Polish Ambassador To US
Visits With Hartford, CT
HARTFORD, Conn. – Apr 04, 2017 – Following Ambassador Piotr Wilczek’s visit to New Britain to celebrate the historic opening of the honorary consulate on 55 Broad Street, the Ambassador, Honorary Consul Darek Barcikowski and the Trade and Investment Consul Sabina Klimek met with Hartford’s Polish-American leaders at the historic Polish National Home of Hartford on Charter Oak Avenue.
“We enjoyed a quiet and delicious luncheon with the Ambassador, Sabina and Darek. It gave us in leadership positions for Hartford’s Polonia community an enjoyable time for conversation and camaraderie with three important people to our community,” stated Robert Kwasnicki, President of the Polish National Home of Hartford.
Although New Britain’s “Little Poland” is the prominent Polish community in Connecticut, the Polish National Home of Hartford has been an anchor in the state’s capital for Connecticut’s Polish community for nearly a century, and has been an important historical gateway to Polish immigrants, many of whom found work at local factories like the Capewell Horse Nail Factory and the Colt’s Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company. Both factories have since been converted to residential housing, Capewell Lofts and Colt Gateway Apartments.
“The Ambassador was very interested in the history of our building, organization and community. I enjoyed showing off our gorgeous facility, especially our Chopin Ballroom, and discussing the historic importance of the PNH to the Polish community,” commented Mr. Kwasnicki.
A long-time friend and supporter of the Polish National Home of Hartford, honorary consul, Darek Barcikowski, was presented with an official citation of appreciation and congratulations from the corporate officers and board of directors of the home.
“Darek brings to the position a passion for Polonia, for bringing people and businesses together. He, along with Sabina and Ambassador Wilczek will be instrumental in elevating our community,” stated Asha Lassen, President of the Hartford Polish Saturday School.
“As business owners and entrepreneurs, we appreciate the importance of Darek’s position and working together to build-up the Polish-American community in Connecticut,” commented Mark Bruks, the Polish Home’s treasurer, referring to himself, the Polish Home’s president and vice president.
Meeting with the Ambassador, Honorary Consul and Trade and Investment Consul were Janusz Kocur, President of the Polish-American Congress and Polish Home board member; Asha Lassen, President of the Hartford Polish Saturday School and Polish Home board member; and Rob Kwasnicki and Jackie Borkowski, President and Vice President of the Polish National Home.
About the Polish National Home of Hartford:
In 1917, Hartford’s Polish immigrant community incorporated the Polish National Home in order to build a center for family and culture in the New World. After twelve years of hard work, these first-generation laborers saved the funds to build what would become the city’s grand Art Deco venue. Ground was broken one day after the start of the Great Depression; the four-story masonry building was completed in 1930. The Polish National Home’s Chopin Ballroom has been a center for polka and jazz dances, movie double features, a stage for political rallies and theater performances, and a gathering place for countless weddings and receptions. Now celebrating its 100th year since this member-based nonprofit’s founding, the Polish National Home continues to serve as the heart of a community, and a proud partner in Hartford’s revival. Membership information available at http://polishhomect.org
Ambassador Piotr Wilczek is a literary scholar, intellectual historian, writer and translator. On October 21 2016, Mr. Wilczek was nominated by the President of the Republic of Poland as Ambassador to the United Staes and Commonwealth of the Bahamas.
Sabina Klimek is the Consul, Counselor at Trade and Investment Section of the Polish Consulate in New York. Sabina was a television reporter for Telewizja Polska and the International Business Development Manager for MGD Computer Systems in Warsaw, Poland.
Darek Barcikowski, Connecticut’s first Honorary Consul to Poland, is also the cofounder and managing partner of White Eagle Media, and has been a life-long advocate for Polish-American involvement in civic affairs and public services.
Robert Kwasnicki is the founder and owner of Digital Marketing Partner, a marketing and advertising agency headquartered in Enfield Connecticut. Robert is also the President of the Polish National Home of Hartford and serves on the board of directors for the non-profit PNH Founders Scholarship Program.
Jackie Borkowski is the owner of Service Press, a commercial printing company located in Newington Connecticut. Mrs. Borkowski is also the Vice President of the Polish National Home of Hartford.
Mark Bruks is the owner of Alliance Graphics, a commercial design and print business headquartered in Newington Connecticut. Mark is also the Treasurer and former President of the Polish National Home of Hartford.
In photo: Darek Barcikowski and Robert Kwasnicki
Janusz Kocur serves on the board of directors for the Polish National Home of Hartford, is President of the Polish-American Congress, and is actively involved in leadership positions with several Polish-American organizations.