NEW YORK – The Manhattan Chapter of the Order of AHEPA, Delphi 25, held its Gala Dinner on October 13 honoring Louis Katsos, distinguished Chapter member, past-Chapter President, and past District Governor of the Empire State District Six for his decades of service and dedication to the Hellenic community of the greater New York City area and beyond as well as to the Brotherhood of the Order of AHEPA.
The sold-out event took place at The Loeb Central Park Boathouse where Ahepans, family and friends gathered to celebrate Katsos and his accomplishments. Chapter President Ted Klingos gave the welcoming remarks and served as the Master of Ceremonies for the event. Bass baritone Costas Tsourakis, the Music Director of the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Manhattan, sang the Greek and U.S. National Anthems.
His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros gave the invocation and spoke about Katsos and his service to the historic chapter which included U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt among its members. Archbishop Elpidophoros highlighted Katsos' commitment to Hellenism through EMBCA, the East Mediterranean Business Culture Alliance, of which Katsos is founder and president, noting the many EMBCA events related to the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution and its influence on not only Greek history, but world history as well. His Eminence also noted Katsos' faith, commitment and contributions to the rebuilding of St. Nicholas Church at the World Trade Center. “The service and leadership you provide to the community and to the omogeneia is exemplary,” Archbishop Elpidophoros said to Katsos and concluded with “Axios!”
Greek Member of Parliament and former Deputy Minister for Diaspora Greeks Konstantinos Vlasis noted that Katsos is a “true philanthropist and a true Greek” advancing Hellenic ideals and thanked him for all he has done through the years.
Consul General of Greece in New York, Dr. Konstantinos Koutras, also noted Katsos' dedication to the community but also to the national issues of Greece and Cyprus. He pointed out the “neo-Ottoman attitude and revisionism” from Ankara and the latest provocations concerning the Greek islands in the Aegean. Koutras noted that “we have to stay alert” and “we need to make clear to everyone that we cannot tolerate this rogue behavior.” He concluded by congratulating Katsos and AHEPA for their continuing efforts in support of the issues facing Greece and Hellenism.
The new Consul General of Cyprus in New York Michalis Firillas expressed his gratitude to AHEPA for their efforts for Cyprus, Greece, and Hellenism, while also noting the strength of the relationship with the U.S. He also congratulated the honoree and looked forward to many more events.
Delphi Chapter Executive Secretary Michael Papaphotes read the remarks by AHEPA Supreme President James Kokotas expressing his appreciation for Katsos and noting the continuing cooperation between Greece and the U.S.
Among those present were new Consul of Greece in New York Dimitris Papageorgiou, Fr. Alex Karloutsos and his wife Presvytera Xanthi, Dennis Mehiel, John Catsimatidis and his wife Margo, Stephen Cherpelis, Argyris Argitakos, Ted Stamas, Nancy Papaioannou, George Kitsios, Tom Dushas, James Zafiros, Joseph Keane, Paul Macropoulos, Dr. George Dangas, Dr. Marinos Petratos, Lloyd Williams, Gus Constantine, and Drs. Sotirios and Matina Stergiopoulos.
New York mayoral candidate Eric Adams also made a surprise appearance at the event and congratulated AHEPA and Katsos while also reminding everyone that it is the pursuit of the American dream that has made the U.S. great, bringing together immigrants from all nations in search of a better life. He also reminded all those present to vote on November 2.
A portion of the net proceeds from the event will benefit AHEPA's Emergency Relief Fund for the devastation caused by the wildfires in Greece this summer.
Singer Aphrodite Daniel delighted the attendees with her performance of classic Greek songs.
With 40+ years of major ground-up construction project experience in the New York Real Estate, Design and Construction Management market, Louis Katsos is a well-known leader in the construction industry in New York. He has for over 35 years in senior executive management positions with major national construction firms, as well as President since 1992 of his own firm, Jekmar Associates, Inc., a construction, and development consulting firm providing services to New York's top developers and real estate owners. Jekmar Associates, Inc. is currently involved in variety of residential, mixed use and hotel projects of over 3 million square feet including the largest high rise residential mixed use project in New York.
Katsos was born on May 15, 1951 in a Greek village called Georgitsi. Georgitsi is a small mountain village located in the municipality of Sparta within the prefecture of Laconia. The graphic village sits on the northeastern side of Mount Taygetos at an altitude of 3,200 feet. Due to its altitude, it allows you to see a large part of the Sparta plain, Georgitsi has been dubbed “the Balcony of Taygetos.” Katsos immigrated to New York City with his family in 1956 at the age of 5. He attended the Brooklyn Technical High School and later received a Masters Degree from the Graduate Business School of New York University as well as a B.E.C.E. Degree (in Civil Engineering) from New York University. Katsos has taught for almost 30 years as an Adjunct Assistant Professor both at New York University and at the Chanin School of Architecture at Cooper Union. During his studies, he met his future wife, Barbara, and they were married in 1974 in Manhattan. Mrs. Katsos is a distinguished Doctor of Education, she has served as Principal at the Holy Trinity Cathedral School in Manhattan and later studied law and is currently an accomplished practicing attorney in New York City. Louis and Barbara were blessed with two children, Ioannis Katsos, Professor of Law and Dr. Mara Karamitopoulos, pediatric orthopedic surgeon at NYU Langone. They are also grandparents of four beautiful children, Sofia, Irini, Melina and Konstantinos.
Katsos has served The Order of AHEPA, the oldest and largest Greek-American organization, as the Governor of Empire State District 6 (NYS) as well as Chairman of the AHEPA Hellenic Cultural Commission. He has served the Manhattan-based AHEPA Delphi Chapter, founded in 1923, as past-President. During his Chapter Presidency, Katsos was instrumental in making Delphi 25 one of the most vibrant Chapters of The Order of AHEPA; it is currently the largest Chapter in the entire global AHEPA domain. During his presidency, the Delphi Chapter # 25 was awarded the 2019 Chapter of the Year Award at the AHEPA Supreme Convention in Chicago. As a strategic supporter of the Sail to Freedom event celebrating the 200 year anniversary of the Hellenic Revolution (1821-2021) Louis was recognized as "The Face of the Hellenic Diaspora for the 200 years of Freedom.
Katsos is also Executive Board Member of The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, and President of the American Hellenic Institute (the New York Chapter). Considering himself an open book, Katsos, feels very comfortable and at ease in both countries, the U.S. and Hellas.