Press Release – November 10th, 2014

New York – The Association of Greek American Professional Women (A.G.A.P.W.) would like to express the deepest gratitude to our Honoree Judge Emerita Harriet Pavles George; moderator Ms. Maria Markou, Esq.; Master of Ceremonies Ms. Konstantina Koulosousas Spatola, Esq.; Deputy Rep. of Greece to the UN, Ambassador Nafsika Vraila; Ms. Georgia Tasiopoulou Koubarakis; Hon. Judge Nicholas Tsoucalas; Father Konstantinos Kalogridis and all the distinguished guests; the host Press and Communication Counselor, Mr. Nikolaos Papaconstnatinou; Press Office of the Permanent Mission of Greece to the UN; the sponsors, and all who contributed toward making possible the great success of AGAPW’s Conversation with Women Leaders, Honoring Judge Harriet Pavles George with a Distinguished Life Achievement Award.

Honorable Judge Harriet Pavles George was born and raised in Queens County, New York, where she continues to reside today. She was born to Philip H. Pavles, a Greek from Cyprus, and Nelia Sommese Pavles, an American of Italian descent.

Judge George received her primary education at P.S. 156, Laurelton, New York, Valedictorian. She graduated High School of Music and Art and received her BA at Hofstra College (now University), where she completed a four years program in two and a half years. She studied law at Fordham, where she was on the Dean’s List and received a Doctor of Law Degree.

Judge George’s professional achievements include: Private practice in Queens County for 20 years; Judge of the Housing Part of Civil Court for 20 years, in both Manhattan, where she handled all cases brought by the City against slumlords, as well as in Queens, where she handled city cases as well as cases brought by both owners and renters. Judge George has served as President of the Queens County Women’s Bar Association and The Housing Court Judges Association. She has been a long standing member of the Queens County Bar Association, Queens County Women’s Bar Association, Columbian Lawyers Association (Italian American Bar), and the Hellenic American Lawyers Association.

Judge George has served as an active member in many Religious, Civic and Philanthropic Organizations: Past Board member, National Philoptochos, St. Michael’s Home; Chair of Cyprus Relief Fund of St. Demetrios Church, (where she helped to raise $20,000.00 after the invasion in 1974; Parish Council, St. Demetrios Church, Jamaica, N.Y.; Mr. and Mrs. Club of Saint Demetrios Church, Jamaica, N.Y.; Cyprus Children’s Fund; Neighborhood Chairman, Girl Scouts, Den Mother; past President Hellenic Parents Teachers Association of St.Demetrios Church, Jamaica; Present Board member of Hellenic Women’s Club of the North Shore, Forest Hills Women’s Club and Philoptochos Society of St. Demetrios Church Jamaica, N.Y.; member of the Pancyprian Association; past president and member of the Women’s Club of Jamaica Estates.

Judge George has also served as Republican State Committeewoman and Co-Leader of the 21st Assembly District, Queens. She is Founder and past President of the Women’s Republican Club of Queens County, and Counsel to State Senator Frank Padavan, 11th Senatorial District.

Judge George was married for 60 years to Norman George, a lawyer and a Judge of the Court of Claims of the State of New York and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, Kings County, now deceased. Together with her husband they raised six children, three daughters and three sons, two of whom, Ken and Harry are lawyers continuing the family connection with the law for four generations, and Norma (Kay), Diana, Elizabeth and Christopher. She is a happy grandmother to thirteen grandchildren and two great- grandsons.

The program opened with the Master of Ceremonies, Ms. Konstantina Koulosousas Spatola, Esq. warmly welcoming the distinguished guests. President and Founder of AGAPW Dr. Olga Alexakos thanked the guests and presented a brief overview of the organization’s mission and programs. Press and Communication Counselor Mr. Nikoalaos Papaconstantinou, welcomed the guests to the Press Office of the Permanent Mission of Greece to the UN. Father Konstantinos Kalogridis of Saint Demetrios Church, Jamaica, NY offered a blessing.

Following the presentation of the Distinguished Life Achievement Award to Hon. Judge Emerita Harriet Pavles George by the Officers and Directors of AGAPW, Judge George participated in a captivating and insightful discussion moderated by Ms. Maria Markou, Esq.. The discussion commenced with Judge George narrating to the audience great stories about her powerful connection to Hellenism and how being a Hellene influenced her personal life and career. She shared with us her strongest strengths and major influences, noting that her greatest accomplishment is her wonderful family of six talented children, thirteen grandchildren and two great grandchildren. It should be noted that four of her children were present at the event and were really touched by their mother’s narratives. Judge George also recollected memories from the time she was studying at Hofstra and Fordham Universities. As an active philanthropist and a trailblazing leader, she spoke about her interests, and besides career-related, also volunteer activities that she has pursued throughout her life. Moreover, based on her extensive experience as a Judge in New York City, she underlined the obstacles in the practice of justice and she expressed the pros and cons of serving at the bench as compared to practicing law. The discussion concluded with Judge George offering her invaluable advice to professional women and especially the young professionals and encouraging them to escape from the dilemma of pursuing a career or becoming a mother. Judge George has demonstrated to all of us indisputably that a professional woman can successfully balance a demanding career with a wonderful family life.

A reception featuring Greek wine and delicious Greek mezedes generously provided by the Blue Olive Market followed the discussion.

A special thank you to the Sponsors of this event: Hellenic Lawyers Association; Blue Olive Market; Maria Tolios photography; Michael Giakoummelos video; Ωmega Wines; George Balafoutis; Nicholas and Alexandra Colombos; Nikitas and Maria Drakotos; Freda Holevas-Mindlin.

For further information about this event and the Women Leaders Series, please contact Dr. Olga Alexakos at 917-405-6833 or

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