Paul Kotrotsios, the founder and president of the Hermes Expo International, chatted with HNA’s Markos Papadatos about the 30th annual Hermes Expo that will take place on Wednesday, October 20, at the Grand Marquis in Old Bridge, New Jersey.
Walt Disney once said “You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.” This quote applies to the Hermes Expo International under the guidance and leadership of founder Paul Kotrotsios, MBA.
The Hermes Expo is a distinct networking platform that brings together businesses and professionals from various backgrounds and industries looking to expand their networks in the Greek-American and American marketplace.
“Celebrating 30 years of the Hermes Expo is a great milestone for myself, my team, and the business community as well,” he admitted. “This is our mirror to the American society. All the Greek-Amerian businesses that participate and the Philhellenes interact in one place that became a leading business expo and networking platform for Greek-Americans and Philhellenes.”
“Of course, it’s a milestone. Although I am not 30 years old, I invested 30 years of my professional time,” he said. “I am a graduate of the University of Thessaloniki and I came to this country and I got my MBA from St. Joseph’s University and parallel to that, I was the General Manager of the Greek Radio Network for seven years. Then, we founded the Hellenic News of America bilingual newspaper. Later on, we founded the Hermes Expo International to say a ‘thank you’ to all the subscribers, advertisers, and sponsors.”
This October, the Hermes Expo will focus on the hospitality industry, an industry that was largely impacted by the pandemic. SBA will be participating at the Hermes Expo this year with a booth and a seminar in order to help educate business owners on any opportunities available to them. “The Hermes Expo is evolving every year,” he said. “It did not become the leading business expo and networking platform for Greek-Americans and Philhellniec communities overnight. It was a culmination of 30 years of hard work.”
“This is a ‘thank you’ to the business community that is continuing to support the Hermes Expo with their products and services,” he said.
The 2021 Hermes Expo will open its doors with a grand opening ceremony at 2 p.m. Their schedule will include the following opportunities: Explore Hermes Expo’s Diverse Exhibit Showcase, the opportunity to connect with sponsors and exhibitors, discover new products and services, “Learn From” educational seminars, “Taste of Hellas” Greek Wine Tasting, and an Awards Dinner & Entertainment. “There will be Greek wines and Greek food, and people will get the chance to explore the Diverse Exhibit Showcase,” he said.
“People can also connect with sponsors and exhibitors and that’s a very important aspect from a networking standpoint,” he added. “We care, we respect ourselves and all of the members of our entire team, as well as the exhibitors, sponsors, and the visitors. It’s going to be a win-win-win for all.”
“Our slogan is commerce, communication, and culture,” said Kotrotsios. “Hermes was the Greek God of trade, communication, and culture. The Hermes Expo has something for everybody, and that’s the message we want to send out.”
“We are going to honor a few people in the community that have excelled themselves in their fields, and also for their contributions to our community and to American society. We live in America and we need to honor and praise our people,” he said.
This year the Hermes Expo Business Advisory Committee selected individuals that have excelled themselves in their field and their community service efforts: Paul Kalamaras, the CEVP of Investors Bank; Phil Christopher, President, PSEKA & President, American Network Solutions; Greek language educators Eleftheria Oikouta and Meropi Kyriakou; Bill Kolovos, the founder of Kolovos Enterprises; Dr. Zisis Chroneos, the AHEPA Cooley’s Anemia Foundation Researcher; Pan Gregorian John Kallas and Antonis Papamarkos; as well as “Powerjournalist” Markos Papadatos (2021 “Journalist of the Year”).
“The Hermes Expo Business Advisory Committee carefully selected all of these names,” he said. “We need the business professionals to attend, we have done tremendous community work all of the previous years. Now, this is a community service.”
“Phil Christopher is a leader in the community and a philanthropist, and he is a very successful businessman, and he keeps all of us together,” he said. “Paul Kalamaras of Investors Bank is also a successful businessman. Eleftheria Oikouta and Meropi Kyriakou are doing extraordinary work for our children. They don’t only teach our kids the Greek language, but also the Hellenistic principles and values.”
“Bill Kolovos, who is the founder of Kolovos Enterprises, will be honored and Dr. Zisis Chroneos has done extensive work for the AHEPA Cooley’s Anemia Foundation, the work that he is doing right now is going to help save the lives of 250,000 Americans that are suffering each year from Cooley’s anemia, that number is tremendous.”
“John Kallas is one of the co-founders of the Pan Gregorian Enterprises here in New Jersey, and Antonis Papamarkos is a successful owner and a remarkable person,” he said.
“Also, one of our fine journalists will be honored. His name is Markos Papadatos and he writes great articles, and you will have a chance to meet him at the Hermes Expo,” he said.
This event will be followed by dinner and entertainment. Pre-registration will be required in order to comply with COVID-19 safety protocols, as a result, there will be no tickets sold at the door.
Kotrotsios thanked the Hermes Expo sponsors Grecian Delight | Kronos Foods, Investors Bank, SigmaPharm Laboratories, American Network Solutions, Celestyal Cruises, Piech Decorating and the Hellenic News of America.
To learn more about the Hermes Expo, check out its official website.