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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.

2019 Award Recipient

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Each year the American Society of São Paulo (AmSoc) honors an individual who has volunteered selflessly to the community, whose dedication and actions have made a real difference. This year we honored Ruth Hollard, long-time AmSoc member and an active participant in our greater community.

Although Ruth was born in Erie, Pennsylvania, her unassuming charm and commitment also has its roots in her upbringing in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where she attended Louisiana State University. Truly an international woman, she was an AFS foreign exchange student in Austria, and did an AIESEC traineeship in Switzerland before moving to Paris for 10 years where she worked for DDB, Citibank, and Goldman Sachs.

Coming to Brazil in 2000 as an expat wife with three children and one on the way, Ruth immediately immersed herself in volunteering in the AmSoc community. She created the Pre-Schoolers Book Club, and headed kid parties for Halloween and Easter, all while serving on the AmSoc Board—which she has done for more than ten years. She also took on the job of AmSoc Vice President for several years, has dedicated over 1,500 hours of volunteer work at Instituto Criança é Vida, and currently serves as the Treasurer of Fellowship Community Church. She is one of the important forces behind our annual Gala, a massive event that’s run for the last eight years, creating decorations, having meetings, planning all aspects of the event, and tirelessly never saying ‘no’ to the job at hand. She handles all of this while running her own financial translations company (RHtrad.com).

Awarding the Eric Poliak Award for Community Service to a chairperson loved and admired by all was one significant way for AmSoc to recognize Ruth Hollard’s work and thank her for her dedication to the greater community.

Previous Winners for Outstanding Community Service

2019 Ruth Hollard
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