NEW YORK – The New York Blue Money Show took place on April 7 and 8 at the Jay Suites Times Square in Midtown Manhattan. Among the events included in this conference that promotes investment in Greece, was a presentation on health tourism and Living Postcards “The New Face of Greece” a platform highlighting the creative work of Greeks today in a variety of fields.
Organotecnica Group, organizer of the New York Blue Money Show, ZITA Group, and the construction company AVETEC presented an event for investment opportunities in Health Tourism in Greece on Friday, April 7. Speaker Zacharias Kaplanidis, Economist, President of ZITA Group and General Secretary of the Greek Association for Health Tourism, noted the many advantages to promoting this new aspect of tourism in Greece.
Director of the Greek National Tourism Organization in New York Greta Kamaterou welcomed the attendees to the event and introduced Kaplanidis.
Among the treatments available through private hospitals and clinics are aesthetic procedures, plastic surgery, cosmetic dentistry, and dermatological procedures. Kaplanidis also spoke about assisted living facilities for seniors with all the amenities, medical care, food, sports, the hospitality and the climate of Greece, that will enhance the quality of life.
The facilities are also remarkably affordable especially when compared to such facilities in the United States. The presentation was followed by a Q&A session in which many of those in attendance expressed interest in this growing sector of tourism.
Living Postcards, as founder and editor-in-chief noted on the website, “began simply, five years ago with the aim to introduce foreign visitors to the creative activities of Greece and help them escape the stereotypical image they had of our country. Operating as a global platform that is accessible to all, the site is updated everyday. Working to continuously discover creative new brands and people that have a story to tell, the vision behind Living Postcards is one of hope.”
Tech executive, writer, and entrepreneur Carol Malakasis led the discussion, introducing the speakers who are the “new face of Greece.” Yanna Darilis- TV host, producer, brand ambassador; Dionisis Liakopoulos- executive chef at The Greek; Gogo Farmaki- fashion blogger/entepreneur; Francis Toumbakaris- interior designer, Greek-Australian Nicholas Karytinos- architect, and shared their stories and their positive outlook for the future of Greece.
Malakasis shared her own story, noting that she started to love Greece when she moved to New York, missing her mom’s food, wanting to write about it and Greek products, and promoting the hardworking, creative Greeks of today.
Darilis noted that the brain drain is tragic and her own parents left Greece in difficult times in search of a better life in the US, but nobody wants to leave their country and given the opportunity, Greeks will thrive with so many talented people in so many different fields. Unity, she added, is the key for Greeks everywhere to work together and help Greeks help themselves by finding their passion. Darilis will host Mediterranean Blue, a travel show soon to air on PBS.
Liakopoulos noted his love of food was from his father a chef and restauranteur himself, but his father did not want him to be a chef. Athenian restaurant Kouzina was his first professional kitchen experience before traveling to Cyprus, Italy, and Japan, always curious about new techniques. He attended the Culinary Institute of America in New York and cooked at excellent restaurants in the city including Eleven Madison Park which was recently named #1 restaurant in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards. Liakopoulos will soon open a new restaurant in Tribeca.
Farmaki spoke about her journey from drama school to fashion blogger noting that she always dreamed of coming to New York. Having worked at Alpha TV, she is a well-known stylist and entrepreneur, owner of sunglasses and accessories company Kisterss, co-founded with her sister Olga. Their blog was named the best fashion blog by Marie Claire Greece. Her products are available at Soho Grand Hotel.
Francis Toumbakaris was born and raised in Athens. Before turning his attention to design and construction, he was a classical ballet dancer. World tours, Broadway shows, film and television allowed him to travel and recreate home around the globe.
Toumbakaris discovered his handy nature at age 15 while studying in Switzerland. In a tiny studio in Lausanne on a shoestring budget, he created his first home away from home.
Toumbakaris grew his interior design studio, Francis Interiors,www.francisinteriors.com, from his work as a licensed general contractor under the name Greek & Handy. His impeccable taste, great eye for design, and attention to detail in renovation projects helped him build a great reputation around New York City.
Greek-Australian architect Nicholas Karytinos was raised between Melbourne and Athens, then he ventured to the US to attend Cornell University. His career began in Athens during the energetic period of the 2004 Olympics, when he was involved in large scale projects and masterplanning after which he returned to New York City.
Karytinos met Toumbarakis after they had both worked on a loft and attended the loft owner’s wedding. He encouraged the interior designer to do bigger things and the two began collaborating on many projects.
The response from those in attendance was overwhelmingly positive hearing such uplifting stories of success. AHEPA Delphi #25 Chapter President Argyris S. Argitakos and his firm The ASTA Group coordinated and facilitated the Living Postcards participation in the New York Blue Money Show. More information about Living Postcards is available online at www.living-postcards.gr.