Welcome Remarks By DCM Kate Byrnes Heritage Greece Program Event

Heritage Greece Program 2018
Deputy Chief of Mission Kate Byrnes delivers welcome remarks (State Department Photo)

Friday, June 22, 2018
3:00 PM

Piraeus Yacht Club

Hello, everybody. It’s so great to meet you all and to get this positive vibe that I’m feeling here today at this incredible location. We’re a huge fan of this program, and we’re grateful to the NHS for making us feel part of this family and this effort over the years.

It’s something that is important to all the work that we do here because the truth is the U.S.-Greece relationship, no matter what we do on the security, defense, or economic front, it’s built on the people to people relationships, and on the Greeks who love America and the Americans who love Greece, and the relationships between the two of them.

It’s also actually kind of a family operation for us, I didn’t realize how many connections we had here today, but we’ve got among your team leaders two folks of the Embassy family – Flora Papitsi who works with us as an intern in the Protocol Department, and Sofia, another one of your team leaders, is part of our extended family, in the Public Affairs side of the house. We’ve got other interns here – Joe Valente, who I brought along from the Embassy, and Sophia Petros, who happened to participate in this very program last year and is now back working in our Embassy in the Regional Security Office.

So, as you mentioned, this program is the start, it’s the beginning of connections – you’ve probably heard a lot about networking and all of that is going to become important to you further down the line – but it’s the friendships, right? It’s the personal relationships and friends you make today that you’ll carry with you for your life, and who knows, I hope some of you will come back and work at the Embassy here in Athens at a future stage. But, in the meantime, I hope you’ve have a terrific time. Enjoy your last couple of days together – keep your friendships and keep being part of the U.S.-Greece relationship. Thank you.