Lady Blanka A. Rosenstiel
Hon. Consul to the Republic of Poland
Mrs. Rosenstiel was born in Warsaw, Poland. After World War II, she studied art in Brussels, Belgium. In 1956 she moved to the United States and decided to make it her home. In 1967 she married the late Lewis S. Rosenstiel, Chairman of Schenley Industries, a great humanitarian and philanthropist. Widowed in 1976, she resides in Miami Beach during the winter season and at her Blandemar Farm in Charlottesville, Virginia in the summer.
Her avid interest in the arts, dedication to helping young artists, and desire to promote Poland’s heritage while fostering culture in her American homeland, prompted Mrs. Rosenstiel to establish, in 1972, The American Institute of Polish Culture, Inc. (AIPC) in Miami. The Institute shares with American society the rich heritage of Poland. It also serves as a center of educational facilities and resources for the encouragement and promotion of the scientific and aesthetic endeavors of Americans of Polish decent.
In 1977, Mrs. Rosenstiel established the Chopin Foundation of the United States, a national organization dedicated to helping young American musicians, and promoting Chopin’s music in the United States.
In 1998 she helped to establish a permanent Kosciuszko Chair of Polish Studies at the University of Virginia. Each year the Institute awards scholarships in the field of journalism, communication or public relations to talented students of Polish origin. In 1998 Mrs. Rosenstiel was appointed an Honorary Consul of the Republic of Poland. She became the first Polish Consul in the history of Florida.
Mrs. Rosenstiel has been awarded the following titles and honors: Community Television Foundation of South Florida, Inc. – PB Award, 1975, 1976, Outstanding Citizen’s Award of Dade County, FL, 1975, Polish American Congress, Florida Division – Certificate of Appreciation, 1975, Biscayne College Award, 1976, International Fine Arts College of Miami – Doctor Honoris Causa, 1976, Alliance College of Cambridge Springs, PA – Doctor of Humane Letters, 1978, American Council of Polish Cultural Clubs National Award, 1978, National Advocates Society and National Medical and Dental Association – National Humanitarian Award, 1981, St. Mary’s College – Orchard Lake, MI – Ambassadors Award, 1981, Miami Ballet Society Humanitarian Award, 1983, National Parkinson Foundation Humanitarian Award, 1983, American Council of Polish Cultural Clubs Award, 1984, Lady of the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta, 1984, Am-Pol Eagle – National Citizen of the Year Award, 1985, Florida International University – The Society of Founders Award, 1989, Greater Miami Youth Symphony Award, 1994, Orchard Lake Schools – Honorary Benefactor and Alumna, 1994, Admirals of the Fleet of Florida – Woman of Distinction Award, 1995, Ellis Island Medal of Honor, 1995, Cavalier’s Cross of Polonia Restituta Order, 1996, Jose Marti Medal, 1998, Polish Commander Cross of the Order of Merit, 2004.