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+55 11 5182-2074

Eric Poliak Award

Eric Poliak Award

This award was founded in memory of Eric Poliak, a past governor and president of the American Society (AmSoc), community member, and friend. After Mr. Poliak’s untimely death in May 1984, the Board of Governors established this tribute to be given annually to a person in the São Paulo community who has unselfishly contributed his or her time and effort for the good of the entire community.

 The Eric Poliak Award represents AmSoc’s highest honor. Nominations for this award are submitted annually, during the month of March, by the AmSoc membership. All nominations are sent to the office staff, and distributed to the selection committee at least 1 week prior to meeting. The recipient must be American, but doesn’t need to be a member of AmSoc. A special committee, comprised of AmSoc executive committee members and previous award winners, chooses the final recipient.

The award is presented at the AmSoc annual General Meeting in April.

2018 Award Recipient


Each year the American Society honors an individual who has gone far beyond the normal in volunteering selflessly to the community, whose dedication and actions have made a real difference. This year we have departed from the usual tradition in two ways. One is that we have honored the Consul General of the United States, which has not been done before. We also made a change in the recipient, heretofore having been given to an individual, but this year going to a husband and wife team together.  

We have had the pleasure of many Consul General's contributions, and have had many a good relationship between them and AmSoc. This year we honored our American Consul General, Ricardo Zuniga, who was the most active Consul General in recent memory. He impressed and contributed to the entire American community, and has helped improve our image in the Brazilian community. He helped AmSoc when we were in jeopardy of losing our office space at the American Chamber of Commerce, and we are now able to continue to have our offices there. He was tireless in promoting American interests in São Paulo, as he opened up space at the Consulate for us to have our American 4th of July celebrations and the Consulate-sponsored Field Days.  He was also on the Graded School Board, among many other contributions.

Christina was the delightful, cordial hostess of many events for the American Society in their lovely home. We will certainly miss her at future AGMs! She also volunteered on the Graded PTA and at the Consulate-sponsored Field Day, the AmSoc Angel Party, and other charitable occasions. She also managed to find the “spare time” to accredit herself in her special method of exercise classes, which she gave to neighbors and friends, and now continues to do them in their new home city of Arlington, VA, in the Washington area.

Together they make a very special couple. With Ricardo’s leadership and contributions, and with Christina right there with him, they have been elegant representatives of the USA. Giving this Eric Poliak Award to a Consul General was a first, and giving it to a couple was also a first. But all of this is an indication of just how special Ricardo and Christina Zuniga have been to the American Society and the entire American Community. Heartfelt thanks to them, we will miss them greatly! 

Previous Winners for Outstanding Community Service

2018 Christina & Ricardo Zuniga
2017 Richard Wegman
2016 Judy Zanchi
2015 Kelly Maurice
2014 T. David Warren
2013 Eileen Tasso
2012 Marlene Rubeiz
2010 Sister Angela Mary

2009 Theresa Mary White
2008 Sonya Querido
2007 Bert Frost
2006 Susan Banman Sileci
2005 Alan Blau
2004 Mark Abrams
2003 Deborah Riveros
2002 Jean Smith
2001 Father Thomas Brown
2000 Marilyn Mangels
2000 Delora B. Tuthill

1999 Jane Hayes
1998 Jo Ann Ivy
1997 Eric Street
1996 Jose M. Arana
1995 Cathy Koepke
1994 Lynne S. Couri
1993 Steve Hanson
1992 R. Christopher Lund
1991 Alonzo B. Shattuck
1990 John E. Burns

1989 Carmen Kennedy Lund
1988 Anne F. Pereira
1987 Frances Van de Putte
1986 David E. Ivy
1985 Mary Clifford Poor