Meet Bonnie (Piet) Ryniec, an IPA IL director “newbie”. Bonnie is not new to polkas, having grown up in it. Her parents Stan & Ann Piet were avid polka supporters & dancers who followed the Ampol-Aires, Marion Lush & Eddie B. She truly appreciates having been around to experience the heyday of polka popularity in Chicago, fondly remembering these same Chicago bands. A few of her favorite long ago polka memories include; IPA Conventions at the Red Carpet Inn in Milwaukee, Happy Louie at “the Grove” and traveling with the Ampol-Aires to a big new festival in PA, called “7 Springs”. Another wonderful memory from 32 years ago is marrying polka musician Whitey Ryniec and having a big fat POLKA wedding. They blissfully reside in Palos Hills, IL, a suburb of Chicago.
Bonnie has served on the United Polka Association Chicago Chapter Board of Directors and was the recipient (along with her husband Whitey) of a UPA Appreciation Award for their efforts in writing, directing and co-producing 4 musical reviews as fund raisers for the organization. She was the “B” in B.a.D. Productions and promoted polka music by hosting dances, including the “White Eagle Reunion”, a “Moonlite Polka Picnic” and a “Boo Ball” Halloween Dance. Presently she is a member of the IPA, the USPA and Let’s Polka USA.
There is another passion in Bonnie’s life, theatre. She’s been doing community theatre both onstage and backstage for the past 20+ years and is very involved with the Beverly Theatre Guild, a Chicago Southside community theatre group. She is currently on the BTG Board of Directors and is the recipient of their Distinguished Service Award in 2008 and the Guild’s Presidents Award in 2013.
Bonnie recently retired from full time employment with a nationwide insurance company. She is currently doing freelance work as a Standardized Patient for 3 Chicago area medical universities. She enjoys the flexibility of the schedule and finds working with the young medical students to be both rewarding and interesting.
Her feelings are that the internet and social media have given polkas a big boost and polka music is in an up-swing much in part to today’s technology. Bonnie is honored to be a part of this exciting IPA board and looks forward to working to help promote the music she loves. Her advice, “turn an ordinary day into an extraordinary day, go to a polka dance”.