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HACC Honored Nikolas Tsakos as Person of the Year at 71st Award Gala

NEW YORK – The Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce (HACC) honored Dr. Nikolas Tsakos, the Founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Tsakos Energy Navigation (TEN), as its Person of the Year at the 71st Award Gala which took place at the Rainbow Room in Manhattan on March 24.

After the restrictive measures of the pandemic had made it impossible to hold the annual gala during the last three years, the well-attended event was also a celebration of the return to large-scale gatherings.

“We are very pleased with the fact that we can continue the tradition of the annual gala, which was interrupted due to the pandemic for some years. It is important for our organization. We are proud to honor Nikolas Tsakos, who is a pillar of the European business community and we are especially happy that he is with us tonight,” HACC President Athas Ioannou told The National Herald.

At the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce 71st Person of the Year Gala at the Rainbow Room in New York, honoree Nikolas P. Tsakos and his wife, fashion designer Celia Kritharioti. (Photo: HACC/ Brittainy Newman)

The main program, coordinated by John Stratakis, began with a greeting from Ioannou and HACC Chairman of the Board of Directors Clay Maitland, while the presentation of the honoree followed by Capital Link President Nicolas Bornozis and American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) President Christopher Wiernicki. Both spoke of the business course and acumen of Nikolas Tsakos in shipping, with Bornozis noting, among other things, their mutual acquaintance and collaboration, which goes back decades earlier.

For his part, Tsakos, in his own remarks, referred to his firm belief in the American Dream, but also to his relationship with the Greek diaspora, which, due to his relationship with New York, considers himself to be a member of it.

The Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce (HACC) honored Dr. Nikolas Tsakos, the Founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Tsakos Energy Navigation (TEN), as its Person of the Year at the 71st Award Gala which took place at the Rainbow Room in Manhattan on March 24. (Photo: HACC/ Brittainy Newman)
Left to right: Nancy Papaioannou, Ambassador of Greece to the U.S. Alexandra Papadopoulou, honoree Nikolas P. Tsakos, Maria Kazana, and Permanent Representative of Greece to the UN Ambassador Evangelos Sekeris. (Photo: HACC/ Brittainy Newman)

“I am very moved. It is a nice moment for me, as I also feel Greek-American. I came here at a very young age, I grew up with the so-called American Dream and it is a great pleasure to receive this honor from the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce. I am impressed by the turnout. I think that there is a thirst among the Greeks of the Diaspora to come together for the good of the motherland,” he told TNH immediately after receiving the award from HACC President Ioannou.

At the same time, Tsakos also spoke about the challenges with which the current decade began, where, in addition to the pandemic and its multiple effects in all sectors worldwide, the Russian invasion of Ukraine followed, which overturned situations in the energy sector and on the geopolitical level, directly affecting shipping as well.

“For the last three years, when 2019 ended, we were saying that a much quieter decade was beginning. The exact opposite happens. We accept repeated challenges every year. The war after the pandemic is a second challenge which we face both as a company and as a shipping company as best we can,” he noted.

The Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce (HACC) Board with honoree Dr. Nikolas Tsakos, the Founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Tsakos Energy Navigation (TEN), at the 71st Award Gala which took place at the Rainbow Room in Manhattan on March 24. (Photo: HACC/ Brittainy Newman)

Ambassador of Greece to the U.S. Alexandra Papadopoulou, Permanent Representative of Greece to the UN Ambassador Evangelos Sekeris, Consul General of Greece in New York Dinos Konstantinou, Consulate General of Greece in New York Department of Economic and Commercial Affairs Head Nikos Thomopoulos, Alma Bank Senior Advisor and HACC Advisory Board Co-Chair Nancy Papaioannou, TNH co-publisher/co-editor Eraklis Diamataris, GAEPIS Foundation President Stelios Taketzis, Hellenic Medical Society of New York President Dr. Antonios Gasparis, Hellenic Lawyers Association President George Zapantis, Rhode Island State Senator Leonidas Raptakis, famous fashion designer and wife of the honoree Celia Kritharioti, Greek Public Diplomacy Office Head Mary Vaxevanidou, Nikitas Drakotos, and Ernie Anastos.

Among those present at the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce 71st Person of the Year Gala at the Rainbow Room in New York, Nikitas Drakotos and Ernie Anastos. (Photo: HACC/ Brittainy Newman)

The event was organized by HACC Executive Director Alexandra Mitsakis.

The evening continued with a performance by the popular Greek singer Kostis Maraveyas, who was enthusiastically received by the attendees. Singer Kalomira Sarantis also performed at the event.

Popular Greek singer Kostis Maraveyas performed at the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce 71st Person of the Year Gala at the Rainbow Room in New York. (Photo: HACC/ Brittainy Newman)

Maraveyas was present with his wife, actress Tonia Sotiropoulou, ahead of his concerts in New York and Boston.

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