Yesterday’s Address of Archon Ostiarios Michael Psaros
Your Eminences, Your Graces, Brother Archons and Members of the Finance Committee,
The GOA has created an extraordinarily qualified and professionally formidable Audit Committee appointed with the blessing of His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios, Geron of America.
The Audit Committee was created and appointed in a matter of weeks since the Archdiocesan Council Meeting in New York City. It was one of the “promises” that were made.
The creation of this Audit Committee, and the structurally permanent practices and procedures it will implement, will be a “game changer” for the GOA.
Please note, for those who do not know her, that Elaine Allen, Chairperson, is quite literally the most recognized professional in the “not-for-profit” practice area in the Unites States. Chairperson Allen is a Steward of the Church of Our Savior, in Rye, New York, and has been a leader on the DAD Finance Committee. Chairperson Allen is joined by very qualified, experienced, accomplished, committed and devout colleagues. Her leadership is a blessing.
This Committee must be independent, therefore Archon Kircos (Finance Committee Chair) and I (as Treasurer) are not on this Committee.
I must also note for this group, on behalf of the GOA’s Officers (and me very personally), that the appointment of Archon Kircos as Chairperson of the Finance Committee has already had an immediate constructive and positive impact.
I pray for the Audit Committee’s success and leadership.
We continue to work expeditiously on the other undertakings that were discussed and presented at the GOA AC meeting in New York.
I look forward to seeing some of you this evening at the Holy Trinity Cathedral (NYC) Philoptochos’ Chrysanthemum Ball.
As always, I ask for your forgiveness.
With humility in our efforts,
November 9, 2017
NEW YORK – As a key part of the ongoing Archdiocesan effort to improve financial and internal controls, and in keeping with his commitment to proper governance and transparency, Archbishop Demetrios of America has announced the appointment of a new group of financial and legal professionals to serve as members of the Archdiocesan Council’s Standing Audit Committee. While this is an important step in strengthening internal controls, additional measures are planned for the committee, in concert with proposals for improved accountability and fiscal responsibility that will be made at the upcoming Clergy Laity Congress.
The new members of the Audit Committee, all serving on the committee for the first time, are members of the Archdiocesan Council and bring a wealth of experience and skills to the task.
Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta will serve as the Presiding Hierarch for the Audit Committee, which will be chaired by Elaine Allen. Ms. Allen, CPA, a Partner at Mitchell & Titus, LLP and Retired Partner at Ernst & Young, is a recognized not-for-profit expert, specializing in audit and advisory services.
Three additional members have been appointed by His Eminence. They are Keith Maib of the Metropolis of Denver, who is a CPA and Senior Managing Director of MackinacPartners, and has also served as CEO of numerous companies; Maria Stefanis, of the Metropolis of New Jersey, who is a corporate tax attorney with PRA Group, Inc., and formerly worked as a CPA for Arthur Young & Co.; and Harry Raptakis of the Direct Archdiocesan District, who is a lawyer in private practice, the Chairman of the Direct Archdiocesan District Finance Committee and a former member of the St. Michael’s Home Board.
In addition, two advisory members, who do not serve on the Archdiocesan Council, were appointed. They are: Tom Jordon of the Metropolis of Detroit, who currently serves as the Treasurer of Leadership 100 and is the former Chair of the Leadership 100 Audit Committee, as well as a former CPA with PwC; and Jim Logothetis of the Metropolis of Chicago, a CPA and Senior Client Handling Partner at Ernst & Young, who serves as the Chairman of the Leadership 100 Audit Committee.
The responsibilities of the Audit Committee will include assessing the reliability and accuracy of financial reporting; selecting external auditors; meeting with those auditors to review audit plans and results; reviewing internal controls and developing any necessary remediation plans; and monitoring compliance with applicable laws and regulations pertaining to financial controls. To promote accountability and transparency, audited financials will be provided, on an annual basis, to the Archdiocesan Council, the Parishes and the Faithful of the Archdiocese.