By on January 10, 2016

The 25th Annual Leadership 100 Conference will convene at The Phoenician in Scottsdale, Arizona, February 18-21, 2016. The Opening Forum, on Thursday, February 18, will be led by the V. Rev. Fr. Christopher T. Metropulos, the new President of Hellenic College/Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, the major beneficiary of Leadership 100 grants, and will be followed by the traditional Bible Study of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios. The Thursday afternoon Hellenism Forum will feature a presentation by Pavlos Yeroulanos, Greece’s former Minister for Culture and Tourism, along with exhibits from the Benaki Museum of Athens. Yeroulanos is the great-grandson of the museum’s founder, Antonis Benaki. The Benaki Museum exhibits, mounted at the Museum’s expense prior to a United States tour, will comprise 40-50 exact replicas from the museum illustrating Greek art from the pre-historic to the contemporary period, a replica of the notable St. Nicholas Icon, and the original album of photographs from the first modern Olympic Games held in Athens in 1896.

Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis

Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis

The official opening of the exhibits with an Agiasmos (blessing) by the Archbishop, will follow a “Symphony at Sunset” conducted by Peter Tiboris. The day’s events will close with the Welcome Reception.

The program on Friday, February 19, will begin with a lecture by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, followed by the General Assembly. There will be a Business Forum in the afternoon, with the speaker to be announced. Also scheduled for later Friday afternoon is the Orientation for new members. The evening will include both a Leadership 100 Partners reception and the Hellenic Glendi.

The Saturday, February 20 events will include a Special Forum in the morning conducted by Eleni Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis, former U.S. Ambassador to Hungary, who has published a book on her experiences in that post. Golf and Tennis Tournaments and Awards, and a Walk/Run will fill out the day’s activities. A program of youth activities will be organized by Maria Behrakis and Elaine Cotronakis.

Pavlos Yeroulanos, Photo by Υπουργείο Εξωτερικών

Pavlos Yeroulanos, Photo by Υπουργείο Εξωτερικών

At the Grand Banquet on Saturday evening, the Archbishop lakovos Leadership 100 Award for Excellence will be presented to the worthy recipients. Prior to the Banquet, new and fulfilled members will be recognized with the presentation of Icons and Obelisks.

At 9 a.m. on Sunday, February 21, the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy will be celebrated at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Phoenix.

Spyros Louis, first Olympic Marathon winner.

Spyros Louis, first Olympic Marathon winner.

Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis, a longtime member of Leadership 100, will address the Saturday Forum on the subject of her recently published memoir, Madame Ambassador: Three Years of Diplomacy, Dinner Parties, and Democracy in Budapest. She served as U.S. Ambassador to Hungary from January 7, 2010 to July 20, 2013.

The memoir, released on May 5, 2015, recounts her experiences being vetted for the position with no background in diplomacy, attending an ambassador “charm school” and an intensive training session. However, in taking up her assignment in the former Soviet satellite, she feels that nothing could have prepared her for the realities of life in Hungary.

A property developer, Kounalakis is faced with organizing dinners and diplomatic meetings while her husband, Markos, a journalist, is discouraged from attending diplomats’ spouses’ gatherings. Her children, meanwhile, are faced with unexpected challenges at a new school.

Politically active, Kounalakis served as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention four times. She and her husband founded two university chairs in Hellenic Studies, at Georgetown and Stanford Universities, and a lecture series at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. She has been awarded the Medal of St. Paul by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

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