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- George Melikokis, A Reigning Patriarch and Advocate for Greek Education
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Leadership 100 holds Successful Conference with Star-Studded Roster of Guests
The unanimous approval of new grants by the Executive Committee meeting at the 22nd Annual Leadership 100 Conference, atThe Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel in Dana Point, California, brought the total of grants allocated by the organization since its founding in 1984, to a record $35 million, while membership reached 902, according to Chairman Charles H. Cotros. He also reported an increase of 41 new members in 2013, reaching the historic total membership of 902. In an interview with NEO magazine, Mr. Cotros said that the goal is to reach 1,000 members by next year which marks Leadership’s 30th. Included in the new membership total, fulfilled memberships reached 501 and Leadership 100 Partners and Junior Partners increased to 118.
Leadership 100 was founded in 1984, under the guidance of Archbishop Iakovos, as an endowment fund of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese through which Greek Orthodox leaders were asked to commit themselves to offer $10,000 a year for a total of $100,000 each to maintain the life-sustaining ministries of the Church. Today, the organization, renamed The Archbishop Iakovos Leadership 100 Endowment Fund is a separately incorporated endowment fund supporting the priority needs of the Archdiocese, but broadly dedicated to advancing the Orthodox faith and Hellenic ideals in America.
The new grants for 2013 total $1,319,592. The total to be distributed in 2013, including the ongoing grants, is $2,376,192. Leadership 100 has ongoing grants of $1 million per year to Holy Cross/Hellenic College for scholarships to students in the Theological School preparing for the Priesthood, $50,000 per year toward our $250,000 commitment to the Office of Vocational Ministry, and $6,600 per year for retired Clergy.
Citing growth in the Endowment Fund portfolio, which stood at $75.4 million with total assets of $88.3 million, Cotros said, “The link between our robust growth in membership and the increase in grants is demonstrated in the growth of our portfolio and assets and is evidence of the vitality of Leadership 100 and a hopeful sign of our future in perpetuating our cherished values and heritage.”
The 22nd Annual Leadership 100 Conference with more than 300 attendees, featured exceptional speakers includeing Jim Gianopulos, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Twentieth Century Fox Film, who presented a memorable audio-visual show on “Hollywood and Hellenism”; Fr. John Bakas, renowned Dean of Saint Sophia Cathedral in Los Angeles; Alexander Payne, the Academy Award winning film director, screenwriter and producer, who was introduced by his former pastor in Omaha, Nebraska, Fr. Eugene N. Pappas, now of Three Hierarchs Church in Brooklyn, New York; and Nia Vardalos, the Academy Award nominated screenwriter, actress and director. In addition, two prominent Leadership 100 members also spoke, Michael S. Johnson, the pioneering petroleum geologist and a member of the Board of Trustees, and Mary J. Mitchell, the fashion illustrator and author of Drawn to Fashion.
L100 Executive Director Paulette Poulos, in an interview with NEO magazine, said that for next year they’ll try for “Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson!”
The program, which also included the traditional Bible Study and Lecture by Archbishop Demetrios of America, was highlighted with the presentations of the distinguished Archbishop Leadership 100 Award for Excellence to Gianopulos, Payne, Vardalos, Johnson and Mitchell. According to Cotros, “The roster of such distinguished and accomplished speakers made this Leadership 100 Conference exceptional and memorable.”
The host this year was Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco, who was joined by Metropolitans Iakovos of Chicago, Methodios of Boston, Nicholas of Detroit, and Savas of Pittsburgh.
Entertainment featured musical performance by the sisters, Lexy and Stephany Prodomos, vocalists Georgia Veru and Anthi Aggelou, and Dean Vali & Keffe.
Conferees participated in a Hierarchal Divine Liturgy and Memorial Service for Leadership 100 Members celebrated by Archbishop Demetrios, Rev. Apostolos Koufallakis, Chancellor of the Metropolis of San Francisco, and Rev. John. Bakas, on Sunday, February 10 at Saint Sophia Cathedral in Los Angeles.