Dear HBA Members, Supporters, and Friends,
It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as the 72nd President of the Hellenic Bar Association and its Foundation. As I reflect on my time as President, I wish to express a heartfelt thank you for your support and engagement.
The proud daughter of immigrants, I was taught that hard work and the value of education are immeasurable. It was with this foundation in mind that I chose the theme of this past year: honoring spirit and knowledge. To that end, it was my mission to celebrate our accomplished members, highlight our special programs, and invest in our students and young lawyers. Below is a look back at some highlights from our past year:
- The 72nd Annual Scholarship Ball: We honored distinguished members of our Greek-American community: Hellene of the Year, Dr. Leonidas Platanias; Service Award, Honorable Judge Anthony Kyriakopoulos; Professional Achievement Award, Maria Tabrizi, and our Lawyer of the Year, Harry J. Secaras.
- We celebrated the HBA’s bright future by recognizing and providing $60,000 in scholarships to our seven scholarship recipients: Kali Alexakos, Lampros Anastasopoulos, Sabrina O’Connor, Penelope Pentzas, Isabella Sabri, Christophilos Theodosis, and Ioanna Varra.
- Networking Events: We hosted more than 20 in-person events, including our Fall-Kick Off, Career Corner, inaugural Past Presidents’ Dinner, Scholarship Alumni Networking Event, traditional Vasilopita event, Women’s History Month Panel Discussion, Mentoring Networking Event, and End of the Year Election party. These events provided our members and friends excellent networking opportunities. Additionally, these efforts to keep our members engaged increased our membership by 15% this year!
- CLE Opportunities: We hosted a record number of continuing legal education opportunities, covering a wide range of interests and topics, including immigration, litigation basics, transactional law bootcamp, information regarding dual citizenship, and mental health and wellness.
- Communications: We overhauled our marketing and digital footprint with a new website, which included launching a library to archive our videos, speeches, events and newsletters. Take a stroll down memory lane by revisiting these fun moments: https://hellenicbar.org/media/
- Hellenic Legal Assistance Clinic: One of the key outreach programs of our organization is our pro bono clinic Hellenic Legal Assistance Services (“Hel.LAS.”) This year marks several milestones for Hel.LAS, including assisting more than 400 families, celebrating our 7th anniversary, and working towards opening a second clinic office location later this year!
- Law Day: A record number of middle-school students from our local Greek American Day Schools participated in our annual Law Day competition by writing essays about whether environmental laws and policies should control how corporations and individuals treat waste and other behaviors that affect the environment. Twelve students presented their winning essays, in a courtroom ceremony at the Richard J. Daley Center, hosted by Judge Anna H. Demacopoulos.
- Judge’s Night: Finally, we ended our year with a sold-out Judges’ Night held at the National Hellenic Museum where we honored Illinois Appellate Court Justice Jesse G. Reyes with the Socrates Dikastes Award and Judge Anna H. Demacopoulos with our Trailblazer Award.
This past year has left me with a tremendous sense of pride in our organization and the exciting future that lies ahead. I look forward to even greater accomplishments under the leadership of our 2023-2024 Officers and Board of Directors as I step into the role of Chairwoman of the Board for the coming year. Please join me in congratulating incoming President Spyridon Demakis, who will continue to lift the Hellenic Bar to great heights.