It is with great pleasure that Friends of Slovakia announces the election of David Blazek to the FOS Board of Directors. Dave has extensive experience from his excellent work with the National Slovak Society and his volunteer efforts with other Slovak organizations and boards.
Dave was born in 1950, the first son of Dusan and Jean Blazek, and grew up in the South Hills of Pittsburgh. He is married to Frances Riepole, and they have five children and eight grandchildren.
After graduating from Baldwin High School, Dave attended the University of Pittsburgh, where he majored in education. He then served four years in the U.S. Navy as a Chinese Linguist and afterward joined his father and brother in the printing business, where he worked for 20 years before accepting the position of President/CEO of the National Slovak Society in 1993. His experience as CEO of Slavia Printing Company gave him the personnel and business acumen necessary to manage the NSS’s day-to-day operations, with an eye toward the future. Before becoming President, Dave served as a Board Director of the NSS from 1986 to 1990 and as Vice President from 1990-1993, after which he became President.
Dave has served his church as both Trustee and Deacon and has been involved in youth baseball, soccer, basketball, and football as a coach and member of various boards. He has also been involved fraternally on the local level, serving the Fraternal Societies of Greater Pittsburgh on various committees and officer positions, culminating in the Presidency in 2003. Dave received the Fraternalist of the Year award from the FSGP in 2007. He has served both the Pennsylvania and New Jersey Fraternal Congresses, working his way through the ranks and serving as President of both organizations. The Pennsylvania Congress honored him by selecting him as the recipient of the John Jordan Upchurch Award in 2002. Additionally, he has served as President of the President’s Section and President of the State Fraternal Congress Section of the American Fraternal Alliance, as well as President of the Western PA Slovak Cultural Society. Dave received the Friends of Slovakia Medal Of Honor at the Consular Testimonial Awards Dinner presented by the Western Pennsylvania Slovak Cultural Association.
Dave enjoys visiting his grandchildren as much as possible, traveling for vacation, sports with golf being his favorite participation sport, and volunteering when the opportunity arises.