Gregory Pappas, founder of the Greek America Foundation and Fox Films Chairman & CEO Jim Gianopulos
The countdown to the 2011 Gabby Awards was officially launched in November of 2010 at a private event for donors and supporters of the Greek America Foundation, headlined by Fox Films Chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos,
who is also one of the Honorary Co-chairs of the 2011 Gabby Awards, along with his wife Ann.
The event opened with an introduction and welcome by Greek America Foundation founder Gregory Pappas, a member of Leadership 100, who spoke about the organization’s goals and projects, including the upcoming Gabby Awards in New York City that are scheduled for June 4, 2011 at Ellis Island. Gianopulos presented a special multi-media lecture called "Hellenism and Hollywood: From Aristotle to Alexander (Payne)" that chronicled the story of how Greek Americans impacted the development of Hollywood over the years.
Gianopulos, well-known for his studio’s many successful films, including Hollywood’s two biggest box office hits Titanic and Avatar, recounted stories and shared clips with the audience that told an amazing legacy of Greek involvement—on many levels—in the development of the entertainment industry in America. The presentation took many emotional turns—especially when clips were shown from films like “America America” by Elia Kazan, “Never on Sunday” and “Zorba the Greek.”
The guest included menswear designer John Varvatos and his wife Joyce; Oscar winner Olympia Dukakis; True Blood star Theo Alexander; acclaimed costume director Patricia Field; Greek actor Manos Gavras; former Homeland Security Advisor Frances Fragos Townsend; Consuls General from the nations of Greece and Cyprus, Aghi Balta and Koula Sophianou, respectively; New York State Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas; businessman Dean Metropoulos and his wife Marianne, members of Leadership 100, who are also serving as Honorary Co-Chairs of the Gabby Awards; John Thomas Financial CEO Thomas Belesis with his wife Tabitha; former Etsy.com CEO Maria Thomas; Trident Capital Managing Director Venetia Kontogouris; and Morgan Stanley private wealth manager Fotios Piniros and his wife Dr. Vicky Zouzias, also members of Leadership 100.
The Gabby Awards are the nation's top achievement awards for Greek Americans and are scheduled to take place on June 4, 2011 at Ellis Island. This was the first of many scheduled “launch” events that will take place throughout the nation to excite the nationwide audience that is expected to attend the event.