AHEPA Convention Shines in Frisco

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The Order of AHEPA hosted its 93rd annual AHEPA Family Supreme Convention at the San Francisco Hyatt hotel July 1-5, electing John Galanis of Elm Grove, Wisconsin as President.
The outgoing Supreme President of AHEPA Phillip T. Frangos capped a successful tenure by opening the Convention. John W. Galanis of Elm Grove, WI was elected to succeed him.
At the installation ceremony, Galanis discussed his goals and challenges, but he added, “Obviously, our immediate thoughts and concerns are with the people of Greece during  this most difficult and challenge time in Greece’s history,” he said.
More than 1000 Greek Americans and Philhellenes gathered for meetings, symposiums, dances and special events.
Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco offered the opening prayer and continued to say that the AHEPA is a wonderful organization which promotes family values.
The Supreme President was joined for farewell addresses by the Grand President of the Daughters of Penelope Anna Helene Grossomanides, Supreme President of the Sons Jimmy Googas and Grand President of the Maids Deanna Socaris who have also completed their tenures. The consul general of Greece Demetrios Xenitellis also addressed the guests.
The program of the Grand Banquet, the Convention’s climax, “was a testament to the AHEPA family’s grassroots capability to raise much-needed funds for charitable causes. AHEPA and its affiliated organizations, the Daughters of Penelope, Sons of Pericles, and Maids of Athena, announced nearly $115,000 in new funds raised to help rebuild Saint Nicholas National Shrine at World Trade Center,” a press release noted.
Philanthropist/Entrepreneur George Marcus presented Theofanis Economidis with the 2015 AHEPA Aristotle Award, representing excellence in his profession and in service to his community.
Archbishop Demetrios was the keynote speaker.
The AHEPA family leadership, led by Supreme President Phillip T. Frangos, each delivered emotional farewell addresses.
There was also a commemoration of the Daughters of Penelope’s 85th anniversary.
After the Convention’s first general session delegates were hosted aboard the San Francisco Belle for a glorious buffet dinner and cruise of San Francisco Bay with dancing and a karaoke contest At the National Athletic Awards Luncheon, the acceptance
remarks from all the honorees were touching and memorable, as was the acknowle
dgement of Athletic Hall of Fame inductees, scholar athletes, and national award-winners.
Basil Mossaides, AHEPA’s Executive Director, congratuated Penelope House Executive Director Tonie Ann Torrans for being inducted into the Daughters of Penelope Athletic Hall of Fame.
He also was thrilled that so many people “came from near and far—from our local San Francisco AHEPA family to our delegates and guests who came from Greece, Bulgaria, and Australia—and commend them for taking the time to be with us and to attend to the business of the Order.”
The AHEPA Hellenic Cultural Commission featured former U.S. Ambassador to Hungary Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis, who presented her book, “Madam Ambassador: Three Years of Diplomacy, Dinner Parties, and Democracy in Budapest”
Kounalakis is the first Greek American woman appointed U.S. ambassador. The Daughters of Penelope presented the ambassador with its Civic Responsibility Award in April.
Sons of Pericles and Maids of Athena, the community’s up and coming leaders, were offered inspirational remarks by Archbishop Demetrios.
In his acceptance speech, Galanis, who is a founding partner of Galanis, Pollack, Jacobs & Johnson, S.C., a Milwaukee-based law firm, said “My sincere appreciation is given to the convention delegates who placed their support and trust in me to lead this vibrant, venerable, and unique organization in the coming year. I am excited to work with our seasoned Supreme Lodge and our membership to keep AHEPA on the steady path set forth by my predecessors in a spirit true to our mission.”
Addressing the upcoming year’s agenda, he said “Also, we aim to complete our capital fundraising campaign to help rebuild Saint Nicholas
and focus our internal efforts on membership growth and retention. In addition, the community continues to face a multitude of challenges that are important to address as the need for community service is never ending, both in the United States and abroad , and the promotion of Hellenic
ideals will always be a priority for AHEPA.”
The Supreme Lodge is the international governing body of AHEPA and its 2015-16 members include: Canadian President Kenneth N. Matzio
rinis, Pierrefonds, Quebec; Supreme Vice President Andrew C. Zachariades, Brick, NJ; Supreme Secretary George  E. Loucas, Esq., Cleveland, OH; Supreme Treasurer Carl Hollister, Mason, OH; Supreme Counselor George G. Horiates, Esq., Moorestown, NJ; Supreme Athletic Director Louis G. Atsaves, Lake Forest, IL; and Sons of Pericles National Advisor James Kokotas, Brooklyn, NY.
The eight Supreme Governors are: Region I: Demetrios C. Kirkiles, Esq., Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Region II: James Stasios, Wilmington, NC; Region III: Christopher Gallis, Flushing, NY; Region IV: Frank P. Fotis, Lexing ton, MA; Region V: George L. Kalantzis, Canton, OH; Region VI: Tom Gober, Region

VII: Timothy Joannides, Cheyenne, WY; Region VIII: Nick Perdaris, Van Nuys, CA; and Region X: Nicholas C. Papadopoulos, Voula, Greece.
Elected to positions on the Board of Trustees were: Nick Aroutzidis, London, Ontario; and Lee Millas, Trenton, NJ. Michael Papaphotes, Brooklyn, NY was elected to the Board of Auditors.
The organizations that comprise the AHEPA Family also held elections. Connie Pilallis, Boca Raton, FL, was elected Daughters of Penelope Grand President; Andreas Christou, Albany, NY, was elected Sons of Pericles Supreme President; and Deanna
Socaris, Albany, NY was elected to a second term as Maids of Athena Grand President.
The 2016 Supreme Convention will convene in Las Vegas on July 24.


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