We are a non-profit organization with a mission and a passion to enrich Minnesota’s diverse image through the preservation, promotion and sharing of the valuable cultural heritage of the Romanian American community, along with its extensive history in the state.

HORA Directors 2017–2018

Cleo Cabuz – President

Cleo (Cleopatra) Cabuz and her family relocated to Minnesota in 1995, as a result of her employment with Honeywell. She has a Master in Electronics from the Politehnica University of Bucharest, and a Ph.D. in Integrated Microsystems from Tohoku University, Japan. Cleo’s mantra is well illustrated by Bob Dylan’s song, “You have to serve somebody”. Cleo joined HORA in 2011, and saw it as a fantastic opportunity to serve and make a difference for the Romanian Community in Minnesota. Cleo relishes in the Romanian culture and traditions and wants to make sure that the next generations of Romanians in Minnesota will always celebrate and be proud of their roots, no matter their background.

Contact at: info@hora-mn.org

Eugenia Popa – Vice-President and Secretary (Founder)

Gina moved to Minnesota from Bucharest, Romania, in 1995 with her husband and her son. She has been an educator for over 30 years and currently teaches ESL (English as a Second Language) in St. Paul. She loves traveling, working with children, and spending time with her family and friends. Gina has been part of HORA since its inception in 2009 and believes that what brings Romanians together is the ACASA (at home) feeling that we are all longing for. “I think geography is relative. Romania is in our hearts and in our minds. It’s in our power to bring it here with us. That is HORA’s role, to invite everyone to experience the unique Romanian culture, history, and traditions right here in Minnesota.”

Contact at: info@hora-mn.org

Monica von Geldern – Treasurer (Founder)

Monica was born in Romania, majored from the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest, immigrated to Minnesota in 1987 and has two business majors from the University of St. Thomas. She is also involved in HORA’s collection and art exhibits.

Contact at: info@hora-mn.org

Raluca Octav – Membership and Newsletter Editor (Founder)

Raluca grew up in Romania where she majored in Medieval History with a minor in education from the University of Bucharest, and specialized in medieval fortifications and iconography. Raluca moved to Minnesota in 1991 and worked several years for the Minnesota Historical Society and continued her research through her affiliation with the Annual Kalamazoo Medieval Studies Conference and the Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality in New York. At HORA, Raluca has been it’s first president; she helps design historical and ethnographic exhibits and is currently working on the writing and publication of a Romanian Heritage Cookbook.

Contact at: info@hora-mn.org

Arria Raluca Giulan – Marketing and Business Development

Having spent more than half of her life in the U.S., Arria still thinks of herself as a Romanian first and foremost. In 2011, she moved from Connecticut to Minnesota where she loves the lakes, Twin Cities lifestyle and the overall friendly nature of the mid-westerners. Born in the U.S., her two kids, Paul Michael and Andrea Nicole love to practice their Romanian language skills and feel particularly special when celebrating their Saint name birthdays. Arria is very proud of HORA’s accomplishments to date, and dreams to see the organization grow to support the needs of Romanians in Minnesota.

Contact at: info@hora-mn.org

Gabriel Petre – Community Engagement

Gabriel moved from Romania to the U.S. in 1990, and has lived in Minnesota since 1995. He majored in Electrical Engineering at Polytechnic Institute in Bucharest, has a Masters in Computer Science from the University of Central Florida, and today works as an electrical engineer at Cummins Power Generation.

Contact at info@hora-mn.org

Daniela Petrescu – Youth Engagement

Daniela Petrescu was born in Ploiesti, where she attended the University of Ploiesti (IPG) and graduated with a Master in Chemical Engineering.  She immigrated to US in 1995 and lived in MN since then.  She has been raising two boys and working as a Reliability Engineer at Medtronic, Inc.

Contact at info@hora-mn.org

Honorary and Ex-Officio Board Members

Patrick Ledray (Ex Officio)

Honorary Consul of Romania to Minnesota

Patrick has served as the Honorary Consul of Romania since 2000. He has a Bachelors Degree from Seattle University, a Masters Degree in International Relations from the University of Arkansas and a Juris Doctor Law Degree from Hamline University. Mr. Ledray practices law from his office in Fridley, is a retired Colonel from the United States Army Reserve, and a past president of the Minnesota Consular Corps. He is also a writer, whose most recent book is The Dragon in the Christmas Tree, a story about a Romanian dragon which saves a family at Christmas.

Contact at info@hora-mn.org

Irina Comardicea – honorary

Born in Romania but raised in Minnesota since the 9th grade. Irina studied natural resources at the University of Minnesota and received a Master’s degree in International Environmental Policy from the Monterey Institute. Irina is our European liaison with Romania, web advisor and newsletter editor.

Contact at info@hora-mn.org

Past members of the Hora Board

Octavian Cornea (Founder)

Originally from Bucharest, Romania, he immigrated to Minnesota in 1999. Octavian has a diverse background, with a law degree, and subsequent advertising and IT careers. He oversees the design of the HORA newsletter, the webpage and all advertising materials. Octavian is also involved with HORA’s PR and exhibit activities.

Helena Orlandi

Originally from Bucharest, Romania, Helena moved from Washington D.C. to Minnesota in 1998. She has a M.A. in International Affairs from George Washington University and is currently a stay home mother. Helena is excited about promoting Romanian culture in order to stay connected to Romania and to pass the traditions on to new generations.

Vicki Albu (Founder)

A lifelong resident of South St Paul, a center of early Romanian immigration to the Twin Cities. Vicki is the granddaughter of one of the first Romanian immigrants to settle there and she co-founded the Dakota County Genealogical Society. Vicki is also part of the Immigration History Research Center and in this capacity she is HORA’s main researcher for early Romanian immigration to Minnesota. In 2012, Vicki won the Legacy Grant for HORA!