ATHENS – One by one in-person events are returning around the world, some focusing on hopes for the future, others – like the Who is Who International Awards held in the Athens suburb of Vouliagmeni on September 30 – are opportunities to express appreciation for the contributions of entrepreneurs and philanthropists that preceded the pandemic.
New York’s Lou Katsos, distinguished builder and developer and Greek-American community leader, was among the honorees. He thanked the organizers and congratulated the other winners via video presentation, and the award – an impressive marble statuette apropos of the marble crown of the dome of the soon-to-be-completed St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine that was donated by Katsos – was received by his friend, Greek-American entrepreneur Kostas Drougos.
The outdoor event with the theme ‘Greece, a whole world’ was billed as “a brilliant Gala Dinner” in the “idyllic environment of Lake Vouliagmeni” featuring “World Eminent Men and World Women Leaders.” It was indeed a delightful affair, held under the auspices of the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Development & Investment, the Ministry of Tourism, the Attica Region, and the GNTO.
The men and women were awarded for their work and contributions in five categories – Institution, Entrepreneurship, Science, Arts, Academy, and Social Responsibility – and who, according to Who’s Who, “were distinguished for their social consciousness and constant contribution to fellow human beings.”
Katsos, who is President of Jekmar Associates Inc. and Founder and President of EMBCA, said of the award, “I am humbled by it… Having been born in Greece in the Lacedaimonian Taygetos mountains of Sparta and coming to the U.S. as an immigrant at an early age in the post-Civil War era I had been fortunate in my life. Fortunate to have had the opportunity at an early age to be involved in major ground up projects in the New York Metropolitan area… and to have collaborated with some of the largest developers, and world famous architects and engineers in the world.”
He noted that, “I owe it to many things, including education and having had mentors along the way who have helped and encouraged me, and that is why I have been passionate about education, mentorship, and philanthropic activities around those and other areas.”
He emphasized the importance of successful people serving as role models to the youth of the world, who “are facing many challenges today. It is important to give them the hope that with education, mentorship, and opportunities that they also can accomplish great things.”
Drougos added that Katsos is a “noted educator and lecturer… for almost 30 years as an Adjunct Asst. Professor both at New York University and at the Chanin School of Architecture at Cooper Union.” He then invited guests to follow EMBCA's regular programs on Hellenism, including Doing Business in Greece, its Hellenic Energy Independence series, and the soon to be announced Hellenic Diaspora Dialogues on its YouTube channel at www.embca.com
The honorees included Archduchess of Austria – Princess of Tuscany HIRH Herta Margarete, who is President of the Flame of Peace and is internationally known for her work for world Peace and Environmental Protection, Omiros Sarikas, Managing Partner Brookstreet Equity Partners LLP and Liveryman for the City of London, and in abstentia actor Zane Billy (Tzanetakos Vassilis).
The charming presenters were journalist Maria Nikoltsiou and actor Renos Haralambidis, and the entertainment was headlined by tenor Evangelos Giamouris.
When the Archduchess received her award, she in turn presented an honorary plaque to the President of Who’s Who Greece Dimitrios Goris and Vice President Vicky Papageorgopoulou, who were applauded for the well-presented event.