Hermes Expo International and SAE USA Youth Network Seminar a Success

by Catherine Tsounis

Dynamic leaders spoke at the 2011 Hermes Expo International SAE (World Council of Hellenes Abroad) USA “Professional Growth & Youth Mentor Fair Seminar. The event was held at the Tropicana Hotel, Atlantic City, on April 2nd afternoon. Young professionals and college students were inspired by Congressman John Sarbanes, from Maryland’s 3rd Congressional District; Dr. Spiros Spireas, Sigmapharm Laboratories; Nick Larigakis, President of the American Hellenic Institute (AHI), Aris Melissaratos, special adviser to the President for Enterprise Development of Johns Hopkins University and Calamos Global Investment Management at a standing room only seminar.

“I came to the USA for opportunity,” said Dr. Spireas. “I had finished pharmacy in Greece and continued my studies here. My work transformed the generic industry. I have created my own company in producing generics. In this life, there are winners or losers. You decide what you want to do. Work hard and be a winner.”

Congressman Sarbanes continued the seminar by saying “find something you care about and make it your life’s work. Take success and give back to others. Create space. Do something. Go out into the community and give back. We have a powerful Greek heritage. Greek-Americans are at the very top of society. One must have a sense of responsibility and engage in public service. Join us in Facebook and share what you are doing.”

A packed seminar room listened to the dynamic speakers.

Mr. Ari Melissaratos, the backbone of Hermes Expo International explained that “when I was in Greece, I read ’30,000 Leagues under the Sea’ by Jules Verne. I was born in Romania to Cephalonian and Chian parents. The communist regime confiscated our property. We fled to Greece. I immigrated at the age of thirteen years old to the U.S.A. I studied at John Hopkins College, working an eight days a week. Later I worked for Westinghouse, seeing all of Jules Verne’s dreams become a reality. My job is basically managing people. Listening to what they want to be. I pay close attention to person’s goals, advise and redirect them. Today’s symposium was organized by Stavroula Kotrotsios.”

AHI President Nick Larigakis described a different perspective. “Believe in yourself. Work hard with passion. Do not care about money. Do not let anyone tell you, you cannot be anything. I went to a state college. No one helped me. I decided anyone who asked me for help, would not be turned away. I would try to assist them, even if it is encouragement. I am that middle of the road guy. Youth must be involved in Greek American issues. We are American first. But, our youth must be involved in grass roots efforts. I have been working in this field for twenty-four years.”

The exciting seminar concluded with Yannis Sianis of Calamos explaining “Calamos Investments serves the needs of institutional and individual investors. Our clients include families and individuals from around the world. We believe the key to long term success is achieving a balance between investment returns and managing risk. Calamos offers a range of global investment solutions, equities, fixed income and alternatives. We are here to help you.” For more information on Hermes Expo International & SAE USA Youth Network, email .

AHI President Nick Larigakis describing himself
as a middle of the road guy

Mr. Ari Melissaratos explains his job.

Dr. Spireas addresses the Seminar as speakers
and participants listen.

(Photo above right) Paul Kotrotsios, Editor of the Hellenic News and founder of Hermes Expo, Stavroula Kotrotsios, Assistant Editor of the Hellenic News and Pre-Law Cum Laude Senior at Villanova University, Founder of Hermes Expo International

(Posting date 11 June 2011)

HCS encourages readers to view other fine articles ( ) penned by Dr. Catherine Tsounis and press releases about the Modern Greek Studies program at St. John's University, where she is an adjunct professor. For more information about Dr. Tsounis, see her biographical sketch at

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