NEW YORK.- Apostolos Zoupaniotis
If it happens the first Monday of the month to visit Avra Restaurant in Manhattan, your eyes will definitely catch a group of 30-40 GreekAmerican professionals, men and women, chatting in an informal and relaxing environment. These are the members and friends of the AHI New York Metropolitan Chapter, that host for the second year successful networking events.
“These informal meetings take place once a month”, told GreekNews AHI’s leader in New York, Andonis Neroulias. He is a retired US Army Colonel and a former president of the Hellenic American Chamber of Commerce and we talked to him a the reception that followed an AHI event at the New York Harvard Club, with guest speaker, CBS’ chief financial reporter, Alexis Christoforous. Euclid Financial Group, a registered investment advisory firm based in Washington, DC and its CEO, Dr Andrea Pericli, were sponsoring the event. Also present in that successful event were, Greek American network journalists, John Metaxas and Doris Klissas.
Colonel Neroulias told us that the “Avra” network meetings are arranged through e-mail and they have no set agenda.
“You don’t need to shake the hand of any official. You come to meet and know other people, in your or in other professions, and build your contacts. What I found out is that by holding these gatherings regularly, a lot of new people come in. Normally 30-40 people show up on a monthly basis and this list gets expended. So if we need to hold something formal, like tonight’s event, you have a success”.
Mr Neroulias, purposely focus AHI’s Metropolitan New York chapter activities in business.
“I think, he said, we have enough organizations that deal with our national issues, such us Cyprus, Aegean and Macedonia and I found from experience that this was something missing from here in New York. Professional people wanted to get together on a regular basis and in an informal setting and meet each other, network and exchange ideas”.
In his words, the ultimate goal is networking.
“To have contacts, whether you use them now, or later on in life. What we do is a business approach. Let’s say you lose your job. If you know 4-5 people in the same industry, you may knock on their doors and ask. At the same time, if you need the services of a professional, like a lawyer, an accountant, a public relations person, or a realtor, instead of looking for strangers in the Yellow Pages, you call some one you know”.
We ask Mr Andonis Neroulias if he thinks of Greeks having the same sense of solidarity, like other communities. He said that this is something his organization and himself are am trying to establish.
“To do like other communities are doing. To help each other. We are too much of individualists. We go out on our own and we establish a lot of things, but we must also learn that we need to work together, and help each other. And by doing that, we are helping ourselves”, he added.
You can reach Mr Neroulias and find out about these meeting via e-mail, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or get in touch with www.ahiworld.org and receive all the information you need.