ahi general news - American Hellenic Institute



ahi general news - American Hellenic Institute
Volume 33 Number 234
November 2006
From June 5-16, 2006, the American Hellenic Institute’s (AHI)
leadership participated in its annual trip to Greece and Cyprus.
The delegation held substantive talks with government officials
and business leaders in both countries.
In Cyprus, the delegation consisted of AHI President Gene
Rossides, AHI Advisory Committee members Kostas Alexakis and
Nick Karambelas, AHI members Gus Andy, William Ragsdale and
AHI Executive Director Nick Larigakis. While in Athens, the AHI
delegation included Messrs. Rossides, Alexakis, Andy, Ragsdale,
Karambelas, and Larigakis. They were joined by AHI Athens
Chapter President Ilias Malevitis, AHI Advisory Committee
members Ted Spyropoulos, Jim Lagos and Peter C. Pappas, and
AHI member Kristi Lauren Glakas, who was Miss Virginia 2005
in the Miss America Pageant.
(L-R) AHI Executive Director Nick Larigakis, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), and AHI
President Gene Rossides at the Capitol Hill Briefing.
In Cyprus
The AHI delegation arrived in Nicosia on June 5, meeting over
the next four days with: President of the Republic of Cyprus Tassos Papadopoulos; Bishop Nikiforos of the Kykkos Monastery;
On July 26, 2006, AHI hosted a briefing and luncheon on Capitol Hill for Congressional staffers titled “Cyprus: 32 Years
Later—What Is Needed for a Solution.” Event speakers included
Dr. Ted Galen Carpenter, vice president for Foreign Policy and
Defense Studies at the CATO Institute, Representatives Thaddeus
G. McCotter (R-MI); Carolyn Maloney (D-NY); Frank Pallone
(D-NJ); and AHI’s Gene Rossides.
Speakers critiqued U.S. policy on Cyprus and with respect to
Turkey. According to Dr. Carpenter, “the U.S. has acted with generalized indifference as Turkey enjoyed the fruits of its aggression.” Similarly, Representative McCotter called for a fundamental reexamination of U.S. relations with and policy on Turkey
while Representative Pallone highlighted Cyprus’ positive relief
role for war evacuees and refugees from the most recent
Lebanese-Israeli war. Pallone stressed his hope that U.S. policy
Continued on page 6
Continued on page 2
(L-R) William Ragsdale, Kostas Alexakis, Nick Karambelas, President of Cyprus Tassos Papadopoulos, Gene Rossides, Gus Andy, and Nick Larigakis.
AHI General News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
AHI in the News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
AHI Briefings & Noon Forums . . . . . . . . . 4
Visitors to Hellenic House . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Statements & Announcements . . . . . . . . 5
Letters to Government Officials. . . . . . . . 5
Action Alerts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
AHI Business Network. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Member Spotlights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Member News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Saturday, March 10, 2007
The Capital Hilton • Washington, D.C.
*Invitations will be mailed out in January 2007.
which at the time of this newsletter’s publication had 32 co-sponsors. Joining Senator Snowe as an original co-sponsor is Senator
Robert Menendez (D-NJ).
If enacted, this bill will enable U.S. citizens who own property
in the Turkish occupied territory of the Republic of Cyprus to
seek financial remedies with either the current inhabitants of their
land or with the Turkish government. Since the 1974 invasion
and occupation of the northern part of Cyprus, the property of
Greek Cypriots and American nationals in this area was illegally
taken, occupied and used by Turkish authorities and individuals.
Dr. Ted Galen Carpenter.
Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ).
towards Cyprus will change, and
also urged support of the American-Owned Property in Occupied Cyprus Claims Act (H.R.
Representative Maloney also
commended Cyprus for its role in
Lebanon and asserted that the U.S.
should continue to play an active
part in searching for a solution.
She urged support of H.R. 322,
which supports the European
Rep. Thaddeus G. McCotter (R-MI). Court of Human Rights for its
decisions in the Loizidou and
Arestis property cases against Turkey. Gene Rossides concluded the
briefing, providing analysis of the historical context of the problem,
and an overview of several actions that can be taken now in the interests of the U.S. to advance the Cyprus problem and establish the U.S.
as a true honest broker both in Cyprus and in the wider region.
On August 30, 2006, AHI Executive Director Nick Larigakis visited the 115 Hellenic Air Force Base at Souda Bay, Crete. The
visit was arranged by Major Apostolos Gkletsos of the Hellenic
Air Force. During his visit, Mr. Larigakis had the opportunity to
meet with the Hellenic Air Base Commander Col. Ioannis Kondoyiannis. In addition to receiving a tour of the Hellenic Airbase,
Mr. Larigakis was given a briefing and tour of the American sector, known as the U.S. Naval Support Activity.
In August 2006, AHI distributed the 2006 Questionnaire for
Congressional Candidates running in the mid-term elections on
November 7. The questionnaire scores Congressional candidates
on their positions relative to issues important to the Greek American community.
The main policy themes addressed in the questionnaire included:
Cyprus; the Aegean Sea boundary with Turkey; the Ecumenical
Patriarchate; obstacles to Greece’s participation in the U.S.’s Visa
Waiver Program; treatment of Albania’s Greek minority; The
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) name issue;
and U.S. policy towards Turkey.
The American Hellenic Institute
Foundation (AHIF) on June 1,
2006 announced the appointment of Professor Charles
Moskos as AHIF Senior Fellow
of Greek American Studies. Professor Moskos is professor emeritus of sociology at Northwestern
University in Evanston, Illinois.
Professor Moskos is the author
of Greek Americans: Struggle and
Success, and New Directions in
Greek American Studies (with
Georgakas). He served on
Professor Charles Moskos.
Archbishop Iakovos’ Commission on a Theological Agenda for the Third Millennium and chairs
the Theodore Saloutos Memorial Fund in Greek American Studies. He is a recipient of AHI’s Hellenic Heritage Achievement
Award and is a life-long member of AHEPA. These are just a few
of Dr. Moskos’ many contributions and accolades.
On September 26, 2006, Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis dedicated the new chancery building of the Embassy of
Greece in Washington, DC. Included among the many dignitaries
attending this event were Senator Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) and
Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs
On June 15, 2006, Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-ME) introduced
the American- Owned Property in Occupied Cypr us Claims A ct
(S.3520). This is the Senate version of House Resolution 857,
Outside of the new Greek Embassy Chancery building (L-R) AHI Executive Director Nick Larigakis, Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis and Greek Ambassador to the U.S. Alexandros Mallias.
Henrietta H. Fore. Also attending the dedication were AHI leadership and staff.
George Sifakis, Trevor Chaplick, John Chaplick, Brendan
Williams and Kay Tyler. Second place was awarded to the team of
Michael Abbenante, Nick Limneos, George Glekas and Demetri
Georgelakos. And the team of Gene Rossides, Dr. Constantine
Nonas, Father Costas Pavlakos and Father Demetri Antokas came
in third place. Awards were also received by Trevor Chaplick for
“Longest Drive”, and by John Courembis for “Closest to the
Pin”. Proceeds from the tournament go towards AHI’s broad
range of activities.
AHI In The News
Between May and August of 2006, AHI submitted two letters to
the editor responding to articles in U.S. newspapers, while Gene
Rossides also had seven op-eds published in a number of Greek
American publications.Letters to the Editor
May 31, 2006: The Washington Times
AHI President Gene Rossides submitted a letter to the editor
responding to a Washington Times article titled “Turkish Cypriot
Chief Rips Isolation” (May 31). In his letter, Mr. Rossides pointed out that the so-called isolation policies, which the article
attributes to the Republic of Cyprus, on the contrary were implemented by leaders in Ankara.
AHI Executive Director Nick Larigakis (center) and AHI President Gene Rossides
(right) presenting Achilles Paparsenos (left) with a small gift.
On October 11, 2006, AHI hosted a farewell luncheon for Greek
Embassy Press Counselor Achilles Paparsenos at the Capital
Hilton Hotel. Mr. Paparsenos is returning to Athens to assume
his new duties as the director for Public Relations in the Secretariat General of Communications and Information.
During the luncheon, Paparsenos reflected on his time in Washington, and on his work over the years with AHI. “I would like
to thank the American Hellenic Institute for what they have been
doing for Greece, for Cyprus and for Hellenism for the last thirty years,” he said. “I’ve spent twenty-five years of my professional career in Washington. Fifteen years from ’75 to ’90 and another ten years from ’96 to 2006. And, I admire the work that Gene
and Nick and the rest of the team have done for the Greek
national causes and I’m especially grateful because they supported my work.”
August 10, 2006: The New York Times
AHI’s letter responded to a New York Times editorial titled “A
Truce for Lebanon” (August 7). The letter enumerated six reasons
why it is not in the interests of the U.S., Israel or Lebanon to seek
Turkish troops as part of an international peacekeeping force.
These included Turkey’s status as an aggressor in Cyprus, as well
as its prolonged violation of international law.
AHI Op-Eds
May 15, 2006: Greek News
Gene Rossides’ op-ed “Greek Americans and the 2006 Congressional Elections” underscored that these elections “offer Greek
Americans an excellent opportunity: (1) to voice their views on
foreign policy issues of concern to them, and (2) to influence the
views of those running for elective office” because of the intense
interest in both the House and Senate races.
Christine Brennan, award-winning journalist and USA Today
sports columnist, was featured as the Third Annual AHI Benefit
Golf Tournament’s “Celebrity Golfer” on October 13, 2006. The
tournament took place at the Greendale Golf Course in Alexandria, Virginia.
The team that came in first place at the tournament included
July 15, 2006: The National Herald
In his op-ed “Cyprus: Does the State Department Really Want a
Settlement?” Mr. Rossides addressed a June 8 speech delivered by
Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried at the 17th Annual
Cyprus Conference in Washington, D.C. Specifically, Fried’s
speech illustrates “the State Department’s double standard for
Turkey on the rule of law and basic American values which damages U.S. interests in general and U.S. relations with Greece and
Cyprus in particular.”
July 2006: The National Herald (July 29) and Greek
News (July 31)
In the op-ed “Cyprus History: Turkish Aggression and Occupation, British Colonialism and State Department Illegalities,” Mr.
Rossides traced Cyprus’ colonial history and Turkey’s aggression
on the island.
August 12, 2006: The National Herald
Gene Rossides’ op-ed “Turkey-Ataturk and U.S. Policy: Fundamental Reexamination is Needed,” refutes arguments made in a
Third Annual AHI Golf Tournament participants. Christine Brennan at center.
June 19 address by Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Eric
Edelman to the Eighth Turgut Ozal Memorial Lecture of the
Washington Institute for Near East Policy. The op-ed set the
record straight on a number of Edelman’s remarks regarding
Turkey, which contained false and misleading statements with
serious errors of fact and omission.
histories and memories during times of upheaval such as that
which occurred during the Pontian Greek Genocide.
Battle of Crete Anniversary Marked
AHI hosted a Noon Forum on May 30,
2006 to mark the anniversary of World
War II’s historic Battle of Crete. The
speaker was Emmanuel E. Velivasakis,
president of the PanCretan Association
of America, and he discussed “The Battle
of Crete: Nazi’s Elite War Machine
Stopped by Crete’s Non-Combatant Population.”
August/September 2006: The National Herald
(August 27) and Greek News (September 1)
The “Turkish Aggression Plans in Iraqi Kurdistan and in the
Aegean” op-ed by Gene Rossides highlighted key points listed
in the August 2006 issue of Defense & Foreign Affairs Strategic
Policy. This issue details Turkey’s aggression plans for operations in Iraqi Kurdistan, and in the Aegean. The op-ed also enumerated actions that the U.S. government should take promptly with respect to Turkey’s current and potential future
Emmanuel E. Velivasakis.
Pogrom Against Istanbul Greeks Remembered
September/October 2006: The National Herald (Sept.
9), Greek News (Sept. 11), Hellenic Voice (Sept. 20),
Hellenic News of America (Oct. 1)
An op-ed by Gene Rossides appearing in these four publications
highlighted the background to and significance of the AHI 2006
Questionnaire for Congressional Candidates, prepared by AHI
Dr. Van Coufoudakis.
On September 7, 2006, AHI hosted a
Noon Forum in commemoration of the
1955 pogrom against the Greeks of Istanbul. The speaker was Dr. Van Coufoudakis, rector at Intercollege in Nicosia, Cyprus. The topic of the presentation
was “The Forgotten Pogrom of 1955 and
Turkey’s Systematic Extermination of its
Greek Ethnic Minority.”
Smyrna 1922 Catastrophe Commemorated
On September 14, 2006, AHI hosted a
Noon Forum in remembrance of the
Smyrna Catastrophe of 1922. The speaker was James Marketos, AHI chairman
and attorney at law at Berliner, Corcoran
& Rowe, LLP. The presentation, titled
“George Horton: An American Witness
in Smyrna,” recounted key points in the
then-consul of Smyrna’s account of the
tragic events that befell the city’s Greek
and Armenian populations.
September/October 2006: The National Herald (Sept.
23), Greek News (Sept. 25), Hellenic News of Amer ica
(Oct. 3) and Hellenic Voice (Oct. 11)
Mr. Rossides’ op-ed refuted a September 10 New York Times editorial as a prime example of the newspaper’s appeasement of
Turkey for decades to the detriment of U.S. interests and to the
detriment of Greece and Cyprus. The op-ed enumerates and
refutes the editorial’s misleading statements and omissions.
AHI Briefings & Noon Forums
James Marketos.
Visitors To Hellenic House
Aegean Sea Treaty Regimes and U.S. Law
Union of Greek Shipowners Delegation
On April 25, 2006, AHI hosted a Noon
Forum featuring Nicholas Karambelas,
AHI Legal Counsel and Attorney at Law
at Sfikas & Karambelas, LLP. The discussion was on “Aegean Sea Treaty
Regimes and U.S. Law.” Karambelas
emphasized that Greece obtained its
legal title to and sovereignty over the
land and waters of the Aegean Sea
through international treaties.
The Union of Greek Shipowners delegation, led by the President of the Union of Greek Shipowners Nicos D. Efthymiou,
visited AHI on May 8, 2006. The one-hour meeting centered
on items of mutual interest regarding U.S.-Greece relations and
shipping. These included shipping regulations and EU policy,
Aegean maritime borders, as well as environmental and constitutional issues.
Nicholas G. Karambelas.
Thea Halo Discusses the Pontian
Greek Genocide
On May 25, 2006, AHI hosted a Noon
Forum in remembrance of the Pontian
Greek Genocide by Turkey featuring
Thea Halo, author of Not Even My
Name. Her presentation was titled
“Memory: The Soul of History—The
Greek Pontian Genocide by Turkey.”
Thea Halo.
Most prominently, Halo highlighted the
important role played by people’s recollections of their personal
(L-R) AHI Advisory Committee Member Kostas Alexakis, AHI Legal Counsel Nick
Karambelas, AHI President Gene Rossides, President of the Union of Greek
Shipowners Nicos D. Efthymiou, Director of International & European Affairs
Department Anna Bredima-Savopoulou, Managing Director Theodore E. Veniamis, AHI Executive Director Nick Larigakis and AHI Chairman James Marketos.
contingent as part of a multinational UN peacekeeping force
between Israel and Lebanon.
Statements & Announcements
May 19, 2006
Action Alerts
On the 92nd Anniversary of the Pontian Greek Genocide by
Turkey, AHI released a statement of support for the Pontian
Greek American community’s efforts to secure full recognition,
proper commemoration, and a just resolution to the tragedy.
May 26, 2006
AHI learned that a group of 20-22 students from San Diego State
University in San Diego, California were scheduled to participate
in a six-week exchange program, starting July 8 and organized by
the so-called “Eastern Mediterranean University” in Cyprus within occupied Famagusta. AHI members were urged to contact the
president of the university, asking that the academic agreement
with “Eastern Mediterranean University” be cancelled.
July 28, 2006
AHI issued a press release announcement highlighting the U.S.
government’s expression of appreciation for Cyprus’s assistance in
the evacuation of Lebanon during the July-August 2006 war with
Israel. Reference links were provided to information released by
the Republic of Cyprus’s Embassy in Washington and to a press
release transmitted by Congressman Frank Pallone’s (D-NJ) office.
June 1, 2006
Members and friends were urged to join AHI’s Congressional
Contact Team. In order to more effectively communicate and
influence members of Congress, AHI aims to increase its grassroots network across the country as the most effective means of
influencing members of Congress.
September 12, 2006
A press release was distributed notifying AHI members and friends
that Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Congressman
Michael Bilirakis (R-FL), founders and co-chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues, introduced House Resolution 999. This
resolution urges Turkey to meet the standards of the European Union
for the protection of human rights by respecting the rights and religious freedoms of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Nine of their colleagues joined them as original co-sponsors of the resolution.
July 26, 2006
AHI members and friends were asked to urge Travelocity.com to
stop sponsoring Richard Bang’s blog/advertising campaign, called
“Richard Bang’s Adventure: Expedition Macedonia.” The web
site hosts misinformation on the true history of Macedonia while
accepting FYROM’s version of history and distorting ancient
Greek Macedonian history.
Letters To Government Officials
May 11, 2006
July 27, 2006
An AHI letter to Speaker of the House Dennis J. Hastert (R-IL)
contested the proposed $162 million Foreign Military Sale to
Turkey of 50 AGM-84K Joint Standoff Land Attack MissilesExpanded Response, in addition to associated equipment and
services. AHI’s letter urged Representative Hastert to object to
this impending sale on behalf of Congress.
Following Cyprus’s important role in evacuating people from
war-torn Lebanon, AHI’s action alert asked recipients to contact
their representatives in Congress and ask them to: (1) sign a letter to the president of Cyprus thanking his country for its role in
assisting the evacuation of U.S. citizens and others; and (2)
cosponsor House Resolution 953, which thanked Cyprus for its
role in this evacuation.
May 17, 2006
July 28, 2006
AHI sent a letter to Representatives Ed Whitfield (R-KY) and
Robert Wexler (D-FL) expressing disappointment on their decision to host an event on Capitol Hill on May 19, 2006 commemorating Ataturk’s 125th birthday.
Similar to AHI’s July 27 action alert, recipients were asked to
contact their senator and ask him/her to sign a letter being distributed in the Senate thanking Cyprus for its role in the Lebanon
evacuation. The letter was initiated by Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME).
May 24, 2006
AHI’s letter to President Bush transmitted the 2006 Greek American Policy Statements. The letter emphasized the U.S.’s vital
interests in southeastern Europe and the eastern Mediterranean,
including significant energy, commercial and communications
resources that transit the region. Also emphasized were the valuable strategic roles of Greece and Cyprus, and that a permanent
solution to the Cyprus issue be urgently sought.
August 21, 2006
AHI was notified by the office of Congressman Michael Bilirakis
(R-FL) that a potential delegation consisting of Congressional
staffers and their families was invited by the Friends of Turkey to
visit the illegally occupied area of Cyprus in August via the illegal
Tymbou airport. An action alert was issued asking AHI members
and friends to contact their Representative and ask that he or she
not permit staffers to participate in such a visit as it would violate
U.S. and international law.
June 1, 2006
Gene Rossides sent a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
regarding the fatal collision of Greek and Turkish F-16 jets over the
Aegean Sea on May 23, 2006. The Turkish aircraft illegally entered
into the Athens Flight Information Region (FIR) without having previously submitted flight plans to the appropriate Greek authorities,
violating international air traffic regulations. It also endangered the
safety of commercial flights and imperiled the lives of innocent civilians.
September 18, 2006
AHI informed action alert recipients that the AHI 2006 Congressional Questionnaire on U.S. foreign policy issues regarding
Greece, Cyprus, and Turkey was sent to all incumbents and challengers in the House and Senate. Grassroots leaders and members
were encouraged to contact the incumbent and challenger in their
Congressional district to answer the questionnaire in order to
define their positions on issues important to the Greek American
July 31, 2006
AHI’s letter to President Bush set forth six reasons why it was not
in the interests of the U.S., Israel or Lebanon to have a Turkish
Ambassador Charles Ries; President of the Greek Parliament
Anna Psarouda-Benaki; Deputy Foreign Minister Theodoros Kassimis; Director of the Cyprus Division of the Foreign Ministry
Ambassador George Papadopoulos; and the Deputy Director of
the Turkish Division George Poukamissas. Meetings were also
held with Ambassador George Nicolaides, director of the North
America Division of the Foreign Ministry, and Ambassador
Michael Christedes, director of the Division of Countries in
Southeast Europe.
A press conference featuring the AHI delegation, organized by
AHI-Athens Chapter Executive Committee member Katerina
Papathanasiou, was held on June 13 at the Building for Foreign
Press. During the exchange with the reporters, the delegation
explained AHI’s goals and objectives and the many activities that
the organization engages in to promote a strong U.S. relationship
with Greece.
Continued from page 1
AHI delegation with the President of House of Representatives of Cyprus
Demetris Christofias.
The AHI delegation at the old deserted Nicosia Airport. A plane in the background has been there since the 1974 Turkish military invasion.
Gene Rossides speaks with the President of the Greek Parliament Anna Psarouda Benaki.
President of the House of Representatives Demetris Christofias;
Mayor of Nicosia Michael Zampelas; U.S. Ambassador to Cyprus
Ronald Schlicher; Foreign Minister George Iacovou; Minister of
Finance Michalis Sarris; Government Spokesman and Minister of
Commerce and Tourism Yiorgos Lillikas; Permanent Secretary of
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sotos Zackheos; Greek Ambassador to Cyprus Dimitris Rallis; Director of the Press and Information Office Ioannis Solomou; and Ambassador Erato KozakouMarcoulli, director of the Cyprus and Euro-Turkish Affairs
Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The delegation also hosted a press conference arranged and
moderated by Mr. Solomou of the Cyprus Press and Information
Office. Participating on the panel during the press conference
were Messrs. Rossides, Karambelas and Larigakis, who briefed
reporters on AHI’s trip and on its many activities to promote the
Cyprus issue.
(L-R) Nick Karambelas, James Lagos, Kristi Glakas, Greek Deputy Minister of
Foreign Affairs Theodoros Kassimis, Nick Larigakis and Kostas Alexakis.
While in Athens…
Meetings in Athens were held during the week of June 13-15
with: President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias; U.S.
The AHI Delegation visits the U.S. Ambassador to Greece Charles P. Ries.
2nd Annual AHI-Athens Awards Dinner
On June 14, the Second Annual AHI-Athens Hellenic Heritage
Achievement and National Public Service Awards Dinner took
place at the Grande Bretagne Hotel. The dinner was held in
cooperation with the Hellenic American National Council
(HANC). Alexandra Mitsotaki-Gourdain, president of ActionAid
(L-R) William Ragsdale, Gus Andy, Kristi Glakas, Peter C. Pappas, James Lagos,
Gene Rossides, The President of Greece Karolos Papoulias, Nick Larigakis and
Nick Karambelas.
Gene Rossides presents Alexandra Mitsotaki-Gourdain with the AHI Hellenic Heritage National Public Service Award; next, the President of HANC Ted Spyropoulos,
and AHI Athens Chapter President Ilias Malevitis.
Gene Rossides presents Prodromos Emfietzoglou with the AHI Hellenic Heritage
Achievement Award; next, the President of HANC Ted Spyropoulos, and AHI
Athens Chapter President Ilias Malevitis.
Hellas, was honored for her exceptional work and commitment
to public service on behalf of the less fortunate people of the
world. Mitsotaki-Gourdain received the AHI Hellenic Heritage
National Public Service Award.
fieetzoglou, chairman of
Also honored was Prodromos Emfi
Michaniki Group of Companies, for his “outstanding business
achievements, dedicated philanthropy, and promotion of the Hellenic culture, education and Orthodox religion.” He received the
AHI Hellenic Heritage Achievement Award.
The evening began with remarks and greetings by Ilias Malevitis, President of the AHI-Athens Chapter, U.S. Ambassador to
Greece Charles Ries, President of HANC Theodore Spyropoulos,
and Nick Larigakis. Katerina Papathanassiou was master of ceremonies for the evening.
The dinner was attended by 300 people from all segments of
Greek life, receiving significant press coverage by both print and
television media in Greece. The evening concluded with a musical interlude by Nadia Weinberg and a special dance performance
by the Katerina Rodiou Dance Group.
Member Spotlights
Attesting to this, La Mer recently won the Beautification Award
from the Cape May Chamber of Commerce for ensuring that the
aesthetic elements of La Mer complement the historic look and
feel of Cape May’s architecture. La Mer also won the Best Construction in Energy Conservation Award from the Chamber of
Commerce just this year.
Andy came to the United States from the small town of Velvento in northern Greece as a young boy, growing up early on in
Miami. Yet his Hellenic roots remain strong. He is actively
involved in issues important to the Greek American community,
recently sending letters to each member of the Senate Foreign
Relations Committee requesting that the U.S. pressure Turkey to
remove the barbed wire fences that have made Famagusta a ghost
town for more than 30 years. In his letter, he also urged that
Greek Cypriots be allowed to reclaim their land and property
there, which was illegally taken. He calls the situation in Cyprus
“a contradiction that’s just beyond belief.”
Andy has also played an active role in AHI, participating in
numerous delegation trips to Greece and Cyprus over the past several years, organized grassroots efforts at the local level, and provided other significant support to the organization.
When asked which issues most pique his interest, Andy points
out that it is “the issues of true injustice, where we are standing on
the wrong side of the issue,” citing Cyprus and the current situation in Iraq as examples. He underscored the importance of speaking out on these injustices.
One thing remains constant throughout both Andy’s work and
in his involvement in international issues. That constant is the
importance of doing things the right way. He always looks to stay
ahead of the curve and continually improve La Mer for his guests.
On the policy side, his various involvements in supporting the
rule of law also attest to this commitment. It is thus that Gus
Andy exemplifies a passion for doing things right, for adhering to
conscience, and for supporting justice.
For almost 40 years, AHI member Gus Andy—an architect,
city planner and hotelier—has
owned and operated historic
Cape May, New Jersey’s La
Mer Inn. An ocean side property which boasts breathtaking
views of the Atlantic, luxury
ocean front suites and nearly
25,000 visitors each year, the
inn has grown by leaps and
bounds since Andy first purchased the property in 1969. At
that time, it was just a 36-unit
Armed with a bachelor’s
degree in landscape architecture
Gus Andy.
from the University of Florida’s
School of Architecture, a master’s degree in city and regional planning from the University of Oklahoma, and the innate drive to
succeed characteristic of many Greek immigrants, Andy built up
La Mer to where it is today: a 133-unit hotel which includes new
luxury ocean front suites, pool and ocean side accommodations, a
fitness center and conference rooms, to name just a few of the
“We are very contemporary, and we do have very nice architectural aesthetic,” points out Andy of La Mer’s forward-thinking
vision, while noting at the same time that, “Our property provides
a feeling that is compatible to the historic vintage of Cape May.”
demia, where you need to entertain diverse views and opinions.
You need to have the capacity and the ability to listen, hear,
appreciate and respect diverse views,” he underscored.
While these values formed Tsetsekos’s base of success, he has
not left them behind and he continues to do what he can to promote Hellenism in his work today. For example, “I try to find as
many opportunities as possible to say to the world that Greece
has brought democracy and Greece has initiated so many new
things in the world” he said.
Putting words to action, LeBow has a cooperative education
program with the University of Crete and with companies that
operate in Crete. Furthermore, Greek American alumnus Christopher Stratakis has established an endowed professorship in the
area of corporate governance during Tsetsekos’s tenure as dean.
Examining just this portion of George Tsetsekos’s many
achievements, one can see that he stands by the LeBow College
of Business’s motto to “Learn Here, Lead Anywhere.” He has
taken the fundamental building blocks and values he acquired
throughout his life and applied them to become one of the Greek
American community’s foremost leaders in education.
Ringing the closing bell at the
New York Stock Exchange
(NYSE) is one sign that an individual, a group or an organization has “arrived” in the world
of business. On September 29,
2006, George P. Tsetsekos,
Dean of Drexel University’s
LeBow College of Business, and
members of the Drexel Executive MBA class had the honor to
bring the day’s stock market to
a close.
Making his way from the
town of Nafplion, Greece
George Tsetsekos.
where he was born, all the way
to the highly respected position
he now holds in the world of academia, AHI member George
Tsetsekos has indeed more than arrived. He has set a standard in
education, and continues to push the bar in the world of business
Most recently, Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business
earned distinction as one of the top schools for entrepreneurs in
the October 2006 issue of Entrepreneur magazine. In a joint survey conducted by The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur of
over 700 schools, LeBow’s undergraduate program ranked sixth
in the nation.
Furthermore, the college’s MBA in Pharmaceutical Management was honored as one of the Top 25 distance learning
providers worldwide by Financial Times. Its undergraduate business programs placed 58th in Business Week’s inaugural ranking
of undergraduate business schools. And LeBow was also ranked
100 among U.S. Business Schools in U.S.News & World Report’s
2007 America’s Best Graduate Schools.
Tsetsekos has stood at the helm of this progress and has played
no small part in achieving these distinctions since he took on the
role of dean at LeBow in 2001.
As a leader in the field of education, Tsetsekos credits early fundamental building blocks—including family and Hellenic values—as sources of his drive to work hard, to achieve and succeed
in all he has done on a professional and personal level.
As a strong family value, “The things that motivated me to get
more involved in education is the desire and the upbringing I
received at home for always learning more and being more and
more educated,” pointed out Tsetsekos. “Also, hard work, dedication, and focus were some of the things that I learned from my
Tsetsekos also noted that “listening to people’s different opinions and views and trying to develop a comprehensive view…
these are the democratic things that we learned in Greece.” As a
leader in education, “[T]hese types of values are important in aca-
Member News
NICK BOYIAS’ movie Quinceañera won the Sundance Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award this year. Boyias was
executive producer.
ALKIS PANAGOULIAS, former professional soccer player in
Greece and former head coach for the Greek and American
national soccer teams, was interviewed for the New York Times’
article “Soccer Report: The Long, Hard Struggle to Mold an
American Team” (September 27).
HARRY J. PAPPAS, president and CEO of Pappas Telecasting
Companies, was inducted into Broadcasting and Cable Magazine’s Hall of Fame at the magazine’s 16th Annual Hall of Fame
Awards Dinner on October 23, 2006.
LEE E. PLAKAS, managing partner of Tzangas, Plakas, Mannos
& Raies, has been recognized for his work in civil litigation in
The Best Lawyers in America (2007 ed.). This is the fifth year in
a row that Plakas has received this recognition.
©2006 AHI Report. All Rights Reserved.
Published by the American Hellenic Institute, Inc.
Membership Information: 1-800-424-9607
Contributing Editors:
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Georgia Economou
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