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Orthodox Observer:  September 2012 Observer

         VOICE OF PHILOPTOCHOS on Page 7

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Mrs. Aphrodite Skeadas- Eleventh National Philoptochos President

 

We proudly honor the Eleventh National Philoptochos President, Aphrodite Skeadas, and thank her for her service and reflect on her tenure as National President, for three terms, from 2008 through 2014, on the appointment and the charge of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America.

President Skeadas’ clear vision for Philoptochos was one of growth for membership, social services, national charities and ecumenical outreach.  Inspired by His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Aphrodite Skeadas initiated Philoptochos involvement in conservation practices through the creation of the Environment Responsibility Committee. She spearheaded strategic planning and major fundraising to include economic assistance to our Hellenic homelands, Greece and Cyprus.  Mrs. Skeadas was instrumental in promoting Philoptochos awareness in social media by initiating the Philoptochos blog and Facebook and Twitter interactions.

Throughout the country, President Skeadas initiated a national program with deep purpose and spirited passion to purchase and house the Philoptochos Center of Philanthropy.  This was a significant accomplishment, having paid off its mortgage 100%, as it was performed simultaneously with distributing an unprecedented $3.1 million in philanthropic aid for the two year period from January 2012 through December 2013.

Born in Apidia, Lakonia, Greece, Aphrodite Skeadas immigrated to the United States with her family when she was five years old. She spent her early years at Prophet Elias Church in Yonkers, NY until she and her husband Peter James Skeadas accepted a two year assignment in Cape Town, South Africa with an American oil company where Peter worked as an engineer. There, they joined the Saint George Cathedral community from where they still enjoy close friendships with many Greek Orthodox faithful.  Upon their return to the United States they became stewards of the Church of Our Saviour in Rye, NY where they raised their daughter Constantina and son Nicholas.

Mrs. Skeadas held numerous positions in her chapter including Philoptochos Chapter President. She served on the Direct Archdiocesan Philoptochos Board and has been a member of the National Philoptochos Board for more than 20 years where she served with distinction as its Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer under three Archbishops prior to her appointment as President.  She participated in an official delegation to Moscow led by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America upon the invitation of the then Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexy II.  She made several pilgrimages to the Phanar with her husband Peter, an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.  She headed the Philoptochos in 2013 to Constantinople in celebration of the Feast of Saint Bartholomew and in May 2014, Mrs. Skeadas represented the National Philoptochos on the Apostolic Pilgrimage to Jerusalem at the historic Papal/Patriarchal meeting of His Holiness Pope Francis and His All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew.

Representing the National Philoptochos Society, President Skeadas accepted the Alpha Omega Council  Lifetime Achievement Award, was keynote speaker at the HCHC Women Leaders of the Church Lecture Series and served on the Boards of the Archdiocesan Council, Saint Photios Shrine, Saint Basil Academy and Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology.  She is a fulfilled member of Leadership 100.

Aphrodite Skeadas lives in Greenwich, CT where in her free time she tends to her garden.