About the event

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 from Brazil and one from the United States – 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 2024 Person of the Year Awards Gala Dinner, took place at The Glasshouse in New York, on Wednesday, May 15th.

Over 1,000 leaders from the international business, financial, and diplomatic communities convened in New York City 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  Fundação LemannInstituto Ling, and United Airlines and has co-supported over 167 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.

As a way to relive important moments from the 2024 Person of the Year Awards Gala Dinner, we share with you the links to the photo gallery.

Red Carpet:

Cocktail Reception:

Dinner / Awards Ceremony:



Awards Committee
Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce, Inc.

For more information, please e-mail, or call (212) 751-4691.

2024 Person of the Year

Alexandre Birman is the recipient of the 2024 Person of the Year Awards from Brazil.

Alexandre Birman is CEO and CCO of Arezzo&Co, which leads the largest fashion house of brands in Brazil, including Arezzo, Schutz, Anacapri, Alexandre Birman, Alme, Reserva, Carol Bassi, Vans, Oficina Reserva, Reserva Go, Simples, Reversa, Reserva INK, Reserva Mini, BAW Clothing, TROC, Vicenza, Paris Texas, and the ZZMALL marketplace.

Mr. Birman led the launch of the ZZMALL digital platform; the creation of the ZZ APP; and the formation of ZZ Ventures, the group’s corporate venture capital.  In consolidating growth, he headed the 2020 fusion of Reserva; the creation of AR&CO, the company’s lifestyle division; and the 2023 acquisition of the Italian brand Paris Texas.  Also in 2023, Arezzo&Co launched Arezzo in the United States, greatly strengthening its international growth and footprint.

A native of Belo Horizonte (MG), Mr. Birman graduated in Business Administration from Universidade FUMEC. He participated in the Owner / President Management Program at Harvard Business School and, since 2013, has been a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA).  He has received national and international awards as a designer and business executive.

The choice of Mr. Birman recognizes his commitment to producing high-quality, sustainable products and experiences on a global platform and his prominent and influential role in strengthening Arezzo&Co’s international growth, factors that coincide with the values promoted by the Chamber.

2024 Person of the Year

Wes Edens is the recipient of the 2024 Person of the Year Awards from the United States.

Wes Edens is Co-Founder & Co-CEO of Fortress Investment Group, a highly diversified global investment management firm that fosters transportation and infrastructure projects; Founder & CEO of New Fortress Energy, a global natural gas supply and infrastructure company; and Co-Owner of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks, among numerous other roles.

Mr. Edens earned his B.S. in Finance from Oregon State University and began his career in 1987 at Lehman Brothers, serving as Partner & Managing Director until 1993. He then served as Partner & Managing Director at BlackRock’s private equity division, BlackRock Asset Investors, where he remained until 1997.

In 1998, Mr. Edens engaged as one of five principal founders of Fortress Investment Group, which manages approximately $46.2 billion of assets on behalf of over 1,900 institutional clients and private investors worldwide across a range of credit and real estate, private equity, and permanent capital investment strategies. In 2014, he founded New Fortress Energy, leading the company’s rapid growth into a fully integrated, global energy leader that improves the lives of millions through its liquified natural gas (LNG) terminals, power generation facilities, and logistics assets. The company’s mission is centered around sustainability, reducing emissions and increasing access to power across the world. New Fortress Energy has expanded operations in Brazil, solidifying its position as the foremost LNG-to-power company in Latin America’s largest economy.

Mr. Edens has also been a catalyst for the development of Brightline, the first privately owned, operated, and maintained passenger rail system in the United States, connecting Florida cities from Miami to Orlando and providing a second corridor between Southern California and Las Vegas.

Mr. Edens served as Inaugural Co-Chair of the Brown School of Public Health Advisory Council. He and his family also established The Edens Family Fund for Climate Change Research at Princeton University and endowed the Edens Professorship in Global Health at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, along with a research fund to focus on solving international infectious diseases and environmental health hazards.

The nomination of Mr. Edens as 2024 Person of the Year was widely proposed by Chamber members and unanimously approved by our Board of Directors. The Board is comprised of a broad spectrum of leading Brazilian and U.S. firms that are active in both countries.

The Board’s selection of Mr. Edens recognizes his commitment to improving health, education, food security, gender equality, livelihoods, and poverty levels by investing in communities and providing access to cleaner, affordable, and reliable energy across the globe, factors that coincide with the values promoted by the Chamber.



The Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce Parceiros da Educação as the recipient of the 2024 Community Impact Award. The award recognizes the organization’s dedication to community service, promoting the betterment of society at large.

Founded in 2004 by Jair Ribeiro, Parceiros da Educação is a non-governmental organization that structures partnerships between the private sector and public schools in Brazil to strengthen student learning.  The organization is dedicated to providing students with comprehensive and quality training, supporting teachers and educational directors to improve school performance, and enhancing public education policies.  Parceiros da Educação is present in more than 700 public schools with a direct impact on approximately 400,000 students.  Partnering schools show an improvement of approximately 40% in educational indices over the course of the first three years of collaboration with Parceiros da Educação, which translates to more than one additional year of schooling for students, compared to their counterparts in public schools.

In 2024, Parceiros da Educação celebrates 20 years of dedication to social transformation to improve Brazilian public education.

The Community Impact Award was presented to Parceiros da Educação at the 2024 Person of the Year Awards Gala Dinner on May 15th at The Glasshouse.



The Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce Amigos da Poli as the recipient of the 2024 Social Responsibility Award in Science & Technology. The award recognizes the organization’s entrepreneurship in social responsibility in the area of science and technology, promoting the betterment of society at large.

The first and largest endowment fund in Brazil, Amigos da Poli was founded in 2009 by a group of alumni from Escola Politécnica da Universidade de São Paulo. The fund’s mission is to develop the potential of Poli-USP engineering students – contributing to their excellence and empowering them as citizens and leaders – to stimulate innovation and education in Brazil. Former President / current Board Member and POY Fellow Lucas Sancassani encourages engineering on the basis that education and technology are great drivers of growth, capable of societal transformation.

In 2023, Amigos da Poli surpassed 50 million BRL reais in assets, a testament to the community’s belief and investment in education, science, and technology and its commitment to nurturing academic excellence.  Proceeds from the endowment fund support polytechnic community projects that contribute to the training of students as professionals and citizens.  The fund’s success has resonated throughout Brazil, leading to the establishment of nearly 100 similar funds that enhance the quality and reach of higher education.

The Social Responsibility Award in Science & Technology was presented to Amigos da Poli at the 2024 Person of the Year Awards Gala Dinner on May 15th at The Glasshouse.



The Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce Motriz as the recipient of the 2024 Social Responsibility Award in Leadership Development.  The award recognizes the organization’s entrepreneurship in social responsibility in the area of leadership development, promoting the betterment of society at large.

Established on March 1, 2024, Motriz is the result of a merger between Vetor Brasil (est. 2015) and Instituto Gesto (est. 2014).  On its own, Vetor Brasil partnered with state and municipal governments to develop public professionals in Brazil – while Instituto Gesto worked to develop and improve healthcare management processes in Brazil.  With extensive experience strengthening the institutional capacity of public management in Brazil, these non-profits join forces as Motriz, under the leadership of Executive Director and POY Fellow Joice Toyota, to strengthen executive power and deliver quality services to all Brazilians.

The name Motriz reflects the force that drives the creation of a fairer and more equitable Brazil, empowering the public sector from within.  The organization aims to strengthen state and municipal governments, improve public education, and bolster public sector leadership, with a transversal approach incorporating racial and gender equity and socio-environmental sustainability.

Motriz partners with state and municipal education departments to stimulate and improve teaching and learning processes in Brazil.  The organization also collaborates with public managers who lead teams from Brazilian states and municipalities in strategic management, education, and health portfolios to develop capable and engaged government professionals, acting effectively and with increasing autonomy, to resolve challenges and improve services.

With innovative solutions aimed at public education and the engagement of public sector leaders, Motriz contributes to the implementation of more effective, inclusive, and diverse public policies and services in Brazil.

The Social Responsibility Award in Leadership Development was presented to Motriz at the 2024 Person of the Year Awards Gala Dinner on May 15th at The Glasshouse.

Sponsoring the 2024 Person of the Year Event

The Chamber offers several categories of sponsorship for our flagship event: Inner Circle, Platinum, and Gold.

Each category offers a different level of benefits that promote your company and provide access to other events during the week. Please call +1 (212) 751-4691 or e-mail for complete details.

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