Christiana Prekezes turned over a new leaf
It feels like only recently when I first met the late George P. Livanos, founder and at the time Chairman of HELMEPA, presenting the 1988 association’s refresher training program for mariners on board “Pegasus”, of Mr. Andreas Potamianos. He was surrounded by prominent shipping personalities, members and other strong supporters of the association, and he spoke passionately about his vision of both personal and collective commitment in the maritime community to protect our seas.
A Greek-American myself, I believed in GPL and chose to stay in Greece since then. HELMEPA was way ahead of its time when it started and it has become even more relevant in view of what we now know of the threats to the environment and the urgency the global community places on protecting the oceans.
A legacy of strong leadership steered HELMEPA in “fighting the good fight” and I feel especially honored to have served in the Secretariat of the organization for the last 33 years and to have met the past Chairmen and Members of the Boards, who followed the Founder.
I take particular pride in having contributed to the success of many initiatives over the years, in Greece and abroad, always with the support of volunteer members: the principals, managers and liasons of shipping companies, merchant mariners, lecturers in training programs, cooperating teachers all over the country and others.
I also feel privileged to have represented HELMEPA at the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the UN in New York, UNEP/MAP, the US and Canadian Coast Guards, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), the European Environment Agency, the Green Award Board of Experts and other international and regional entities.
In my role as Executive Coordinator, I had the opportunity to get involved in various interesting projects, interacting with a plethora of dedicated, professional people. I’d like to thank all those with whom I had the honor and privilege to cooperate, among them representatives of the Hellenic Coast Guard, the Hellenic Navy, public and non-governmental organizations, sister associations, and of course the press and media in Greece and abroad.
Over time I witnessed HELMEPA grow through various challenges while managing not to stray from the original idea and vision of GPL and the founding Declaration.
Having declined to take the position of director general, it’s time to move on turning the page in my professional life. With optimism and confidence I look forward to applying the knowledge and experience I have gained in another worthy cause or worthwhile project.
Leaving, I wish the new Chairperson and the Board a successful term. To the staff of the Secretariat, I wish resilience and continued pride in their work and HELMEPA’s achievements.
Closing, I look forward to keeping in contact and I hope our paths will cross again in the very near future. To this end, I can be reached at: email@example.com or at: firstname.lastname@example.org