SALT LAKE CITY -- S. George Simon brings a diverse background in economic development, trade relations, and product development to his position as the Honorary Consul to Hungary. Simon’s experiences span from time as a performer with a Hungarian folk dance group to his current role as Managing Director of Q Life Sciences. Simon’s academic background includes an undergraduate degree in finance with a minor in business economics, and he is a graduate of the International Business Management Program at UCLA.
Simon hails from Los Angeles, California but he has lived in Salt Lake City for the past 20 years since moving to the valley to work for Myriad Genetics. It was during his time with Myriad that Simon negotiated and constructed one of the largest start-up financings in the biotech industry, Myriad’s $82 million joint venture with Hitachi and Oracle. Even before this historic deal, Simon made lasting contributions to each sector he found himself working within. Simon’s first position out of college was as a marketing officer for the New Zealand Consulate-General, promoting New Zealand exports to the United States. This job was the opposite of what Simon envisioned as he originally aspired to work with the International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Ultimately, however, this experience led him to take a job at the Canadian Consulate General in LA, where he worked for seven years. It was during those years that Simon found himself gravitating toward the blossoming biotech industry. This interest led him to prepare and publish an important white paper about biotech’s influence on trade and economic development between Canada and the U.S.
Though he calls both California and Utah home, Simon’s connection with Hungary runs deep and he is proud of his Hungarian heritage. Simon’s parents are from Hungary, and Simon is fluent in the Hungarian language. In fact, when Simon started kindergarten in the U.S., he didn’t speak a word of English. This language and heritage is something he has passed down to his four children as well, three of whom hold Hungarian citizenship. Simon and his family maintain their connections to fellow Hungarians by hosting annual parties and other events at their home, creating a community that includes not only Hungarian ex-pats but also business colleagues and other friends. This community-building began even before Simon was appointed as an Honorary Consul. In 2002, Simon was asked to host a reception for the Hungarian Winter Olympic team. Hosting the Olympic athletes and the former U.S. Ambassador to Hungary in his home is a memory that Simon treasures.
As the Honorary Consul to Hungary, Simon’s primary goal is to connect Hungarians in Utah with helpful resources. Simon, with assistance from his wife, runs the consulate office out of his home. Due to Schengen treaty regulations, they can no longer process visas and passports. As a result, Simon primarily works on notarizing and authorizing signatures for Hungarians in Utah and connecting them with contacts and resources. Simon is dedicated to continuing this vital work of building strong connections between Utah and Hungary.