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Eric Poliak Award

The Eric Poliak Award represents the highest honor bestowed by the American Society of São Paulo (AmSoc). It was established in memory of Eric Poliak, a past governor and president of AmSoc, who was deeply respected as a community member and friend. After his untimely death in May 1984, the Board of Governors created this award to honor an individual within the São Paulo community who embodies Mr. Poliak's spirit of selfless community service.

Historically, the award has been presented annually to an American citizen who has made significant contributions to the community's welfare. However, starting in 2024, the eligibility criteria will expand to include candidates of any nationality, provided they are members of AmSoc. This change reflects AmSoc’s commitment to recognizing and celebrating the diverse contributions of its entire membership.

Nominations for the award are submitted by the AmSoc membership each March. The nominations are managed by the office staff, who ensure that they are distributed to the selection committee at least one week before their meeting. The recipient, previously required to be an American citizen but not necessarily an AmSoc member, is chosen by a special committee composed of AmSoc executive committee members and past award winners.

The award is traditionally presented at the AmSoc Annual General Meeting in April, serving as a highlight of the event and a celebration of community service and leadership within the São Paulo area.

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Recipient for 2023

Isabel Franco

Isabel, who holds dual American and Brazilian citizenship, has been recognized with the 2023 Eric Poliak Award, a testament to her profound impact on our local community.

Beyond her professional achievements in Compliance Law, Isabel's true passion lies in her volunteerism and social advocacy, which have left indelible marks on the community. She has devoted over a decade to serving on the board of AmSoc, providing not just legal guidance but also visionary leadership that has steered the organization through numerous challenges and toward many successes.

One of Isabel's most impactful initiatives is her work with The Compliance Women’s Committee, which she joined right after its foundation and was immediately elevated to ambassador and member of the Board of Governors and the Ethics Committee. This organization is dedicated to empowering women by educating them about their legal rights and providing support against harassment in the workplace. Her efforts here reflect a deep commitment to creating an equitable society where women can thrive free from discrimination and injustice.

Additionally, Isabel’s work with the NGO Bem Querer Mulher highlights her dedication to humanitarian causes. This organization plays a critical role in supporting women who are victims of domestic violence, offering them assistance and a path to recovery. Through her involvement, Isabel has helped to bring hope and change to the lives of many, including aiding American women in Brazil, further demonstrating her inclusive approach to community service.

Her personal contributions are equally noteworthy. Isabel has opened her home for various community functions, creating a welcoming space for holiday celebrations and charity events that significantly contribute to fundraising and community building. Moreover, her commitment to fostering children and providing them with educational opportunities showcases her dedication to nurturing future generations, ensuring they have the tools for success.

Receiving the 2023 Eric Poliak Award highlights Isabel's incredible contributions not just in her professional field but, more importantly, in her humanitarian and social efforts. Her work exemplifies the spirit of community service and dedication that the award seeks to recognize, making Isabel a truly deserving honoree. Her tireless efforts have enhanced the lives of many and have set a standard of compassion and commitment that resonates throughout the São Paulo community.


Dedication. Expertise. Passion.

Past Winners

Congratulations to all of the previous winners of the Eric Poliak Award! Their dedication and selflessness have made a tremendous impact on the São Paulo community, and have truly exemplified the values that this award represents. Their tireless efforts to improve the lives of those around them have not gone unnoticed, and each and every one of them is a true inspiration to us all.

Through their volunteer work and community involvement, they have made a lasting contribution to the city of São Paulo, and their generosity and kindness have touched the lives of countless individuals. The Eric Poliak Award is a testament to hard work and dedication, and it is a well-deserved honor for all those that received it.


Congratulations once again, and thank you for your commitment to making the world a better place!


Isabel Franco


Ruth Hollard


Kelly Maurice


Not Awarded


Bert Frost


Deborah Riveros


Delora B. Tuthill


José M. Arana


R. Christopher Lund


Anne F. Pereira


Patricia C. Campbell


Christina & Ricardo Zuniga


T. David Warren


Sister Angela Mary


Susan Banman Sileci


Jean Smith


Jane Hayes


Cathy Koepke


Alonzo B. Shattuck


Frances Van de Putte


Natalie Della Rosa


Richard Wegman


Eileen Tasso


Theresa Mary White


Alan Blau


Father Thomas Brown


Jo Ann Ivy


Lynne S. Couri


John E. Burns


David E. Ivy


Kristy Miranda


Judy Zanchi


Marlene Rubeiz


Sonya Querido


Mark Abrams


Marilyn Mangels


Eric Street


Steve Hanson


Carmen Kennedy Lund


Mary Clifford Poor

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