The Main Event: The AHC Gala

Published April 11, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair


With the first two presentations complete, I was now focused on the final video for Dean Metropoulos. He was the recipient of the Aristeio Ward because of his continual support of Hellenism and his outstanding achievements which have had a significant impact both nationally and internationally. For example, the Metropoulos management firm has been involved in nearly 80 acquisitions that includes around $50 billion in invested capital for the past 25 years with impressive returns on Wall Street. With all of his accomplishments however, many would agree that his saving the Hostess Twinkie was one of the highlights.

Metropoulos Aristeio Award

Dean Metropoulos Aristeio Award 2014 AHC Gala Tribute Video

The more information I gathered on Mr. Metropoulos, the more impressed I was with his story because what my research revealed, was that like Maria Pantelia and John Sarbanes, he too, is passionate about his life’s work, which is a key component that contributes to their effectiveness as inspirational leaders. Having worked on these video presentations and discovering what exemplary individuals they are, was a transforming experience for me. It sparked my Greek fire and motivated the storyteller in me to share their journey in a way that truly honored their authentic spirits so that the audience, could discover like I did, who they are and also understand why these extraordinary people were being honored. (Click on the image of Dean Metropoulos above to see his video presentation).

 American-Hellenic-Council-California-AHCThe Main Event: The Gala

Kathy invited my daughter and I to attend the event to make sure the video presentation went smoothly. So we decided to make it into a little mom-daughter spring break journey as we had not been to L.A. since she was in kindergarten when we traveled there to visit Disneyland. We left Vegas early in the morning to get in by early afternoon, but got caught in gridlock traffic on the San Bernardino Freeway. It held us up over an hour. (That’s the part of Southern California I do NOT miss!) By the time we arrived at the Omni Plaza, we were nearly an hour late and Kathy was deeply focused on putting out some of her own “fires” one of which was being short on volunteers that day.


So, we dropped off our luggage and immediately asked what we could do to help out. For us, it was fun because it gave us the opportunity to spend some quality time with our gal pals, working together while catching up. We also had a chance to check out the ballroom where the event would take place. Later, a few of the staff members escorted us to the venue to could go over the layout. For me, in the role of Technical Director for the video presentation, it allowed me to meet the Audio/Video (A/V) staff,  see the equipment we were given to work with, and schedule a rehearsal the next day to set light cues and sound levels for the event.

013112 - back up plans

What my experience in showbiz and my extensive research work in grad school have taught me, is to be well prepared and expect the unexpected. That meant, rehearsals were an integral part of making sure everyone knew their part and that I too, understood what my responsibilities were as well. I also came prepared with my own backup plan for the presentations if for whatever reason, we ran into any technical issues. In addition to bringing my laptop I had several DVD copies of each presentation. Plus, each video file was saved on a flash drive. In addition, I uploaded them all on YouTube in Hi-Definition. In other words, I had as many formats of the video presentation as I could think of to make sure I had many options to choose from, should one system fail. Boy am I glad I did!  But that’s next week’s blog post. You will have to come back then to find out how it all turned out and whether it was an epic success or a fabulous failure!

Until then … have a great weekend everyone and stay organized!


“The appearance of things changes according to the emotions, and thus we see magic and beauty in them, while the magic and beauty are really in ourselves.” — Kahlil Gibran




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