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NJFHO Honors John Sakellaris at its Third Annual Banquet

PRESS RELEASE
NEW JERSEY HELLENIC FEDERATION HONORED JOHN SAKELLARIS AND FORMER COLLEGE HELLENIC SOCIETIES PRESIDENTS AT ITS THIRD ANNUAL BANQUET ON JUNE 10, 2012

June 11, 2012. The Federation of Hellenic American Organizations of New Jersey held its Third Annual Banquet on Sunday, June 10, 2012 at the Grey Cliff Manor, Moonachie, NJ. This year the Federation honored the Chairman of the Board of Pan Gregorian Enterprises of New Jersey and founding member of the Federation, Mr. John Sakellaris. Mr. Sakellaris was instrumental in the formation of the Federation and worked tirelessly with Andreas Comodromos, Tassos Efstratiades and the founding Board members to establish a sound and productive organization. Sakellaris served as Executive Vice president of the Federation and currently is Chairman of its Advisory Board. Pan Gregorian Enterprises was one of the founding member organizations of the Federation and one of its early supporters.

The event was attended by His Eminence Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, Congressman Bill Pascrell, State Senator Barbara Buono and Middlesex County Freeholder Jim Polos. Mistress of Ceremonies was New York Assembly Member Aravela Simotas. Also delivering wishes to Mr. Sakellaris through written messages were Governor Chris Christie, the Metropolitan of Karpathos, Governor Jim Florio and others. The event was attended by many members of the Community. John Sakellaris was born in Volada in the island of Karpathos and came το America in the 1960s. He is a successful restaurant owner, first at Al's Diner in Jersey City and later at Lyndhurst Diner in Lyndhurst. He was a founding member of Pan Gregorian Enterprises of New Jersey, where he currently serves as chairman of the board of directors.

John Sakellaris served as president of the Association of Voladioton “Saint Anargyroi” and president of the parish council of Saint Demetriοs Church in Jersey City. He supported the Karpathian Federation, where he served as chairman for two years. Mr. Sakellaris was also very involved in political activities. He supported several Philhellene political figures in New Jersey, including Senator Bill Bradley, Senator Menendez and Governor Jim Florio. In 1987, he joined the Michael Dukakis for President Committee, becoming one of the strongest supporters of the Greek American presidential candidate. John Sakellaris has also served the Greek Orthodox Church in many capacities, including as a member of the Metropolitan Council of the Metropolis of New Jersey. For his efforts, the Ecumenical Patriarch awarded him with the title of Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

At the event the Federation also honored the following former Presidents of College Hellenic Societies that were members of the Federation: Konstantina Tsintsifas (Hellenic Cultural Association of Rutgers University 2011-2012), Natasha Manolas (College of New Jersey Hellenic Society 2010-2012), Anna Zalocostas (HCA of Rutgers 2010-2011), Matthew Hadodo (HCA of Rutgers 2009-2010), Pantelis Efstratiades (HCA of Rutgers 2008-2009) and John Papaspanos (HCA of Seton Hall 2008-2009).

The chair of the banquet is Stavros Antonakakis, head of the Greek American Chamber of Commerce and member of the Council of Presidents of the Federation.