Sabina Sabados comes from eastern Slovakia and immigrated to the United States in the late 1980s. She received her B.A. in Political Science from Drew University in May 2003 with minors in French and in European Studies. During her undergraduate studies, Sabina participated in the Drew International Seminar which was hosted in Paris and Iceland. In December 2004, she received her master’s in International Relations and Diplomacy from Seton Hall University’s School of Diplomacy and International Relations.
She discovered her passion for leadership studies after participating in the Global Leadership Program in Prague hosted by the organization Leadership exCHANGE. She returned to Prague to intern with that program in 2004. In 2005 she became director and lead instructor of the Global Leadership Program in Cordoba, Argentina where she served for three summer terms. Sabina participated in exCHANGE for Peace program, hosted in Switzerland, and the Women as Global Leaders conference in Dubai.
Sabina is very active in the Slovak community, holding the position of president of the Slovak-American Cultural Center where she also serves as chair of the annual Slovak Ball (this year the 22nd Ball was hosted in NJ) which raises funds for the Joseph Stasko Scholarship Fund. Sabina also serves as Regional Director (Region 1) with the First Catholic Slovak Union. Among her other activities, Sabina is also active with the NY Chapter of the Diplomacy Alumni Board.
She is eager to bring her experience and love of Slovak culture, language, and history to the Friends of Slovakia Board.
Andrew P. Rajec is Director of External Relations for the First Catholic Slovak Union (FCSU), an international fraternal benefit society headquartered in Independence, Ohio. Licensed in 27 states, the FCSU specializes in insurance and annuities, with assets over $350 million and annual revenues of approximately $25 million. He is the head of independent agent recruitment and responsible for recasting the brand and developing new sales, marketing, and social media strategies.
Prior to joining the FCSU, Mr. Rajec took on a number of significant roles in foreign policy, presidential and state politics, the U.S. Congress and the executive branch.
He was a member of the 2010 team that produced over 3,000,000 total voter contacts, leading to a switch in the governorship, a U.S. Senate seat, two congressional districts, and the State Senate and Assembly, in one of the most historic elections in the history of Wisconsin.
Mr. Rajec was also an integral part of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) where he served as the International Cooperation Specialist for Albania, Bosnia Herzegovina, Bulgaria, and Romania and as the Deputy Director for the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.
He was awarded USAID’s Meritorious Honor Award in recognition for exemplary service and leadership in furthering the Europe and Eurasia Bureau’s Foreign Policy Interest and USAID programs. Mr. Rajec also participated as an international election observer for the crucial 2008 presidential elections in the Republic of Georgia, helping to enhance accountability and transparency and thereby boosting both domestic and international confidence in the country’s election process.
As the West Virginia Director of Coalitions in the President’s Re-Election Campaign in 2004, he was a significant component of the leadership team that delivered West Virginia by a 13% margin, overcoming a 2 to 1 disadvantage in voter registration and increasing the margin of victory by 9% over 2000.
Mr. Rajec began his career in Washington as personal assistant to United States Senator Mitch McConnell, the current Senate Majority Leader, and eventually became Special Assistant to Secretary of Labor, Elaine L. Chao, and served as a member of the Secretary’s transition team.
A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he graduated from Marquette University in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, specializing in Finance. Mr. Rajec currently resides in Broadview Heights, Ohio.
Friends of Slovakia is pleased to have Sabina and Andy join the Board of Directors.