The Quo Vadis conference attracted delegates from all over the United States, Canada, and Europe.
The conference offered the participants the opportunity to gain valuable leadership skills from inspirational speakers and interactive workshops. It provided networking opportunities and facilitated idea exchanges between young Polish professionals, allowing them to strengthen the Polish community. The conference also emphasized the spirit and values of the Polish heritage.
The theme of the Chicago Quo Vadis Conference was ‘Modern Leaders: Own your Identity’. The purpose was to encourage young, highly-educated generation of modern Polonians to explore answers to the question (and the conference title at the same time) “Where are we going?” The conference in Chicago was also to determine what exact identity Polonians wish to present as a Polish community as well as determine what steps to take to fully promote Poland and Polonia.
The conference was attended by over a hundred young professionals of Polish descent. The participants had the opportunity to draw on the experience of a number of prominent experts, scholars, professionals and activists, among them Laura Schwartz, chief of the White House protocol at the time of President Bill Clinton, Thaddeus Radzilowski, co-founder and president of the Piast Institute, an independent think tank and research center in Hamtramck, MI devoted to Polish and Polish-American affairs, Krzysztof Kasprzyk counselor-minister at the Polish Diaspora Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Warsaw and former Consul General in L.A. and in New York, Karen Majewski Mayor of the city of Hamtramc, MI, Aurelia Puciński, Justice of the Supree Court Cook County, Wanda Urbańska, public relations and political strategist leading the Jan Karski US Centennial Campaign, Wesley Adamczyk, author of a popular book “When God Looked the Other Way” about hundreds of thousands of Poles exiled to Siberia by the USSR and author of many initiatives aimed at enhancing Poland’s position in the U.S.A.
The Quo Vadis Chicago 2012 conference was attended by Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Janusz Cisek, Undersecretary of State at the Chancellery of the President Maciej Klimczak, Krzysztof Kasprzyk, counselor-minister at the Polish Diaspora Department, Ariel Reboyras Alderman of the 30th Ward Chicago and Timothy M. Cullerton Alderman 38th Ward Chicago.
During a reception at the Polish Consulate General in Chicago, Undersecretary of State Janusz Cisek awarded Robert Ogrodnik, Honorary Consul in St. Louis, with the Bene merito medal, an honorary distinction conferred upon those whose activities enhance Poland’s position on the international arena. Also, Undersecretary of State at the Chancellery of the President of Poland Maciej Klimczak bestowed the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland to a Polish WW2 veteran Włodzimierz Klonowski, Cthe avalier’s Cross of the Order of Merit to veteran Henryk Kołodyński, and the Cavalier’s Cross of the Order of Merit to engineer Mirosław Niedziński.
Letters of support for the Quo Vadis Chicago 2012 conference were sent by President of the Republic of Poland Bronisław Komorowski, Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel, Congressman Mike Quigley, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn Gubernator, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, Senator Dan Kotowski, Alderman Timothy M. Cullerton, Alderman Ariel Reboyras, Alderman Michael R. Zaleski and Zbigniew Brzeziński, geostrategist who was U.S. National Security Advisor to PresidentJimmy Carter.
The conference was lead by the Quo Vadis organizing committee, headed by Agnes Ptasznik and Joanna Koson. The conference was supported by the Polish Consulate General in Chicago.
Source: Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Chicago