The National Hellenic Student Association (NHSA) of North America, Inc. collaborated with the Greek America Foundation to host the National Innovation Conference and Forty Under 40 Awards on May 4-6, 2018 in Philadelphia, PA at Temple University.
The convention kicked off on Friday, May 4 at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown where the NHSA Executive Board greeted attendees during check-in. A welcome reception held at the Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial provided a picturesque night for attendees to meet one another, as well as speakers, and award recipients.
The following morning, attendees enjoyed breakfast at the historic Temple University Performing Arts Center, before the conference began. Opening remarks were given by the President and Founder of Greek America Foundation, Gregory Pappas. Konstantine Ouranitsas, NHSA Chairman, and Alexander Thomopulos, NHSA President, then welcomed guests and shared remarks about NHSA's upcoming initiatives. The conference speeches included video messages from U.S. Ambassador to the Hellenic Republic, Geoffrey Pyatt and Arianna Huffington of The Huffington Post. John Roa, Chairman of Roa Ventures, and Gus Kalaris, Master winemaker of Axios Wines, shared stories of how they began their successful businesses, both inspired by Greece. Networking breaks gave guests an opportunity to meet with the speakers and sample food from Olyra Foods and Liokareas Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The remainder of the conference included two panel discussions titled: "Slay in your Lane" featuring four dynamic women in philanthropy, medicine, politics, and education; and "Food 2.0" featuring the nations top food innovators and entrepreneurs. Included in the food panel was chef and healthy lifestyle expert, Maria Loi, who conducted a cooking session for the kids participating in Camp NIC.
The conference concluded with an inspiring presentation by Miss Pennsylvania USA 2016, Elena Laquatra, an engaging conversation and video presentation by the President of NowThis Media, Athan Stephanopoulos, and a motivational speech by Peter Polydor, Founder and President of Ergo Holdings as well as former panelist from the NHSA Spring 2017 Convention in Los Angeles.
Following the conference, participants attended the Forty Under 40 Awards Reception at Temple University Mitten Hall. Attendees had the opportunity to network and socialize with the award recipients before heading to the Greek Night organized by NHSA at Positano Coast. The Hellenic Weekend ended on Sunday with a walking tour of the City of Brotherly Love, closing with a group photo-op at the famous Rocky Steps leading to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
The NHSA Executive Board would like to thank our participants who traveled from near and far, as well as the special guests, speakers, mentors, and sponsors for continuously supporting our organization in our mission to unite the Hellenic and Cypriot diaspora through educational, professional and social platforms.
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