Kuczynski was inducted into the organization in 2014, and served as recording secretary and chairman of the Scholarship, Fundraising and Bylaws committees before ascending to the presidency.
“To be president of this 61-year-old organization comes with a lot of history and responsibility,” he says. “I only hope I can live up to the expectations of the generations that came before me.”
Kuczynski says that he joined the chapter because he wanted to be a part of an organization that not only did charitable and patriotic work, but also promoted Italian heritage and strengthened the Italian-American community.
“If we don’t support our heritage we will eventually loose it,” he contends. “When I was a kid, Sunday dinner at my Aunt Nettie’s was everything. Some families today don’t know the importance of sharing a meal together. I would give to anything to be at her dinner table one more time.”
Beside the great food enjoyed at chapter meeting, Kuczynski respects the causes that the chapter supports — like the Shriner’s and St. Jude’s children’s hospital, and Touch My Heart — and appreciates the bonds that exist between members.
“The friendships I have made will last the rest of my life,” he says. “It makes me proud to be an Italian American who lives by the motto: ‘Service Above Self.’”
During his tenure as president, he plans to increase fundraising activities to expand the chapter’s scholarship program and to increase membership. “We’re currently the 12th-largest chapter within UNICO and I want to crack the top 10!” he says.
Kuczynski graduated from Brother Rice High School and Eastern Illinois University and is a proud lifelong member of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity.
A retirement planner with 28 years in financial services, he founded Hammer Retirement Services in 2013.