By some strange karma in the cosmos, my path seems to interweave with Ireland and Berkshire County in western Massachusetts at almost every turn. And so it is with a gentleman I met at the 2010 NYTimes Travel Show at the Jacob Javits Center in NYC.  His name is Pavlos Yeroulanos and he is the Minister of Culture and Tourism for Greece. And what is the Berkshire connection? He is a graduate of Williams College in Williamstown, MA, which is a short and exquisite drive from my studio in the shopping arcade of the Berkshire Crowne Plaza Hotel in Pittsfield, MA and even closer to my home.  Having the opportunity to meet and interview Pavlos Yeroulanos at the NYTimes Travel Show this year was an added benefit related to my participation.

And to make that February day at the NYTimes Travel Show even more incredible, the Greek theme was carried forth as the Founder, Global President and CEO of the Euro American Women’s Council (EAWC), Loula Loi Alafoyiannis, stopped by to visit me along with members of this prestigious organization’s board of directors. The purpose of this special visit was to tell me that I had been selected to be recognized and honored with the Goddess Artemis Award for my support over the years for Greece and for my significant contribution to the development of Greek tourism.  This award would be presented in Athens followed by a trip to Mykonos and the island of Delos, birthplace of the Greek mythological god, Apollo, and the goddess Artemis and the place where I would be inducted into the EAWC Hall of Fame.

Ancient Greek ruins on Island of Delos, birthplace of mythological god Apollo and Goddess Artemis

And that’s why I am in Athens now! The award ceremony will take place on July 7th at an elegant black-tie affair and international guests are pouring into the Intercontinental Athens Hotel from all over the US, Mexico, European cities, China and so many other places where the EAWC has members and has made significant impact on the networking of successful and achieving women and creates bridges to unique opportunities for the creation of meaningful relationships through business and friendship.

Travel Expert Radio Broadcaster Stephanie Abrams getting ready to board ferry to Mykonos, Greece.

The driving force that spearheads the organization with all of her heart, soul, intelligence, wisdom, passion and every fiber of her dynamic personality is Loula. She, with the assistance of her incredibly hardworking and committed staff here in Athens, is the reason that so many key leaders from every imaginable field all over the globe have dropped what they are doing to come to Greece to assemble here for this incredible event.  In essence, Loula is the Pied Piper that every tourism board and convention and visitors bureau prays for: that person who tells people to go to a place and they go!  How lucky for Greece that Loula is a champion for her country which she loves so much! How lucky for participants at the 2010 EAWC Global Women’s Forum to be in a country that is so rich in history, culture and a diversity of incredible beauty filled with magnificent landscapes and seascapes! And how lucky for me to have been selected to be honored as a recipient of the Goddess Artemis Award at this year’s event!

Loula Loi Alafoyiannis tells travel expert host Stephanie Abrams about EAWC

And now that I’m thinking about it, I think I should recommend that official forms that ask for your title as Mr., Mrs., Ms., or Miss should have another line added so I can check off Goddess next to my name!  In the morning, I’m going to go to the front desk here at the Athenaeum Intercontinental Athens Hotel and correct our hotel registration form to read: Mr. & Goddess Abrams.  That has a nice ring to it!