Dr. George Yancopoulos Grand Marshal at NYC Greek Parade

NEW YORK – President and Chief scientific officer of the pharmaceutical company Regeneron, Dr. George Yancopoulos is the Grand Marshal for the Greek Independence Day Parade on March 26 in New York. Dr. Yancopoulos, as noted in the pages of the National Herald, is one of the leading scientists and heads one of the largest pharmaceutical companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange. His achievements have honored and continue to honor the Greek community.

The American-born Dr. Yancopoulos grew up in Woodside, Queens. He was the valedictorian of both the Bronx High School of Science and Columbia University, and received his MD and PhD degrees in 1987 from Columbia University’s College of Physicians & Surgeons. Yancopoulos worked in the field of molecular immunology at Columbia University with Dr. Fred Alt, and received the Lucille P. Markey Scholar Award for his efforts. In 1989, he left his academic career and became the founding scientist for Regeneron with Leonard Schleifer. Among his honors, Yancopoulos was awarded Columbia University’s Stevens Triennial Prize for Research and its University Medal of Excellence for Distinguished Achievement. In 2004, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The President of the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York Petros Galatoulas made the announcement on Thursday, February 16 at the Stathakion Cultural Center in Astoria, adding that no later than March 2 the name of the third grand marshal will be announced, who will not be American.

At the same time, he announced that the Federation has not received any official reply from Greece as to the representatives of the Greek state who will participate in the events for the 25th of March and that the only one who said that he will participate is the President of the Party Committee on Greeks Abroad Alexander Triantaphyllides. Galatoulas also noted that those officials from Greece will not bring the honorary banner for the grand marshal -as in the past- but for the official guest. He also mentioned that the travel costs and hospitality for the Evzonesm the Presidential Guard contingent will be covered entirely by the Federation and that given the low air fares they intend to invite and host a band, and some of the Special Forces.

The theme of the Parade, he said will be Greek tourism and that the cost of the ad campaign will be covered by the Tourism Ministry.

Also in attendance at the meeting were the Consul of Greece in New York Manos Koubarakis, who conveyed the greetings of the Consul General Konstantinos Koutras and congratulated the Board and the Parade Commission for their tireless efforts and for the passion with which they work. Then he called on expatriates to participate in the parade, observing that the more dynamic the participation in the parade, the more we show our support for Greece. The Co-Parade Committee chair Basile Gournelos spoke about the efforts made for the sale of raffle tickets and the organization of the Greek Heritage Month events, noting that they will be seamlessly integrated with the Federation of Greek Societies of New Jersey.

The vice president of the Federation of New Jersey Agesilaos Triandafyllopoulos congratulated the Parade Committee and noted that the Federation of New Jersey is working hard in this direction and that clubs and communities will parade along with the Metropolitan of New Jersey.

The Parade Committee’s Christina Kostakis, said that “slowly but surely we’ll get where we’re going” and thanked the businessman and grand marshal of the 2016 parade, Dr. Spiro Spireas. The secretary Vasilis Petratos read the minutes of the previous two meetings. General Secretary Nomiki Kastanas noted that the work is progressing rapidly and urged Greeks to encourage girls to participate in the “Miss Greek Independence” pageant, which will take place on March 5 at the Stathakion Center.

Athanasios Aronis, Treasurer, said that so far we have signed 27 participating communities and the rest should quickly sign up. The former president Elias Tsekeridis reported on the efforts in Putnam and Westchester Counties of New York, and Connecticut.

Lou Katsos, who represented AHEPA said that the organization will lead and financially support the parade and that it is essential to attracting and mobilizing the Diaspora for the parade.

Also at the meeting, President of the Association Diplatanos “Agia Marina” and governor of the Federation of Central Greece, Yannis Nikolopoulos, who will attend the parade on horseback as Georgios Karaiskakis.