The Greek American Heritage Society of Philadelphia (“GAHSP”) hosted their annual election earlier this month. Many new faces were elected to the board and administration. Artemis “Tami” Demetris Tsingiropoulos took the reins, as the new president of GAHSP, from Desie Boston, who ran the organization the past two years. With a commitment to serve and continue building GAHSP, Tsingiropoulos accepted the duties for the coming year.
GAHSP was launched by Mary Creticos, whose ideals and vision were truly ahead of their time. An entrepreneur and philanthropist, Greek American woman, she led an incredible life and continues to inspire its members. When asked about women leaders and being the second female president to hold the office, Tsingiropoulos responded, “Of course, being elected the second female President of GAHSP is an honor! I believe women add value to any organization in any capacity. Leadership is not a person or a position. It is a relationship between people based on trust, obligation, commitment, emotion, and a shared vision of a common goal.” She added, “It also takes courage; the courage to realize other people’s potential and want them to have personal success as much as you want success. You need to be willing to share the limelight and celebrate the hard work and dreams of others. Our vision at GAHSP is a big one, and we’re just beginning. I look forward to being a part of the continued mission and growth of our organization.”
GAHSP continues to grow and has played a critical role in filling an area of cultural and historical need for Greek Americans from Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley area. “GAHSP’s goal is to preserve, procure, salvage, and then share this history that has meaning for all of us, which is why it is different from any other organization in our Greek community,” said Tsingiropoulos.
A long-time member of the Philadelphia Greek community, Artemis has held and served in various positions for more than thirty years. Tami, as she’s known, was born and raised in Radnor, Pennsylvania, and has been a lifelong member of St.Luke’s Greek Orthodox Church in Broomall, Pennsylvania, where she has volunteered as a Sunday School teacher for seventeen years, track team coach for five years, girls GOYA basketball coach for four years, and numerous other volunteer positions. She became interested in GAHSP a few years ago when she was introduced to the many projects the organization sponsors annually. “I learned of the society, and it connected with me and my Greek heritage, not just in its roots from Greece, but to here, in Philadelphia, and the way it blossomed into the incredible story to present day.”
One such annual project, “The Photo Tours,” was especially inspiring to Tami. She co-chaired the 5th Annual Photo Tour/Exhibition called ‘AXIA- A Celebration of Extraordinary Greek American Women.’ Hosted in 2019, the event introduced the organization to a broader audience of Greek-Americans, and it helped propel GAHSP into the 21st Century. “With the growing success of the photo tours, we, as an organization, have grown exponentially. Unfortunately, as with all things, we were put on hold for our 2020 photo tour based around the history of Greek Diners and Restaurants, chaired by Harry Karapalides, but we will plan to re-launch the event in March of 2022,” said Tsingiropoulos.
“For 2021, we have an inspiring project which is underway. ‘In Support of Liberty, Philadelphia and The Greek War of Independence.’ Our own Eleftherios Kostans is creating a short documentary film about 1821, the 200th anniversary of Greek Independence and the Philhellenes from Philadelphia, which had a direct impact helping Greece.”
GAHSP continues to sponsor and develop other projects and encourages the Greek American and PhilHellenic communities to get involved. “We are welcoming new members to learn more about the organization and get involved. We have begun a digital archive of many different people, events, historical moments, life moments in general. More people need to get involved. We invite everyone to look at our website and see the incredible work we have done via our interview series, photo tour events, and archiving”.
2021 GAHSP Leadership
- Artemis “Tami” Demetris Tsingiropoulos – President
- Desanne Grigos Nazirides – Vice-President
- Chris Kotsakis – Secretary
- Despena Boston – Treasurer/Chairman of the Board
- Eleftherios Kostans – Assistant Secretary/Public & Media Relations
- Constantinos Mitoulis – Board Member/Assistant Treasurer
- Elias Anthony Iliadis, MD – Board Member
- Simeon Pantelidis – Board Member
- Agnoula Marcantonis – Board Member
- Christina Katsapis – Board Member
- Cheryl Christakis – Board Member
- Telly Vasiliadis – Board Member
- Georgia Chletcos – Board Member
- Gregory Vlassopoulos, Jr. – Board Member/IT Consultant and Administrator
- Anthony J. Beldecos, Esquire – Legal advisor
- Harry J. Karapalides, Esquire – Legal advisor
- Nikolaos Yiantsos – Advisor
- Alexandra Kroger – Advisor
- Peter Papadeas – Advisor