On this blog, we often tout innovative efforts from Indiana’s business community at large. Now, we get to feature an employee at one of our member businesses whose efforts have not only innovated change, but helped to change the course of a nation.
Bart Pietrzak, an engineer at Applied Engineering Services (Indianapolis), was recently awarded the very prestigious Order of Polonia Restituta (the Order of Polish Rebirth), one of Poland’s highest Orders and the second highest award Polish civilians can receive. Here are the details from a press release:
The order is awarded to those who have rendered great service to Poland and the Polish people. In particular, the Order honors outstanding achievement in the areas of art, science, academia, agriculture, industry, philanthropy, and unpaid public service.
Mr. Pietrzak received the award for his political activity with the Workers’ Defense Committee (KOR), the Committee for Social Self-Defense (KSS KOR), and the Solidarity Trade Union in Poland in the mid to late 1970s. As part of his work with KSS KOR, Mr. Pietrzak helped raise money and provide free legal consul for those protestors who had been arrested for speaking out against the communist rule and who organized strikes against drastic increases in food price. Mr. Pietrzak was also an editor and photographer for the underground magazine Puls (Pulse). During communist-imposed marshal law in 1981 Mr. Pietrzak was arrested and imprisoned, and later immigrated to the United States. Opposition activity like this helped transform Poland from a communist-ruled state into a democratic country. Mr. Pietrzak went back home to Poland to receive the award presented to him from the President of Poland on November 11th, 2008, which is Poland’s Independence Day.
Also check out this interesting Q & A with Pietrzak on the company’s web site.
Congrats, Mr. Pietrzak, on this remarkable honor.