(L to R) Athanasios C. Liakos,
Aphrodite Skeadas, Philippa Condakes,
Eve Condakes and Paulette Poulos.
Paulette Poulos, Executive Director of Leadership 100, addressed the Alpha Omega Council Lifetime Achievement Award Banquet on Saturday, June 8, 2013 in Boston, honoring both the National and Metropolis of Boston Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Societies. The program, at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel, also acknowledged six recipients of the 2013 Peter Agris Memorial Journalism Scholarships. The Alpha Omega Council, which was founded in 1976 by the late Peter Agris, publisher of The Hellenic Chronicle, along with Hellenic American business, professional and academic leaders in Boston, promotes loyalty and patriotism to the United States while cultivating the ideals of Hellenism, along with support of philanthropic causes.
His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios of Boston gave the invocation prior to a welcome by Athanasios C. Liakos, Alpha Omega President, who also introduced the honorees, Aphrodite Skeadas, National President, the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society, and Philippa Condakes, President, Metropolis of Boston Philoptochos Society, presenting them with the awards for their organizations. Both Liakos and Skeadas are members of Leadership 100. Condakes is the niece of Evanthea “Eve” Condakes, the first and longest serving woman on the Leadership 100 Board of Trustees, and a long-time National President of the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society.
In her remarks, Paulette Poulos shared her service in assisting Archbishop Iakovos of Blessed Memory for more than 40 years and her experiences as the Executive Director of the Archbishop Iakovos Leadership 100 Endowment Fund, which he founded together with dedicated lay leaders of the Greek Orthodox Church.
She said she was a first hand witness to history as Alpha Omega was founded by Peter Agris of Blessed Memory, “a dedicated Churchman” and as Philoptochos, established in 1931 by Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras I of Blessed Memory, saw phenomenal growth, pointing out the common mission of both organizations together with Leadership 100 in gathering “great men and women of God”, inspired by Hierarchs and Clergy, to assist those in need and support the ministries of the Greek Orthodox Church.
“Each organization has taken up certain aspects of that common mission. Alpha Omega recognizes professional achievements and assists religious, charitable, scientific, literary and educational activities; Philoptochos helps the poor, the destitute, the hungry, the aged, the sick, the unemployed, the orphaned, the imprisoned, the widowed, those with disabilities and the victims of disasters; Leadership 100 gathers those of professional achievement to enable the National Ministries of our beloved Church to support the education of priests, to serve the faithful and those in need, and to help initiate such organizations as the IOCC and the OCM, extending that common mission at home and abroad,” she said.
In honoring Philoptochos, she invoked their designation by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America as "an army of nobility and the jewel of our Church", as well as the support of their mission by Archbishop Iakovos who was responsible for elevating women to positions of increasing responsibility and leadership within the Church. She said that as a member of Philoptochos and as a Greek Orthodox layperson she has witnessed firsthand how the professional services and aid provided by Philoptochos “have grown within our communities, throughout the nation and around the world,” pointing out her longtime friendship with Aphrodite Skeadas, calling her “a living example of a true Christian steward” who constantly benefits from the “loving and faithful” support of her husband, Peter.
Michael D. Ververis, Alpha Omega Banquet Co-Chairman, introduced other distinguished speakers, including Dr. John Grossomanidis, Supreme President of AHEPA, Thomas C. Lelon, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of Hellenic College Holy Cross School of Theology, the Honorable Iphigenia Kanara, Consul General of Greece in Boston, and the Honorable Theodore Speliotis, Commonwealth of Massachusetts Representative.