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Story by Ania Karwan, and Greg Chilecki
Photo credit: Mirek Jaroslawski, and Greg Chilecki

On October 26 and 27, Polish National Alliance (“PNA”) District 16 held its district convention (“Sejmik”), hosted by Lodge 3281 Polonia Las Vegas of PNA Council 73. District 16 consists of the states of Washington, Oregon, Colorado, California, Arizona, and Nevada. In attendance were 23 delegates from the following lodges and councils (PNA Councils 4, 57, 73, and 216; PNA Lodges 7, 156, 700, 1443, 3259, 3193, and 3281) and had many sales agents in attendance. Our guest of honor and keynote speaker was Mr. Frank J. Spula, our national PNA President.

The Sejmik began with the host Lodge 3281 Polonia Las Vegas, President Piotr Nowinski, and their financial secretary Barbara Sutowski welcoming the delegates to the Sejmik. PNA President Mr. Spula addressed the delegates, speaking about PNA’s future and gave guidance to District 16’s lodges and counsels on activities, membership, and sales. Commissioners Ania Karwan and Greg Chilecki gave a joint presentation about District 16, reporting on their activities in the District, and informed the delegates on sales results to date. The Commissioners reminded agents about the District 16 Sales Contest that had prizes for most premiums and most policies sold, and in addition that there was the Commissioners’ Sales Contest in which agents could qualify for prize categories if they improved their individual results in premiums and policies sold compared to their prior years’ results. Anthony Nowak-Przygodzki, director, also addressed the delegates. PNA District 16 sales agents presented new policy applications to PNA President Mr. Spula; Barbara Jaroslawski presented four new policy applications, and Rick Kobzi and Glenn Stocker each had one application.

The District 16 Commissioners, Ania Karwan and Greg Chilecki, each year have chosen individuals to recognize as PNA District 16 persons of the year. This year, the Commissioners awarded Barbara Jarosławski of Piast Lodge 3259, Yorba Linda, California, and George Kielak of Polonia Lodge 3281, Las Vegas, Nevada with certificates in recognition and appreciation of their dedication to working for the success of PNA District 16, their sales efforts, and for their fraternalism. The Commissioners also presented Ms. Jarosławski and Mr. Kielak with gift cards.

Each of the councils and lodges in attendance gave a report of their activities for the past year. The delegates were then lead by the Commissioners, Ania Karwan and Greg Chilecki, in discussions on the central topics of increasing sales and membership for the entire district as well as for their individual lodges. This year we had the opportunity to get feedback and guidance from PNA President Frank J. Spula on how a lodge can successfully create new activities to interest and attract members at little to no cost, as well as a discussion exploring new approaches and ideas for increasing sales and membership in District 16.

Lunch was provided by the talented ladies of Polonia Lodge 3281, Las Vegas members and caterers “Polish Delights” who created a delicious feast for the delegates. Later in the evening, thanks to Polonia Lodge 3281, some of the delegates and guests took advantage of the opportunity to see the show Mystere by Cirque du Soleil.

On Sunday, the Sejmik continued, with Commissioners Ania Karwan and Greg Chilecki leading the delegates in discussing rewards contests for District 16 sales agents. The delegates decided to renew the contest to reward most premiums and policies sold. In addition, the delegates wanted to try something new and create an incentive category for those agents who find new agents, where they will be rewarded for their mentoring of the new agents by getting an award when their new agent achieves a level of sales of several policies. One more new category of sales contest was added that will award a prize to the first agent to sell three higher face value policies. Commissioners Ania Karwan and Greg Chilecki thank all of our District 16 sales agents who continue to promote PNA membership and sales and wish them success in the new contest year.

The District 16 Commissioners then provided information and materials for discussions and questions as a group going over guidelines for lodge reporting, lodge dance group model rules, materials on sales prospecting, and District 16 Resolutions. At the conclusion of the Sejmik participants again were treated to a feast prepared by Polonia Lodge 3281, Las Vegas members and caterers “Polish Delights”, and then celebrated Polish Mass together at Our Lady of Las Vegas Church.

Commissioners Ania Karwan and Greg Chilecki thank Polonia Lodge 3281, Las Vegas for hosting our Sejmik and thank all the participants for making the PNA District 16 Sejmik a success. We all give special thanks to PNA President Frank J. Spula for lending his expertise and guidance to the delegates for our lively committee discussions on sales, fraternalism, and membership.

Resolutions of the PNA District 16 Convention
Las Vegas, Nevada
October 26 & 27, 2013

Whereas, Polish National Alliance District XVI convened in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 26 and 27, 2013 at their Annual District XVI Convention and;
Whereas, all matters of membership and fraternalism were extensively discussed;

Therefore be it resolved:

  1. We acknowledge and thank President Frank J. Spula for his leadership of the Polish National Alliance of North America. We wish him continued success, and for the growth of the Polish National Alliance as the leading ethnic fraternal in the United States.
  2. We thank PNA Lodge 3281 – Las Vegas, Nevada, its officers and delegates for hosting our PNA District XVI Convention, especially, Piotr Nowinski, President and Barbara Sutowski, Financial Secretary. We congratulate and wish continued success to Lodge 3281.
  3. We thank our District XVI Commissioners Ania Karwan and Greg Chilecki for their hard work and dedication in representing PNA members in District XVI, and Director Tony Nowak Przygodzki representing Region “K”.
  4. We acknowledge our “Man and Women of the Year” for District XVI, George Kielak, Las Vegas, Nevada, Lodge 3281, and Barbara Jaroslawski, Yorba Linda, Lodge 3259 for their tireless dedication to their lodge and PNA membership, and their acts of fraternalism on behalf of the Polish National Alliance in their respective areas.
  5. Be it resolved that we support the passing of H.R. 1354 – Jobs Originated through Launching Travel Act of 2013 and we continue to call for support of VISA waiver for all Polish citizens visiting the United States.
  6. We encourage all members of the Polish National Alliance and Polonia in general to participate in their local politics, as a matter of their citizenship and civic duties to the state, county, and communities in which they live.
  7. We encourage all members to get involved with their respective state’s fraternal alliance groups.
  8. We acknowledge and support the upcoming Canonization to Sainthood of Blessed Pope John Paul II whose life of service to God and people inspired and touched the lives of billions of Catholics and non-Catholics all over the world. We recognize that Blessed Pope John Paul II elevated the image of Poles worldwide, and inspired Poland to peacefully seek its freedom from Communism, in turn, opening the way to freedom for other Central and Eastern European nations.
  9. We encourage and support our sales agents in their efforts to expand the membership of PNA.