New York.- New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr. honored for prominent Greek Americans, at his fourth annual Greek Heritage and Culture celebration on Monday, March 21, 2005. The event was sponsored by The Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York.
Thompson noted that New York City is home to the largest Greek population anywhere outside of Greece, and that Greek Americans play increasingly prominent roles in the life of the city.
”From the earliest days of our city’s history, Greek immigrants came to New York seeking opportunity and a better life for themselves and their children,” Thompson said. “Through hard work and determination, they helped realize the promise of the American Dream. In the process, they helped make our city a better place.”
Thompson, addressing an audience of several hundred at the New York State Supreme Courthouse, called the roster of honorees a distinguished group of Greek Americans who are all leaders in their fields.
The Comptroller presented his Media Image Award to WNYW-TV meteorologist Nick Gregory.
“Over the course of his fine career in broadcasting, Nick Gregory has excelled in his field, served as an important role model, and helped countless people every day,” Thompson said.
Expressing his gratitude, Nick Gregory said how proud he is of his heritage and called every body to attend this year’s Greek Independence Parade, on April 10, promising a good weather.
The next honoree was Phillip Mitsis, who is an Alexander S. Onassis Professor of Hellenic Culture and Civilization, Director of Hellenic Studies, and Professor of Classics at New York University. At present, he is a fellow of the New York Institute of Humanities.
“Professor Mitsis has helped develop outstanding educational resources and worked tirelessly to foster a greater understanding of Greek history and culture,” the Comptroller said.
Thompson presented the next award to nursing professional Barbara Neocleous, who is part of the management team at the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, where she oversees a range of initiatives in the Business Development Department.
“She helped launch the organization’s community center in Astoria, and has worked with other non-profit organizations, elected officials, and community groups to address health care issues affecting the local community,” Thompson said. “A registered nurse for the past nineteen years, Ms. Neocleous has provided excellent care to patients, and helped direct services to those who need them.”
Paul Stathoulopoulos, President and CEO of the National Marathon Bank of New York, an accomplished businessman who is involved in numerous civic and charitable causes, received the next award.
“In addition to his professional responsibilities, Mr. Stathoulopoulos is involved in many community organizations, including the Hellenic American Chamber of Commerce and the radio program Cosmos-FM,” Thompson said. “Mr. Stathoulopoulos has excelled in a challenging industry, and provides inspiration to those around him as living proof of the power of the American Dream.”
Mr Stathoulopoulos thankes Comptroller Thompson for the Award that represents “democracy, freedom and justice”.
The Comptroller made a surprise presentation to departing colleague Dean Angelakos, his Assistant Comptroller for Labor Law.
“During his tenure as a member of my staff, he has been instrumental in strengthening our office’s Prevailing Wage enforcement efforts, which help create a level playing field for contractors doing business with the City,” Thompson said. “His dedicated leadership and his passion for his work have truly made a difference in the work of our office. I thank him for his hard work, and I wish him all the best in his new endeavors.”
Very Reverend Archimandrite Eugene Pappas of the Three Hierarchs Greek Orthodox Church in Brooklyn performed the Invocation and Benediction.
Lyric soprano Lina Orfanos, who began her career at the age of 7 and recently released a CD entitled “Greek Songs for Romantics and Realists,” performed during the event.