The Croatian Women of Influence Award recognizes leadership, innovation and community impact of women of Croatian ancestry. It is conferred to nominees drawn from the Republic of Croatia and from the vast global Croatian Diaspora.
This year, two Twin City women were honored to win 2017 Croatian Women of Influence.
Dr. Ivancica Dvoržak Schrunk of St. Anthony Village was selected as a 2017 Croatian Woman of Influence in the Arts and Culture Category while Andrea Neumann of Columbia Heights was selected as a 2017 Croatian Woman of Influence in the Leadership & Innovation Category.
Dr. Ivancica Dvoržak Schrunk and Andrea Novak Neumann were nominated for this prestigious award in recognition of their hard work, dedication and overall achievements. Their contribution to the Croatian community is admirable; it is what distinguished them from the more than 70 nominees and prompted members of the jury to confer the Croatian Women of Influence Award to them. They have earned their achievement as they join an accomplished group of 26 2017 global award winners.
Awards were presented at a gala event that was held at the Zagreb Sheraton Hotel in Zagreb, Croatia on International Women’s Day, March 8. Dr. Ivancica Dvoržak Schrunk, born in Zagreb, teaches ancient history and archaeology at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul. She has published numerous articles and co-authored or co-edited several books, most of which deal with Croatian archaeological heritage. She is past president of the Minnesota Society of the Archaeological Institute of America and is currently vice-president of the Croatian Cultural Society of Minnesota.
Ivancica is a dedicated volunteer in the Croatian community and is actively engaged in promoting cultural and educational exchanges. She has been teaching the Croatian language and interpreting and translating for immigrants and refugees for many years. She is organizational chair for the Croatian exhibit at the annual Festival of Nations in St. Paul. She has lead study abroad courses in Croatia and has involved her students and international volunteers in a collaborative archaeological project on the island of Sveti Klement near Hvar.
Andrea Neumann is a proud Croatian, dedicated volunteer and devoted mother from Columbia Heights. When not working as an IT Manager for Merrill Corporation, Andrea devotes much of her time to preserving and promoting Croatian culture and heritage.
She is currently president of the Croatian Cultural Society of Minnesota, an executive board member for the National Federation of Croatian Americans Cultural Foundation and is a board member and former officer for the University of Minnesota Immigration History Research Center.
In addition, she has taken the Croatian Cultural Society into the digital age with online newsletters, Twitter feeds and other social media engagement. Her life-long volunteerism is motivated in part by the hard work of her father with many of these organizations and she carries on her family’s legacy by instilling the same pride and dedication in her three teenage children, who join her in volunteering at many cultural events.
For more information on Croatian Women’s Network visit www.croatianwomensnetwork.org.