BOD Meeting: April 2021

On Tuesday, April 13, 2021, the monthly meeting of the HCGM Board of Directors was held, in the presence of the media. As has been the case in recent months, due to the pandemic, the meeting took place online, via the Zoom platform.

After the establishment of Quorum and prayer, the Chairman of the Board, Dennis Marinos, proceeded with the agenda, asking the President of the HCGM, Andreas Crilis, and the board members, for any official correspondence to be presented to the Board.

The President referred to 3 letters that have been received. The first was an invitation from the Canada-Hellenic Republic Parliamentary Friendship Group, sent to all HCGM Board Members and many employees to attend their online celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution, in the presence of the Prime Ministers of Canada and Greece, Justin Trudeau and Kyriakos Mitsotakis. The second letter was the greeting of the High Commissioner of the Republic of Cyprus Vassilis Filippou, on the occasion of the anniversary of March 25th. The third letter was an invitation from Mr. Christos Sirros to an online meeting with the members of the Board.

Mr. Crilis then mentioned the outgoing letters of the last month. Specifically, the letter he sent to Nikos Katalifos, congratulating him on his recent appointment to the position of General Manager of the English Montreal School Board. The President also sent a letter to the Premier of Quebec, François Legault, after the province reduced the number of people who can gather in places of worship, from 250, back to 25 people. 

In his President’s Report, Mr. Crilis began by welcoming the new member of the Board, George Kanellakis. He then moved on to the March 25th celebrations. “Despite the enormous difficulties and limitations of the pandemic, in cooperation with the various people and organizations, managed to show our Greek pride here in Montreal,” said the President. “For over a year, we have worked closely with the Consul General of Greece in Montreal, Michalis Gavriilidis, and we will continue to organize many more events, for the 200th anniversary of the beginning of the Greek Revolution, until the end of this year.” added Mr. Crilis.

The President also referred to letters he sent, along with others, to the Prime Minister of Canada and the Bridge Corporation for the lighting up of the bridges Samuel de Champlain and Jacques Cartier, in the colors of the Greek flag, on March 25. “I received the good news at the last minute,” said Mr. Crilis. He thanked all those who helped in the various events that made us proud, making special reference to the federal MPs as well as to the municipal councillors that helped us to mark Greek Independence Day in such a remarkable way. He thanked the various cities that participated; the raising of the flag, the online ceremony, the wreath laying, and illumination at Laval City Hall, as well as the raising of the flag in Roxboro, Cote St. Luc and in Montreal. Finally, the President thanked the owner of the Rialto Theater, which was also illuminated in blue and white. “We are preparing many more events. We should all be proud,” he added. 

The President completed his report by announcing to the Board that a new campaign, a fundraising marathon to benefit our schools, being organized by the HCGM Fundraising Committee, in collaboration with all local media.

In her Treasurer’s Report,  Voula Neofotistos informed the Board that the Accounting Department continues to look into all COVID subsidies we may be eligible for, and make the necessary applications. The Treasurer also mentioned that the Controller of the organization recently resigned. His duties have been temporarily taken over by the Accounting Department. For the time being, no replacement will be sought, as it is more important to fill the position of Executive Director. Finally, Ms. Neofotistou informed that all deductions at source are being paid as per usual.

In her report, the Secretary of Social Services and Human Resources Anna Dimitrokalis, after informing about the strategy issues of her portfolio, added that she is currently considering offers for the acquisition of a CRM program, for the consolidation and utilization of data, in order to support revenue growth in the membership. She also stated the fiscal year for the Social Service Department ends on March 31, and the Accounting Department has begun preparing year end financials.

The Secretary of Real Estate and Procurement, Achilles Nikopoulos, began his report with a statement that, in general, the cost of construction materials has increased substantially over the past year. Currently month to month, there is doubling and tripling in the cost of certain wood materials. This is information we will need to keep in mind as we need to go get bids for future major projects. The Real Estate Department will be looking to proceed with repairs to the Community Center roof. The HCGM had an offer and company approved at a past General Assembly: Toitures Hogue.  Once we have information on the validity of their quote and timeline, he will provide a further update.

The Secretary of Public Relations, Dimitris Katsaounis, thanked all the media that hosted or promoted the Greek Bicentennial anniversary events of the HCGM for the 25th of March. He referred to the celebratory issue of the newsletter “HCGM News”, dedicated to the Greek Bicentennial. He added that the current issue is dedicated to the Parents’ Committees, our partners for success in our Socrates-Démosthène school. Our next issue, our Easter edition, will be released during Holy Week. In closing, he referred to the preparation of a project called “Promenade grecque”, where we hope to decorate pedestrian/bike paths in various parks in the city and surrounding regions, with messages about Greece.

The Executive Vice President of the HCGM and the Secretary of Marketing, Constance Karvelas, reiterated that the events that took place on March 25 were just the beginning. The purpose of the Greek Bicentennial is to share Greece with the whole world. In this context, along with the Promenade grecque, we are exploring the organization of a 200 km road race, “200 km for 200 years”. At the same time, in collaboration with the Sports Department’s Cycling Club, we are planning a bicycle tour of a corresponding distance. Ms. Karvelas added that we  have recently installed on our church buildings, large banners of famous historical paintings depicting important moments from the Greek Revolution. We hope they will inspire everyone to learn more about our illustrious history. The Executive Vice President concluded her report by announcing two upcoming promotional campaigns: one for the HCGM Summer Camps and the other for the Supplementary Education schools of the HCGM.

The Chairman of the Board and the Vice President of the Laval Regional Council, Dennis Marinos, announced that take out lunches are being prepared by both Laval churches for Palm Sunday.

In her report, the Vice President of the HCGM and Secretary of Education, Tassia Tsaousi, shared with the Board that, lately, there have been no cases of coronavirus in any campus of our Socrates-Démosthène. Ms. Tsaousi congratulated the teachers and students of our day school and supplementary education schools for the excellent work they presented in the context of the events of March 25th. Ms. Tsaousi then announced that this year we will have our first graduating class of students from our High School and the graduation ceremony is being prepared. The Secretary of Education closed her report, informing the Board that the Supplementary Education schools will continue online until the end of the year. In this context, a plan is being studied to expand the services of the Supplementary Education department to offer Greek lessons from our schools, via the internet, to other Greek communities around the world.

The meeting ended with questions from members of the Board and representatives of the local media. The next regular meeting is scheduled for May 11, 2021.