Thursday, September 13, 2012

Showing the Way:1000 Women Leaders From 70 Countries Attended 2012 Global Summit of Women in Greece

Athens, Greece
May 31 - JUNE 2, 2012


At the end of May this year, between two elections and in the midst of the greatest period of political uncertainty Greece has faced recently, the 22-year global economic and business forum convened at the prestigious Hotel Intercontinental in Athens, Greece. 

1,000 women leaders from 70 countries in every corner of the world came together to share winning strategies to advance women's economic lives and to ensure global prosperity. The Vice President of Vietnam, the Minister of Corrections of South Africa, the  CEO of Siemens Spain, the Chief Diversity officer of Daimler, Germany, and many other dynamic women with their presence showed their confidence in the future of Greece, and spoke evocatively about the situation on the ground... a vastly different situation from the picture relayed around the world by the world's media at the time.
When asked why she chose Greece to host the annual Global Summit of women, the President, Irene Natividad, said the following on her facebook page:

Due to the current economic crisis, I’ve planned for the 2012 Summit to focus on growth areas in the global economy in which women will play a pivotal role. 
I chose Greece because I believe that we should be close to the place where someone may need us. 
Greek women will have the chance to show another image of Greece – a more positive one – abroad.

While news coverage of Greece has focused primarily, wrongly so, in our opinion, on the debt crisis facing the country, the Summit itself shed light on Greek women in charge who although rarely talked about, may well be the key to economic recovery, via their role as 50% stakeholders in the global economy. The Summit also discussed the many opportunities still available in Greece for foreign and business investors, despite the ongoing economic crisis.

Several dynamic Greek women, leaders in their field, made presentations during the Summit:

Rodi Kratsa – 
Vice President, European Parliament 

A member of the European Parliament from Greece, she was first elected in 1999, then re-elected in 2004 and again in 2009. She was elected 1st Vice-President of the European Parliament in January 2007 and re-elected Vice-President in July 2009. Her parliamentary work is rich and multifaceted with a portfolio that ranges from issues of European integration, regional cohesion and economic development, the improvement of women’s status and the presence of the EU at international level. 

Angeliki Frangou – 
Chairman and CEO, Navios Holdings  

Angeliki Frangou, Chairman and CEO of three publicly listed companies in the New York Stock Exchange – Navios Holdings, Navios Partners and Navios Acquisitions – which have an enterprise value of $5 billion, was named one of Fortune’s 2011 Top 50 Global Women in Business. She is a mechanical engineer by training , who left her Wall Street job as an analyst to found her own shipping company in 2005. Credited with an ability to structure financial deals, her company grew and was issuing dividends even during the downturn when other shipping companies were trimming their sails. 
Nellie Katsou – 
Managing Director, Pharmathen 

Nellie Katsou started her career in 1990 by founding Pharmanel SA, a pharmaceutical company based in Athens, where she was co-owner and Managing Director until 2003. As the company grew, she was also a major shareholder in the family-owned pharmaceutical company Pharmathen SA. After her father’s death in 1993, she became Vice President of the Board of Directors and Managing Director. As a leading member, she envisioned and worked to make Pharmathen a major exporting enterprise one of the largest pharmaceuticals companies in Europe. 

Maria Vlachou – 
Co-Founder, Fereikos Helix Since 2008, 

Maria Vlachou has been the CEO and co-owner of Fereikos Helix, a snail farming company. She received the “Young Entrepreneur of the Year” award last year granted by Sir Stelios Hajiioannou. The enterprise, for which she and her sister have been recognized, produces and markets snails primarily for European consumption. In the course of building this business, the sisters have developed a network of growers throughout Greece, many of whom they have taught to farm quality snails. Her creative entrepreneurial career shows what is possible in the new Greece post-crisis. 

Angelina Michaelidis – President, Women’s Organization of Managers and Entrepreneurs 

Angelina Michaelidis was elected President of Women Organization of Managers & Entrepreneurs of the Hellenic Management Organization in 2007. She is also an active member of the Hellenic Institute of Information Communication Technology. She has built a long and successful career working in major ICT companies, starting initially as a Programmer-Analyst and developing up to Sales Manager, Commercial Manager and Managing Director. Since January 2012, she has been leading the Public Sector BU of SingularLogic. Georgia Kartsanis – President, CEO Clubs Greece Georgia Kartsanis has had a rich international business career including a decade as an industry leader in executive search services and 20 years of commercial management experience working with companies in Greece, the USA and the Middle East. In October 2009, she founded CEO Clubs Greece, the 1st European Chapter of one of the oldest international networking organizations for CEOs and entrepreneurs. Beginning in 2010, she also launched SARGIA Partners S.A, a unique consultancy offering leadership coaching services to clients in Southeast Europe and Cyprus. 

Maria Alexiou – Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, Titan Cement 

Maria Alexiou is Head of Corporate Social Responsibility for Titan Cement Co. She also serves as Chair of the Hellenic Network for CSR, which aims to promote corporate social responsibility to the Greek business community and to the society at large. She began her career as a CSR Manager at Titan America in 2003. 

Anastasia Makarigaki—Director of Human Resources, Balkan Region, Pepsico 

Anastasia Makarigaki joined PepsiCo in 2008 and currently serves as Senior HR Director for the Greater Balkans (including Cyprus and Israel). She is also responsible for External Communications of PepsiCo in Greece. Her success in this role has garnered external recognition from “Investors in People” and “Best Workplaces” in Greece and Europe for four consecutive years. She brought to Pepsico more than 20 years of experience in senior roles in the retail, service and manufacturing sectors. 

Sophia Economacos – President, National and European Women’s Chamber Network Chair of the Greek Host Committee for the 2012 Global Summit of Women, 

Sophia Economacos is the President of the National and the European Chamber Women Network. She has also been the Secretary General of the Chamber of Tradesmen of Athens, and the Vice-President of the Association of Language School Owners and is a member of the European Network of Women in Decision-Making of the European Commission. She has been awarded by the Conseil European Femmes Enterprises et Commerce and the Chambre de Commerce et d’ Industrie de Paris, as the only woman President of a Chamber in Europe, with reference and presence in Europe. 

President Irene Natividad addresses the 2012 Global Summit of Women

A big Thank You to Irene Natividad and the organisers,
  • for choosing Greece for the very special Global Summit of Women this year!  
  • for sticking with their choice, when so many others were busy cancelling events and trips to Greece! 
  • for the vote of confidence!
With this kind of solidarity, YES, Greece CAN!!!


For more information: Global Summit of Women 

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