At the 96th AHEPA Supreme Convention in July of this year, George E. Loucas, Esq., of Novelty, Ohio, the new Supreme President of the Order of AHEPA, expressed his eagerness to work with the AHEPA family and the diaspora to address the crisis of the deadly and devastating wildfires in Greece, and traveled there in September to assess how best to aid the victims of the fires.
GN: What do you hope to accomplish in your term as Supreme President?
GEL: To revitalize the importance of the relationship between Brothers as the primary bond that serves as the building block for AHEPA’s vast grassroots network. INVITE +1 program. This fraternity was built upon 2 Brothers rolling up their sleeves and working on principles founded in philotimo and Hellenism. When Brothers work for the good of the community and charity together over time, they truly get to know one another and become like Brothers beyond an oath. Weddings, koumbari, and the such have been created through these relationships over dozens of years. Every Brother is entitled to this experience and if they aren’t getting it, then they need to do more for the Order. Start by inviting that one person that will help realize the goal of a special experience. Invite them to join you in AHEPA for the good of the community and charity and get to work!
GN: Please talk about what you would like to emphasize during your term.
GEL: OLI MAZI: that all Greek American organizations must unite against the adversity facing us in this day and age. INVITE +1; Publicity of the AHEPA Brand and membership; AHEPA as a vehicle to teach philotimo and Hellenism to our future children and grandchildren. If AHEPA advertised one half of its good deeds, we’d have twice as many members. Homes for battered women; sandwiches for the homeless; truckloads of milk for children where the water supply contains lead; help to hurricane and fire victims; help to orphanages; dogs for warriors; jobs for vets…this is a but a fraction of the good works done by the AHEPA family: Ahepans, Daughters, Sons and Maids.
GN: What special relevance do you feel AHEPA has today?
GEL: No other Greek American organization has the vast network of boots on the ground as AHEPA. The fires in Mati serve as an example. We were able to mobilize over 30 Chapters in Greece in a blink of an eye to start investigating and helping. What better network to join when one decides it’s time to start giving back to the community than AHEPA, where an idea can start locally, move to a district level, and then nationally and internationally.
GN: It is known that AHEPA has been committed to serving as a bridge between the U.S. and Greece. What are your thoughts on ensuring that the U.S.-Greece partnership flourishes.
GEL: The vestiges of AHEPA in Greece remain today: AHEPA Hospital wing at Evangelismos; AHEPA Hospital in Thessaloniki; statues and memorials constructed in the name of AHEPA. AHEPA was founded by Greek immigrants. We will not forget our roots forged in Hellenism nor our patrida. We work through channels to keep issues of great geopolitical and economic interest alive and to provide help wherever and whenever needed.
GN: Today there’s a push in American society to discover one’s ethnic roots, an idea that has been prevalent for the Greek American community since the late 19th century.
GEL: Is remembering Hellenic roots one of our goals? Yes! I believe that knowing one’s roots goes a long distance in helping a person reach full potential on many fronts towards a richer and fuller life. Michael Psaros gave a wonderfully moving speech at the 100th anniversary of the Weirton, WV All Saints GOC on this very subject and proved, by the close of his words, the immense value for society of knowing from “whence one comes”. With our rich history of democracy, arts, science, astronomy, engineering, theater, the stakes are even greater for our self-worth as Greek Americans.
GN: What are the ways that youth can be encouraged to participate in AHEPA?
GEL: Every member of the AHEPA domain should require their youth to be a member just like when we were kids. I can’t imagine things are any different today. I did what my parents told me to do! It starts with the adults. A feeder system like the sons and maids to attract and interest the youth. Social media!! Social media…. social media.
GN: What other AHEPA initiatives would you like the community to know about?
GEL: I’d like the community to go to the AHEPA website, www.ahepa.org, but also watch for Operation Uniform to provide vets transitioning from active duty to civil life with help finding a job; a lasting tribute to Greece in memory of the victims in the Attica fires. Continued appeal and influence of AHEPA.
GN: How long have you been involved in AHEPA?
GEL: I have been an Ahepan for nearly 40 years. My Grandfather was elected Supreme President of AHEPA on the very eve I was born and I thus carry his name and memory. We are the first grandfather-grandson Supreme Presidents in AHEPA History. I am both grateful and proud. I served many offices before arriving at this post. My family has served many offices in helping me arrive at this post. We are the proverbial AHEPA family and that is truly an honor.
A SHORT BIO
A registered pharmacist, George E. Loucas worked in the pharmaceutical industry while attending law school, and founded Loucas Law in 1995. He is regarded widely as a leader in fighting Drug Overdose Death (Drug OD) cases from prescription painkillers. Loucas and his wife, Sandra, have a son, Max, and daughter, Lexi.
As AHEPA Supreme President, Loucas’s responsibilities include being the chief executive officer and principal spokesperson, of the entire AHEPA domain, which includes chapters in the United States, Canada, and Europe. The 2019 Supreme Convention for election of Supreme President will convene the week of June 30, in Chicago, Illinois.