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ACPC Elects National Officers
A new national leadership has been elected by the American Council for Polish Culture (ACPC) at its 65th Annual Convention in Baltimore, Maryland. The four-day convention was held July 31 – August 4, 2013 at Baltimore’s Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel was hosted by ACPC affiliate, the Polish American Arts Association of Washington, D. C. The new slate of officers includes President Camille Kopieski member of ACPC affiliate the Polish Arts Club of Chicago; First Vice President Mary Ellen Tyszka member of affiliate Friends of Polish Art, Detroit; Second Vice President Thomas Payne of the Washington, D. C. affiliate Polish American Arts Association; Recording Secretary Marcia Lewandowski and Treasurer Gregory C. Biestek both members of the ACPC Detroit affiliate Friends of Polish Art.
In photo: Outgoing National President of the American Council for Polish Culture Deborah Majka (right) hands the gavel to newly elected President Camile Kopielski.
Also elected were Directors: Robert Dutka, Polish Arts Club of Chicago; Raymond Glembocki, Polish American Arts Assn. of Washington, D. C; Janet Ann Hedin, Friends of Polish Art, Detroit, MI; Peter Obst, Polish Heritage Society of Philadelphia; Dr. Wanda O’Brien-Trefil and Bernadette Wiermanski, both representing the Polish American Arts Assn of Washington, D. C. Credentials and Grievance Committee: Chair Janet Beane, and Sharon Brzostowski, both of the Polish American Arts Assn of Washington, D. C.; Judi Tompkins, Friends of Polish Art, Detroit, MI. Nominating Committee: Chair Maryann Mlynarski, Polish Arts Club of Youngstown, OH; Jacqueline Kolowski, Friends of Polish Art, Detroit, MI; Ange Iwanczyk, Polish Arts League of Pittsburgh.
The new officers will serve a two year term.
In addition to the election of new national officers, the delegates at the ACPC convention also honored outgoing President Deborah Majka was honored for her 14 years of service as national President. During Ms. Majka’s terms of officer, the American Council for Polish Culture initiated the first-of-its-kind Youth Leadership Conference; established the Pulaski Scholarship for students pursuing Graduate degrees; restored the General Casimir Pulaski monument in Savannah, GA, for the re-interment of his remains; dedicated a Commonwealth of Virginia Historical Commission Marker to the first Polish craftsmen who arrived in Jamestown, VA in 1608. Through participation in the National Conference on the Social Studies (NCSS) provides teachers with materials related to Polish and history and culture and the accomplishments of Poles and Polish-Americans, which they share with their students.
In photo above right : Honoring former ACPC National President Deborah Majka for her years of dedicated service are (seated) Recording Secretary, Marcia Lewandowski; (standing) Treasurer, Gregory Biestek; President Camille Kopielski, Deborah Majka, and First Vice President Mary Ellen Tyszka. The presentation was made at the organization’s National Convention in Baltimore, Maryland on August 6, 2013.
In her thank-you remarks, Ms. Majka stressed that her commitment to the ACPC and to Polish cultural issues nationwide will continue. In addition to producing a weekly Polish radio program, teaching Polish language classes and serving as an officer of the Polish American Congress, Ms. Majka also serves as Honoray Consul for the Republic of Poland in Philadelphia.
President Camille Kopielski has served in numerous capacities in various organizations within Chicago Polonia as well as nationally. The former high school counselor and teacher is a philanthropist and activist for Polish and Polish American causes and women’s endeavors. Among her numerous professional and volunteer activities, she served as President of the Polish Women’s Civic Club Inc. in Chicago for ten years, as Treasurer of the Polish Museum of America for 15. She is currently President of Lodge 1792 of the Polish National Alliance, PWA Group 211 and chair of Lira Ensemble. She is also Past President of the Polish American Congress Illinois Division and serves on the board of the Polish American Association, Cathlic Charities, the Bishop Abramowicz Seminary and other organizations. She is the recipient of the Krzyz Kawalerski Orderu Zaslugi, one of the highest honors for meritorious service presented to foreign nationals by the Republic of Poland and has been honored with the Paderewski Medal from the Polish Army Veterans of America. She is listed in Who’s Who in Education, Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who Amongst Women, among others.
First Vice President Mary Ellen Tyszka has been active with the ACPC affiliate Detroit Friends of Polish Art, and has served as affiliate President for six years. A volunteer with both the Polish American Congress – Michigan Division and Orchard Lake Schools, she has held various positions on the ACPC Board since 1994, including Second Vice President. In 2012 she received the prestigious ACPC Founders Award and also was the recipient of a special recognition by the Polish American Congress – Michigan Division.
Second Vice President Thomas Payne is currently the President of the Polish American Arts Association of Washington DC, having served in that capacity for the last 3 years. He was instrumental in the efforts to place a historical marker commemorating the arrival of the first Poles at Jamestown in 1608 and arranged the installation event at the ACPC Convention in Williamsburg in 2012.
Recording Secretary, Marcia Lewandowski has devoted nearly 50 years to Polish folk dance instruction and choreography and co-founded and directed Detroit’s Wawel Folk Ensemble. She is Past President of the American Polish Cultural Center (Troy). Active as a folk artist and exhibit designer, she has contributed her talents to numerous organizations, universities and museums and is the recipient of several awards and honors for her cultural contributions. In 2010, she spearheaded the establishment of the ACPC’s Affiliate Grants Fund, which provides financial assistance for Polish cultural programs around the country.
Serving another term as ACPC Treasurer, Gregory Biestek has been an officer of ACPC Detroit affiliate the Friends of Polish Art since 1973 and has held numerous positions previously with the ACPC and other Polonia organizations both on the local and national level. He has also been active in the Polish American Congress – Michigan Division, the Polish Falcons of America and the Polish Folk Dance Association.
Founded in 1948, the American Council for Polish Culture, Inc.(ACPC) is a national non-profit, charitable, cultural and educational organization that serves as a network and body of national leadership among affiliated Polish American cultural organizations throughout the United States. The council represents the interests of some 21 affiliated organizations located in the 15 states and the District of Columbia. The ACPC is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) charitable and educational entity. The ACPC’s mission of promoting Polish culture, art and heritage, is supported through numerous programs, initiatives, and scholarship programs. Further information can be found on the ACPC web site at www.polishcultureacpc.org.