The AHEPAN Summer 2018 - 4

PRESIDENTS' MESSAGES

Our Grassroots and How It Leads
to a Significant Presence on the World Stage
Supreme President
Carl R. Hollister

4

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As my term approaches its conclusion, there is one abundantly clear takeaway the unique perspective of the
Office of Supreme President has provided to me. The Order of AHEPA possesses a significant presence on the
world stage because AHEPA stands for what is just and right. As a result, the Order oftentimes is called to
action. Whether it is taking care of the less fortunate, providing affordable, dignified housing for the elderly,
spearheading philanthropic endeavors, sponsoring scholarships or standing for religious freedom and human
rights, AHEPA is recognized because of its grassroots strength and for delivering on its commitment to those in
need. This vibrant grassroots presence through which we implement our service programs, with the spirit of
Hellenic ideals beating in our hearts, is our strong point.
This phenomenon has been evident on multiple occasions during the first half of 2018, beginning with
the International Leadership Mission to Greece, Cyprus and Israel. From there, AHEPA helped His Beatitude
Theophilos III, Patriarch of Jerusalem and All Palestine, by providing a Washington, DC venue for the Patriarch to
discuss the Patriarchate's challenges with an influential DC audience. Our annual Leadership Excursion, featured in
this issue, further demonstrates how AHEPA is well-received and is helping "on the ground" in countries throughout Europe. Moreover, most recently, the AHEPA family's presence on Capitol Hill for our annual fly-in day sends a
strong message to policymakers that we are a vigilant and attentive community; one that is willing to engage with
our legislators. During the evening reception, we honored two champions of the community: Chairman Emeritus
of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, and Congresswoman Niki Tsongas, both of who are
retiring. AHEPA has the attention of world leaders because it is a credible and trusted resource. The substance of
the views we share is based upon the firsthand experiences of the grassroots and the good work we perform in
the community. We make an impact.
Pivoting to our own, we must recognize that AHEPA has achieved this respected status because of the leaders
who came before us. The Order mourns whenever a Brother's service to the community ceases when he passes
on. It is difficult to replace their service whether it is at the chapter, district or national level of our fraternity. It is
at the national level where during the past few years we have lost several pillars of the community. Most recently,
Past Supreme Presidents Gus J. James and Lee Rallis, and stalwarts of our National Housing Program, Chairman
Emeritus of the AHEPA National Housing Corporation Nick Stratas and longtime ANHC Executive Board Member
and Past Supreme Secretary George Anagnostos, among several other irreplaceable former Supreme Lodge officers, have passed away. We must identify and mentor our next generation of leaders, especially as we approach
our milestone 100-year anniversary.
My belief is we must invest in our Junior Orders to ensure the next generation is ready to lead. This is why I
made our Junior Orders a priority during my term and one of the beneficiaries of AHEPA's Midwestern Regional
Banquet, which is highlighted in this issue. The other beneficiary of the banquet was The Ohio State University
Department of Classics. Our purpose is to endow permanently a chair for the department's Modern Greek Program.
The goal speaks to AHEPA's desire to see the Classics and the Greek language thrive on university campuses.
It has been a pleasure and honor to serve as the Order's 64th Supreme President. My sincere gratitude goes
to everyone in the AHEPA family, who throughout my travels, provided warm hospitality along with words of
encouragement and advice. I am amazed by the invaluable contributions AHEPA family members provide, helping to strengthen their communities daily. Finally, I am deeply grateful to my wife, Cynthia, and my family, for
their love and support during my time on the Supreme Lodge, and in particular, during the past year. Thank you.

THE AHEPAN ยท Summer 2018

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