January 31, 2004 — Volume 31, Number 228
AHIF 2nd Annual Conference on the Future of Hellenism
On October 18, 2003, the American Hellenic Institute Foundation held its 2nd Annual Conference on “The Future of Hellenism in America” at the J.W. Marriott Hotel. The conference featured prominent speakers from the fields of the academia, journalism and the private sector, who identified key challenges facing the Greek American community today.
The speakers were: Dr. Dan Georgakas, Director of the Greek American Studies Project at the Center for Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies at Queens College, John Metaxas, Esq., Producer at the CNBC, Aristotelis A. Chronis, Esq., Business Development Director of Special Counsel, Inc and Co-founder of DC Greeks.com, Gene Rossides, President of the American Hellenic Institute Foundation and Emmanuel “Manny” Rouvelas, Esq., Chairman of Preston Gates Ellis & Rouvelas Meeds LLP. The panel was chaired by James Marketos, Esq., Chairman of the American Hellenic Institute. The Conference ended with the luncheon address by Dr. John Brademas, President Emeritus of New York University.
Dr. Dan Georgakas gave a very insightful presentation of the situation of the Modern Greek studies programs in the U.S. and identified the challenges that the Greek American academic community is currently facing. Dr. Georgakas addressed the central question of where do Greek Americans fit in Hellenism and elaborated on the relationship between Greeks and Greek Americans. He concluded his presentation with a positive acknowledgement of the powerful position that many Greek-Americans are in and urged them to strengthen their Hellenic side.
Mr. John Metaxas touched on the importance of engaging the American media and presented the issue from his standpoint as a Greek American journalist. He reiterated the importance of shaping public consciousness through reference to historical events and stressed the importance of knowing well Greek history in order to promote Hellenism. Mr. Metaxas concluded his speech by naming the American Hellenic Institute as a leading organization in dealing with the issues facing the Greek American community today.
Mr. Aristotelis Chronis focused on the importance of engaging the youth to be active participants of Hellenism. Mr. Chronis stressed the need for engaging the youth not out of obligation but of genuine Hellenic interest. With this in mind, he talked about the creation of the DC Greeks.com, an internet community that he co-founded with his brother Themis, whose main purpose is to engage Greek youth in Hellenism.
Mr. Gene Rossides stressed the need for more active involvement of the Greek American community in American politics, through more active participation in the political process with elected officials and candidates and through financial contributions to candidates and political parties. Mr. Rossides reiterated the American Hellenic Institute’s role in strengthening U.S. relations with Greece and Cyprus and support of the rule of law and human rights in foreign policy decisions as in the best interests of the U.S.
Mr. Manny Rouvelas, in his speech “Engaging Greek American Professionals,” identified the problem of social disengagement from the community as a broader social phenomenon but he stressed that Hellenic identity can provide the solution, “due to its variety and richness.” Mr. Rouvelas stressed that the key issue is to provide the incentives for professionals to engage, not do it out of obligation.
During the discussion period the audience had the opportunity to ask questions which ranged in scope from the relationship between Greek Americans and Greece to the role of the Greek Orthodox Church.
During his luncheon address, Dr. John Brademas provided an overview of the achievements that Greek Americans have accomplished in various areas of the American political, economic and social spheres and made insightful suggestions of how to enhance the educational ties between the U.S. and Greece. He suggested the advancement of programs on Hellenic Studies in various universities, support more cultural events that promote Greek artists and the establishment of endowments and chairs on Hellenic Studies in prominent universities.
Benefactors who helped make the AHIF’s conference possible include: Peter G. Angelos (Baltimore, MD); Nicholas Bouras (Summit, NJ); Dr. James Faller (Wilmington, DE), Elias P. Gyftopoulos (Lincoln, MA); James and Nike Lagos (Springfield, OH); James S. Nicholas (East Grand Rapids, MI); James Pedas (Washington, DC); Theodore Pedas (Washington, DC); Gene Rossides (Washington, DC.)
Professor Van Coufoudakis Appointed President of AHI Cyprus Chapter
The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) is pleased to announce the appointment of long-time member, supporter, and AHI Advisory Board member, Professor Van Coufoudakis, as president of the AHI Cyprus chapter. AHI founder, Eugene T. Rossides, said, “AHI is very honored to have Professor Coufoudakis lead our chapter in Cyprus. Professor Coufoudakis has been associated with the AHI almost from the beginning and is by far one of the leading authorities on the Cyprus question. His outstanding leadership skills throughout his career, and his deep commitment to the Hellenic community both in the U.S. and abroad uniquely qualify him for this new endeavor.”
Professor Coufoudakis was recently appointed as Rector at Intercollege in Cyprus. He also serves as Dean Emeritus of the School of Arts and Sciences, Indiana University-Purdue University in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science, and MPA from the University of Michigan, and B.A. from the American University of Beirut. He has written extensively on post-World War II U.S. foreign policy, and the politics, foreign and defense policies of Greece, Turkey and Cyprus. His work has appeared in books and professional journals in the U.S., England, Belgium, Italy, Greece and Cyprus.
Professor Coufoudakis is also the founder and chair of the Foundation for Hellenic Studies which is affiliated with The American Hellenic Institute Foundation.
His outstanding reputation and affiliations in Cyprus make him the ideal choice in the Chapter’s efforts to increase membership, activities and involvement.
AHI Commemorates the 63d Anniversary of “OXI” Day
The American Hellenic Institute commemorates the 63d Anniversary of Greece’s refusal on October 28th 1940 to surrender to Mussolini’s Italian fascist government. Greece’s heroic resistance played a pivotal role in the ultimate victory of the Allied Forces in World War II.
In the Introduction of AHIF’s 2001 publication Greece’s Pivotal Role in World War II and its Importance to the U.S. Today, Retired General and Former Supreme Commander of NATO Andrew J. Goodpaster, states:
“As the years pass, it becomes more and more necessary to recall and record for new generations just how the people of Greece, alone or with allies, gained and held for their country for a century and more the independence and democracy it possesses today—and how in one special moment in history Greece at heavy cost and sacrifice and with great courage and determination played a pivotal role in World War II in defying the forces of tyranny and Axis aggression that were arrayed against not only Greece but the whole of Western civilization. It is an inspiring history.” (emphasis added)
Greece’s Pivotal Role in World War II and its Importance to the U.S. Today provides an in-depth historical analysis of the political, military and geopolitical dimensions of Greece’s contribution to the Allied forces during World War II and explains its importance to U.S. interests today.
University of Michigan Modern Greek Studies Department hosts AHI Executive Director
AHI Executive Director, Nick Larigakis spoke as the guest lecturer of University of Michigan Modern Greek Studies Program on October 26, 2003. The lecture was held at St. Nicholas Community Center, Troy, Michigan and more than in 100 people attended the event. The title of his speech was: “Hellenism in America: Why Should we Care?”
During his stay in Michigan, Mr. Larigakis was hosted by long time AHI member, Dr. Ted Pantos. C.P. Cavafy Professor of Modern Greek Vassilis Lambropoulos organized the trip, which included a luncheon on October 26, with 16 students of the Modern Greek studies program, at the famous Greek Town of Detroit. At the luncheon the students had the opportunity to engage in a lively discussion on issues affecting the Greek American community.
On Monday October 27, AHI friends Professor David Weinberg and Effi Weinberg hosted a small reception in honor of Mr. Larigakis at their beautiful home at Bloomfield Hills, MI.
Prior to arriving in Detroit, Mr. Larigakis also visited Chicago, IL where AHI Advisory Board member and major benefactor, Ted Spyropoulos, organized a small fundraising dinner.
For more information on the C.P. Cavafy Professorship in Modern Greek Studies Program at the university of Michigan, visit <www.lsa.umich.edu/modgreek>.
Philadelphia Fundraiser for AHI Features NBC’s “Today Show” Producer Dorie Klissas as Special Guest Speaker
On Saturday November 1, 2003, AHI Philadelphia-area members and friends attended a reception in support of the AHI. The reception was hosted at the home of AHIPAC Chairman and longtime supporter Nicholas Chimicles and his wife Kathleen in Devon, Pennsylvania.
Special Guest Speaker was Ms. Dorie Klissas, Producer at the NBC “Today Show,” who spoke on “Inside the 2004 Athens Olympics with NBC.” Special thanks goes out to the evening’s hosts, Mr. and Mrs. Chimicles and to all those that contributed with their presence to the success of this event.
AHI Kicks-off Business Networking 1st Wednesday of the Month Group
On Wednesday November 5, 2003, AHI inaugurated its monthly DC Business Networking Informal Reception, 1st Wednesday of the Month Group, at Ozios Bar and Lounge, kindly offered by AHI member and friend, Mr. George Christacos. Despite the depressing weather, AHI members, friends and their guests responding to the Greek ideals of participation in public affairs and social interaction, joined us at Ozios for a few hours of fun and networking.
Special Guest was Larry Michael, Vice President of Sports Westwood One/CBS Radio Sports and Host of the Washington Redskins Pre and Post Game Radio Shows. Two lucky winners received door prizes that included authentic 2003 Super Bowl jacket, Athens Olympics T-shirts and baseball hats. AHI Executive Director Nick Larigakis stated: “We are very satisfied by the turnout of our first event. This is a very important part of AHI activities and we believe that increasingly more and more people will respond to it.”
U.S. Ambassador to Greece hosts reception for the American Hellenic Institute Athens Chapter
On November 19, 2003, the U.S. Ambassador to Greece, Thomas Miller, hosted a reception for the American Hellenic Institute Athens Chapter, at his residence, in Athens, Greece.
Over 250 prominent people from the political, diplomatic and business sectors in Athens attended the reception during which the Ambassador spoke on the important contribution of AHI and its efforts to strengthen the relations between Greece and the United States.
In his comments, Mr. Ilias Malevitis, President of the AHI Athens Chapter underlined the friendly climate between the two countries, acknowledged the services of the U.S. and highlighted the close and long-standing relationship between Greece and the United States.
AHI rejects State Department’s position for not investigating Rauf Denktash regarding the murder of five Americans during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974.
On December 4, 2003, AHI general counsel Gene Rossides sent a letter to Secretary of State, Colin L. Powell rejecting the State Department’s position that the U.S. Government, in effect, is bound by a Greek and Turkish Cypriot agreement that they would treat the missing as a humanitarian issue and not seek criminal prosecutions on either side. The Government’s position was set forth in Ambassador and Special Cyprus Coordinator Thomas G. Weston’s September 10, 2003 reply to Mr. Rossides’ July 17, 2003 letter to Secretary Powell requesting an investigation to determine responsibility of Turkish Cypriot Leader Rauf Denktash and the 1974 Turkish commander of Turkey’s invasion forces for the murder of five Americans during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974.
In his response, Ambassador Weston referred to the Committee on Missing Persons, established in 1981 under UN auspices and said that at that time “the two sides…agreed that the issue would be treated as a purely humanitarian one and that no attempts would be made to pursue criminal prosecutions on either side. Our policy is to support a resolution of this issue through this established UN mechanism.”
In his December 4, 2003 letter, Mr. Rossides rejected the State Department’s position and called on Secretary Powell to reverse it. Mr. Rossides stated:
“We find it unacceptable and astonishing that the cold-blooded killing of five Americans while they were illegally held captive is subject to an agreement the U.S. is not a party to and seek from you a reversal of this position.”
Mr. Rossides also raised the issue of the remains of the four Americans that have not been positively identified. He stated: “I understand that from the movement back and forth across the Green Line, that four graves have been identified as belonging to the other four Americans. We urge further inquiry to determine the validity of this information including exhuming the graves.”
AHI Announces Unique Sponsorship Opportunity for the 2004 Athens Olympics
The American Hellenic Institute, through the cooperation of one of its members, Jamie G. Jameson (Jameson Broadcast) and NBC/Westwood One Radio Network, has arranged for a unique opportunity in conjunction with the Athens 2004 Olympic Games:
**Exclusive sponsorship of Olympic Flashback, a 17-program radio series on the ancient Olympic Games hosted by premier sportscaster Bob Costas that provides high-impact exposure twice daily during The NBC/Westwood One Radio Network live coverage of the Games from Greece.**
The benefits of sponsorship include daily exposure during live coverage of the 2004 Olympic Games (August 13-29) in association with high-quality programming featuring America’s premier sportscaster, Bob Costas.
AHI Executive Director, Nick Larigakis stated: “It is a once in a lifetime opportunity for AHI members and friends to participate in this historic celebration of Hellenism. We look forward to an enthusiastic response to this effort.”
Sponsorship of the entire Olympic Flashback series is offered for $350,000 subject to a definitive agreement. Segments of the series can be sponsored for lesser amounts, minimum of $50,000.
Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s Op-Ed on Cyprus Published in the Washington Times
On Wednesday, November 26, 2003, the Washington Times published an article written by Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL). In her article, “Cyprus Ripe for Reunification?” Rep. Ros-Lehtinen reiterated the commitment of the United States, the United Nations and the EU to a reunited Cyprus by 2004, but she also stressed that particularly now, the time is propitious for reunification.
AHI Executive Director Nick Larigakis stated: “The American Hellenic Institute applauds Rep. Ros-Lehtinen’s ongoing commitment to advancing a solution to the Cyprus problem in the Congress. For many years she has been a very vocal and active member in the Congress regarding Cyprus and other issues affecting U.S.-Greek relations. The AHI takes pride in the special relationship that we have established over the years with Rep. Ros-Lehtinen and her fine staff. A s matter of fact it was our members at the “grassroots” level in Miami, led by Mr. Gus Andy and the late John Haralambides who first met with Rep. Ros-Lehtinen in her home many years ago to introduce the Cyprus issue to her.”
General Counsel’s Appearance on FOX affiliate of Fresno, California: September 5
On September 5, 2003 AHI general counsel, Gene Rossides, appeared on the 10 o’clock evening news on KMPH, the FOX affiliate of Fresno, California. Mr. Rossides spoke on the occasion of the 48th anniversary of the September 6, 1955 destruction of the Greek Orthodox Christian community in Istanbul organized by the Turkish government. Mr. Rossides called for the establishment of an investigation unit within the Department of Justice that will address the issue of compensation to the victims and their heirs as was done for the Jewish victims of the Holocaust.
AHI released a statement on September 4, 2003, commemorating the September 1955 atrocities committed by Turkey against the Greek community of Istanbul. The statement triggered the immediate reaction of our longtime supporter and distinguished member, Mr. Harry J. Pappas, President and CEO of Pappas Telecasting Companies, who urged the journalists working within the Pappas Telecasting Companies network to commemorate the horrible event of September 6, 1955.
The Washington Times: October 10
On October 10, 2003, the Washington Times published a letter to the editor written by American Hellenic Institute (AHI) Executive Director, Nick Larigakis, in response to an October 6, 2003 Editorial (Sorting Out Cyprus). Mr. Larigakis’ article appeared under the title “Cyprus and U.S. diplomacy.”
The Washington Times: November 22
On November 22, 2003, the Washington Times published a letter to the editor written by American Hellenic Institute (AHI) Executive Director, Nick Larigakis, in response to a November 16, 2003 Op-Ed article by Tahsin Ertugruloglu, the so-called “Minister of Foreign Affairs” of the illegal entity in Northern Cyprus.
The National Herald: November 22 and December 6, 2003 and January 2, 2004
On November 22 and December 6, 2003 two Op-Ed articles by AHI General Counsel, Gene Rossides appeared at the National Herald. The November 22 Op-Ed urgedNational Herald readers to call and send letters to public officials opposing aid to Turkey in the FY 2005 Budget and Appropriations Bill for Foreign Operations as contrary to U.S. interests. On December 6, Mr. Rossides wrote about the double standard that the U.S. has applied to Turkey for decades on aggression, the rule of law, human rights, democracy and sanctions to the serious detriment of U.S. interests worldwide. Mr. Rossides’ latest Op-Ed in the National Herald was published on January 2, 2004, titled “Annan Plan Needs Serious Changes in the Interests of the U.S.”
AHI sends two Letters to the Editor and an Op-Ed article
On September 30, 2003, the American Hellenic Institute (AHI) sent a letter to the editor responding to a Washington Post front page article titled “For Athens Olympics, a Security Gap. Tests Show Porous Defenses; Reports Cite Planning Breakdowns” by Gregory L. Vistica (Saturday, September 27, 2003, p. A1 and A18).
On November 11, 2003 AHI general counsel, Gene Rossides sent a letter to the editor in response to the November 6, 2003 article of the USA TODAY “Turkey’s Iraq Pledge May Pay Off Back Later” by Tom Squitieri.
On December 15, 2003 AHI Executive Director Nick Larigakis sent a letter to the editor responding to the December 11, 2003 Op-Ed published in the Washington Times “A New Front in the War: Turkey Needs Help from the U.S. and the EU.”
On October 17, 2003 AHI sent an Op-Ed article to the New York Times advocating that the use of Turkish troops in Iraq is not in the best interests of the U.S.
U.S. Ambassador to Greece Thomas J. Miller
On October 6, 2003, U.S. Ambassador to Greece Thomas J. Miller visited the American Hellenic Institute. Ambassador Miller engaged in a two-hour, off the record conversation with AHI leadership including AHI Chairman James Marketos, AHI Advisory Board Members Nick Karambelas, Kostas Alexakis and Peter C. Pappas, Executive Director Nick Larigakis, long time AHI supporters Jim and Ted Pedas, Steve Yeonas and George Christacos, and AHI General Counsel Gene Rossides.
Ambassador Miller highlighted issues of mutual interest regarding U.S.-Greece relations, such as the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, Greek-Turkish relations, Cyprus, the Greek E.U. Presidency, the Iraq War and…the Greek National Baseball team! Responding to questions he also commented on the situation of the Greek economy, the upcoming elections and immigration issues. Ambassador Miller reiterated that AHI is doing a very important job by continuing to bring these issues to the forefront of U.S. foreign policy makers.
October 21, 2003
A joint letter to President George W. Bush signed by leading Armenian, Kurdish and Greek American organizations opposes the use of Turkish troops in Iraq. The letter highlights 12 reasons why it is not in the best interests of the U.S. to support Turkish armed forces in Iraq.
On October 24, 2003 a follow-up letter was sent to the President as an addendum to the October 21 letter bringing to his attention Thomas L. Friedman’s opposition to the deployment of Turkish troops in Iraq as contrary to U.S. interests. Mr. Friedman’s opinion was expressed in his New York Times column on October 23, 2003 (p.A27; col.5).
January 22, 2004
On January 22, 2004, ANCA Chairman Kenneth V. Hachikian and AHI general counsel, Gene Rossides sent a letter to the President of the American Jewish Congress, Mr. Jack Rosen, to express their disappointment for granting the American Jewish Congress Bravery Award to the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
January 23, 2004
On January 23, 2004 AHI general counsel Gene Rossides sent a letter to President George W. Bush in view of Turkish Prime Minister’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan visit to the White House, on January 28, 2004.
October 10, 2003
On October 10, 2003 AHI released a statement by AHI general counsel, Gene Rossides on the deployment of Turkish troops to Iraq. Mr. Rossides stated 12 reasons why it is not in the best interests of the U.S. to send Turkish troops to Iraq and stressed: “The issue now for the U.S. is how best to stabilize Iraq and move ahead with reconstruction and building democratic institutions. The use of Turkish troops in Iraq will set back our efforts and cause additional problems.”
November 7, 2003
In a statement released on November 7, the American Hellenic Institute applauded the November 5 2003 European Commission Report on Turkey which highlighted the settlement of the Cyprus issue as a major political criterion for Turkey’s accession in the EU. The report was not mentioned in the U.S. press.
November 14, 2003
Following the decision of the non-deployment of Turkish troops to Iraq, AHI General Counsel, Gene Rossides, stated on November 14, 2003: “The non-deployment of Turkish troops in Iraq is a wise decision. AHI, together with prominent Kurdish, Armenian and Greek American organizations, in a joint letter of October 21, 2003, sent to President George W. Bush, had warned the Administration about the implications for the U.S. to send Turkish troops to Iraq. We certainly hope that our voice was a factor taken into consideration.”
Alexis Christoforous of CBS Marketwatch Featured at AHI New York Business Network Event
Alexis Christoforous, anchor of CBS Marketwatch and reporter for CBS News was the featured speaker at an AHI Business Network reception at Manhattan’s famed Harvard Club on Thursday September 18. Braving strong gusts of wind and fears of downpours from the remnants of Hurricane Isabel, approximately 100 guests relaxed and made new friends and contacts prior to listening to CBS’s chief financial reporter.AHI’s New York Chairman Andonis Neroulias opened the evening by welcoming the guests. Dr. Andrea Pericli, CEO of Washington-based Euclid Financial group, whose company served as a major co-sponsor of the event, offered greetings.
Alexis Christoforous told the gathering about the support she received from her Cypriot/Italian American family for goal of being a TV reporter. The constant and lively conversations that took place at home contributed to her love of the news media. Her 10 years of reporting business and financial news have spanned remarkable periods of change both in the business world and the media’s coverage. When she began there were few women reporting business news and now “there are more women in this field than men”. She considered herself fortunate that “I came in…at the beginning of the bull market and the time when Wall Street and Main Street were fusing”. The rising interest in financial news and the increasing sophistication of her audience have made her tenure challenging and exciting.
Ms. Christophorous covered the stock market boom of the ’90’s, the decline and scandals of recent years and current efforts to reform the system and win back investor confidence. She devoted considerable time to the issue of investor confidence in light of the scandals that have shaken Wall Street. She noted the change that is taking place and stated that it will go beyond the Sarbanes-Oxley reform bill. The resignation of New York Stock Exchange Chairman and CEO is just the most recent termor. “Investors are impatient about corporate malfeasance. People are asking why more people at Enron and Worldcom have not gone to jail.”
After her presentation Alexis remained and spoke informally with the guests. Also present were John Metaxas of MSNBC, Dorie Klissas of NBC, and Fox’s Rita Cosby.
AHI Executive Director Nick Larigakis presented closing remarks, providing an overview of AHI activities and thanking Ms. Christoforous, the guests and those who made the event such a success. The host committee included Nicholas Bouras, Dr. F.O. Goussis, Helen Loukeris, Demetrios Mellis, George Fanourakis, Constantinos Grigoriades, Nicholas Lyras, Anna Giabourani, Theodora Klissas, Nick Meintanas and Peter Stamos.
AHI Executive Director Completes Annual Trip to Greece
On November 29-December 6, 2003, American Hellenic Institute (AHI) Executive Director Nick Larigakis, accompanied by AHI Advisory Board member and legal counsel, Nick Karambelas, completed his Annual trip to Greece. Mr. Larigakis met with many Greek government officials and business leaders, discussed the organization’s goals and objectives and focused on engendering new areas of mutual cooperation and development between leaders in Greece and the Greek American community.
On the occasion of Mr. Larigakis’ trip to Greece, the AHI Athens Chapter hosted a reception on December 1, 2003 at the Athens Plaza Hotel, where Dr. Stratos Safioleas, Athens 2004 International Media Relations Manager, spoke on “The International Press and the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.”
The event started with a welcome address by Mr. Ilias Malevitis, President of AHI Athens Chapter and ended with greeting speeches by Nick Karambelas and Nick Larigakis. Over 100 people attended the event from the Greek government, political, business and media sectors. In addition, an Art Exhibit was displayed with an “Olympic Games” theme. Also, the artists donated 4 of their works that were raffled off with the proceeds benefiting the AHI Athens Chapter. The reception was sponsored by Olympic Investors LLC, LAVRIS Productions, Ltd., EYROIKISTIKI E.P.E., Morax Publications, T.G.S. Petroleum Co., Inc., Greek Dream, Inc, Greek Voice Radio & TV Stations, and Mr. Jason Stratos.
Messrs. Larigakis and Karambelas met with Athens Mayor, Dora Bakoyianni, where they discussed the 2004 Olympic Games. Mr. Larigakis extended an invitation to Ms. Bakoyianni to attend the 29th Anniversary Hellenic Heritage Achievement and National Public Service Awards Dinner, on March 13, 2004 and to speak on the Athens Olympics.
In separate meetings, Mr. Larigakis met with Ms. Demetra Egan, Manager of Recruitment and Retention of Volunteers for the 2004 Athens Olympics, and Mr. Costas Veloudakis, Section Manager of Ships and Accommodation Department.
From the Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs Messrs. Larigakis and Karambelas held meetings with Deputy Foreign Minister Ioannis Magriotis and with representatives from the Foreign Ministry’s division on Greek American Relations, Dionyssis Kalamvrezos and Ambassador Chrysoula Karikopoulou. In separate meetings, the AHI group also met with Ambassador Elias Clis, Director of the A4 Department for Turkish Affairs, and with Ms. Anna Korka, counselor at the Ministry’s A2 Department for Cyprus.
At the U.S. Embassy in Greece, Messrs. Larigakis and Karambelas met with Ambassador Thomas Miller to discuss issues concerning the Olympic Games, and issues of mutual cooperation between the U.S. and the Greek American community.
From the business sector, Mr. Larigakis met with the leadership of the Union of Greek Shipowners, which included President Nicos D. Efthymiou, Secretary Matheos Los and attorney at law Ana Brademas-Savopoulou. A meeting was also held with Mr. Vassos Vamvas of the Hellenic Center for Investment, ELKE.
From the political sphere, Messrs. Larigakis and Karambelas, met with Member of Parliament Grigoris Niotis, and with New Democracy Party Diplomatic Adviser, Georgios S. Koumoutsakos.
From the media sector, meetings were held with Ms. Athena Vorillas, Assistant Supervisor of GE NBC in Greece, Ms. Rozanna Papadopoulos, General manager of Odyssey Magazine, Ms. Katerina Thanasoula, from ERT, and with Konstantinos Alavanos, Director of Audiovisual Production of Vouli TV.
PUBLIC AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
September 24, 2003
On September 24, 2003 the American Hellenic Institute sent an Action Alert to inform its members on a Hearing to be convened on October 1, 2003 by the House International Relations Subcommittee on Europe on the subject of “Turkey’s Future Direction and U.S.—Turkey Relations.” Alarmed by the pro-Turkish consistence of the panel, the Action Alert called on AHI members to contact the Chairman and the Members of the Subcommittee and urge them to present a balanced view of U.S.¯Turkish relations and raise issues such as Turkey’s behavior in the Iraq War, the Cyprus issue, the Armenian Genocide and blockade issues and the Kurdish issue.
Europe Subcommittee Hearing on Turkey
Following the September 24 Action Alert, the American Hellenic Institute sent a letter to the Chairman of the Subcommittee Rep. Doug Bereuter (R-NE) and to the members of the Subcommittee, urging them to ask specific questions that would counterbalance the pro-Turkish approach of the panelists. AHI members and friends also responded to the September 24 Action Alert.
At the Hearing the witnesses only touched upon the thematic triangle: Turkey’s role in Iraq-the identity of the current Turkish Islamic government and the relationship with the United States. During the Q&A session Cyprus, Armenia and the Kurds came up as major issues which caused uneasiness to the pro-Turkey witnesses.
Rep. Engel (D-NY) of New York directly blamed Rauf Denktash for his intransigence and Ankara for supporting him, for the stalemate in the peace talks on the Cyprus issue. He directly addressed the question “Why won’t Turkey get out of Cyprus?” Rep. Engel’s question followed an attack to Turkey by Rep. McCotter (R-MI) with regard to Turkey’s relationship with Armenia. The Chairman of the Subcommittee Doug Bereuter in his opening remarks also highlighted the importance of U.S.-Greece relations.
The American Hellenic Institute particularly wants to thank its members who immediately responded to our Action Alert and contacted the Chairman and the members of the Subcommittee.
FY 2004 House Appropriations Bill Refers to Article 98 Treaty between the U.S. and FYROM, which was allowed to sign as “Macedonia.”
Within the framework of the so called “Article 98” agreements in an effort to shield U.S. citizens from prosecution by the newly-created International Criminal Court, the U.S. signed on July 1, 2003 a bilateral Treaty with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, under the name “Macedonia.”
The American Hellenic Institute played an important role in addressing the issue on the legislative and policy level. On July 10, 2003 AHI general counsel, Gene Rossides sent a letter to Secretary of State Colin L. Powell in opposition to the treaty and called for a new treaty with FYROM. Overall, the AHI made all the necessary contacts in order to raise the issue and worked closely with the office of Congressman Rob Andrews (D-NJ) towards this goal.
We were pleased to see that in the FY 2004 House Appropriations Bill there is a reference to the Article 98 Treaty. The Bill contains the following language: “The managers note that in its efforts to obtain Article 98 agreements, the State Department inadvertently allowed the signature of the Former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia as simply “Macedonia.” In the future the Department should adhere to current policy using the format name for this Balkan nation.”
BUSINESS NETWORK AT WORK
Stacy Sample of Washington Securities Corp. Discusses How to Invest in This Stock Market at AHI Business Network Luncheon
On November 21, 2003, AHI Business Network Luncheon featured Vice President of Washington Securities Corp., Ms. Stacy Eliades Sample, who gave a presentation on “How to Invest in This Stock Market,” at the Capitol Hilton Hotel. Ms. Sample depicted the landscape of the current investment environment and gave valuable insights to investing in stocks and mutual funds.
Stacy Eliades Sample is a Principal & Senior Vice President of Washington Securities Corp., a local brokerage securities firm. She has served in the finance investment industry for some 30 years managing portfolio equities accounts, 401 (K)s & retirement plans for business companies and for individual investors. In 2002 she hosted “Stacy’s Smart Money” a one-hour investment show on Business Radio Station WBIZ in Baltimore-Annapolis MD.
The attendees asked Ms. Sample insightful questions on her presentation and had the opportunity to network with other individuals in the industry.
ELKE Co-manages Athens Business Club 2004
The Hellenic Centre of Investment, ELKE, in cooperation with the Athens Organizing Committee for the 2004 Olympic Games, the Hellenic Foreign Trade Board, and the Federation of Greek Industries, is managing the Athens Business Club 2004, an exciting networking and matchmaking club that will bring together businesspeople from around the world to create new partnerships and develop new business. For more information check ELKE’s Web site at <http://www.elke.gr>.
Protection Against Bio-Terrorism
Equipped with the restless spirit of a Greek entrepreneur, AHI member Tom Orfanos is someone who is intrigued by challenges. At 38, Athens-born Orfanos has already had an impressive career path and has switched career orientation twice, always experiencing success in whatever he undertakes: from Dentistry to Law to Business.
After completing his B.S. in Biology from Adelphi University he then earned a D.D.S. from SUNY Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine. He then went to Boston University where he received his J.D., practicing dentistry part time while in law school. From September 1993 to February 2002, Mr. Orfanos worked as a corporate lawyer specializing in mergers & acquisitions and securities laws, having last worked at Kaye, Scholer, LLP, a NY law firm with approximately 500 lawyers. Mr. Orfanos is currently the Executive Vice President and General Counsel of EvacuTech Safety Products, LLC.
David Hollander, the CEO of EvacuTech, alarmed by the 1993 World Trade Center bombings, came up with the idea of producing a portable and affordable mask to help people escape the deadly effects of fire. Mr. Hollander approached Mr. Orfanos about his idea in 1998 and shortly thereafter a company was formed with a team capable of developing such a mask. After 5 years of research and development, a pocket-sized mask was developed that protects the wearer from smoke and biological contaminants. The Evacutech Survival Mask is a pocket-sized, one-piece filter mask with eye protection that enables the wearer to breathe and see in smoke and in a bio-terrorist attack. The patented mask is portable, effective and inexpensive, and has a medical adhesive on the inside perimeter of the mask which permits the mask to actually adhere to one’s face like a band-aid, creating a complete seal against smoke and biological contaminants.
“Personally, I am very excited about working with EvacuTech not only because of the great potential it has as a business, but also because we know that our products will, in the case of fire and terrorism, save lives and prevent injuries. There is a great deal of satisfaction in knowing that we are doing something that is in the public interest,” said Mr. Orfanos.
Mr. Orfanos places his Greek background as an important asset to his professional and personal advancement. He mentioned the immense support by his family and the support by the Greek American business community in promoting his business as two very important aspects of his Greek heritage.
On the political role of the Greek American community, Mr. Orfanos stressed: “Greek Americans have been very effective in working together and helping each other advance in business, but on the political side we have not done as well. As one of the, if not the, most financially successful and most educated groups in the United States, we should get more involved in politics and work harder to unite and have our political opinions heard.”
A Hellene From Switzerland
A student of Greek history and follower of Ancient Greek philosophy, Dr. Dennis Gyalistras has lived up to his Hellenic ideals that have steered his career and life. He is a successful businessman and a cosmopolitan, having lived and worked in numerous places, such as Greece, Germany, Switzerland, India and Pakistan. He now owns and runs the private firm in Lausanne, Switzerland, called PROTAN A.G., which sells telecom equipment and provides consulting services to clients in Switzerland, Greece and other European countries.
Dennis Gyalistras was born in Greece in 1933. A graduate of the American College of Greece, Dr. Gyalistras received his Master Degree from the Institute of Technology in Munich and then his Ph.D. from the Institute of Technology in Athens. He has held prominent academic and public sector positions in Greece, while holding high-ranking positions at Siemens in Greece and Germany. Dr. Gyalistras has published several books in Greek on Telecommunications and Siemens has asked him for permission to get patents on his numerous inventions. Before he established his own company in 1984, he was the Manager of Telecommunications Department of Societe Generale pour l’ Industrie in Geneva, Switzerland.
Dr. Gyalistras is an admirer of Ancient Greek language and a strong advocate of its perseverance. He continues writing polytonic system Greek and always tries to structure his life according to the principle of Logic, the cornerstone of Hellenic heritage.
Dr. Gyalistras also stresses the importance of the American Hellenic Institute’s work, being an American organization that preserves and promotes Greek identity in the United States. He strongly believes that Greeks can make a difference in terms of promoting Hellenic identity on a universal level. He stated: “The only way is to try to help such organizations like yours, because you have a common voice and you have a whole organization to represent me and other Greeks…”
KOSTAS ALEXAKIS, Chairman of the AHI Advisory Committee, is running for Congress. After a successful career in the business sector, Mr. Alexakis is trying out politics and is running for the 1st District of Maryland. Mr. Alexakis inaugurated his fundraising campaign on Sunday, January 11, 2003, where many prominent members of the Greek American community and friends were present to express their support to him.
REV. DR. DEMETRIOS CONSTANTELOS, distinguished Charles Towsend Professor of History and Religious Studies at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey was honored by the College’s Friends of Hellenic Studies. At the event held at the College campus on October 12, 2003, professors, students, family members and others spoke on the contribution and amazing work of Dr. Constantelos, who is one of the founders of the Hellenic Studies Program. The Program was founded in 1995 and has been a success for Stockton College.
GEORGE PAPAVIZAS’ book Blood and Tears: Greece 1940-1949, published by the American Hellenic Institute Foundation, was featured by Dr. Demetrios J. Constantelos in the October 22, 2003 issue of The Hellenic Voice. Dr. Constantelos characterized it “a powerful and moving biography.” The book covers the historical era of World War II and the tragic era of the Civil War in Greece. The book is available at the American Hellenic Institute.
MARIA PAPPAS officially launched her campaign for the United States Senate on November 9, 2003. Mrs. Pappas announced her candidacy in front of supporters and the media, in Chicago, Illinois. Pappas, 54, a progressive Democrat, is a native of Wheeling, West Virginia who settled in Chicago and won a seat on the Cook County Board, a powerful body of legislators who handle the operations of one of the nation’s largest municipal governments. After eight years of a successful tenure as a Cook County Commissioner, Pappas was elected as Cook County Treasurer. For additional information on Maria Papas’s campaign check her Web site at <http://www.mariapappas.com>.
E. JOHN RUMPAKIS, hosted the Consul General of Greece, Hon. Dimitrios Touloupas, last October, in Portland, Oregon. The Consul General visited Oregon on the occasion of Portland’s “Greek Week.” Among other events, Mr. Rumpakis arranged for the Consul General and his family to visit the World Headquarters of NIKE in Beaverton, OR where he met with officials and toured the campus facilities. They also conferred about NIKE’s participation in the Olympics. Greek Consul also participated in an early Sunday morning inauguration of Portland’s nationally acclaimed Marathon race. Congressman Earl Blumenauer, a long time Marathon runner also participated in the event.