Painting in Flight
The Explorer's Club
46 East 70th Street
New York, NY 10021
7:30 pm
Register HERE
Your participation in the NAF plays a big role in helping the organization fulfill its ongoing mission of supporting educational and cultural exchange between the United States and the Netherlands.

DONATE NOW to help support the many programs and activities of the NAF. 

If you are a current member of the NAF and wish to renew your membership, please click here.
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