Message of Greek Ambassador Christos Panagopoulos
on the occasion of the retirement of George Bistis
I greatly appreciate this opportunity to extend my warmest wishes to George Bistis on the occasion of his retirement, after 40 years of excellent service. Previous engagements prevent me from attending the farewell reception in his honor, but I’m pleased to be able to share a few thoughts on George’s career and accomplishments.
George has dedicated most of his professional life to the Voice of America’s Greek Service, having served for more than three decades as its Director. During his tenure the service extended its reach, covering with great success major international developments and earning respect and recognition from the wider media community.
George’s extensive coverage of major events in Greece and Cyprus has helped to bring the Greek-American Community closer to Greece and Cyprus, and to deepen the understanding of national priorities and issues by American audiences.
Having produced hundreds of television productions and thousands of radio shows, George Bistis’ work has been recognized with numerous awards both in the United States and Greece. Most notably, he was the first American to receive the prestigious Gusi Peace Prize in Journalism for his “untiring efforts, working for people’s amelioration, to find peaceful solutions to political and social issues through broadcast journalism.”
I have had the rare privilege to serve three times in the United States in my diplomatic capacity, and have been able to witness first hand the impact that George’s work and service has had on the promotion of the issues close to our hearts as Greeks and Greek-Americans. We all know George as Mr. “Voice of America” which by itself pays tribute to his deep love for both his motherland and his second home, the United States.
Having assumed my duties as Ambassador of Greece to the United States just three months ago, I did not have the chance to work with George Bistis for as long as I would have wished. But all of my predecessors and my colleagues at the Press Office of the Embassy have only the best to say about his dedication to work, his skills, his integrity and his great personality and character, in general.
On behalf of all of us at the Embassy of Greece, I would like to say “Thank you” to George Bistis for everything he has done all these years, and to wish him all the best in his future endeavors.