September 12th, 2014
Dear fellow Presidents and Delegates,
During the last few years’ developments in Greece, the United States and across the globe have been rapid. Many things have changed and many changes are still under way as we are going through transitional and crucial times for both our countries and the international community.
The Greek Omogenia has also undergone some changes. The interest, as well as the number of our fellow Greek expatriates who remain active members of the organized Omogenia has dropped significantly. Additionally, the organizations that are fully active are significantly fewer. Our priorities and especially those of younger generations have been shifted -due to the new socioeconomic circumstances- from the priorities that we have adopted, in the process of creating associations, for our role as immigrants. Furthermore, the constitutional relations of the Greek Omogenia in the United States and globally with the Greek State seem to be non-existent, especially after the termination of the Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE).
During this time, I had the opportunity to personally talk with many of you: founding members and former presidents of the National Council as well as expatriates who have expressed their concerns regarding the future of Hellenism in the U.S.A, for our motherland and how we could provide support to the young people during these challenging times in the Greek American Community.
We have concluded, from our conversations and contacts with numerous members of the Executive Council, Vice-Presidents, Secretaries-General and Delegates as well as prominent people in our community that we, the people, who served and believed in this authentic and omogenia-born institution of the Hellenic American National Council to realize the need to revise its organizational structure, function and priorities. It is difficult to accept these changes because they are introducing things that are outside our comfort zone. Nonetheless, we must face reality and face our common obligations and responsibilities.
The thoughts and suggestions, reached after a unanimous decision of the Administrative Council, relate to the establishment of a Committee staffed by founding members, Legal Councils, academics and representatives of the younger generations in order to propose ways to renew and reinforce the institution and adapt it to the new socioeconomic circumstances in the U.S.A and Greece. Each Federation-Member will authorize a representative –someone wishing and willing to contribute to this endeavor- to participate in the Committee and inform his colleagues on future developments.
All Federation-Members of the National Council will have the opportunity to submit in writing to the Committee their own detailed proposals and thoughts to be documented on the agenda and discussed. The Committee will gather these proposals and present them at a conference whose time and venue will be decided later on by all Federations representatives.
Amongst the Committee’s priorities is the quest to expand the National Council with the participation of natural persons (a proposal that has been submitted and up voted by the Council, but has never been implemented), the optimal use of the internet and social media, examining and recording the modern Omogenias’ needs, the establishment of new ways of cooperation thus ensuring the financial resources to realize the National Councils’ future.
We are inviting you to submit, at your earliest convenience, the names (and complete details) of the representatives you would like to participate in the reform Committee. Furthermore, you are more than welcome to propose certain people whose help
could be valuable and fruitful to the Committees’ function. As soon as we gather the names of all Federation-Members, representatives we shall contact them to arrange the time and place of a preliminary meeting.
It would be easy to say that the Hellenic American National Council is “slowly dying” or criticize its members. The real challenge
However is to put aside our ego and act collectively having in mind only the greater good of both our countries but most Importantly the generations to come. We must find new ways to confront the enormous challenges of our times. We are united by a lot of things: our unease about the future, our love for our cultural and historical routes, our love for both our countries and our passion to contribute to society.
We invite you to submit the names of the Federations’ representatives that will participate in the reform Committee of the
Hellenic American National Council no later than October 15th 2014.
Together -as we stand united under our common vision for the progress of Omogenia- we can make a difference!
On Behalf of the Board of Directors,
Paul Kotrotsios, MBA A. Filiotis
President Secretary HELLENIC AMERICAN NATIONAL COUNCIL
Chris Christakis, Vice president
Kostas Koutrakos, Vice President
Dimitris Rozanitis, Vice President
Vasilis Mataragas, Treasurer
Kostas Hatzistefanidis, B’ Treasurer
Stella Kokolis, Secratery B’