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The CzeCh repuBliC, like other
countries around the world, has embassies and
consulates to help its people and to promote
culture, trade, and diplomatic relationships.
Embassies and consulates are very different.
An embassy represents the home country abroad
in the handling of major diplomatic issues. The
ambassador to the United States is a government
employee, and has a permanent office in
Washington D.C. The Czech Republic has
embassies in capital cities in countries around
the world.
A consulate general is the official office of
the government in big cities within a country.
Consulates work on trade, commerce, and
cultural relationships, issue visas, and take care
of tourists, migrants, and expatriates. A consul
general heads a consulate general and is a
government employee.
Smaller countries such as the Czech
Republic cannot afford consulate generals in
every major city. Dignitaries, who may be U.S.
citizens and are well connected in business
and society, run offices called honorary general
consulates, report to the consulate general, and
do so without being paid a salary.
We caught up with Richard Pivnicka,
honorary consul general for the Honorary
Consulate General of the Czech Republic, in San
Francisco to ask a few questions.
whaT do You do?
I network, make introductions, help Czech citizens,
encourage business and trade, and promote
cultural exchange with the Czech Republic and
California.
whaT are some eXamples?
We foster technology exchange through
organizations like Czech-Tech, a technology
network of Czech and American executives. We
encourage Czech firms in commerce. One example
is a Czech company contracted with the San
Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to
provide over 300 electric trolley coaches. We also
brought the Czech Film Festival to San Francisco.
And, we support a new local
Czech language school that is
now the largest Czech school
outside of the Czech Republic.
whaT’s iT like To
Be The honorarY
Consul general?
It’s one of the most rewarding,
non-stop endeavors because
I help share the creativity,
talents, beauty, and ingenuity of
the Czech Republic people with
the Greater San Francisco Bay
Area and California.
IT’S AN
h o n
12
A piece of the Czech Republic
in San Francisco — a Czech
company supplied the city with
more than 300 trolley coaches.
FAC_Mar14_Czech_PASS6.indd 12 2/4/14 10:40 AM
13
n o r By Colette Weil Parrinello
Honorary Consulate
General of the Czech
Republic Richard
Pivnicka (left) helps
foster trade and cultural
relationships between
the Czech Republic and
the United States.
FAC_Mar14_Czech_PASS6.indd 13 2/4/14 10:41 AM

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Its An Honor by Colette Weil Parrinello. From Faces Issue: Czech Republic. 2014 ePals Media, Published by Cobblestone Publishing Company. All rights reserved. Used by permission of publisher.

  • 1. The CzeCh repuBliC, like other countries around the world, has embassies and consulates to help its people and to promote culture, trade, and diplomatic relationships. Embassies and consulates are very different. An embassy represents the home country abroad in the handling of major diplomatic issues. The ambassador to the United States is a government employee, and has a permanent office in Washington D.C. The Czech Republic has embassies in capital cities in countries around the world. A consulate general is the official office of the government in big cities within a country. Consulates work on trade, commerce, and cultural relationships, issue visas, and take care of tourists, migrants, and expatriates. A consul general heads a consulate general and is a government employee. Smaller countries such as the Czech Republic cannot afford consulate generals in every major city. Dignitaries, who may be U.S. citizens and are well connected in business and society, run offices called honorary general consulates, report to the consulate general, and do so without being paid a salary. We caught up with Richard Pivnicka, honorary consul general for the Honorary Consulate General of the Czech Republic, in San Francisco to ask a few questions. whaT do You do? I network, make introductions, help Czech citizens, encourage business and trade, and promote cultural exchange with the Czech Republic and California. whaT are some eXamples? We foster technology exchange through organizations like Czech-Tech, a technology network of Czech and American executives. We encourage Czech firms in commerce. One example is a Czech company contracted with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to provide over 300 electric trolley coaches. We also brought the Czech Film Festival to San Francisco. And, we support a new local Czech language school that is now the largest Czech school outside of the Czech Republic. whaT’s iT like To Be The honorarY Consul general? It’s one of the most rewarding, non-stop endeavors because I help share the creativity, talents, beauty, and ingenuity of the Czech Republic people with the Greater San Francisco Bay Area and California. IT’S AN h o n 12 A piece of the Czech Republic in San Francisco — a Czech company supplied the city with more than 300 trolley coaches. FAC_Mar14_Czech_PASS6.indd 12 2/4/14 10:40 AM
  • 2. 13 n o r By Colette Weil Parrinello Honorary Consulate General of the Czech Republic Richard Pivnicka (left) helps foster trade and cultural relationships between the Czech Republic and the United States. FAC_Mar14_Czech_PASS6.indd 13 2/4/14 10:41 AM