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AHI Marks President Larigakis’ 25th Year at Organization
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Georgea Polizos
September 7, 2012—No. 54 (202) 785-8430

AHI Marks President Larigakis’ 25th Year at Organization

WASHINGTON, DC —In August, American Hellenic Institute (AHI) President Nick Larigakis completed his 25th year at AHI, an achievement for which many AHI stakeholders are grateful.

“It was clear from the beginning that Nick was a bright, intelligent and hard-working individual who continued to develop his skills, and he quickly became an asset to the point where he became the Institute’s executive director,” said AHI Founder Gene Rossides. “Because of his leadership abilities, dedicated work ethic and vision, I selected Nick to be my successor as president of AHI. His rise has been extraordinary, and the Greek American community is fortunate to have him leading AHI.”

AHI hired Larigakis in August 1987, and five years later, he became the organization’s executive director. In January 2011, AHI announced his promotion to president.

In his capacity as president, Larigakis manages the day-to-day operations of AHI. In addition, he directs all aspects of strategic planning, policy analysis, public affairs programming, government relations, financial development, and media communications. Larigakis’ responsibilities as president also include working with the U.S. Congress on U.S.-Greece-Cyprus relations, where he has provided witness testimony to several congressional committees; and as liaison to the grass roots community, traveling throughout the U.S. to inform the public about AHI’s public policy issues and other aspects of its mission. As a result, he has been interviewed by mainstream, Greek-American, and Greek media outlets on issues affecting U.S.-Greece relations. Larigakis has had numerous “Letters to the Editor” published in daily newspapers.

Accolades

“Nick is to be commended for 25 years of devotion to AHI and to the Greek American community,” said AHI Foundation President Dr. Spiro Spireas. “His unconditional dedication to, and limitless passion for, Hellenism are some of the main reasons why I became more engaged with the Institute. It is a pleasure working together with Nick to advance the missions of the AHI Foundation and AHI, respectively.”

“AHI is and has been a vital and unique voice in the Greek American community and in the Greek diaspora,” said Nick Karambelas, AHI Board of Directors secretary and counselor. “Without the herculean efforts of Nick Larigakis, AHI would not be a voice of any kind. We should all hope that he devotes another 25 years to AHI.”

Added AHI Board Member Ted Spyropoulos, “Very few Greek Americans have offered their services like Nick has toward the strengthening of relations between the United States, Greece and Cyprus, as well as the national issues of Greece and Cyprus. I sincerely want to congratulate Nick Larigakis for his services in the last 25 years.”

“For a quarter century, Nick Larigakis has been a stalwart steward of AHI’s mission and a recognized spokesman for the Greek American community in political, business and cultural endeavors,” said Nicholas Chimicles, AHI board member. “It is difficult to imagine anyone being more committed to an organization’s cause, or who has so unflinchingly navigated the shoals of the turbulent era that AHI has confronted. To have accomplished this with perennially limited resources is a further testament to Nick’s unrelenting resolve and dedication. Those of us with whom Nick has worked on behalf of AHI salute his accomplishments and welcome his continued success in achieving AHI’s goals.”

Added AHI Board Member Kostas Alexakis, “The way I look at it, as Gene Rossides was vital to Cyprus' survival, Nick Larigakis has been necessary and pivotal to AHI's success.”

"Without doubt, Nick deserves the highest accolades for his years of successful service to AHI.  No one can out-work him, and he brings immense dedication and creativity to his duties,” said AHI Board Member James Marketos. “’Invaluable’ is an over-used word, but it perfectly fits Nick's importance to the organization.  With true Greek passion and his own unique style, Nick has made it all look pretty effortless.”

Added AHI Board Member James Lagos, “Nick Larigakis has spent the last quarter of a century courageously, skillfully and wisely fighting for the freedom and justice of Cyprus, the religious freedom of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the just interests of Greece, and the wise self-interests of the United States of America.”

Larigakis Biography

For his work in support of Hellenic ideals and values, Larigakis has been honored with the “Medal” of the Hellenic Parliament (2011), the Inaugural AHEPA Outstanding Public Advocacy Award (2012), 1995 Hermes Expo International Award, the 2007 Hellenic News of America Award, the 2008 Society of the Argonauts Award, and by the Greek Independence Day Committee of Tarpon Springs, Florida, where he served as Honorary Grand Marshall of the 2001 and 2009 parades. And he was the Honorary Grand Marshall of the 2012 Philadelphia Greek Independence Day parade. He was recognized with an honorary award from the Hellenic National Defense General Staff. Larigakis is a member of AHEPA Chapter 438, Arlington, Va., He has also served on the Boards of the Greek Orthodox Young Adult League for four years (president in 1989); and the Delian League, an organization of young Greek American professionals, for three years (president in 1992). Larigakis has served his St. Katherine’s Greek Orthodox Church, Falls, Church, Va., in many capacities, including its Parish Council (2000-2002; 2004 – 2007; & 2012 - ), and he has organized numerous events to raise funds for his church.

Larigakis received his B.A. in Political Science from the College of New Jersey, formerly Trenton State, and did post graduate work in International Affairs at the American University in Washington, D.C.

In 2003, Larigakis was invested an Archon in the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. This is the highest lay award presented within the Orthodox Church.

During the historic 2004 Athens Olympic Games he served as a volunteer where he was a “Protocol Venue Attendant” at the Olympic Indoor Hall.

Larigakis is from the island of Skopelos, Greece and has a daughter, Panayiota.

The American Hellenic Institute is an independent non-profit Greek American public policy center that works to strengthen relations between the United States and Greece and Cyprus, and within the Greek American community.

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For additional information, please contact Georgea Polizos at (202) 785-8430 or at [email protected]. For general information about the activities of AHI, please see our website at http://www.ahiworld.org.