Guests reconvened at the TAA headquarters to participate in the grand opening at 1:00 PM ET on Tuesday, March 17. Distinguished guests were invited to speak at the ceremony which was being broadcasted live to Turkey and the rest of the world. Distinguished guests underscored the importance of journalism and praised Samanyolu Broadcasting Group for the strides it has made in the 22 years since its inception.
TAA formally welcomed the guests to the convention at 5:30 PM ET on March 17, at the Welcome Reception hosted at the Russell Senate Office Building. Autria Godfrey of ABC7 News served as the Mistress of Ceremonies. Senator Roger Wicker (Mississippi) and Senator Martin Heinrich (New Mexico) were keynote speakers during the event, while Senators Thom Tillis (North Carolina), Angus King (Maine), Tim Kaine (Virginia), Bill Cassidy (Louisiana), Bob Menendez (New Jersey), John Boozman (Arkansas), as well as Representatives Robb Wittman (Virginia’s 1st), Pete Olson (Texas’ 22nd), Jim Himes (Connecticut’s 4th), Charlie Dent (Pennsylvania’s 15th), Mike Honda (California’s 17th) and Brenda Lawrence (Michigan’s 14th) took the podium to share their thoughts with the audience.
Guests reconvened on the morning of March 18, at 8:00 AM ET for a business breakfast meeting at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. Ambassador Vinai Thummalapally, Executive Director of SelectUSA was the keynote speaker at the breakfast, while Representative Paul Tonko (New York’s 20th), board member of TACC, Gokhan Ozkok, and Vice President of Tuskon, Ahmet Ciger, also took the stage to make some remarks.
Throughout the convention, guests from around the world, accompanied by business leaders from the U.S. and TAA Member Federations and Councils, had meetings with U.S. Government officials and Members of the U.S. Congress. The convention culminated with the Gala Reception at the Willard InterContinental Hotel in Washington, D.C. on March 18, at 6:30 PM ET.
Principle Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Southern and Central Asian Affairs, Richard E. Hoagland was the keynote speaker at the Gala, while numerous other distinguished guests were given a chance to address the crowd that filled the Willard room within a few minutes of doors opening.
Overall, the 5th Annual Turkic American Convention & Business Summit hosted over 800 guests, from as many as 15 different countries and all corners of the United States. In total, more than 100 Members of the U.S. Congress participated in the meetings and other activities within the convention. TAA also had the pleasure of hosting numerous distinguished guests from abroad, including Former Georgian Deputy Prime Minister, Dr. Roman Gotsiridze, Vice Chairman of U.S. India Investors Forum, Munaj Gursahani, National Chairman of Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Kiprono Kittony, Chairman of Jaiz Bank of Nigeria, Umaru Mutallab, Members of Parliament from Mongolia, Khurelbaatar Chimed and Sainkhuu Ganbaatar, Members of the Grand National Assembly, Ilhan Isbilen, Aykan Erdemir and Enver Erdem, as well as numerous ambassadors to the U.S. and many others.
Overall, the 5th Annual Turkic American Convention & Business Summit was a great success, thanks to event organizers, Turkic American Alliance, Turkic American Chamber of Commerce and TUSKON; sponsors – Samanyolu TV, Today’s Zaman, Nema Food, Clear Chair Store, Best in Town: Restaurant Equipment, Buy 4 Store, DonerG, Design: Furniture and Lab Systems, Sanoxy, UniMed, ALP Insurance and Financial, Cabinet Distribution Center, Cluo Energy, Pera Construction, United Granite and USA Cabinet Store; and of course, our most eminent guests.