2023 Person of the Year Awards Gala Dinner

Person of the Year Awards
May 10 to

The Person of the Year Awards Gala Dinner has been held annually by the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce since 1970. The Gala honors two outstanding leaders – one Brazilian and one American – who have been particularly instrumental in forging closer ties between the two nations. Past honorees have included President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, President Bill Clinton, Min. Henrique Meirelles, and Henry Kissinger.

The 2023 Person of the Year Awards Gala Dinner, will take place at The Glasshouse in New York, on WednesdayMay 10th. Over 1,000 leaders from the international business, financial, and diplomatic communities convene in New York City each year at this traditional gala to pay tribute to the honorees.

The Person of the Year Fellowship Program is funded by proceeds from the Person of the Year Awards Gala Dinner, and conducted in partnership with Instituto Ling and Fundação Lemann and has co-supported over 153 Brazilian students who have already graduated or are studying to obtain graduate degrees from top tier American universities.

In addition to the gala, a series of parallel events sponsored by institutions such as Financial Times, Banco Itaú, BTG Pactual, Bank of America, Citi, Forbes Brasil, and J. Safra Group contributed to making the week of the gala “Brazil Week” in New York.

The POY has become the premier event of the Brazilian-American community in the United States, and its success has enabled the Chamber to expand its annual programming to further develop the ties between Brazil and the United States.

We would be honored to once again have your prestigious participation at the 2023 Person of the Year Awards Gala Dinner.


A brief biography of Walter Schalka follows:

Walter Schalka is the Brazilian recipient of the 2023 Person of the Year Awards.

Walter Schalka has served as CEO of Suzano since January 2013.  He has played a strategic role in Suzano’s evolution, including the 2019 combination of Suzano Pulp and Paper and Fibria Celulose, and has led the company’s success by developing new products and innovating ways to meet customer needs.

Mr. Schalka began his career at Citibank and later joined the holding company of Grupo Maepar. In 1989, he assumed the role of Chief Financial Officer at Dixie Lalekla, later becoming General Manager and, in 1991, CEO (following the merger that created the Dixie Toga Group).  In May 2005, he joined Grupo Votorantim as CEO of Votorantim Cimentos, where he was responsible for operations in Brazil and 14 other countries.  In January 2013, he became CEO of Suzano.

The choice of Mr. Schalka recognizes the prominent and influential role he has played in growing Suzano into the world’s largest hardwood pulp producer and a leader in the Latin American market.  His commitment to ESG – particularly in the areas of climate change, biodiversity, and social development – is admirable and has brought about measurable and lasting change, factors that coincide with the values promoted by the Chamber.


The American honoree will be announced soon.


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