Translated from the original Greek
SHREWSBURY, NJ – The Greek American Chamber of Commerce (GACC) of New Jersey and Philadelphia held its annual Gala at the Shadowbrook in Shrewsbury on November 19.
They honored Investors Bank Executive Vice President Paul Kalamaras and Senior Vice President Christos Koutsis, and recognized Venus Jewelers President Dr. Panos Stavrianides as Member of the Year, Sidekicks President Nico Antonellos as Executive of the Year, and R-Pharm US President and CEO Demetrios Kydonieus as Executive of the Year.
GACC President Michael Hadjiloucas welcomed the attendees and pointed out four former presidents: Stavros Antonakakis, Savas Tsivicos, Anastasius Efstratiades, and Dr. Zenon Christodoulou, emphasizing that that they remain faithful to the mission and promote cooperation among entrepreneurs and Greek-Americans in general.
He also pointed out how they help recent graduates find jobs, and discussed GACC’s awarding of an annual $2000 scholarship to a Greek-American business administration major.
Consul General of Greece Amb. George Iliopoulos congratulated GACC and reminded that the key to Greek-American organizations’ future is attracting the younger generations.
Koutsis expressed his gratitude to GACC and focused his attention to the two-way relations of the Bank with Greek-Americans and its resolve to reinforce the ties with the community.
Stavrianides referred to the initiative they have undertaken a few years ago to organize lectures “success is not random,” referring to attendees TNH Publisher-Editor Antonis H. Diamataris, Dr. Spiro Spireas, Dr. Sotirios Vahaviolos, and others.
He pointed out that Diamataris “organized a brilliant celebration at the New York Library” in May, for the 100th anniversary of Ethnikos Kyrix-National Herald, providing “Greek-Americans with the opportunity to celebrate the centennial of its founding. Isn’t that a tremendous achievement?”
The 25-year-old Antonellos, who founded Sidekicks, which provides services to people with special needs and thereby improves their quality of life, although the youngest among the guests, spoke with the confidence of an experienced businessperson and expressed pride for his Greek origin, his family, and the role of philotimo.
Kydoneos referred to his parents with awe, who came to the United States without speaking any English or having any possessions, and to his grandmother, who would take them to Astoria. He noted that he hails from Vathy of the island of Samos; his grandparents, who were teachers, sent their children to the United States to get an education.