“We are all Greeks. Our laws, our literature, our religion, our arts have their root in Greece.”
~ Poet Percy Bysshe Shelley in 1821 when Hellas (Greece) declared its independence from 400 years of slavery by the Ottoman Turks.
Gayle V. Economos, president/owner, GVE Media/Public Relations LLC, loves to share her Greek heritage. Economos joined the Circle of Excellence 2014 having won Top 100 Women for the third time. She has served on various committees and as a spokesperson for several Greek Heritage events around the region.
Do you have a nickname? Since I was a kid, people have called me “Gayle the Greek” or some version. Why? Because I’m obsessed with being of Hellenic (Greek) descent. It’s an integral part of who I am. I love to share this rich heritage with, well, just about everyone!
To be clear, all of my grandparents came from Greece. Unlike many of my Greek friends, we sadly have no close relatives there anymore. But that hasn’t hampered my passion. Being Greek or Greek-American is a way of life ingrained from birth, immersed in the culture, history, food, music, language and Greek Orthodox faith. That’s why I’ve been involved in giving back to the community at large (“philanthropy” is a Greek word) and, specifically, the Greek community in one way or another since grade school.
As a PR professional with my own business celebrating 25 years of GVE Media/Public Relations LLC (naturally my business cards have a Greek-style font), one of the best ways I can share my pride is getting out the word as a spokesperson for several Greek causes. Through the years, I’ve been honored to serve on the committees of the Maryland Greek Independence Day Parade (Bicentennial of Hellenic Independence is 2021!), 2006 Centennial of the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation, as Chair of the Baltimore-Piraeus Sister City Committee and for more than 15 years, helping get out the word about Annunciation Cathedral’s Greek Food, Wine & Culture Festival.
As the volunteer spokesperson, I get to be on TV, radio, online and print in my traditional Greek outfit (from my favorite grandmother’s Land of Alexander the Great) while spreading the word about these various worthy causes. My passion has opened many media doors for me (who doesn’t like receiving homemade baklava?) and made me wonderful new friends amongst the other volunteers working hard on these special events or programs. The Parade Committee even honored me with the Sen. Paul Sarbanes Public Service Award in 2012.
To some, I’ve become the face of Baltimore’s Greek American community which makes me very proud and humbled, all at the same time.
If you speak English, 60% of the language derives from Greek: Democracy, music, theater, philosophy, technology, geography are Greek words. We are ALL Greeks!
Interested in sharing your passion? Contact Patrick Brannan [email protected]lyrecord.com.
|This article is featured in The Daily Record’s Women Who Lead: A Woman’s Guide To Business. The mission of the Women Who Lead (formerly Path to Excellence) magazine is to give our readers the opportunity to meet successful women of all ages, backgrounds and beliefs and learn how they define success. Read more from Women Who Lead.|