Meeting between ADIHA and the Honorable Ms. Marie-Therese Guilloteau, general Consul of Haiti in the New York, Metropolitan area.
The meeting started at 2:00 PM on Saturday, February 28th, 1999 with the ex-president of ADIHA, Mr. Ernesto Etienne s introduction of the new board consisting of Mr. Fritzner Nau, Charles Emlin Pluviose, Fritzner Bechette, Ronald Gibbs, Mr. Gerard Marc convalescing was not present and the following members: Roosevelt Rene, Fritz Nau, and Roger Dejean.
ADIHA President, Mr. Fritzner Nau, explained that some of the "Association des Ingenieurs Haitiens et Americains (ADIHA) missions were to develop, broaden and strengthen the skills of Haitian-American Engineers, engaging the youth in order to foster pride in the mother land and helping in Haitis development. He spoke about where the association comes since its foundation in 1983, what we have accomplished and finally where we are heading. He identified the areas where the association can help in the development of Haiti. It is interesting to note that because of our 400-member wide range of expertise we are in a unique position to help in every technical aspect. Our members have expertise in a wide range of areas such as Agricultural science, computer technology, Building and road construction, Power plant, Project Management and so on. A good percentage of ADIHA membership working in teams has taken projects from conception to completion and beyond.
He had also addressed some of the challenges we face as an immigrant community trying to help the motherland. We have been living in the Diaspora for over a quarter of a century. It is understandable that we have established roots that are difficult to uproot and these roots may be characterized in the forms of either by having young children, by marrying foreigners or by having "well paying jobs". Finally another main handicap facing many of us is the fear of what to expect by moving to Haiti. Thanks in part to the advance of computer technology, most of these important challenges can be overcome.
Mr. Fritzner Nau concluded his presentation by stressing the need for ADIHA to find a way to work with Haitian officials in order to identify ways our skills and knowledge can be used in the development of our common birthplace, Haiti.
The Honorable General Consul, Mrs. Marie-Therese Guilloteau, made also a delightful presentation. The membership was very impressed with her professionalism, her expertise of the Haitian situation and above all her dedication to her job and the Haitian cause. She talked about her 25 years work experience in corporate America and her community work in New York, which she says, has taught her a great deal. She stressed the importance of keeping up with familys responsibilities while maintaining strong ties with the community. She had very useful advice for those of us who might want to move back to Haiti. She advised the association on how to become more involved in the community. ADIHA had taken serious note of what she said.
The rest of the meeting was dedicated to an open forum where the audience posed interesting questions and the General Consul answered them with the same professionalism and know-how.
We bade farewell to the Consul with promise to meet again very soon. All the participants came out of this first meeting very impressed with Mrs. Guilloteau and with a renewed pride of being Haitian or of Haitian origin. It was about 4 oclock PM when we decided to end the meeting, but she was willing to continue for as long as we wanted to stay.