15th Annual Lloyd's List
Greek Shipping Awards 


ATHENS – Held at the Athenaeum InterContinental Hotel, the 15th annual Lloyd’s List Greek Shipping Awards were attended by over 1,100 Greek and international shipping personalities.


Organized by Lloyd’s List, the international maritime newspaper established in 1734, the Greek Shipping Awards honored the brightest performers for 2018, including some of the industry’s best-known personalities and companies, during a program that reflected the shipping industry’s current need to prepare for a new era of lower greenhouse gas emissions and new fuels.


Intercargo chairman John Platsidakis was named Greek Shipping Personality of the Year for 2018 and Simos Palios was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award, while Angeliki Frangou and Paris Kassidokostas-Latsis were among award winners.


The 2018 Greek Shipping Awards event was co-hosted by award-winning ERT broadcaster Andriana Paraskevopoulou together with Lloyd’s List correspondent in Greece Nigel Lowry.


WORDS: Portes Magazine

PHOTOS: Greek Shipping Awards


Saint Sophia Philoptochos Hosts Debutante  


LOS ANGELES -  The 53rd Saint Sophia Philoptochos Debutante Presentation Ball was a glamorous affair that took place at the elegant Beverly Wilshire Hotel, steps away from the world famous Rodeo Dr. in Beverly Hills, CA.

Nineteen beautiful, intelligent and talented young women from six parishes throughout Southern California were presented. These young ladies have devoted their time to worthwhile charities and solicited funds to support Philoptochos’ many worthy causes, such as St.Basil Academy, IOOC and Kids-n-Cancer-Camp Agape.

They were welcomed by Debutante Ball Chair Georgia N Kezios and by Master of Ceremonies Perry Lambert who encourage them to embrace their dreams and carry forward with their aspirations. Debutante Ball Chair Georgia N. Kezios and Debutante Chairs Jeanine Dalis Klima and Antonia Klima along with a dedicated ball committee devoted many hours over the last year to prepare for the Ball and the result was a memorable event for the more than 500 in attendance.

The Debutante Presentation was beautifully choreographed by Tanya Grafos and Zoe Vidalakis of the Pasadena Civic Ballet, while entertainment was provided by the Gus Pappelis Orchestra and the Olympians.

The bi-annual event is one of St. Sophia Philoptochos’ most successful fundraisers, but Ball Chair Kezios added that “It is also an event where we come together to celebrate the young women of our community and empower them to use their leadership and talent to influence the future.”


WORDS: Vasilis Papoutsis

PHOTOS: Gina Chiaramonte


United Greek Americans Celebrate the Holidays


NEW YORK – The United Greek Americans celebrated the holidays in Times Square during a weekend that included a Friday Greek night featuring Giannis Sofillas live at Proper West, and the 3rd Annual Red Party at McGettigan’s in the neighborhood of Midtown.

UGA was launched a decade ago by Deano Kastis, “as a way for our ‘parea’ to get together,” he said.  Today, the group’s mission is to bring together Greeks in the U.S. and Canada under one roof for socializing three times a year with Christmas in New York, Memorial Day Weekend in Clearwater Beach, and Labor Day Weekend in Chicago. 


Aside from serving as a large get-together and party scene, UGA offers academic scholarships to students of Hellenic descent studying in the U.S. The Eva Dossa Hellenic Scholarship is granted to students in honor of Kastis’ grandmother.


WORDS: Portes Magazine

PHOTOS: G J Beck Photography


Annunciation Church Celebrates: Mistletoe Gala 


NEW YORK - Over 620 members of the Greek-American community gathered for a night of holiday cheer at the Harvard Club of New York City in support of Manhattan’s historic Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church. A combination of the Stewardship and Mistletoe Galas, the event catered to church stewards and young professionals alike, celebrating its most successful year thus far.

Among those showing their support were numerous young professionals, and members of parish youth groups and other organizations promoting Hellenism, including past campers and counselors of Ionian Village, and members of the National Hellenic Student Association, Ariston Foundation and the National Hellenic Society, among others.

“We must make our young professionals feel relevant in the Church. We have to stop saying they are the ‘future’ of the Church, but instead make them part of the ‘present’ Church,” said Rev. Archimandrite Chrysostomos Gilbert, who coordinates the Annunciation Young Professionals Ministry.

Other notable attendees included Archdiocesan Council Vice-Chairman George Tsandikos, Leadership 100 Executive Director Paulette Poulos, Annunciation Parish Council President Dr. John P. Getsos, Director of Ionian Village Reverend Father Evagoras Constantinides and Consul General of Greece Trade Commissioner Georgios Michailidis.


The parish celebrated its 125th year anniversary last year, honoring His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Geron of America, who celebrated 50 years in the Episcopal ministry.


WORDS: Portes Magazine

PHOTOS: Sophia PAV Photography


Ethelon Hosts 2nd Annual 

Kindness Revolution 


ATHENS - Combining art and volunteerism, ethelon hosted its second annual Kindness Revolution in celebration of the United Nation’s International Volunteer Day in December. Over 100 people in Athens and Thessaloniki took part in 12 different volunteer initiatives as part of the day-long programing with a focus on the arts.

Volunteers in Athens first gathered at The Cube Athens to chose which projects they wished to complete throughout the city. Some volunteers chose to express themselves through music, and volunteered with the group Οι Άγγελοι της Χαράς, to engage with retirees and older adults. Others performed choreographed dances with The Kyma Project, or sang while expressing the words in sign language to make the fun and music accessible to everyone.


Some volunteers took to the streets of Athens instead and documented moments of kindness in everyday life through photography and video, with similar activities taking place at the same time in Thessaloniki.

At the end of the day-long program, volunteers and participants left with their own unique understanding of the value of volunteerism, having chosen their own artistic mechanism through which they could impart a sense of community and belonging to those around them.


The Kindness Revolution is just one of the many volunteer-based programs ethelon provides as part of the non-for-profit organization’s mission is to develop and promote volunteerism in Greece.


WORDS: Portes Magazine

PHOTOS: Ethelon


National Hellenic Museum Celebrates: Greek Kouzina 


CHICAGO - The National Hellenic Museum hosted its annual Kouzina event in November, bringing together some of the city’s most esteemed chefs to serve up delicious sweet and savory dishes with “a twist on the classics.”

Chef Peter Kappos, at Greektown’s famous Greek Islands Restaurant for 36 years, entertained guests’ tastebuds with very season appropriate pumpkin flutes. Chef Larry Feldmeier of The Albert created a delectable dish featuring braised lamb shoulder with sprouted lentils, harissa and orange, while Taxim Restaurant owner and chef David Schneider served homemade Greek yogurt with traditional spoon sweets. Chef John Gatsos, who has been with the famous Tavern on Rush for 16 years, paid tribute to his grandmother with traditional domlades and avgolemono sauce, sprinkled with edible flowers.


Featured chefs and restaurants this year were Louie Alexakis (Avli Estatorio), George Bournas (Psistaria), Sophie Evanoff (Vanille Patisserie), Larry Feldmeier (The Albert), John Gatsos (Tavern on Rush), Mark Grimes (Che Figata), Nate Henssler (Portsmith), Peter Kappos (Greek Islands Restaurant), Tom Leo (Grecian Delight Foods) Jorgina Pereira (Sinha Elegant Cuisine), Alain Roby (All Chocolate Kitchen), David Schneider (Taxim), Adam Tanner (CityGate Grille), and Elizabeth J. Tokarczyk (Inspired Catering).


The evening included an open bar, wine tasting, special dishes and desserts, music, and a take-home calendar filled with recipes for the dishes served by chefs that night. Proceeds from the event benefit the National Hellenic Museum’s various exhibits and programs.


WORDS: Portes Magazine

PHOTOS: Stephen Green | National Hellenic Museum


National Hellenic Student Association 20th Convention


NEW YORK - The National Hellenic Student Association (NHSA) of America held its 20th Convention October 12th - 14th in the heart of New York City during a weekend of professional development, presentations, networking and socializing.

Over 100 students, young professionals, mentors and industry experts attended the event, which featured speakers and moderators including WCBS’s John Metaxas, CEO of American Network Solutions Philip Christopher, Consul General of Greece in New York Konstantinos Koutras, Ambassador Loucas Tsilas, and Associate Director of Immunity & Inflammation at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals,  

Dr. Dimitris Skokos.

“One of the most important tasks in science is cross-functional interaction. Collecting brilliant minds to work together. It is a simple formula. We all work together, or we all fail together,” Skokos said.

Saturday’s conference took place at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP in Times Square, hosted by Skadden Associate Harry Koulos. The event was emceed by Portes Magazine Editor Anthe Mitrakos and Project Manager at Epic, Yannis Metaxas. 


NHSA Convention sponsors Nikolas Smyrlakis of Roots Spirits and Yannis Varellas Ouzounopoulos of Olyra Foods, as well as The Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce and the National Hellenic Society, also presented. 

“ matter what you’ve studied or practiced or worked on, what country you were born in or move to, don’t forget to be compassionate, curious, and courageous,” NHSA President Alexander Thomopoulos said.

The 20th NHSA Convention included a meet and greet night, conference, mentor luncheon, Greek night and tour of New York City.


WORDS: Portes Magazine

PHOTOS: Portes Magazine | National Hellenic Student Association 


Hellenic Bar Association Celebrates 68thAnniversary

CHICAGO - The Hellenic Bar Association of Illinois (HBA) this year awarded a total of $70,000 in scholarships to seven deserving students pursuing an education in the field of law at its annual scholarship ball at the JW Marriott Hotel in the Chicago Loop, October 7th. A first in the history of the HBA, the $5,000 individual scholarships were doubled with a generous matching grant by the John C. Kulis Charitable Foundation.


TV and radio personality Marianne Murciano served as mistress of ceremonies and opened the night, followed by an invocation prayer by the Reverend Father Constantine Aliferakis of St. George Greek Orthodox Church, and words by HBA President Maria Vathis.


This year’s HBA Hellene of the Year Award went to First Assistant United States Attorney John C. Kocoras, while E. Angelo Spyratos was named Lawyer of the Year. Attorney and children’s book author Nick Katsoris, and Management Director at Midwest Region RMB Capital, Dimitri P. Eliopoulos, were named 2018 honorees.


HBA Scholarship Committee Chairs Frank Andreou and Efie Vainikos presented the HBA Law Student Scholarships to Christina Karahalios (Chicago Kent College of Law), Anna Karnaze (Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law), Mary Fay Karras  (Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law), Basile Manikas (Loyola University School of Law), Vasiliki Mitrakos (Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law), Regina Vassilopoulos (Chicago Kent College of Law), and Sophia Vatougios (DePaul University College of Law).


WORDS: Portes Magazine

PHOTOS: Portes Magazine | Demetri Eliopoulos - Elios Photography 


Saronida Beach Clean Up


SARONIDA - The National Hellenic Student Association (NHSA) of North America, with sponsorship by The Hellenic Initiative, and in collaboration with ethelon and iSea conducted their inaugural day-long Beach Clean Up at Saronida Beach in July. 


With over 50 volunteers, the Beach Clean Up resulted in 792 lbs of trash, including recyclable items, being removed from the coast line, which was then sorted and analyzed by iSea.


Divers from Poseidon Club Dive Center also assisted in the removal of trash from inside the water. Volunteers from across the U.S. and Greece were joined by Saronikos Young Volunteers in Action, and individuals from the Municipality of Saronida, joined the volunteers from NHSA, ethelon, and iSea.


As a parting gift, and in line with the message of sustainability and environmental consciousness, NHSA provided all participants with a toothbrush constructed from bamboo by BeMyFlower, a sustainable Greece-based company. 


WORDS + PHOTOS: Portes Magazine


PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation Awards Gala

CHICAGO - The PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation (PHSF) awarded $260,000 in scholarships to 45 students of Hellenic descent pursuing a higher education in the U.S. at its annual gala held at the Hilton Chicago in June. 

Recipient of this year’s Paradigm Award was former White House Chief of Staff for President Donald Trump, Reinhold Richard "Reince" Priebus. “As the world around us changes rapidly and brings us new and complicated challenges, faith is what keeps us centered, education is what prepares us, and history is what already provides a blueprint,” Priebus said. 

Some 550 guests attended the black tie event, which included two cocktail receptions, an awards ceremony, dinner, live entertainment, $10,000 grand prize raffle, and an after party. Mistress and master of ceremonies were TV personalities and PHSF alumni Trish Christakes and Pete Zervakis.

Launched in 2002 by the late businessman and philanthropist Chris P. Tomaras, the PHSF gala celebrates the academic and business achievements of students and professionals of Hellenic descent.


WORDS: Portes Magazine

PHOTOS: Sofia Spentzas – Spiral Art Design


The Hellenic Initiative 

Mentor Luncheon 

CHICAGO - The Hellenic Initiative, in partnership with the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation sponsored an exclusive Mentorship Luncheon at The Racquet Club of Chicago in June. His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael of Chicago was keynote speaker.

Mentors included Nicholas W. Alexos, EVP & Chief Financial Officer at Dentsply Sorona & Board Member of The Hellenic Initiative; Michael Konidaris, Senior Economic Analyst at Macroeconomic Advisers, LLC; Stephen J. Livaditis, Managing Director at Eastdil Secured LLC; Doretta Mistras, Managing Director at Goldman Sachs; Dr. Tim S. Provias, Cardiologist at Northwestern Hospital; Evonne Sepsis, Managing Director at ESC Advisors; Dr. Georgia Giakoumis Spear, Chief, Department of Breast Imaging at NorthShore University HealthSystem; Dr. Maria Spiropulu, Experimental Physicist at the California Institute of Technology; Gregory Tsonis Esq., Litigation Associate at Kirkland & Ellis; Eric Vassilatos, Co-Founder of Vivid Seats; and John Zavitsanos Esq., Partner at AZA.


WORDS: Portes Magazine

PHOTOS:  Dimitri Eliopoulos - Elios Photography


The Hellenic Initiative 

Venture Fair 

ATHENS - Now in its fourth year, The Hellenic Initiative (THI) Venture Fair offered the chance for 10 vetted startup companies to pitch their ideas before a panel of judges, competing for seed funding prizes. The event was held at the Hilton Athens in July. 

The 10 competing startups included Olyra, which produces all natural snacks with traditional grains; Kalepso, an end-to-end encrypted cloud database system; B2B Wave, an ecommerce ordering and catalog solution for wholesale distributors and manufacturers; Nantech, an integrated IT solutions developer in the financial institutions market; Quantimetrica, a voice recognition software and hardware developer;  Pobuca, a business contacts organizational tool developer; Sentio Solutions, an artificial emotional intelligence wristband developer; Think Silicon, a graphics solution for cost sensitive/battery-powered products, which won the $4,000 third prize; PD Neurotechnology, which focuses on dosage devices and optimal timing for Parkinson’s patients, and won the $6,000 third place prize; and Viral Loops, an incentivized marketing service, which won this year’s grand prize of $10,000.

The event closed with remarks from THI Chair, George Stamas and THI Chairman Andrew Liveris, while THI Executive Director and Venture Fair Emcee Mark Arey, THI Director of Development Peter Poulos and THI Project Manager Michael Printzos were also in attendance.

The following morning, THI hosted its inaugural Diaspora Summit at the Gennadius Library, with a panel discussion on the role of Diaspora Greeks in building stronger connections and investing heavily in the country. 


"With THI representatives from the U.S., Australia, Canada and the U.K. in attendance, we knew that it would be a good opportunity to get all of us in the same room at the same time to discuss how we can work together more efficiently and with more impact," Poulos said. 


THI works to mobilize the Greek Diaspora and Philhellenes around the globe to invest in the future of Greece. 


WORDS: Portes Magazine

PHOTOS: The Hellenic Initiative


Posidonia International 

Shipping Exhibition 

ATHENS - Celebrating its 50th year, the Posidonia International Shipping Exhibition brought together international transportation and maritime experts for networking in Greece. Held in June, the five-day event includes an international exhibitors show, industry panel discussions, seminars and technical workshops, as well as a number of sports games including the Posidonia Cup Sailing Regatta, the Posidonia Shipsoccer Tournament, the Posidonia Golf Tournament and the Posidonia 5k Run.


“The list of new business deals goes on and on as multi-million dollar deals on the Posidonia Exhibition floor is the norm, being the most eagerly awaited trade event in the biennial shipping calendar. This year, on our 50 year anniversary, we have witnessed a tremendous response from the global shipping community whose presence and activity helped us deliver the most dynamic Posidonia ever,” says Theodore Vokos, Executive Director, Posidonia Exhibitions S.A

This year, over 2,000 exhibitors participated, while some 23,500 visitors attended, representing 92 countries. ​The Posidonia Exhibition pays tribute to the steady growth of the Greek merchant marine fleet, which today accounts for 20 percent of the global, and 50 percent of Europe’s dwt capacity.


WORDS: Portes Magazine
PHOTOS: Posidonia International Exhibition


National Hellenic Museum Annual Gala 

CHICAGO - Over 500 Greek-Americans and friends gathered in support of Hellenic culture at the annual National Hellenic Museum (NHM) Gala in May. Held at the Chicago Marriott Magnificent Mile, the evening celebrated the many diverse threads of the Hellenic experience, alluding to the rich tapestry of Hellenism, with the theme “Connecting Generations.”


The event helped raise over $800,000 for the museum’s various cultural programs including exhibits, classes, field trips and tours. Recipients of the inaugural Alec K. and Viena P. Gianaras Philanthropy Award recognizing donors demonstrating commitment to the NHM and philanthropy, were the Gianaras family and Frank S. Kamberos.

Master of Ceremonies was WGN-TV Emmy Award-winning entertainment reporter Dean Richards, while a dinner and a live auction followed words by His Eminence Metropolitan Nathaniel of Chicago and NHM President Dr. Laura Calamos.


WORDS: Portes Magazine

PHOTOS: Elios Photography


East Med Yacht Show

ATHENS - Held at Marina Zea in March, the 17th East Med Yacht Show dazzled guests with a display of motor yachts, sailing yachts, catamarans and bareboats. The event aims to promote quality sea tourism, upgrade services offered by pleasure boats, improve Greece’s position on the global tourism market, establish the port city of Piraeus as an international tourism destination, launch partnerships with foreign institutions and expand cooperation with other Greek stakeholders active in tourism. 


The East Med Yacht Show this year was planned by Trinity Events & Trinity Travel, with the support and organization of the Hellenic Professional Yacht Owners Association (EPEST), the Hellenic Yacht Brokers Association (HYBA), the Hellenic Association of Travel & Tourist Agencies (HATTA) and the Greek Professional Yacht Owners Bareboat Association (SITESAP).


WORDS: Portes Magazine

PHOTOS: East Med Yacht Show

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*Portes Magazine is a digital & print publication celebrating Greece. It is a collection of words & images highlighting select destinations, tastes, art, history, design, ecology & more. The publication features interviews with inspirational people. Proceeds from subscriptions benefit merit scholarships & cultural projects.