Business Ethics Sizzles in Greece:

New Hampshire Businessman Christos Papoutsy Keynote Speaker at Athenian Conference

Christos Papoutsy
Athens, Greece, and Portsmouth, NH -- On June 3, 2004 at the Athens Hilton Hotel, the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce (AHCC) and its Professional Women's Forum Committee held their second conference in Greece on corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Lorraine Batler, chairperson for the Professional Women's Forum Committee, Stephanos Costopoulos, President of AHCC, and Alexandros Lamnidis, AHCC's Executive Director, opened the proceedings by welcoming participants. They stressed the critical role of CSR in every business, with a vision toward sustainable growth, community involvement, and environmental awareness. Several hundred attendees represented businesses and institutions of all sizes, including manufacturers, distributors, banks, auditors and accountants, law firms, universities, and the telecommunications industry, as well as the Hellenic and American governments.

The conference included a full-slate of speakers representing Greek divisions of several multinational corporations: Vodaphone, Ford Motor Company, Proctor and Gamble, and Coca-Cola. A lively debate and digital voting concluded the companies' presentations. Noted television journalist, Sophia Tsilivrani, moderated the discussions and "digivoting," providing a transition to the final speakers of the daylong conference.

American Ambassador Thomas Miller briefly spoke on business ethics in the corporate world. Following his remarks, Christos Papoutsy gave the keynote speech. A successful business executive and lecturer, Mr. Papoutsy discussed whether or not "moral capitalism" was possible and stressed that five components of capital form the foundation of corporate socially responsible business. The most important form, according to him, is human capital. A successful, efficiently run corporation invests in its human capital by providing better lives and working conditions for its employees and their families. As a result, the business reaps dividends of commitment, loyalty, creativity, and productivity from its employees. Papoutsy called upon every corporation to form a "company of citizens," where all employees are welcomed into the corporation as morally competent agents, rather than as mere units of labor.

The American Hellenic Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit, self-supporting organization, and was established in 1932 to promote economic and business relations between the United States and Greece. With a corporate membership today of some 1000 U.S. companies operating in Greece and major Greek enterprises doing business with the U.S., it continues to encourage and facilitate trade, investments and professional partnerships from both sides of the Atlantic. The Chamber is a fully accredited member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C., and affiliated with the European Council of American Chambers of Commerce (ECACC). For additional information about the chamber, visit its website at

Christos Papoutsy is the former owner and president of Hollis Engineering-Cooper Electronics Co., with sales in the hundreds of millions worldwide, and director of United States Arbitration & Mediation Co. A noted Greek-American philanthropist, Archon of the Greek Orthodox Church, and member of Leadership 100, Mr. Papoutsy presently writes and lectures on business, entrepreneurship and business ethics. To read other articles of his on corporate social responsibility or on the topics of the Horatio Alger Lecture Series, visit the Business Arena section of the Hellenic Communication Service website at . The entire text of his keynote speech for the Chamber can be read at He and his wife established the Christos and Mary Papoutsy Endowed Chair in Business Ethics at Southern New Hampshire University in 2001.