NEW YORK. – “In 2004 when Greece organized those dream Olympic Games, when we won the European Championship in soccer, we were all very optimistic about Greece and if someone at that time dared say that ten years from now Greece would end up bankrupt, no one would believe him. Today, I tell you that ten years from now we will again a Greece that will be rich and prosperous,” declared Onassis Foundation President Dr. Antonis Papadimitriou when he accepted the Capital Link Hellenic Leadership Award on December 14.
Papadimitriou, the President and Treasurer of the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation was honored at the dinner held at the New York Yacht Club in Manhattan after the successful conclusion of the 17th investment forum which was held at the Metropolitan Club in Manhattan. Guests declare it was one of best-attended ever.
The dinner was attended by dignitaries like The Deputy Foreign Minister for International Economic Relations in charge of International Economic Relations & Investments, Dimitris Mardas, Deputy Minister of Tourism Elena Kountoura, Ambassador of Greece in Washington, DC Christos Panagopoulos and Greek Ambassador to the UN Catherine Boura.
The guests of honor included Consuls General of Greece and Cyprus George Iliopoulos and Vasilios Philippou respectively, as well as Greek-American entrepreneurs and speakers at the investment forum were also in attendance, as were colleagues of Papadimitriou’s law firm, A.S. Papadimitriou & Partners VP President of the Onassis Foundation Ioannis Ioannidis, and former and current Executive Directors of the Onassis Foundation (USA), Ambassador Loucas Tsilas and Amalia Cosmetatou respectively.
The president of Capital Link Nicolas Bornozis gave a report to the guests on the day’s investment forum’s panels and declared “we had great success.” He emphasized that for the first time there were also participants representing the four institutions who are the primary holders of the Greek debt amd noted that each of them shared positive messages.
He also expressed his gratitude to the New York Stock Exchange for Greek Day at the NYSE for the 12th consecutive year and noted that on December 15 Capital Link participants would ring the closing bell during a ceremony promoting Greece.
Ambassador Christos Panagopoulos introduced the honoree, who he said that he was being recognized “for his contributions at the Onassis Foundation,” and that he is a worthy son of the nation.
In accepting the award Papadimitriou said he was particularly honored to receive the same award that had been presented to Dow Chemical Chairman Andrew Liveris, president and CEO of Calamos Investments John Calamos, and Chairman of the Board and CEO of the Libra Group George Logothetis.
“I am also touched to receive the award forty years after the establishment of the Foundation and fifteen years after the founding of the subsidiary in New York. We had decided to dedicate the first 40 years of the Foundation to the next forty years, and to set clear goals for the coming decades,” he said.
Referring to the Foundation, Papadimitriou noted that it is dedicated to the memory of the Alexander Onassis, the son of Aristotle Onassis, and that it is governed by the philosophy of a young person with his eyes on the future.
Papadimitriou then referred to the role of the Onassis Cultural Center and focused on the role of the cultural sphere in the promotion of Hellenic dignity and solidarity. He also spoke with pride about the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Centre, which has provided free care to more than 650,000 compatriots in the homeland.
Regarding the Onassis Foundation (USA), Papadimitriou lauded its contributions over the past 15 years, including the establishment of the Onassis Cultural Centre in New York and its recent renovation, and stated that Amalia Cosmetatou is following in the footsteps of its founder Ambassador Loucas Tsillas.
Mardas congratulated the honoree and expressed gratitude to Capital Link for the invitation and congratulations on the successful conference. He said he has hopes that “next year we will be in a better position to talk about plans for the future.”
Kountouras noted that the forum provides an opportunity to help Greece and emphasized that when Greeks are united, they succeed. She also pointed out that 2015 was one of the best years ever for Greek tourism and urged Greek-Americans to continue to support Greece.
Kathimerini Journalist Athanasios Ellis served as the Emcee.
When asked by TNH about receiving the award, Papadimitriou said: “It’s a very moving moment recognizing the contributions of the Onassis Foundation as we complete 40 years since its establishment.
He told TNH that Capital Link Forum “has now become the ambassador of Greece. It is the pre-eminent platform for the Greek Government to bring its projects to the capital of the world economy that is New York.”