This is my little but fruitful story of joining JCI, not only the movement, but more, “as a way of life”:
Everything started at the university department of economics, when I met Dr. Kyriakos Kioulafas, the professor in the economic programme, in the examination hall. This examination would be my last examination in the economic field, before taking my second Bachelor Diploma (my first university Bachelor Diploma I earned in the field of law).
It was a rainy evening. I had to do the exams in the university examination hall #32 of the old university building. Even before finishing the examination papers, the professor already looked over my answers, saw careful and … put a “10” excellent grade on it. It was my first and last “10” during my Athens University studies (where I did three university bachelor programmes).
Immediately hereafter, Professor Koiulafas called me in his office at the university … and we have spoken about JCI and its philosophy for the first time. I was only 26! He told me that I had the ability to become an active JCI Greece member. To become an active member of JCI Greece excited me immediately. It was far from my dreams.
He told me also, that it should be achieved by taking two steps:
First, I had to become an active member of the “Greek Studies Organization” an activity of Mr. Christoforos Stratos, a former Internal Affairs Minister of the Conservative Greek Party. Second, it was in the winter of 1978 when I met Mr. Konstantinos (Kostas) Varsos and Penelope Papakonstantopoulou who both had the same feelings and dreams about JCI.
From that moment, we tried to do our best to start the JCI “movement” and its way of life’s success, in our country. Already a few months later, we managed to register our team at the International Chamber of Commerce, during the work of its World Congress. There, we achieved the best results on a domestic and on the world level, mainly due to the activities of Kostas Varsos (#44272) and Penelope Papakonstantopoulou (#47440).
Leonidas Papakonstantinidis (#69411)
JCI Greece Senate President 2013 – 2014