Aphrodite Kotrotsios was awarded the “Greek Woman of the World” on July 27th at the Zappeion Megaron in Athens, Greece.
The award ceremony took place within the framework of the 7th World Meeting of the Greek Diaspora, honoring Greek women worldwide who dared, achieved, and left their personal mark.
Dynamic and creative, Aphrodite Kotrotsios has successfully carried on her family’s significant work for the Greek community in the United States. For the past six years, she has been the publisher of the Greek-American newspaper “Hellenic News of America,” based in Philadelphia, PA. Through the newspaper, the informative website, and the Hermes Expo, the Kotrotsios family has played a pivotal role in supporting the Greek diaspora and preserving Hellenism for decades.
The recognition of Ms. Kotrotsios was a result of her dedicated efforts to promote the Greek spirit, entrepreneurship, and tradition.
In light of her award, Ms. Kotrotsios was interviewed by ERT radio show “Voice of Greece.” She discussed her decision to take the helm of her father’s successful enterprise, despite working in a pharmaceutical company. Her admiration for her father’s significant work motivated her to actively engage in the business. “I felt that the time had come for me to continue and carry on the family tradition that my father had started in 1987. Such an effort should not stop because it means a lot to the Greek community and Greece,” emphasized the publisher.
“We still maintain the print format of the newspaper, which is essential because there aren’t many Greek print newspapers. Additionally, we provide daily news updates on our website and are active on social media,” she said.
“We want to continue to bring Greece closer to us, preserve our culture and heritage, further spread the Greek spirit, and empower the Greeks in America, who have supported us for so many years in our work. This is the best reward,” Ms. Kotrotsios noted.
Hermes Expo: A “bridge” of entrepreneurship
Through the “Hellenic News of America” newspaper, Paul Kotrotsios managed to highlight entrepreneurial activities and efforts to promote Greek culture and tradition from the outset of its creation. Simultaneously, he recognized the needs of Greek entrepreneurs in the diaspora and several Greek-based businesses seeking opportunities to enter the American market. In 1992, he established the Hermes Expo, an exhibition aimed at bridging the two sides.
“I remember my father rushing to events and activities to promote the beautiful things that Greek Americans were doing. Therefore, through the Hermes Expo, he managed to bring them closer together. He built a bridge that continues to this day, where every year the Greeks in America come into contact with philhellenes and Greeks engaged in business in Greece, aiming to expand into the American market,” the publisher emphasized.
“My father is a person who opens doors, provides opportunities, and helps. He has been supporting Greek-American efforts for 30 years in spreading Greek tradition and promoting entrepreneurship. For me, it is essential to take on the responsibility of continuing his work and contributing to the Greek community and Greece,” Ms. Kotrotsios added.
The Best Gift
In her interview, Ms. Kotrotsios also shared memories of Greece from her childhood. “Every summer, my parents sent my sisters and me to our ancestral village, Parakalamos, Ioannina, for three months. There, we spent our summers with our grandparents. We created significant memories. It was the best gift our parents could have given us.
We learned what it means to be Greek, our traditions, our language, our gastronomy, our traditional dances. We attended church every Sunday. We had the best moments of our lives in the village. I will never forget this beautiful gift our parents gave us. I hope I can do the same for my children,” Ms. Kotrotsios described.