Leadership — Jean K. Hruby

Jean K. Hruby is a third generation Czech-American whose roots stem from Prague, Plzen, and Kolin.   She truly believes there are Moravian roots as well because of her love of Moravian wines and music.   Jean grew up in the Czech community of Berwyn, Illinois and participated in Sokol from the age of 3, danced folklore, and played trumpet, baritone and piano.   Sport and culture were serious focal points in her family. Her father, Paul Hruby, an avid hockey player, formed the first youth hockey programs and tournaments in the state of Illinois and now has a hockey rink named after him in Oak Park, Illinois.   Jean did play hockey as well as figure skating until they wouldn’t let girls on the team anymore.   Jean continued her Czech affiliations volunteering in the organizations as much as possible through college, including the training of debutantes, dancing and playing Czech music in a family band.   Some of her family names include Hruby, Zeman, Sima, Pyskacek, Blazek, and Kucera.

Jean has been serving the Czech-American Community her entire adult life in various capacities which include developing programs, organizing events, and building relationships. Most recently Jean was elected as President, first woman, of the national American Sokol Organization which celebrates 150 years in America this year. In addition she has participated in many Czech-American organizations across the country (see below). Jean earned her Bachelors Degree in Communications from Michigan State University where she was a four-year member of both the Spartan Marching Band (trumpet) and Sigma Kappa Sorority. In 2013 Jean was the recipient of the Compatriot Grant from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Czech Republic, and studied Czech Language at Charles University in Prague for one year. She has 2 daughters, Jenna (Graduate of the University of San Diego and Maria (Michigan State Univ.). Jean was the Business Manager at American Sokol for over 13 years cultivating more visibility to the organization worldwide. In addition to her volunteerism in the Czech-American Community Jean has a full time job as well working for and developing an IT company that provides a community information platform called InOurCommunity.com. On the side, she is started her own business importing Czech garnet jewelry from Turnov, Czech Republic and consults Czech businesses in the community.   Jean serves as Secretary on the Czech North American Chamber of Commerce in Chicago is dedicated to increasing trade between the U.S. and Czech Republic and continuing to help build stronger bridges between the two countries.

Service to other organizations & Companies

  • American Sokol Organization – National President
  • Chicago Czech Center, Chicago – Director
  • Prague Committee of the Sister Cities International Program in Chicago – Committee Member
  • T.G. Masaryk School, Cicero IL – Board Member
  • Czech Legion Project (Documentary Film, Accidental Army) Chicago – Board Member
  • Czechoslovak Legionnaire Organization, Czech Republic – Founding Member
  • American Friends of the Czech Republic, Washington D.C. – Supporter
  • Chicagoland Czech-American Community Center, Berwyn IL – Founding Member
  • Czechs in Chicago – credits in book by Malyne Sternstein, University of Chicago
  • Czechs in Chicago Documentary Film – credits in Manifest Films & WTTW Public Television
  • Prague Educational Exchange Program –
  • Czech American Congress, Chicago
  • Moravian Cultural Society – dancer, member
  • United Moravian Societies – dancer, member
  • Klas Restaurant City of Berwyn & Town of Cicero – business development
  • Bohemian Lawyers Association, Chicago – supporter