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Google’s Koutsovinos and Red Apple Group’s Pylarinou-Piper at NY Consulate General

NEW YORK – A fascinating event, which attracted a large number of young entrepreneurs and professionals, was held on June 6 at the Consulate General of Greece in New York.

The special forum, titled Tech and Innovation Meetup for Hellenic Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs, was co-organized by the Consulate General, the Young Professionals of the Hellenic American Chamber of Commerce (HACC) and Greektech and aimed to bring together successful professionals in the field of technology, the banking sector, and start-ups with the younger generation trying to find its own footing in a broad yet competitive market like that of New York.

The moderator of the discussion was Cutover Vice President Petros Perselis who introduced the distinguished panelists Red Apple Group Vice President Eftihia Pylarinou-Piper and Google Senior Vice President Evan Koutsovinos, who both shared their experiences and challenges from the start of their respective careers and along the path to success.

“It has to do with patience, persistence, trying not to be disappointed by failure and when we believe in something, to pursue it. Sometimes it may be close, sometimes further away. But always, whoever has the faith and patience, succeeds,” Koutsovinos told The National Herald following the discussion. He also expressed his satisfaction with the impact of the event.

Consul General of Greece in New York Dinos Konstantinou, at left, during the event on June 6 with Petros Perselis and Eftihia Pylarinou-Piper, at right. (Photo: TNH/ Christodoulos Athanasatos)

“It was an excellent event. A very good initiative for all these professionals to come together, from different generations, who have Greek heritage and I think we had a very good, interesting, and productive discussion,” he said.

Eftihia Pylarinou -Piper also shared similar sentiments about the event, noting that “we wanted to bring the older generation, which I represent, into contact with the younger generation and see how we can bridge our interests, how we can share the experiences we had from the past when we came to America or when, in my case, I had to go back to Greece and take up an important position as president of a bank in Greece as the first female president.”

She pointed out that the discussion included “the problems we faced when we came to America, how we responded to them, what opportunities we were given, how we took those opportunities and moved forward to reach our destination.”

Ms. Pylarinou-Piper mentioned her particular journey as a woman in a male-dominated field and the threats she faced in Greece in the 1990s. She also noted how “technology helps businesses grow but also has become dangerous in interpersonal relationships.”

During the discussion, both she and Koutsovinos highlighted the need for balance between the use of technology and real world social interactions for people.

Consul General of Greece in New York Dinos Konstantinou stated that the ultimate goal of the Consulate General is to be, through similar events, a “networking hub” for young Greek professionals.

“I think it is the beginning of a series of events here at the Consulate General, both in terms of mentoring the younger generation, but also to become a networking hub here, so that Greeks can help each other, whether they are of an older generation, or young people who come from Greece and are trying to find their pace,” said Konstantinou.

John Papaspanos, HACC Innovators Director, expressed his belief that the event “will be one of many that will form a new and stronger connection between the new and the older generation and we will reach a point of progress, with the Greek-American community stronger than before.”

When asked about the much-heralded development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) which is the subject of debate as to whether it could shape unprecedented and potentially dangerous conditions for tomorrow, Koutsovinos said he was optimistic about its use.

“Basically, Google has been using artificial intelligence in their products for many years, it just hasn’t been publicized that much,” he noted. “Technology will bring big changes. We are very dedicated so that the changes are positive for society, for humanity, to bring artificial intelligence responsibly and to reduce the negative effects as much as possible.”

“I am very optimistic about artificial intelligence. I think that if we advance the technology with responsibility and attention it will be very positive for humanity,” concluded Koutsovinos.

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