Board of Trustees meets at 19th Annual Leadership 100 Conference
The 19th Annual Leadership 100 Conference at Hotel del Coronado, Coronado, California, which concluded on Sunday, February 7, was highlighted by an increased commitment to “The Spirit of Giving” by providing scholarships through 2018 for seminarians preparing for the Priesthood at Holy Cross School of Theology to be known as Leadership 100 Scholars.
More than 300 members and their guests attended a full three-day program at the conference with the theme “The Torchbearers of Our Faith and Hellenic Heritage: The New Generation of Leaders,” that included addresses by George Argyros, former United States Ambassador to Spain and one of America’s foremost real estate investors, George Pelecanos, the award-winning author, film and television producer, and a video appearance by George Stephanopoulos, the new co-host of “Good Morning America”. Dr. Nicholas Yphantides, a motivational speaker focusing on the issue of obesity, Deborah Szekely, co-founder of the modern-day health and fitness movement, and Harry C. Cordellos, a world class athlete who overcame childhood visual challenges, also addressed the conference.
The action by the Executive Committee, as reported by outgoing Chairman Stephen G. Yeonas, and with the endorsement of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, made the scholarship program at Holy Cross School of Theology the top priority of the more than 25-year old organization. Scholarships, which are expected to total $l million a year, would provide support for seminarians in need of financial assistance who maintain a high grade point average and demonstrate exemplary character. The increase of the scholarship program will significantly advance the number of candidates for the Priesthood. Leadership 100 has provided more than $11 million in scholarship aid to Holy Cross in the past decade.
In other action, the Board of Trustees elected Constantine G. Caras of Wilmington, Delaware as Chairman; Charles H Cotros of Memphis, Tennessee as Vice-Chairman; and George S. Tsandikos of Greenwich, Connecticut as Treasurer. Kassandra L. Romas of Short Hills, New Jersey continues to serve as Secretary. The Board also elected Tsandikos along with John A. Catsimatidis and Peter J. Pappas of New York to the Executive Committee and seven new members to the Board of Trustees: Maria Allwin of Connecticut, Drake G. Behrakis of Massachusetts, Eleni Bousis of Illinois, Tarsi Georgas of Florida, Patsy Kouvas of Ohio, Mike A. Manatos of Maryland and Adam M. Tzagournis of Ohio.
In the past two years, over the course of the 25th Anniversary Campaign, Leadership 100 has increased its membership by 100 for a total membership of 836. Fulfilled memberships of $100,000 each now number more than half of total memberships. The investment portfolio, which saw a downturn in 2008, is now above $62.2 million. In 2009, Leadership 100 distributed $1,694,860 in grants with $1,300,000 going to Hellenic College/Holy Cross School of Theology; $388,260 to the National Ministries of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and $6,600 to the Retired Clergy in Need. Since the inception of Leadership 100, total grant distributions stand at $28,549,636. The cumulative total of all grants over the history of the organiztion is expected to reach $30 million in 2010, an average of $1.2 million a year.