Hermes Young Professionals Initiative’s Youth Network Seminar a Success
By Catherine Tsounis
Dynamic leaders spoke at the 2011 Hermes Young Professionals Initiative’s “Professional Growth & Youth Mentor Fair Seminar. The event was held at the Tropicana Hotel, Atlantic City, on April 2nd afternoon. Young professionals and college students were inspired by Congressman John Sarbanes, from Maryland’s 3rd Congressional District; Dr. Spiros Spireas, Sigmapharm Laboratories; Nick Larigakis, President of the American Hellenic Institute (AHI), Aris Melissaratos, special adviser to the President for Enterprise Development of Johns Hopkins University and Calamos Global Investment Management at a standing room only seminar.
“I came to the USA for opportunity,” said Dr. Spireas. “I had finished pharmacy in Greece and continued my studies here. My work transformed the generic industry. I have created my own company in producing generics. In this life, there are winners or losers. You decide what you want to do. Work hard and be a winner.”
Congressman Sarbanes continued the seminar by saying “find something you care about and make it your life’s work. Take success and give back to others. Create space. Do something. Go out into the community and give back. We have a powerful Greek heritage. Greek-Americans are at the very top of society. One must have a sense of responsibility and engage in public service. Join us in Facebook and share what you are doing.”
Mr. Ari Melissaratos, the backbone of Hermes Expo International explained that “when I was in Greece, I read ’30,000 Leagues under the Sea’ by Jules Verne. I was born in Romania to Cephalonian and Chian parents. The communist regime confiscated our property. We fled to Greece. I immigrated at the age of thirteen years old to the U.S.A. I studied at John Hopkins College, working an eight days a week. Later I worked for Westinghouse, seeing all of Jules Verne’s dreams become a reality. My job is basically managing people. Listening to what they want to be. I pay close attention to person’s goals, advise and redirect them. Today’s symposium was organized by Stavroula Kotrotsios.”
AHI President Nick Larigakis described a different perspective. “Believe in yourself. Work hard with passion. Do not care about money. Do not let anyone tell you, you cannot be anything. I went to a state college. No one helped me. I decided anyone who asked me for help, would not be turned away. I would try to assist them, even if it is encouragement. I am that middle of the road guy. Youth must be involved in Greek American issues. We are American first. But, our youth must be involved in grass roots efforts. I have been working in this field for twenty-four years.”