2019 AHI Honorees (L-R) Ambassador Patrick Theros, Dr. Spiro Spireas, Eleni Bousis, Nicholas Chimicles
The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) hosted its 44th Anniversary Hellenic Heritage Achievement and National Public Service Awards Dinner, March 9, 2019, at the Capital Hilton, Washington, D.C.
AHI honored a distinguished set of awardees based upon their important career achievements and contributions to the Greek American community or community at-large. They were:
• Eleni D. Bousis, Philanthropist and a member of Leadership 100 Board of Trustees
• Nicholas E. Chimicles, Founder and Chairman, Chimicles, Schwartz, Kriner, & Donaldson-Smith LLP and a long-time member of Leadership 100.
• Spiro Spireas, Ph.D., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, SigmaPharm Laboratories, LLC; and a long-time member of Leadership 100.
• Ambassador Patrick N. Theros, former U.S. Ambassador to Qatar and Strategic Advisor, Gulf International Forum.
AHI Foundation President Constantine Galanis offered greetings and introduced AHI President Nick R. Larigakis, who reviewed the Institute’s initiatives and programs that are provided to the community.
“Tonight, we honor four outstanding members of the Greek American community for setting an example not only of professional excellence but of selfless service to others, which is the ultimate definition of the ideals of Hellenism,” AHI President Nick Larigakis said.
Philanthropist Eleni D. Bousis received the AHI Hellenic Heritage National Public Service Award in recognition of her faithful service to the vulnerable and marginalized populations across the globe.
In acceptance, Bousis stated, “I am very humbled, touched, and grateful to AHI for recognizing my efforts in making a difference for humanity. It is a very gratifying experience.”
Renowned Attorney and Legal Scholar Nicholas E. Chimicles received the AHI Hellenic Heritage Achievement Award for his contributions to the legal profession and his commitment to justice and the rule of law.
In acceptance, Chimicles, who also serves on the AHI Board of Directors, stated, “I think this is a wonderful organization. AHI is a great spokesperson for Hellenism. I am proud to be a part of AHI. Being here today all started with my parents and education. It is simply a privilege to be here.”
AHI presented Entrepreneur and Scientist Spiro Spireas, Ph.D., with the AHI Hellenic Heritage Achievement Award for his outstanding achievements in the field of pharmaceutical science and for his leadership of, and service to, the Greek American community.
“We have to think about Hellenism comprehensively,” Dr. Spireas, who is a former AHI Foundation president, said. “Hellenism is not just for ethnic Greeks, but also Philhellenes. The Greek community should continue to be selfless in giving to good causes. AHI is a good lobbying group. Greek-Americans need to have effective lobbyists. We are giving something to a justified organization such as the American Hellenic Institute, and we need professionals to lobby for Greeks.”
Former U.S. Ambassador Patrick Theros received the AHI Hellenic Heritage Public Service Award for his distinguished public service to the United States and for his tireless pursuit of religious freedom.
In acceptance, Ambassador Theros said, “We must never underestimate the contribution of the Greek-American community in every aspect of life in the United States; we have produced great leaders in science, medicine, politics, finance, and academia. We need great organizations like the American Hellenic Institute to make our fellow Americans aware of our presence and importance.”
The honorees’ many accomplishments were celebrated throughout the evening and highlighted in congratulatory letters submitted to AHI from His Beatitude Theophilos III Patriarch of Jerusalem and All Palestine, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Geron of America; Ambassador of Greece to the United States Haris Lalacos and Ambassador of the Republic of Cyprus to the United States Marios Lysiotis.
Special guests attending the event included: Ambassador of Greece to the United States Haris Lalacos, Ambassador of the Republic of Cyprus to the United States Marios Lysiotis, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen, who attended the reception; Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia Matthew Palmer; and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Transportation for Aviation and International Affairs David Short. The American Hellenic Institute is a non-profit Greek American public policy center and think tank that works to strengthen relations between the United States and Greece and Cyprus, and within the Greek American community.