AHEPA’s Centennial Grand Banquet, complete with a Disney-inspired 100-year anniversary cake, did not disappoint.
The recipient of the 2022 AHEPA Socrates Award, Panos Panay (pictured above, middle), who is the chief product officer for Microsoft, delivered an inspirational acceptance speech that visibly moved the audience. He remarked, “But in the words of Shakespeare, ‘what’s in a name?’ It turns out, not much. What matters is what is in the heart. The mind. The soul.”
Guest speakers included U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, who co-chairs the Congressional Hellenic Caucus, Greece’s Minister of National Defense Nikos Panagiotopoulos, and His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros, who remarked, “You should take such great pride in the founding principles of this sacred brotherhood; for you uphold the traditions of what is best in Hellas, and what is best in America.”
Ambassador of Greece to the U.S. Alexandra Papadopoulos, Ambassador of Cyprus to the U.S. Marios Lysiotis, and Leadership 100 Executive Director Paulette Poulos delivered congratulatory remarks.
Special thanks to Mike Emanuel, Fox News Chief Washington correspondent, who served as the banquet program’s master of ceremonies.
Supreme President Jimmy Kokotas delivered a passionate response. Then-Daughters of Penelope Grand President Kathy Bizoukas, then-Sons of Pericles Supreme President Timothy Noitsis, Maids of Athena Grand President Maria Ana Pantelous, Board of Trustees Vice Chair George Horiates, PSP; and newly elected AHEPA National Housing Corporation President Ike Gulas, PSP, also addressed the audience of the July 21 gala.
Special presentations included a commemorative 100-year pinning ceremony to Supreme Presidents in the audience by Executive Director Basil Mossaidis, the AHEPA Lifetime Achievement Award to Past Supreme President Anthony Kouzounis and former Board of Trustees Officer Lee Millas, and Ahepan of the Year to Brother Dimitrios Matthaiou.
U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, co-chair and co-founder of the Congressional Hellenic Caucus; and U.S. Rep. Chris Pappas, submitted video presentations.
Special audience guests included former NBA Player and Human Rights Activist Enes Kanter Freedom and NASA John F. Kennedy Space Center Dr. Janet E. Petro, the recipient of the 2022 Daughters of Penelope “Salute to Women” Award.