Northwest & Pacific Notes – April 2018

Genealogist Carol Kostakos Petranek COURTESY PHOTO

HELLENIC GENEALOGY: Do you know where in the Hellenic world your family is from? How about the origin of your Greek last name? Names changed here in the new world or before they immigrated? On April 21, the Hellenic American Cultural Center and Museum will bring Carol Kostakos-Petranek, a Hellenic Genealogist from the Washington, D.C. area, to lead a Hellenic Genealogy Workshop in Portland, OR. For an opportunity to answer some of those questions and more, plan to attend. Email your contact information at or call 503.858.8567. Kostakos-Petranek, born in Brooklyn, is of Greek ancestry with roots in villages near Sparta. Now living in the Washington D.C. area, she is co-director of the D.C. Family History Center, coordinating classes, conferences, and community outreach projects. She also is a citizen archivist/genealogy aide at the National Archives and volunteer coordinator for Family Research – Maryland Archives digitalization projects Probate and Estate Records. Kostakos-Petranek also writes books and articles, gives presentations, and assists others in writing their personal and family histories.

YES NORTH AMERICA: The Northwest YES retreat will take place April 13-15 at Holy Trinity Cathedral, 3131 NE Glisan St. in Portland to serve and show love to the most needy neighbors in Portland, OR. It is the region’s opportunity for 13-year-olds to college students to experience the service learning weekend. Registration gift of $175 per person will cover expenses and allow the YES Program to prepare and execute the trip, and enable the service team to meet the needs of those in need. Fundraisers will occur to help offset the costs. Contact in Seattle or YES Leader Sophia Fraser: YES is part of FOCUS North America, a national movement of Orthodox Christians, united in faith and joined by a desire to provide action-oriented and sustainable solutions to poverty in communities across America. FOCUS has operations and youth volunteer experiences in more than 50 cities in the United States.

AHI Awards recipient Isidoros Garifalakis and AHI President Nick Larigakis PHOTO COURTESY AMERICAN HELLENIC INSTITUTE

ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS: Isidoros Garifalakis, Principal Owner of Omega Industries and philanthropist, from Portland, OR was one of four people honored at the 48th Annual American Hellenic Institute’s Achievement and Public Service Awards Dinner held on March 3 in Washington, D.C. at The Capitol Hilton.  The event is the Institute’s most important annual celebration recognizing individuals for their significant career achievements and contributions to the Greek American community or the community at large. The other 2018 honorees are Nancy Papaioanniou, President of Atlantic Bank in New York; Tim Tassopoulos, President of Chick-fil-A, and Phil Angelides, Businessman, California State Treasurer (1999-2007), and Chairman of U.S. Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (2009-2011). Garifalakis, a member of the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Portland, serves as the Secretary of the San Francisco Metropolis Council and is an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

Author Taso G. Lagos COURTESY PHOTO

EARLY THEATER LEGEND: Taso G. Lagos, Greece Study Abroad Program Director and Lecturer for Hellenic Studies at the University of Washington, is author of the new book, AMERICAN ZEUS: The life of Alexander Pantages, Theater Mogul.  The University Bookstore in Seattle held a lecture/book signing event when author Lagos discussed the life and tragic times of this pioneering immigrant, including the antisemitism and immigrant stigmas that abounded in Hollywood during Pantages’ life. The book also is available at other stores. Lagos’ family immigrated to the United States from a small village on the Greek island of Euboea. He specializes in Greek Diaspora Studies, Nation Branding, and International Communication. His published works have appeared in the Journal of Modern Greek Studies, New Media & SocietyPolitical Communication and in the book series, Culture & Civilization. Lagos teaches classes at the University of Washington on Diaspora Communities in Seattle, on Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, and on Global Citizenship.  He is also a frequent contributor to the Op-Ed page of The Seattle Times.

BALKAN FEST: The annual Balkan Night Northwest held at Seattle’s St. Demetrios Community Center in mid-March was a joyous explosion of music, dance, and tradition from all over the Balkans, from Albania, through Serbia, Croatia, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania and beyond! Twenty bands provided non-stop music on three stages, with delicious ethnic food provided by the local Croatian and Greek communities.



Email the author: Theodora Argue

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