2001 News Archives

Leadership 100 Surpasses Membership Goal

Naples, Fla. -- A euphoric exuberance not seen in the past characterized the 10th annual conference of the Archbishop Iakovos Leadership 100 Endowment Fund as results of the recently completed membership drive far exceeded expectations, allowing a record increase in grants, nearly $2 million, for the coming year.

The Jan. 10-14 gathering also drew a record 350 participants and was highlighted by presentations on Orthodoxy and a Bible study led by Archbishop Demetrios, with Archbishop Iakovos participating, and a business forum led by E*Trade Chairman and CEO Christos Cotsakos.

Since the beginning of the Millennium Membership Drive, Leadership 100 has swelled from 318 to the current total of 528 – a 66 percent increase, while contributions for the past year topped $4.5 million, nearly triple the 1999 figure.

“We have exceeded every goal, every expectation, breaking every record to persist in our high calling of service to Jesus Christ our Lord,” said Leadership 100 Chairman Arthur Anton. “We are alive with a commitment and zeal never seen before.”

This has enabled the organization to dramatically increase the amount of grant dollars to various Church ministries. Leadership officials also presented the first payment of a $10 million scholarship grant for Hellenic College-Holy Cross School of Theology, which was approved last year, to Fr. Nicholas Triantafilou who spoke at a Leadership 100 breakfast on the school’s progress. This initial payment will provide full scholarships to 14 students studying at the school.

Archbishop Demetrios, in his keynote address Jan. 12 to the conference participants, said the “dramatic jump in membership is a starting point for building boldly for the future.”

In another forum, His Eminence said the increase “is not simply an increase in numbers, but a connecting and reconnecting of a number of people with the Church. The achievement of last year is an achievement going beyond numbers, it is an achievement of faith producing a tremendous energizing of the members of Leadership.”

Mr. Anton and other members of Leadership 100 credited Archbishop Demetrios with infusing a new spirit of enthusiasm, spirituality and vitality into the organization. He called the Archbishop “the key factor in the success of the Millennium Membership Drive,” which was chaired by Stephen Yeonas of McLean, Va.

He added, “Next is the Metropolitans and Bishops who attended our meetings, the Board of Trustees who hosted dinners and all members of Leadership.” He also praised the efforts of Mr. Yeonas and Leadership 100’s Executive Director Fr. Alex Karloutsos, “who worked so diligently.

The new total also reflects 14 previous members who were reinstated through the efforts of John Marks of Chicago, who chaired the Keeping the Promise Drive that was specially tasked with bringing lapsed members back to the Endowment Fund.

Mr. Yeonas, in his report to the organization’s general assembly meeting, said the large membership increase represents “a big factor for future growth” and that it’s not inconceivable that Leadership 100 could reach 1,000 members in five years, which would mean a significant boost in the amount of income from the Fund available for grants.

This year’s total of $2 million is about $500,000 higher than for 2000. “We have become much more philanthropic,” said Bert Moyar, Grant Committee chairman, who added that efforts are being made to “focus on helping the Archdiocese put itself administratively in a better position to lead the faithful.”

Mr. Yeonas credited Archbishop Demetrios as the number one factor for the drive’s success, “because of his extraordinary spiritual leadership. He exudes love, compassion and feelings,” he added, and also credited the 50 Leadership 100 members active in the recruiting effort, as well as Fr. Karloutsos. “Fr. Alex is the architect of the plan. Without him we would not have been able to accomplish it.”

The business forum presented by Mr. Cotsakos on E*Trade, one of the four largest online investment firms in the world, drew a large number of attendees, who praised it as the highlight of the conference.

Mr. Cotsakos gave participants a wide-ranging view of online investing and marketing, of the multi-faceted services available through his company, and of future possibilities through the Internet. “The Internet is permanent and will change our lives forever,” said Mr. Cotsakos. “It will fuel vast product changes and growth.”

Leadership members also took part in an Orthodox inquiry workshop led by Archbishop Demetrios. He discussed Orthodox spirituality and identity as consisting of worship and prayer, fellowship, preaching the gospel and philanthropy.

Members also attended a discussion about Hellenism led by Professor Charles Moskos of Northwestern University, and a presentation on interfaith marriage conducted by Fr. Charles Joanides, director of the Department of Interfaith Marriages.

Other events included the presentation of the True Vine Icon to 57 new members attending their first conference, and the Obelisk award to those fulfilling their $100,000 pledges.

They consisted of Archbishop Demetrios, Dr. Elias and Stella Adamopoulos, Salisbury, Md.; Lou and Kiki Anderson, Kiawah Island, S.C.; Andrew and Maria Andron, Garden City, N.Y.; Gus and Ann Chafoulias, Rochester, Minn.; Gust and Anne Feles, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.; Nicholas and Irene Fifis, Singer Island, Fla.; Connie and Christine Lapaseotes and family, Bridgeport, Neb.; Paul and Mary Ann Mallis, Pasadena, Calif.; Clara Nicon, Seattle; Chris and Joan Panopoulos, Grand Rapids, Mich.; Michael and Marguerite Parlamis, Tenafly, N.J.; John and Ermioni Spanos, Falls Church, Va.; John and Chris Staurulakis, Aventura, Fla.; William and Linda Stavropoulos, Midland, Mich.; Costas and Joanne Trataros, Staten Island, N.Y.; and Theodore and Penelope Vlahos, Kewanee, Ill.

Commenting on the successful event, former Chairman George Kokalis of Phoenix said, “This is the finest conference Leadership 100 has ever had.”

He added, “Archbishop Demetrios did an outstanding job. With his spirituality, love, faith and kindness, he is bringing us together. Also, the Metropolitans and clergy are seeing Leadership in a new light. They are all supportive. I’m looking forward to the next conference.”

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