The competition nominations are given by the “Teraz Polska” Chapter Members and the Foundation Board to people who, in the Chapter’s opinion, had the biggest contribution in building and promoting the positive image of Poland in the world.
Tradition has it that they are also presented to the laureates of regional editions of the “Outstanding Pole” Competition which are organised in the USA (New York, Los Angeles and Chicago), Norway, France, Austria and Great Britain.
This year the Competition Chapter has decided to give the Outstanding Pole Title in two categories: Business and Science.
The laureates of this year’s edition are:
- Dr Irena Eris – businesswoman and co-owner of the Dr Irena Eris Skin Care Institute; enterprising woman icon
- Elżbieta Wysoczańska – author of VISOANSKA French beauty products, which are awarded for their innovativeness and sold around the world
- Professor Krzysztof Matyjaszewski – distinguished scientist and one of the best chemists in the world; for a few years he has been mentioned as one of the most serious Nobel Prize candidates
– Among this year’s laureates there are two winners of regional editions. Professor Krzysztof Matyjaszewski won the New York Competition and Elżbieta Wysoczańska – the French one. I am extremely happy that this year we have awarded two women because so far the “Outstanding Pole” Competition was dominated by men. I will be glad to see Dr Irena Eris and Elżbieta Wysoczańska joining them – sums up Krzysztof Przybył, President of the Polish Promotional Emblem Foundation.
– This award is a great honour for me. It demonstrates that working in order to build Poland’s position through honest and harmonious business activities has an impact on how our country is perceived abroad. I am proud that I have been recognised as the Polish brand ambassador not only in Poland bout also outside the country. I hope that my example will become an inspiration for young entrepreneurs. I believe that passion and dreams give us wings to fly and believing in your possibilities is the key to success – says Dr Irena Eris.
– With my activities I want to prove that by stressing Polish roots one can achieve a success in the world, even in such a “difficult” place for the cosmetics industry like Paris. VISOANSKA is a French brand and the products are made in France. Still, by emphasising my Polish origins, every time I meet with journalists around the world I can talk about Poland, our cosmetic tradition and possibilities of Polish people that are often underestimated – says Elżbieta Wysoczańska, the laureate of the “Outstanding Pole” Competition – Poland has not been in the centre of such attention for years. We should use this moment to promote our country. We are the ambassadors of Poland and through our professionalism and Slavic passion we put in every challenge we face we co-create its image in the world – she adds.
Doctor of Pharmacy, the co-owner (together with her husband, Henryk Orfinger) of Dr Irena Eris Skin Institute where she is the Research and Development Director. From the very beginning of the company’s existence she has been creating new products and managing the production process. She is the precursor of a holistic approach to beauty that consists in using cosmetics adjusted to individual needs, professional care at the Dr Irena Eris Skin Institutes and a well- balanced stay at the luxurious spa hotels in Wzgórza Dylewskie, Krynica-Zdrój and Polanica-Zrój. She is the laureate of many prestigious awards, including the Kisiel Prize for creating “great medium-size company” (Wprost, 2000). In 2004 she was included in the list of the most influential women in the history of Poland – women who changed the course of events, overcome stereotypes and initiated a new way of thinking. In 2010 Dr Irena Eris received the “Man of the Year” title from the Brief magazine for creating a strong, globally recognisable brand, which contributes to building a positive image of Poland. In 2011 she was chosen one of 100 most influential Polish people by the Wprost magazine. She was also awarded in the 100 Women of Business Competition organised by the Puls Biznesu magazine for her outstanding contribution in developing Polish entrepreneurship.
In 2012, as the only Polish brand, Dr Irena Eris Brand was accepted to the prestigious Comité Colbert Association of most luxurious brands that includes Chanel, Dior and Louis Vuitton. Gazeta Finansowa considered Irena Eris one of 50 most enterprising women in business. She received a medal on the 20th anniversary of the Polish Golf Union for her special contribution in developing and promoting golf by organising cyclical Dr Irena Eris Ladies’ Golf Cup as well as propagating ladies golf. She is a member of the Kisiela Prize Competition Chapter. In 2014 she was awarded with the Order of Polonia Restituta for her exceptional merits in developing and promoting Polish business as well as her achievements in the social field.
Elżbieta Wysoczańska (Elisabeth Visoanska)
She is the author of VISOANSKA French beauty products, which are awarded for their innovativeness and sold around the world. She has created an eponymous brand and chosen to expose her roots in order to promote the richness of Polish cosmetic tradition on the international level. She has developed pioneering – both organic and luxurious – cosmetic products, which are technologically advanced but made only from natural and environmentally friendly ingredients. Her cosmetics stand out on the market mainly due to unprecedented concentration of active ingredients and highly-advanced anti-aging properties. Every care product is accompanied by a diet supplement in order to care about beautiful skin in an innovative and complex manner – both from outside and inside. VISOANSKA products are available in luxurious perfumeries, department stores (such as Harrods or Printemps) and selected spas. In 2014 the brand was accepted to the prestigious Comité Vendôme Association.
She is a graduate, mentor and juror at the Paris ESSEC Business School (MBA in Luxury Brand Management). In 2007 she won the cosmetic Oscar. She is the laureate of this year’s edition of the “Outstanding Pole in France” Competition in the business category.
“I dedicate VISOANSKA products to women who think about being young as something more than just looking young and who don’t want to choose between natural products and innovative biotechnology – to the most demanding women of my generation”. /Elżbieta Wysoczańska/
Professor Krzysztof Matyjaszewski
He is a distinguished scientist, one of the best chemists in the world. For a few years he has been mentioned as one of the most serious candidates to receive the Nobel Prize in chemistry.
Since 1985 Professor Matyjaszewski has been working at the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh (USA) as a J.C. Warner University Professor of Natural Sciences as well as Łódź University of Technology and the Centre of Molecular and Macromolecular Studies at the Polish Academy of Sciences. Members of his research group at the Carnegie Mellon University included over one hundred post-doctoral and more than a hundred doctoral students. He has published over one thousand scientific papers and book chapters. His works have been quoted more than 100,000 times (Google Scholar, 2015).
He has been awarded for innovations in polymer chemistry, mainly for developing the ATRP method (atom transfer radical polymerization) – the means of forming macromolecules with a specific structure. This discovery is widely used in practice, for example in making polymers and copolymers used in paints, sealing agents, glues and cosmetics. There are also researches conducted on the methods of oriented application of drugs through molecular carriers, bone regeneration and other biomedical applications as well as in areas connected with the environmental protection and energy.
Professor Matyjaszewski has been awarded with the honoris causa title eight times. He is the laureate of such awards as Dreyfus Award (2015), Wolf Award (2011), Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award (2009), FNP Award (2004) and Maria Curie-Skłodowska Medal (2012). He is the laureate of this year’s New York edition of the “Outstanding Pole” competition in the science category.
Photo © Anna Karahan
Portraits © from the private archives of the laureates of the “Outstanding Pole” Competition
More information on: The Foundation of the Polish Promotional Emblem „Teraz Polska”