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Members’ Day – 6th Award of Excellence to 3 Vice Admirals (ret.) of the Hellenic Navy

«Event for the importance of Leadership in the Hellenic Society.

 Honor to 3 Vice Admirals (ret.) of the Hellenic Navy»

In what ways successful leadership helps Greek to succeed at tasks?

In what way the virtues and values can be ensured by capable and skillful leaders?

The Propeller Club carried out the annual ‘Members’ Day’ event, during which the 6th Awards of Excellence were bestowed to the three recently retired Vice Admirals, Mr. Ioannis Pavlopoulos, Honorary Chief of the Hellenic Fleet, Mr. Alexandros Diakopoulos, Honorary Commander of the Hellenic National Defense College and Mr. Nicholaos Kafetsis, Honorary Commander of the Hellenic Naval Logistics Command.

The event took place in an emotional atmosphere, in the presence of H.E. the Ambassador of U.S. to Greece, Mr. Geoffrey Pyatt with officials from the political and army leadership, among whom were Mr. Kostas Katsafados, Parliament member and representative of the President of N.D. party Mr. Kyriakou Mitsotaki, the former Minister of Shipping and current Parliament member of N.D. party Mr. Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, Mrs. Evi Karakosta, Parliament member of SYRIZA,  the representative of the Chief of the H.N., Rear Admiral Dimitrios Kataras, the representative of the Chief of the Hellenic Coast Guard, Rear Admiral Agisilaos Anagnostakos,  Dr. Spyros Spyridon, member of the National delegation of Greece to the European Committee of the Regions, Mrs. Ioanna Kalatzakou, former Vice President of the Athens Bar Association and candidate Parliament member of the N.D. party.

Several shipping executive members and officials participated at the event; Mr. Panos Laskaridis, President of the European Community Shipowner’s Associations, Mr. George Pateras, President of the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping, Mrs. Irene Daifa, representative of the Municipality of Piraeus and President of the Marine Club of Piraeus, Mr. Theodoros Kontes, President of the Union of Cruise Shipowners and Associated Members, Mr. Nikolaos Vouyoukas, President of the Association of Banking and Financial Executives of Hellenic Shipping, Mr. Antonis Stelliatos, President of the Hellenic Professional Yacht Owners Association and Mr. Dimitris Mitsatsos, General Manager of HELMEPA.

Additionally, Cpt. Mauro Renaldi, Honorary Consul of Italy in Piraeus, Mr. Chip Laitinen, Counselor of Economic Affairs of the U.S. Embassy in Greece, the Defense Attaché of the U.S. Embassy, Cpt. Timothy Ketter, Cpt. Rose Rice, LCDR Sara Warynovich and Colonel Enrico Frasson, Defense, Army, Naval and Air Attache of the Embassy of Italy in Greece.

The Executive Board of Governors composed by George Xiradakis, President, Dimitrios Patrikios, A’ Vice President, Kostas Kontes, B’ Vice President, Costas Constantinou, Secretary General, Dimitri Vassilacos, Treasurer and the Board members, Dimitris Dimitriadis, Michael Dalakouras, Nikos Marmatsouris, Dimitrios Mattheou, John Belousis, Katerina Potamianos, Kostas Rokkos, Christos Timagenis, Costis Frangoulis, Lambros Chahalis, welcomed the members and the guests of the Propeller Club at the Yacht Club of Greece.

The President Mr. George Xiradakis noted: ‘We are the supporters of the Greek Shipping and the Naval bodiessuch as the Navy and the Hellenic Coast Guard. I am proud of the relationship that we have achieved with the Hellenic Navy and its staff, during the 6 years of my Presidency at the Board of Governors. Three valuable members of the H.N. and friends of the Propeller Club, were released from their services this year. Their personality, their proved leadership skills and their professional training, denotes them as true ambassadors of this year’s motto ‘It’s in our DNA; It’s in our blood’. The people who are awarded today, developed through meritocracy the Art of Leadership and manage to transfer this knowledge to the next generation. Their tough career at the H.N. made them understand that the Art of Leadership itself, allows us to live every moment of our existence (either at work or in any other social environment) in a way that gives a deeper meaning and value and purpose in our life. True leaders, always strife to become better.’

 

The following parts of speeches are highlighted:

 

Award of VADM (ret.) Nicholaos Kafetsis

  • Michael Dalakouras, presenting VADM Kafetsis:

‘Dedication is the word that describes perfectly VADM Kafetsis, who not only supported technically the fleet but also served as a Commander of the Hellenic Naval Logistics Command for two years, something which is remarkable. Excellence was something that followed him throughout his class and his career’.

 

  • VADM Kafetsis:

‘We achieved to serve the values of the Command and respond to its demands through trustful relationships, honest cooperation, methodology, sheer will, through the ongoing and painful daily struggles, because the Hellenic Navy is not only an institution but also a point of reference. It deals not only with strategy, but also with the daily activities that we tried to accomplish through our determination. It is a great responsibility the compliance and fulfillment of values and we; seamen know. The organization, the resources and the procedures may differ between the Merchandise shipping and the Navy, but the values are the same. The values could not differ, since we operate in the same field of action, with the same difficulties and adversities at sea’.

 

Award of VADM (ret.) Alexandros Diakopoulos

  • Dimitris Patrikios, presenting VADM Diakopoulos:

‘One can find the C.V. of VAD Diakopoulos on the internet. However, I want to talk about my classmate Alexandros, with whom we attended after the change of the regime at 1974, the Gymnasium at Leontios School, in Patisia. Every morning, we met at the same yellow bus numbered 3, taking the root from Red Cross to Patisia. We gοt to know each other and became friends. We were lucky because we attended a school that gave us the opportunity to develop our personalities through the participation at the extra-curricular activities, the love for art, the musical education and the athletics. That school taught us of ‘Ethos’ and gave us values, that follow us in our lives. It taught us the culture of the modern everyday life.

As classmates we were all very proud of the career of Alexandros and shared this happiness, as we were a part of his success and development. On 2013, when Alexandros and I met again after our academic and professional pursuit, I saw a smile that was stemming from a noble soul and felt that not a single moment had passed all these 40 years after our graduation; I had the same feeling as we were at the yellow bus again going to school.

Alexandros, the years at school and family mold the citizens of a modern society. Whatever we received, must be returned by being an example to others, through our offer and community participation’.

 

  • VADM Diakopoulos:

‘In order to sail the ship, you must know it well and you must love it. You must know its characteristics, its strong and weak points; you must set the route at the proper direction and avoid dangers. But in order to lead humans and ships, you must have been led first. Philosopher Solon used to say “Άρχεσθαι μαθών, άρχειν επιστήσει” (When you learn to be commanded, you will learn to command). In the ship’s habitat, it’s not enough to work but above all you must be able to cooperate. In the ship you will understand that ranks can be awarded but not the respect. What’s more, respect must be earned but if you cannot lead, then you will not be respected and your colleagues will be frightened of you. The basic elements of Leadership are three; Respect, Ambition, Vision. Groucho Marx said, “these are my principals and if you don’t like them, I have more.” I didn’t have more. With these principals, that I mentioned previously, I tracked my path for almost 40 years at the Hellenic Navy’.

 

Award of VADM (ret.) Ioannis Pavlopoulos:

  • Costis Frangoulis presenting VADM Pavlopoulos:

‘I present today a man Who I admire immeasurably. The “Chief of our Heart” as numerous patriots call him. Ethical, altruist, straightforward, honest, approachable, worthy, intelligent, workaholic, stubborn and incompatible. A “seal” with inexhaustible mental reserves and endless energy. From the rank of Ensign up until that of Vice Admiral and Chief of the Fleet, he was always approachable and adorable to all personnel of the H.N.; sailors and ship’s crew, “Seals”, marines, commanders and high ranked executives, always available to talk and listen first hand any problems, without distinction. He got his position with his value and hard work. He was completely and selflessly dedicated to the H.N. and everything outside meant little to him. He left his home in 1979 in order to join the H.N. and returned there after his retirement carrying as a legacy the selfless love of the personnel and of the Greeks that have met him’.

Following the presentation, the awards to the Vice Admirals were given by the President, Mr. George Xiradakis, the BoG members, H.E. the Ambassador of the U.S. in Greece, Mr. Geoffrey Pyatt and the President of the European Community Shipowner’s Associations, Mr. Panos Laskaridis.

This exceptional evening was concluded with a cocktail, honoring the awarded VADMs and the attendees present at the unique area of the Yacht Club, sharing a stunning view of Saronic Gulf and that of the Acropolis.

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