Argentine Delegation gets a taste of Lexington
Garry and Cathy Brown hosted the distinguished group at their home for a Texas-sized steak dinner and an intimate chat with our local State Representative Tim Kleinschmidt and wife Anna.
The annual FURP delegation (Fundación Universitaria del Río de la Plata) consists of a competitively selected group of young Argentine leaders who come to the United States to enrich their understandings of American culture, politics, and way of life. Their first week was spent in Austin where they had the opportunity to meet with Secretary of State Hope Andrade, former director of the National Security Agency and former deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Admiral Bobby Ray Inman, Austin’s mayor Lee Leffingwell, the Chairman of the Greater Austin Economic Development Corporation Gary Farmer, a foremost scholar on Argentine culture, and various State Representatives. The group was coordinated and led by Tim Samples from Coronado, California and Lexington’s own, Conrad Brown.
The group represented 13 provinces in Argentina and an impressive variety of professional careers - lawyers, political advisors, entrepreneurs, economists, and professors. Group leader, Francisco Quintana, who works for the government of Buenos Aires city said he was impressed with the hospitality he found during his week in Texas. “I really cannot express how much I appreciate the generosity and friendliness of the people we have met. The kindness of people who open their homes to us and give us the opportunity to see how they live first hand has been incredible.”
The Argentines took advantage of their time after dinner with Representative Kleinschmidt. Questions ranged from pressing state issues, his path to the legislature, to the war in Iraq. The interaction was lively, and the discussion was informative.
To honor their work coordinating the 2010 FURP program, the group took time Sunday evening to give thanks to Tim and Conrad by presenting them with certificates as Honorary Members of the FURP Foundation. The honor has been bestowed on only two other people before in the program’s 30- year existence – Argentine Scholar Nicolas Shumway and former president George W. Bush.
This was the second year the Brown family hosted the distinguished group, and they look forward to many more opportunities to receive more of Argentina’s young leaders in the future.