|AHI Foundation President Spiros Spireas, left, and AHI President Nick R. Larigakis, right, present Paulette Poulos, Executive Director of Leadership 100, with the Hellenic Heritage National Public Service Award.
The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) honored Paulette Poulos, Executive Director of Leadership 100, with the Hellenic Heritage National Public Service Award, at the 39th Anniversary Hellenic Heritage Achievement and National Public Service Awards Dinner on March 8 at The Capitol Hilton in Washington, DC. She was cited for her exemplary service to the Orthodox Church and her decades of leadership and advocacy for Hellenism. George S. Tsandikos, the newly installed Chairman of Leadership 100 attended as his first public event to demonstrate the support of all Leadership 100 members.
The grand ballroom was filled to capacity as the awards ceremony celebrated Hellenism and the achievements of Hellenes in America. Nicholas G. Karambelas, AHI Treasurer and member of the Board of Directors, opened the program, followed by greetings from Spiro Spireas, President, American Hellenic Institute Foundation and Nick R. Larigakis, AHI President, who presented the awards, an image of the Goddess of Victory that derives from the ancient Greek Panathenaic Festival prize. Master of Ceremonies was Larry Michael, the voice of The Washington Redskins.
Blessings were offered by Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey and the invocation and benediction were given by the Rev. Protopresbyter Dimitrios Antokas, formerly Executive Director of Leadership 100, who attended with his wife, Presbytera Maria.
Other award honorees included Congresswoman Dina Titus; International orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC); former Executive Director of the Order of AHEPA, and a member of Leadership 100, Timothy Maniatis; and business leader Jerry Couvaras, President and CEO, Atlanta Bread and Bake One. Each of the honorees addressed the gathering. Constantine (Dean) Triantafilou, Executive Director and CEO of IOCC, accepted the award and spoke on of behalf of the organization.
Poulos spoke of her debt to Archbishop Iakovos of Blessed Memory, whom she had served for some 40 years in various leadership positions, and the encouragement and guidance of her parents, Charles and Rebecca Poulos. She also acknowledged His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, who was responsible for confirming her appointment as Executive Director of Leadership 100, the first layperson and woman to hold the post, and the attendance of Tsandikos, the youngest member to serve as Chairman of the organization, which is celebrating its 30th Anniversary in 2014.She said that the AHI alerted us to the challenges we face and our responsibilities as true citizens in the Hellenic tradition.
AHI Founder, Gene Rossides, attended along with such distinguished guests as former U.S. Senator Paul Sarbanes, Tom Miller, former U.S. Ambassador to Greece, Ambassador Christos Panagopoulos of Greece, Ambassador George Chacalli of Cyprus, and Dean Emeritus of Saint Sophia Cathedral of Washington DC, Rev. Protopresbyter John Tavlarides and Presbytera Harriet.