Polish Assistance

Board of Directors

 

Founder

Maria Dembinski 

President Emeritus

Teresa Sulimirski

Honorary Members

H.S.H. Grace of Monaco
Dr. Robert J. Campbell, K.C.S.J.
Artur Rubinstein
Cesare L. Santeramo, K.C.S.J.

Executive Committee   

Jadwiga Palade
President
Nina Thiessen, M.D.
Vice President
Christopher Kurczaba, Esq
Secretary 
Eva Skibicki
Treasurer
 
 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Jadwiga Palade (President) a member since 1972, also at the urging of Countess Dembinska, has served as a Director, Vice President and from 2006 as President. She graduated from the AGH University of Science and Technology in Krakow.  Her talents became evident in the 1990s as she managed,  Polish Assistance’s three retirement homes in Ocean Grove, New Jersey.  Using her experience as a successful owner of an export company, Jadwiga is concentrating on running Polish Assistance as efficiently as possible and on fundraising to allow the organization to increase assistance to needy individuals. Since her retirement, she divides her time between homes in Florida, Poland and the Bahamas.
 
Dr. Nina Thiessen  (Vice President) has held a leadership position since she first attended the Bal Polonaise and in 1991 became a Board member.  Dr. Thiessen was born in Warsaw and participated in the Warsaw Uprising. After the war, she studied medicine in Ireland.  She came to the United States with a degree in medicine and specialization in internal medicine and pulmonology.  In New York, she became a trained addiction specialist.    She was a director of alcohol treatment services in Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn where, in addition to her normal duties, she took care of over 100 patients of Polish origin who did not speak English.  She continues her work in the Division of Addiction Medicine in Beth Israel Hospital. She has the arduous task of being a member of the Grant Committee and is always challenging us to increase our fundraising efforts so that more assistance can be granted.
 
Christopher Kurczaba, JD,  (Secretary) is a well-known and respected attorney with over 20 years practice experience.  With a B.A. in Political Science from Northwestern University and a law degree from Layola University, Chris is licensed to practice law in Illinois and New York.  With a focus on immigration law, Chris is passionate and dedicated to helping individuals, families and businesses of all sizes find successful immigration solutions.  As a third generation Polish American, Chris was raised to understand the plight of those seeking legal status here in America and the importance of family unification. He understands the unique opportunities afforded here in the U.S. and the importance of preserving cultures of homelands while creating new acculturated traditions.   
 
Eva Skibicki (Treasurer)  is  a Managing Director at Raymond James, a financial services company in St. Petersburg, Florida, where she manages fixed income trading. She has been an active fundraiser for several organizations and is a Board memberof the National Unit Trust Association (NUTA).  Her commitment to Polish Assistance stems from her strong belief in giving back, as well as, a strong desire to continue the multi-generational participation in the Polish Assistance of many of our members.

Ewa Meyerhoff, joined the Board after many years of supporting Polish Assistance.  She is a successful real estate entrepreneur and mother of two adult children. Originally from Chicago, where she was active in a number of organizations, Ewa moved to New York City and after a pause due to personal commitments, she has agreed to support our fundraising efforts so that more of the elderly in the Polish community can live out their lives in dignity.  She is especially pleased that her daughter, Dr. Ava Sierecki, has agreed to be one of the Co-Chairs of the 2014  Bal Polonaise.
 
Nina Mlodzinska de Rovira continues her tenure as a Board Member and her countless contributions have made it possible for Polish Assistance to carry on charitable works for so many years. Countess  Dembinska invited her to join the Junior Committee in 1961 and since then, Nina has played a pivotal role as a Board member, Chairman of the Board as well as chair many of the previous balls. She is a Senior Vice President at the Cochran Group of Real Estate New York City and she commutes between her residences in New York and Florida.
 
Lady Blanka A. Rosenstiel, Honorary Consul to the Republic of Poland, is a pillar of the Polish community through her leadership, sponsorship, and avid interest in the arts, dedication to helping young artists, and desire to promote Poland’s heritage. She established The American Institute of Polish Culture, Inc. in Miami and the Chopin Foundation of the United States.  Mrs. Rosenstiel has been awarded many titles and honors with the most recent being the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, Cavalier’s Cross of Polonia Restituta Order, Jose Marti Medal, and Polish Commander Cross of the Order of Merit. 
 
Eryka Volker is a well-known activist in the Polish community and has been involved in charity work for over 25 years. Her work on behalf of the needy has been profiled in many newspaper articles as well as on local TV. Her professional career included work as an economist and researcher. She was an educator and currently works in the real estate business.  She joins the Board and the Grant Committee to give her insight into the needs of the Polish community. In 2008, she received the  distinction of Honorary Badge of Polish Red Cross and the Bronze Cross of Merit.  She is a founder and coordinator for Homeless SOS, Board of Directors  member of Children Smile Foundation and is active in many other organizations.
 
Greg White is a Managing Director at Oppenheimer & Co. in New York City. He runs a number of business lines for the firm. Greg graduated from American University in Washington DC with a BS in Accounting.  In 2013, he became President of the National Unit Trust Association (NUTA), the leading trade group for an investment vehicle with sales estimated to be in excess of $50 Billion for 2013. Born and raised in NJ, Greg has lived and worked in lower Manhattan for over two decades. Greg's great grandmother immigrated from Poland in 1905. He is a proud father of two, a daughter who is currently attending Cornell and a son, who is also in the financial services industry.