An interview with HLA’s president Mamie Stathatos on the association’s annual dance and the candidacies of two Greek American women running for judgeships in Nassau and Queens counties.
New York, NY – By Apostolos Zoupaniotis
The Hellenic Lawyers Association, with a membership of 300-400 Greek American lawyers, is honoring New York State Senator and Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos at the Pierre Hotel in New York City at its Twenty-Third Annual Dinner Dance Gala on November 18th. The HLA will also be presenting the Attorney of the Year Award to Nick Katsoris, Esq., General Counsel of the Red Apple Group, Inc. and President of the Hellenic Times Scholarship Fund.
Senator Skelos is being honored for his long-term commitment to public service. In November 2010, Senator Skelos was re-elected to his fourteenth term in the New York State Senate. He now serves as the chamber’s Majority Leader, making him the highest-ranking Republican official in State government. Attorney of the Year Nick Katsoris has served as General Counsel for the Red Apple Group, Inc. since 1995. In 1990, Katsoris founded the Hellenic Times Scholarship Fund and has since served as its President. Under his leadership, the Hellenic Times Scholarship Fund has awarded over $2 million in scholarships over its twenty-year history. Mr. Katsoris is also the author of the award-winning Loukoumi book series, which will include a soon-to-be released Celebrity Cookbook featuring favorite childhood recipes from over fifty celebrities.
“Greek News” has spoken with the Association’s president Mamie Stathatos, for the upcoming event and also the efforts of two Greek American Lawyers, Carmen Markakis – St. George and Katie Christoforatos, who run for judgeships in Nassau and Queens Counties respectively.
G.N. Why is it important to elect Carman Markakis-St. George?
M.S. As a Greek American woman I am so proud to have someone like Carmen to run for the bench in Nassau County. She is dynamic, intelligent, qualified, competent and beyond passionate. She has so much value that she can bring to the District Court in Nassau County. For all these reasons we need to support her.
G.N. We used to have many more Greek American judges in New York….
M.S. We used to have a lot more Greek American judges. I wish I knew. Now there is a trend back towards going for judgeships. Last year we had Helen Voutsinas who was elected here in Nassau County, we have judge Peter Skellos in the Appellate Division and of course Judge Nicholas Tsoucalas and Judge Nicholas Garufis.
G.N. How about Kate Christoforatos?
M.S. Kate is one of our members and former Hellenic Lawyer Association president. She is practicing law for 27 years in Queens County. She is exceptionally qualified and extremely intelligent. She will make a tremendous judge on the bench in the Supreme Court in Queens County. We are very proud she received the nomination from the Republican Party and the Conservative Party.
G.N. How comes and all the Greek Americans running for judges in Queens, a heavily Democratic area, are with the Republican Party?
M.S. When Mike Dukakis ran for President, make Greeks who were Republicans crossed party lines to vote for him. If someone is qualified and as an added bonus of Hellenic descent, you may get the Greeks to vote. They say you cannot win just on Greek vote alone. I respectively disagree. There are enough of us to make a difference in an off-election year. There is no presidential, congressional election, or even state election. It’s extremely localized and in this type of election, if all the Greeks in Queens County come out and vote Kate Christoforatos will win. And for Nassau County, if all Greeks come out and vote, Carman St George will win.
So, the message is, get out and vote. It is wrong to say, even if I vote nothing is going to change.
If every single Greek register to vote, votes, we are in.
G.N. What are the Hellenic Lawyers up to these days?
M.S. We are exceptionally busy. We are up to the Hellenic Lawyers Association Annual Gala, at the Piere Hotel, on November 18. We are honoring this year Dean Skelos, the New York State Senate Majority Leader and also as Attorney of the Year, Nick Katsoris. Two wonderfully incredible people and great supporters of the Hellenic Lawyers Association.
In addition, every year we are giving scholarships to deserving Hellenic Law Students. We are expecting to raise a lot of money to fund some of our qualified deserving law students. I urge everyone to come to our gala, to support our organization and help fund our scholarships.