A Members’ Day Meeting of the International Propeller Club of the United States, Port of Piraeus, was held on Thursday, 14 July at the Acropolis Museum. The highlight of the evening was the Member’s Award of Excellence presented to Mr. John Mytilineos, founder of M/Maritime and co-founder of Mytilineos Holdings, for his achievements in the Industrial and Shipping sectors. As the President of the Propeller Club of Piraeus, Mr. Costis Frangoulis, said, “The profile of Mr. John Mytilineos stands out, with actions and an imprint characterized by values that move the human race forward. Tonight’s award is one of recognition, and it is an award that we hope will serve as inspiration and as an example for all.”
The keynote speaker at the event was the Minister of Finance, Mr. Christos Staikouras (pictured above with Costis Frangoulis). His speech entitled“The state of play and prospects for the Greek economy and shipping as a pillar of strong sustainable growth” triggered much discussion about the Greek economy and the prospects of Greek shipping.
The event was attended by members of the Propeller Club of Piraeus and important personalities from different sectors of the local and global economy, mainly from the shipping industry, as well as government and diplomatic representatives.
Among those present was the Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Ms. Domna Michailidou, North Athens MP, and Propeller Club member Mr. George Koumoutsakos, the Ambassador of the USA and Honorary President of the Propeller Club of Piraeus Mr. George Tsunis, the Ambassador of Japan Ms. Yasunori Nakayama, the Ambassador of Italy Ms. Patrizia Falcinelli, the President of the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping Dr. George D. Pateras and the President of the Hellenic-American Chamber Mr. Nikolas Bakatselos.
Ms. Danae Bezantakou, General Secretary of the Propeller Club of PiraeusBoard of Governors, opened the event with her greeting, followed by Mr. Costis Frangoulis, who noted that “the Propeller Club of Piraeus is today the largest and strongest Propeller Club in the world, active in Piraeus since 1935.”
In addition, Mr. Frangoulis referred to the actions and the future plans of the Club. “We have and will continue to demonstrate strong and multi-faceted work as a Club, due, primarily to an excellent team and a dynamic and highly active Board of Governors whom I always thank for their great contribution.” He added that, “Our country recently shone like a strong beacon with this year’s Posidonia Exhibition. The participation of our Club was very successful with many important visitors to our stand. Now, the Propeller Club of Piraeus is preparing to organize the 96th Propeller World Convention & Conference, in Athens during September this year. The importance of this Conference is undeniable for the country, for shipping, and for the Propeller Club in Greece and internationally.”
In Mr. Staikoura’s speech that followed, the Minister of Finance analyzed the state and prospects of the Greek economy and the shipping industry as a pillar of strong, sustainable development. As Mr. Staikouras said, “The Propeller Club of Piraeus has consistently and successfully served the goal of promoting social, cultural and maritime relations between Greece and the USA, as well as promoting Greek merchant shipping,” He emphasized, “Shipping is a global sector and a dominant force in the Greek economy, effectively facing challenges both at an international and national level.”
After thanking the Minister for his speech, Mr. Frangoulis said that “We share your optimism for the future of Greece and thank you for your work as Minister of Finance. I also congratulate you for your work as a government regarding the reopening ofthe Skaramangas and Elefsina shipyards. Our country needs active, productive and reliable shipyards like Neorio in Syros. The strongest shipping in the world deserves a strong shipbuilding and repair industry.”
Introducing Mr. Mytilineos, Mr. Frangoulis said that “These days, excellence, combined with ethos, is rare. John Mytilineos is a rare person and businessman. His values are values that we advocate, honor and serve at the Propeller Club of Piraeus; values that we wish to showcase and reward.”
The honorary plaque was presented to Mr. Mytilineos by the United States Ambassador to Greece, Mr. George Tsunis, in his capacity as Honorary President of the Propeller Club of Piraeus. Mr. Mytilineos was also named as an Honorary Member of the Club and according to the Club’s tradition, Mr. Frangoulis pinned the lapel pin while Ms. Bezantakou presented him with the Club’s Honorary Member’s Certificate.
In a particularly emotional acceptance speech, Mr. Mytilineos touched everyone by stating that as a modest person not used to award ceremonies and public events, he never expected to be awarded for his work, “Because I always thought that every morning I did a job, a hard job,” he said characteristically. “However, I cannot help but say that I am indeed proud of my professional and business career over the last 40 years, a career based on my values and beliefs,” said Mr. Mytilineos.
He also pointed out that “hard work is not enough for someone to succeed, but a prerequisite. All this is possible when there is a vision. A business vision which I had to a limited extent as I was always grounded and focused on the harsh reality”. At this point, Mr. Mytilineos made special mention of his brother Evangelos Mytilineos, saying that it was thanks to him and his great vision, that the two of them managed to realize all their business plans. Mr. Mytilineos thanked his family for the support they provided him all these years and especially his two daughters “who went to bed before I got home, most of the time”, as he said characteristically. He especially thanked his sister Sofi Daskalakis-Mytilineos and his brother Giorgos Kontouzoglou “who were always there to ensure family cohesion even in the most difficult circumstances”. Finally, he thanked the Propeller Club of Piraeus, his friend Costis Frangoulis, as well as the audience present.