The Eric Poliak Award
The Eric Poliak Award represents AmSoc’s highest honor and 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.
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 before the meeting. The recipient must be an 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.
2021 Eric Poliak Award Recipient - Kristy Miranda
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.
After a forced break due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, this year we honored Kristy Miranda, a long-time AmSoc member board member and unfortunately only a short-time President of the American Society.
The presentation was held virtually, and the award was presented by past recipient Sue Banman Sileci who said, "When I first heard of Kristy Miranda, she was a volunteer with a group of other people that she organized to go out to Casa Limiar every week to help out. She then became a Community Action Committee (CAC) liaison for Casa Limiar, and then started helping organize the traditional American Society Angel Party, taking charge of the Casa Limiar children and finding them all sponsors within her community of people who visited the house every week.
When Eileen Tasso left as head of the Angel Party, Kristy took her spot. For several years now, she has been Co-head of the Angel Party, with an eye for detail and perfection that has made the party much better, much tighter. At the same time, she became the chair of the Community Action Committee of the American Society though still running the Angel Party.
Finally, she was nominated president of the American Society and had assumed office with great plans though weeks later her husband Paulo learned the family would be transferred to Chile.
Despite this, incredibly, she continued as President of AmSoc and remained Co-head of the Angel Party committee flying regularly to São Paulo at her own expense to participate in AmSoc board meetings and Angel Party preparations. Then came the COVID-19 pandemic and it became necessary to pass on the leadership of the American Society to people still living in São Paulo. However, she continued as Co-head of the Angel Party and helped immensely with a rocking event where she helped bring the party to the children in their homes instead.
Sue finished off by saying, "Kristy always wears a huge smile. If something is in trouble, she fixes it. If something is going well, she makes it better. Even at a distance, she continues to be an active member of AmSoc and an amazing organizer for the Angel Party. Our hope and dreams are that the Miranda family will move back someday to Brazil and we can have Kristy's huge smile and even huger energy once again physically here in São Paulo."
Past Recipients 2021 - 1985
No Award due to Covid-19
Christina & Ricardo Zuniga
T. David Warren
Sister Angela Mary
Theresa Mary White
Susan Banman Sileci
Father Thomas Brown
Delora B. Tuthill
Jo Ann Ivy
José M. Arana
Lynne S. Couri
R. Christopher Lund
Alonzo B. Shattuck
John E. Burns
Carmen Kennedy Lund
Anne F. Pereira
Frances Van de Putte
David E. Ivy
Mary Clifford Poor