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Dear Members and Friends: It has been an honor to serve as President of the Cyprus-U.S. Chamber of Commerce over the past two years. I want to thank our past and present officers, distinguished Board of Directors, and especially our members and sponsors, who are the foundation of our Chamber, for their support.
I am particularly grateful to our Chairman and past President, Andy Comodromos, who has relentlessly contributed to the Cyprus-U.S. Chamber since its inception in 1997. Andy has been an unwavering source of guidance and valuable advice during my tenure as President.
I extend my gratitude to our Executive Director, Despina Axiotakis, whose tireless efforts are to be recognized. She has maintained an extraordinary resilience over the past two years and has most efficiently, with responsibility and passion, executed the work of the Chamber. During my tenure, the Chamber achieved many important goals and experienced much growth. Two successful annual Career Fairs held in 2010 and in 2011, offer shining examples. The 7th Annual Career Fair in 2011 boasted the highest level of participation to date, with 32 companies and hundreds of visiting job seekers in attendance, thus establishing the Annual Career Fair as a worthwhile and beneficial event. We also took pride as a Chamber in recognizing the achievements of our members, as well as other professionals in the Cypriot and Greek American community. In May 2010, the Chamber honored Mr. Evris Kontos, President of Kontos Foods, by presenting him with its distinguished Merit Award in recognition of his valuable and dedicated commercial ties with Cyprus based companies. Our 2011 Annual Award Dinner honored our own Noble Laureate, Dr. Christopher Pissarides, for his extraordinary professional and academic achievements, but most notably for his Nobel Prize in Economics, which produced a plethora of publicity. The event had a positive impact within our Greek and Cypriot American Community, which took great pride in his remarkable achievements. This event succeeded in raising the profile of the Cyprus-U.S. Chamber of Commerce, as well as attracting sponsorship and participation by major American corporations. Among those corporations was Noble Energy, which is carrying out exploration and extraction of natural gas reserves in the Republic of Cyprus. Most significantly, the Chamber promoted an achievement that so positively reflects the strides and contributions of Cypriots and the overall contributions of our Hellenic heritage. The Chamber and its members also benefitted from the many events undertaken during the past two years. The Chamber sponsored, along with the Cyprus Federation of America, a book presentation and photographic exhibition by Columbia University Professor Ian Cohen that gave the audience a glimpse of Cyprus’ lost heritage, as revealed through photographs of the Turkish occupied village of Phlamoudhi. In 2010 and 2011, more than six networking events were organized in cooperation with other professional business organizations, including the Hellenic American Bankers Association, the Hellenic American Chamber of Commerce, the Hellenic American Lawyers Association and the Cyprus Trade Center. These events included: “Investing through Cyprus” held at the Harvard Club of New York; the presentation entitled “Economic Governance in the Euro Zone” featuring Central Bank Governor, Mr. Athanasios Orphanides, which the Chamber co-sponsored; and a reception for visiting trade delegations from Cyprus seeking marketing opportunities for agricultural and manufactured products, which the Chamber hosted. The Chamber hosted farewell receptions, extending our best wishes to our departing Cyprus diplomatic representatives, including Cyprus Ambassador to the USA Andreas Kakouris and our Consul General in New York Andreas Panayiotou. Other networking events included the annual Chamber Holiday Party held at Kellari Parea New York, which had a record level of attendees. The event not only included our members, but also representatives from all of the Hellenic American Professional Business Associations based in New York as our invited guests. During the course of the last years, our Chamber has expanded its international cooperation with the American Chamber of Commerce in Cyprus, and has joined the European-American Chamber of Commerce, with over 22 European Union countries as Members. The Cyprus-U.S. Chamber web site was completely revamped and redesigned with the assistance and perseverance of our Vice President, Vassos Vassiliou, who, among other achievements and contributions, was unanimously elected as President of the Cyprus-U.S. Chamber in October 2011. Under the leadership of Vassos, we can look forward to an exciting and exhilarating 2012 and beyond. Vassos’ business savvy, financial background and ingenuity will contribute exponentially to expanding membership and fulfilling the goals of our Chamber, which is now entering its 15th successful year. I extend to Vassos my very best wishes and support for success. I am gratified that the Cyprus-U.S. Chamber of Commerce and all its challenges ahead are in Vassos’ exceptionally capable hands. This issue of our newsletter features Costa Kensington as our “Member of the Year” and I extend my well-deserved best wishes to him for continued success, as well as my gratitude for his valuable work in protecting and promoting the interests of the Republic of Cyprus in the United States. In closing, the financial crisis continues in Greece and Cyprus, creating unprecedented economic hardships in our motherlands, making the work of the Cyprus-U.S. Chamber more important than ever before as a mechanism stimulating economic growth in our region by working together to build exports, tourism and investment revenues for Greece and Cyprus. This can be achieved through our network of U.S. businessmen, beginning right here with our members. We look forward to collaborating with all of our partners and our Hellenic American organizations to meet this challenge. I salute our Board of Directors for the success the Chamber has achieved and I look forward to the many more achievements that will certainly follow in the coming years. To all, I extend best wishes,
Dennis C. Droushiotis
Mr.and Mrs. Seth Turkeltaub
Comodromos Associates, PA
Cyprus Federation of America, Inc.
Dolphin Capital Partners
Equis Trading Inc.
RiversideCredit Investments Corp
Theo. David Architects
Sponsors and Contributors
Axia Ventures Group
Fannie & Mort Holliday
Joanna and George Savvides
Leandros Vrionides, Esq.
Maryann and Renos Georgiou
Mr. and Mrs. Rich Nelli
Satellite & Terrestrial Electronics. Inc.
Tasos Efstratiades, Esq.