Born in Budapest, Hungary in 1938, Robert Ratonyi’s childhood was scarred by fear, upheaval, hunger and loss. He was six-years old when forced to wear a yellow star, and face the terrors of war and ghetto life without his parents, both of whom were deported to concentration camps.
Robert grew up under communist dictatorship and was a freshman at the technical University of Budapest when he was caught up in the bloody uprising against the communist regime in the fall of 1956. After the Russians crushed the uprising he managed to escape to Austria leaving behind his family and eventually ended up as a refugee in Canada. Once in Montreal, Canada, Robert restarted his life, learned English, enrolled in an evening engineering program at Sir George Williams University and worked during the day to save money to bring his mother, who survived the Holocaust, out of Hungary.
In 1961, Robert transferred to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and received a Bachelor and a Master of Science degree in engineering. He married his wife, Eva, also a Holocaust survivor and became an American immigrant in 1964. Robert continued his education to receive a Master of Science degree in Management from Drexel University which catapulted him into a successful business career.
Robert and his family came to Atlanta in 1978 when he became Vice President of Contel Corporation (now part of Verizon). Subsequent to his corporate career he formed and managed his own mergers & acquisitions and strategic consulting business. In the 1990s he consulted for the US Agency for International Development in Central Europe on privatization and the formation of small private businesses. He is the founding Chairman of the MIT Enterprise Forum (Atlanta Chapter), a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide educational services for entrepreneurs. He is an Educational Counselor responsible for interviewing Atlanta area high school seniors who apply for admission to MIT. His business experiences include financial/strategic planning, diversification, acquisitions, mergers, divestitures and joint ventures for Fortune 500 corporations. As a child survivor of the Holocaust he is a regular speaker to school children at The William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum.
PowerPoint eyewitness account of the ending of World War II in Hungary. Personal experience of a six-year-old child during the execution of the of Hungarian part of the Holocaust.
Run time: approx. 50 minutes + Q&A
1. Equipment for Power Point (29 slides) presentation
2. Wireless Remote (clicker) to advance slides
3. Confidence Monitor (40 animations to sync with speech/slides) is a must
4. Set up audio prior to speech to adjust volumes for video clips (2) and voice over (2) slides
5. Clip-on mic so that I can move around for Q&A
6. Mic(s) available to audience for the Q&A (assuming more than 50 people)
7. Podium to place my written notes for speech
8. If lights are dimmable in auditorium, I will need a light at the podium to read my notes
Atlanta area. Will travel if all accommodations are taken care of, and event is approved by me.
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