Hellenic Link-Midwest: Building Bridges of Understanding Since 1985

The Chicago-based Hellenic Link-Midwest strives to foster and promote cooperation and fellowship among professionals of Hellenic descent.


History of Hellenic Link-Midwest

Hellenic Link-Midwest was established and incorporated in 1985 as the Midwest chapter of the KRIKOS, based in New York, and with chapters in the United States, Canada, and Greece. As the link among the chapters lost significance, several chapters became independent, while others disbanded. Hellenic Link-Midwest has been an independent organization since the mid-1990s.

Founding member, Past President, Board Member, Program Chairman, and Newsletter Co-editor Constantine Tzanos, PhD, explained the mission of Hellenic Link-Midwest (HLM).

“Our mission is ‘to foster and promote cooperation and fellowship among professionals of Greek descent both in Greece and America, and to preserve, promote, and enrich the Hellenic heritage of its members and of our community’.”
Hellenic Link-Midwest logo

250 Events

Since its inception HLM has sponsored or co-sponsored some 250 events, including lectures, symposia, conferences and performances. Insightful cutting-edge topics related to our omogenia or current affairs are interspersed with cultural and arts events in order to provide a forum for both established and up and coming Greek professionals, scientists, academics, writers and artists. These events cover a wide spectrum of topics, including current events of interest, technology, science, history, politics, economics, literature, philosophy, and the arts.

The most recent event, “The Greek Economic Crisis, 2010-2016: Myths, Realities, Recent Development and Prospects for the Future” was a timely lecture by Dr. Thanos Catsambas. A noted economist who has served as alternate executive director of the International Monetary Fund from 2012-2015, Dr. Catsambas delivered an insightful presentation on the Greek economic crisis based on his intimate knowledge of the situation.

HLM Newsletter

Each month, HLM publishes a newsletter, of which Dr. Tzanos is the co-editor.

“The short, but quite rich newsletter, includes summaries of HLM’s upcoming events, brief summaries on some current events in Greece and Cyprus, an article on especially notable pages of the Greek or Greek-American history, and a page ‘From the Riches of Our Cultural Heritage’, that is, a page with poetry of great Greek poets or with a beautiful song of the Greek people (dimotiko tragoudi).”

Community collaboration

HLM collaborates with many organizations of similar interests. These organizations include National Hellenic Museum, Hellenic American Academy, University of Illinois at Chicago, Pontian Greek Society of Chicago, Hellenic Professional Society of Illinois, Greek Women’s University Club, Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE), Amnesty International, Greek-American Community Services, Macedonian Society of Greater Chicago, and Orpheus Hellenic Folklore Society.

 

Hellenic Link-Midwest event Dr Malliaris
In 2014, Prof. Tassos Malliaris of Loyola University on the Greek economy. From right: Andreas Melas, current HLM president, Prof. Malliaris, and Dr. Costas Tzanos, HLM Program Chair. Photo courtesy of Dr. Constantine Tzanos

 

Notable Programs & Events

Dr. Tzanos is proud of all the organization’s programs, but considers the following as among highlights. The list shows the diversity of the programming.

  • October 1991: Conference – “The Role and Identity of Greece in New Europe”

  • 1994: Symposium – “Greek Primary Education in America: Entering the 21st Century”

  • 1997: Panel Discussion – “Greek-American Women in Politics”, featuring The Honorable Adeline Geo-Karis, Senator, Commissioner Maria Pappas, and Stella Adams Cuthbert

  • 1999: Lecture –  “The Cyprus Crisis of 1974: American Policy Perspectives Then and Now,” by Ambassador Thomas Boyatt

  • 2003 Musical Performance  –“A Tribute to the Music of the Celebrated Greek Composer Mikis Thedorakis,” by Concertante Di Chicago

  • 2005: Theatrical Performance  –  Plato’s “The Apology of Socrates,” Yannis Simonides

  • 2007: “The American Embassy and the Collapse of Democracy in Greece, 1966–1969”, by Ambassador Robert V. Keeley

  • 2012: “The Greek-Turkish Dispute in the Aegean Sea and the Role of the Exclusive Economic Zone”, by Prof. Theodore Kariotis

  • 2013: “Why  Should We be Excited by the Discovery of the Higgs Particle,” by Prof. Nikos Varelas

HLM Scholarship Awards

Every year in January, at HLM’s dinner dance and New Year celebration, a number of scholarships are awarded to college and university students who have at least one parent of Greek origin and are Midwest residents. Typically, four scholarships are awarded based on academic performance and economic need.

Planning for 2017 is Underway

Planning is already underway for the 2017 cycle of programs including a lecture this April by Professor Vicky Kalogera on the fascinating world of Cosmology.

Dr. Tzanos spoke about their plans.
“We plan to continue with our established program of activities and possibly expand it if our financial resources, which are a quite limiting factor, would allow it.”
From October through May, HLM typically hosts one event per month.

HLM Annual Dinner Dance & New Year Celebration

HLM’s Annual Dinner Dance, New Year Celebration, and Scholarship Awards will be held on January 21, 2017, at the Four Points Sheraton Hotel in Schiller Park, IL. The proceeds from the event are used to support the scholarships, the cultural and educational programs, and the other activities of the organization.

Learn more

Member benefits include notification for all events, free admission to the organization’s cultural programs, discounts to select social events or plays, voting privileges, and a subscription to the HLM newsletter.


Further information, a membership application, and details on both upcoming and past events can be found on the Hellenic Link-Midwest website.


 

John Psiharis

John Psiharis

John P. Psiharis has been executive director of Chicago's Irving Park Community Food Pantry since 2008 and is the co-owner and president of Little Helpers, Inc. in Chicago.

John was co-founder and executive director of Greek-American Community Services from 1986-2001. He is a co-founder and longtime board member of the Greek-American Nursing Home Committee. He has provided consulting services to a number of institutions, businesses and organizations and has served on numerous boards and committees. Over the years, John has contributed to The National Herald, The Greek Star, and other publications.
John Psiharis

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