Dennis C. Droushiotis In Memoriam
Dennis C. Droushiotis, the first Trade Commissioner of Cyprus in the US, passed away earlier in September at the age of 64 after a hard fought battle with cancer. Known widely as “Mr. Halloumi”, Droushiotis established the Cyprus Trade Office and during his time there Cypriot Exports to the US increased from $700,000 to over $32 million. His main focus was the famous halloumi cheese and Commandaria wine and in order to successfully promote these products to the wider American market, he implemented a number of strategies involving press, chefs, restaurants, oenologists, etc. helping establish Cyprus as a culinary brand name.
He was also a founding member of the Cyprus-US Chamber of Commerce in 1998 and served as president and later chairman of the board of directors. Droushiotis was also involved in bilateral trade negotiations with the US Office of the Special Trade Representative and at the international level as well as a delegate to the World Trade Organization and other multi-lateral conferences. He was an adviser to the Central Bank of Cyprus, served as a Director of Tourism for North America 1980 – 1990, and as Economic Counselor of the Permanent Mission of Cyprus to the United Nations.
Droushiotis served on a number of associations, including the International Olympic Committee, the European Travel Commission, the American Exporters and Importers Association, American Cheese Society, and was a founding member of the European Wine Council headquartered in New York.
Following his retirement from the Department of Commerce he founded Equis Trading Inc., which undertook a campaign to further promote halloumi and Cypriot wine in the United States.
He also took active part in the election campaigns of various candidates and he served as coordinator of the campaign of John Catsimatidis for NYC mayor.
He received honors by the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and from private industry for his contribution to the fostering of trade between the United States and Cyprus. In recognition of his service, Droushiotis received the 2000 Ellis Island Medal of Honor Award and the Evagoras Pallikarides Award of Merit in 2003.
Dennis Droushiotis is survived by his wife Polly, their two children Dennis Jr. and Maggie, and his brother, retired Ambassador James Droushiotis.