2017-02-15 / Features

Irene Stathatos-Vasilakos

Irene Stathatos-Vasilakos has worked for the past 20 years in financial institutions as a banker and for insurance companies, the New York State Assembly, and has been employed with New York State Senate for the past six years. She is a member of the Greek American Homeowners Association, United Community Civic Association, and she also assists in the family business that her brother took over in the field of construction management.

Irene was born to immigrant parents, Peter and Anastasia Stathatos, 48 years ago, the oldest of three children. Her parents were born in Greece; her father immigrated to New York from Kefalonia and her mother from Sparta.

Irene attended School of the Transfiguration in Corona, followed by St. John’s Prep in Astoria, and has been active throughout her school years in soccer. She graduated from St. John’s University in 1990 with a BS in paralegal studies, with a minor in accounting. She also received a Certificate of Diploma in Basic Residential Real Estate Appraisal Part I, II & III from Hofstra University; and a Certificate of Completion as a Property & Casualty Insurance Broker.

She has served as treasurer for 3 years on the PTA of the School of the Transfiguration; Holy Cross School of Whitestone School Board as treasurer for 4 years and 2 years as co-president, president and vice president; on the Board of St. Mary’s High School in Manhasset; is an active member of the Cephalonian Brotherhood, treasurer and recording secretary of JHS 194 PTA and treasurer and president of St. Francis Prep Parents Guild.

She has been married for 25 years to Aris Vasilakos, and lives in Whitestone. They have a daughter, Anastasia, who graduated Pace University with an accounting degree; and a son, Nicholas, who attends City College of New York with a history major and minor in biology.

QG: You wear many hats in your organization. What are some of your favorite accomplishments?

IS: During my career with Senator Michael Gianaris, I have been most proud of being able to provide assistance to the elderly and children, as well as working to keeping our community safe. I look forward to continuing to help young adults participate more in their community and to better prepare them to enter the workforce. In my spare time, I work with the DeRosa Foundation for Colon Cancer whose goal is to find a cure for colon cancer.

QG: Describe for us your involvement in the Greek American Homeowners’ annual Thanksgiving Luncheon.

IS: The Thanksgiving lunch is one of the most meaningful events of the year, as we come together as a community to help those in need. I’ve been involved with the event as a member and board member of the Greek American Homeowners for years, and it has become a holiday tradition that has been passed down to my family and friends, who help out as well. Seeing the younger generation volunteer in assisting the homeless and needy is inspiring, and embodies the spirit of the holiday and the community itself.

QG: You’re also involved with UCCA. Tell us how some of the changes at the airport are affecting the community.

IS: Understandably, the community was already concerned about the environmental and traffic impacts on the community under normal circumstances. With construction, the community is additionally concerned and is working to ensure these issues and others are mitigated and that the airport and its vendors are responsible neighbors.

QG: What are some of your favorite restaurants?

IS: My all-time favorite is Trattoria l’Incontro. It has amazing food, the best chef (Rocco Sacramone) in town, and a friendly atmosphere led by Vinny, who always greets you with a smile. Ovelia on 30th Ave. has great food and amazing drinks. Astoria has the best brunches, and a night on the town wouldn’t be complete without stopping at SHI in Long Island City – it has fun music, a lively crowd, a wide-ranging menu and a breathtaking view of Manhattan. I love western Queens because our diversity is represented in the food and almost every ethnicity is represented – and represented very well.

QG: What are some of your favorite things to do in Queens?

IS: There are so many things to do in Queens. There are terrific outdoor options, such as doing yoga and tai-chi in the park, shopping fresh markets and street fairs, and biking along the waterfront, as well as indoor activities, such as experiencing the wonderful cultural institutions in the borough, including the Noguchi Museum and the Museum of the Moving Image.

This column was originated in July, 2013 by Nicollette Barsamian.

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