Romanians of Washington, DC is happy to announce that its 2022 Community Award was recently presented to Ms. Daniela Kammrath ”for bringing the light artwork ‘Mi-e dor de tine’ to the Nation’s Capital and for her ongoing community work.”
Daniela Kammrath currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer at RAISE, the Romanian American Institute for Smart Energy, which seeks to identify opportunities for cooperation between the energy industries in Romania and the United States. Daniela is a seasoned entrepreneur, with over 20 years of experience in advertising, communications, digital marketing strategy, and business development for Fortune 500 companies.
She previously served as Executive Director of Alianța, a Washington, DC-based organization of Americans, U.S. companies, and other institutions working to strengthen the cultural, economic, and security ties between the United States and Romania. Subsequently, she served in the same role at the Romanian United Fund (RUF), an international charity organization based in Chicago focused on creating a global, innovative, vibrant community, for the purpose of encouraging and financing the development of the Global Romanian Diaspora, and its connections with Romania. She is currently serving on the Board of Directors at RUF where she is also an Advisor to the President. Daniela is also a founding board member of FORA, the Federation of Romanian American Organizations, based in Washington, DC.
She has been a pioneer in empowering women in Romania since 2001, when she created and launched 121.ro, the first online community of Romanian women, that grew in 14 years into over 125,000 members, focusing on issues such as career, health, relationships, culture, reading, work-life balance, spirituality, leadership, and motherhood. A native of Bucharest, Danila holds a Master of Science in Electronics & Telecommunications from Bucharest Polytechnic University.
Mi-e dor de tine in Washington, DC
Starting on Valentine’s Day and through the end of March 2022, a large neon artwork showing the words “Mi-e dor de tine” (“I miss you” in direct translation from Romanian) was on display at The Wharf, on the Potomac waterfront and directly visible from I-395, one of the most heavily trafficked roads leading into Washington, DC. Created by Andi Daiszler, president of the Daisler Association, the NGO that managed the exhibition, the “Mi-e dor de tine“ artwork was dedicated to the Romanian diaspora living in the DC Area. With one in four Romanians currently resides outside the country, this neon artwork which was also exhibited to great public admiration in London in 2019 and in Chicago in 2021, was a declaration of reunification dedicated to them, a message of hope for those left behind in Romania.
“’Mi-e dor de tine’ is the signature artwork created by the Daisler Association for the ‘Lights On Romania’ light-art festival. We call it a signature artwork because in some form it exists in every project we are handling with the Daisler Association and it is one of our trademarks. ’Mi-e dor de tine’ is a simple, yet profound statement that manages to touch the souls of those speaking Romanian in a very personal way. People come to see it, take pictures of it and they send those pictures to their loved ones, thousands of miles away. It gives them a sense of comfort and hope”, said Andi Daiszler at the opening of the exhibition in Washington, DC.
Its presence in the Nation’s Capital was made possible by the hard work and the tenacious efforts of Daniela Kammrath. She had met Andi in the Fall of 2020, during her tenure as Executive Director of Romanian United Fund. The two of them were working at that time on bringing the light art installation to Chicago, its first exhibit in the United States. Following the success of the exhibition on the banks of the Chicago River, Daniela was determined to bring it to Washington, DC as well. The many rules, regulations and jurisdictions that make such an endeavor an incredible and daunting challenge were clearly not enough to deter her from her goal. When it became clear that displaying the artwork on public domain was next to impossible, Daniela quickly turned to the Hoffman-Madison Waterfront, the private company that developed and manages The Wharf as a possible location. This turned out to be the key to publicly displaying the sign in one of the city’s most heavily trafficked and visible areas.
At the opening of the exhibition in Washington, DC Daniela mentioned that “It meant a lot to me to be an active part of this project here in Washington, DC, to continue the dialogue started in Chicago with our loved ones back in Romania. I am proud to have it in our city. Our goal is to warm people’s hearts during this season abundant in reasons to celebrate love, friendship, and longing: Valentine’s Day, Dragobete (February 24), Mărțișor (March 1), and International Women’s Day (March 8th). This is our present to you from us, Washington, DC!”
While “Mi-e dor de tine” was on display in Washington, DC, its two sister-artworks “Și mie“ and “Te aștept“ (“Me, too“, respectively “I am waiting for you“ in direct translation) were lit up in two Romanian cities, so that the Romanian public can respond via pictures to the declaration sent from the United States.
Proudly endorsed by the Romanian CEC Bank and organized with the support of the Romanian Embassy to the United States and of the Romanian Cultural Institute in New York City, the large neon sign with the words “‘I miss you” in Romanian, has become one of the most recognizable contemporary art installations to come out of modern Romania.
About the Romanians of Washington, DC Community Award
The Romanians of Washington, DC Community Award was established in 2019 by the Board of Directors of the organization as a way to recognize individuals (and organizations) who brought a significant contribution to the Romanian American community in the greater Washington, DC area. The Award(s) is also intended to provide added visibility to the accomplishments of some of the most active members of our community while at the same time encouraging further participation in civic, social and cultural activities.
Since 2021 the recipients of the Romanians of Washington, DC Community Awards are nominated through a public and open process by members of our community. Following the nomination process, which usually runs from September through November, the Members of the Board of Directors vote on the nominations received for a final selection of the recipients.