Press Release – May 29th, 2015
New York – The Association of Greek American Professional Women (A.G.A.P.W.) would like to express the deepest gratitude to our Honorees, Mrs. Anthoussa Diakopoulou-Iliopoulou, the President of the National Philoptochos Society, Ms. Maria Logus, and Mrs. Lila Prunis; Consul-General of Greece in New York, Ambassador Georgios Iliopoulos; Consul of Greece in New York, Ambassador Manolis Koubarakis; Honorable Judge Harriet George; Executive Director Leadership 100, Paulette Poulos; President of the Cathedral Philoptochos, Ms. Catherine Moutoussis; the Press and Communications Counselor of Greece to the UN, Mr. Nikolaos Papaconstantinou and his wife, Mrs. Marina Papaconstantinou; all the distinguished guests, the sponsors, and all who contributed toward making possible the great success of A.G.A.P.W.’s Annual May celebration, Acknowledging the Contributions of the Mothers of the Greek Diaspora.
This year’s theme was “Mothers to the Community: Greek American Women’s Contribution to Philanthropy, and Civic Education.”
The event was held on May 26th at the stylish Coco-Mat Showroom, (49 Mercer Street, New York, NY 10013).
AGAPW presented the honorees: Mrs. Anthoussa Diakopoulou-Iliopoulou, The National Philoptochos Society – represented by its President, Ms. Maria Logus, Esq., and Mrs. Lila Prounis with commemorative plaques acknowledging their contributions to the community.
Anthoussa Diakopoulou-Iliopoulou was born in Athens. She studied History at Deree College, The American College of Greece. Upon completion of her Master Degree on Balkan History at SSEES – University of London, she conducted research at King’s College – University of London on Women’s Education in Greece. She has taught history at Deree College and the University of Helsinki. She has organized seminars on Greek history, culture and language in Helsinki, Cape Town, Copenhagen, and Athens. She is married to the Consul General of Greece in New York, Ambassador Georgios Iliopoulos. They have two children.
His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, announced the appointment of Maria Logus, Esq. of New York as the new National Philoptochos President at the inaugural meeting of the 2014-2016 National Philoptochos Board held on October 17, 2014 in New York City. Archbishop Demetrios praised Miss Logus for her commitment and service to Philoptochos and the Church. National President Maria Logus is a lifelong resident of the New York City borough of Brooklyn and parishioner at Kimisis Tis Theotokou Church. She is currently a lawyer for the New York State Unified Court System, and has had three decades of legal experience. She studied at New York University and Brooklyn Law School. She joined Philoptochos at age 18, following in the footsteps of her grandmother, and her mother, who held several positions in the organization. In 1986, Archbishop Iakovos of North and South America of blessed memory appointed Miss Logus to the Philoptochos National Board in the role of Parliamentarian. Multiple leadership roles followed, including Chair for two National Conventions and First Vice President under Presidents Mimi Skandalakis, Eve Condakes, and Georgia Skeadas. She was President of the Board of Saint Basil Academy for several years and served on the boards of Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology and St. Michael’s Home. Her paternal grandparents hail from Constantinople and her maternal grandparents are from the island Limnos. On accepting the appointment and the charge of Archbishop Demetrios, President Logus states: “Our National Board is blessed with a dynamic group of women. I look forward to working with all of them to advance the values and the mission of the Philoptochos Society. We will embrace new members as we continue to give honor to our founders.”
Lila Prounis, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese’s representative to the United Nations, Mrs. Prunis was elected to the Hunter College Hall of Fame on April 25, 2014. The Hall of Fame established in 1972 commemorates Hunter’s accomplished Alumni. Each year the Alumni Association of Hunter College selects and honors graduates who have distinguished themselves in a variety of fields and services. Mrs. Prounis received her BA Degree in Political Science from Hunter College and her MA Degree in International Law and Relations from Columbia University. She was a Program Officer under the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. information Agency. Her program, Merlin, The Storyteller, which drew thousands of listeners in South Asia won the Ohio State University Award for Excellence in Radio. Mrs. Prounis was one of the first six women elected to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Council and has been its UN Representative since 1979. She received the Medal of Freedom from the Greek Government and the Recognition Award for Distinguished Service from the Council of Churches of the City of New York. She was President of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Philoptochos (Friends of the Poor) from 1968 to 1972. She also served as a Board member and Treasurer of the National Philoptochos Society. Mrs. Prounis was President of the Women’s National Republican Club for nine years from 1991 to 2000, an organization which was founded by the suffragists. At the Cosmopolitan Club Mrs. Prounis was Chairman of the International Committee from 2009 to 2011.
The program opened with Dr. Olga Alexakos, the President and Founder of AGAPW, who warmly welcomed and thanked the distinguished speakers and guests. Subsequently, Evgenia Soldatos, Esq., the Secretary of AGAPW, introduced the honorees, who were selected both to receive honors and to speak on the Greek-American women, who through their volunteerism, humanitarian and charitable work become mothers to the community. Firstly, Ms. Logus focused on Philoptochos’s activities, emphasizing their efforts to feed the homeless. She acknowledged the presence of Catherine Moutousis, President of Cathedral Philoptochos. After explaining thoroughly the honorable work of Philoptochos, she stated that: “we are professionals now, doctors, lawyers, educators…but we are also the community’s mothers, working to make a difference in the lives of others.” Afterwards, Ms. Prunis remarked that her parents taught her to always endeavor for distinction, and after attaining the Ohio State University (OSU) Award for Excellence in Radio, they eventually acquired the deference and appreciation of their fellows. Subsequently, Mrs. Iliopoulou made a wonderful presentation about the unrecognized role of women in the community’s history. She firstly mentioned that: “Women have participated in and contributed greatly to the success story of Greeks in America”. Based on her personal experiences, she stated that she has also lived the challenge of inspiring the values and beliefs of Hellenism in her children as they are far from their mother country. Mrs. Iliopoulou referred to studies that illustrated that in places where the women did not follow the men, the Hellenic presence declined. Apart from this, she highlighted that the mothers performed the most remarkable role in passing on cultural self-respect to the children of migrants growing up in America at a time when diversity was either not appraised or openly criticized. Concluding the ceremony, Dr. Alexakos thanked the honorees, sponsors and guests and encouraged them to make new friends during the reception that followed.
We would like to express our deep gratitude and appreciation to the Sponsors of our Mothers of the Greek Diaspora celebration:
Our special thanks to: Coco-Mat for the great hospitality; Eklektikon for the exquisite organic Greek wines; Calliope Charalambous Krief of Calliope’s Real Greek Food, Loumidis Foods and Pi Bakerie for delicious Greek cuisine samplings and refreshments.
Our special thanks to: Ms. Alexandra Koumba, Dr. Aphrodite Navab, Ms. Sotia Alimonos, Ms. Ioanna Karatzaferi, Dr. Maria Kaliambou, and Eklektikon for donating items for raffles and auction to benefit AGAPW.
A special thanks to Photographer Maria Tolios of Tolios Photography for her complimentary photography services.
For further information about the Annual May celebration acknowledging the Mothers of the Greek Diaspora and the mission of The Association of Greek American Professional Women, please contact Dr. Olga Alexakos at 917-405-6833 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please visit us at www.agapw.org.