Hellenic American Women’s Council: A National Success in Progress

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The unexpected mini snowstorm that hit New York this past October, the exact day when the Hellenic American Women's Council was having its 18th Annual Conference at The Roosevelt Hotel not only did not affect participation negatively, but in a metaphorical way served as a sort of gathering stimulant, inviting members and friends to convene away of the elements, in the safety of a national organization that since it was founded, in 1993, has offered Greek American professional women a venue to explore their abilities in leadership and to assert with deeds not just words their deserved position in every field of endeavor.

“Nothing can stop us,” said Alice Halkias, one of the organizers along with Eva Poneros and Elena Chambous, in a brief conversation with NEO magazine. “Certainly not the weather!”

“Life on Purpose” was the theme of the conference, featuring as speakers Demetria DeLia, Ph.D., a Psychologist, the Rev. Eleftheria Sidiropoulou, LMHC, LMFT, D.Min., Executive Director of Boston Christian Counseling Center, and Ellen Karis, Stand-Up Comedian, Actress. Luncheon Keynote Speaker was Stuart Diamond, Wharton Professor, Pulitzer Prize Winner and Author of Best-Selling book “Getting More”. TV journalist Andrea Stassou served as moderator.

The Aristeon Award, HAWC’s highest distinction, was posthumously bestowed to Stacey Sava Antoniades, one of the organization’s founders, past president and most active members.

According to founding member and former president Theodora Hancock “there are so many capable and high qualified Greek American women and we need to open doors for them in getting positions of leadership, giving the opportunity to fully apply their skills and open ways for others.”

Membership continues to rise. Asked about how the recession has affected the organization and its numbers, Elaine Miller, HAWC’s president, said that “we haven’t witnessed major ups or downs, I would say we are doing very well. Our focus isn’t only in boosting numbers, but in preparing leaders and this qualitative distinction is what has made HAWC so special all these years.”

The Hellenic American Women’s Council is a nonpartisan, nationwide network whose mission is to identify and harness the tremendous talents of Hellenic American Women. HAWC encourages awareness of public policy issues and promotes women who wish to play leadership roles in their communities, the nation and their professions. It also sponsors regional conferences, lectures, debates and seminars by prominent scholars, government officials, and experts on various issues of interest to its membership.

Earlier this month, HAWC organized a seminar and workshop in Arlington, Virginia, titled “What's Your Story? How to create a verbal self-portrait -Improve your communication style in your personal and professional life - Use small talk effectively.” Carol Ann Stanger, Speaker, Author, Educator at Bright Torch Communication, made a remarkable presentation and led a very fruitful discussion that managed to captivate and inspire the audience.

According to Eva Poneros, a board member and co-chair of the New York convention, HAWC is now looking forward to its 19th annual conference scheduled to be held in Cleveland, Ohio in the fall of 2012. “There is a lot of excitement and Greek American women from all over the US have already started to express interest in participating. We have every reason to believe it will be as successful as the one in New York, with or without snow!”


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