To anyone who’s familiar with American Solutions for Business Founder and CEO, Larry Zavadil, it’s clear that his company was based on American values like hard work, equality and honesty – he even named his company after it! Patriotism was top-of-mind at its foundation and remains an integral part of our company’s makeup.
What many people don’t know is the story of the Zavadils before the family ever stepped foot on American soil. Larry was born and raised in the United States, but fondly remembers growing up in the Czech (Bohemian) community near Lake Reno, MN where generations of his family shared stories and traditions of their roots. He (and his sister, Tammy Stottler, who is an American sales associate) are 4th generation Zavadil decedents in the Central Minnesota area.
Larry recently spent some time in Europe exploring the culture and landscape his ancestors called home. Larry, along with his wife, Diane, and her sister and brother-in-law (Kathy & Tom Kretschmer) took a cruise tour, stopping at many ports before venturing to the Czech Republic.
Stopping in places like Bucharest, Russe, Vidin, Belgrade, Vukovar, Kalocsa and Budapest, their party toured museums, old fortresses, churches, the Serbian Opera and more. One of their first stops was in Belgrade, Serbia, where they toured the Saint Sava Temple (pictured below).
Fun Fact: “Zavadil” is derived from the name “Sava” – The translation from Serbian to Czech changed from an “S” to a “Z”.
One of their favorite places they visited was in Budapest, where they rode the “Funicular” cable car (pictured below) to see the Buda mountains and across the river to Pest side.
Their last stop in Prague was fruitful as they explored Prague’s Old Town and other hot spots. Larry felt a special connection to the St. John Nepomuk statue on the St. Charles Bridge. Nepomuk is the patron saint of the Lake Reno Catholic Church where he was baptized, confirmed and served as an alter boy. Below the statue, visitors can choose to rub the right side and make a wish or rub the left side as a promise to return to Prague.
Fun Fact: while in the Czech Republic, a local told them that “Zavadil” roughly means “to brush up against something”. According to Ancestry.com, the Czech word “zavadit” means “to touch”.
Larry is already planning a return trip for next year and hopes to see and learn even more about the cities and areas where his great-great-great grandparents and family made their living. Until then, enjoy these snapshots of his adventures:
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