Alumna Profiled: Aphrodite A. Bletas
Graduated: Pierce ‘70
Lives in: Athens, Greece
Current Position: Senior Partner “Bletas & Costakis lawyers and mediators”; President, the Hellenic-Chinese Center for Enterpreneurship.
“If…… A poem by Rudyard Kipling offered by my father the day I became a lawyer.”
APHRODITE A. BLETAS (also known during her Pierce years as Rody Bleta) was born in Athens, Greece but moved to Paris at a very young age where she spent most of her childhood and youth years, to the exception of her 3 wonderful years at Pierce College in Aghia Paraskevi. She graduated from Pierce in 1970 and returned to Paris where she Studied law with major in International, Comparative and European Law at the Sorbonne University (Paris I); she also studied International Relations at the Institute of Political Sciences of Paris (Sciences-Po, non diploma). After finishing her studies she returned to Athens where she began practicing as a lawyer. Since 1990 she is the senior partner at “Bletas & Costakis” law firm. From the very beginning she engaged in business law, IPR protection and international contracts. Recently, in an attempt for professional renewal and harmonization to the international developments, she trained in business mediation and negotiation being a CEDR certified Mediator since 2012.
Her professional activity brought her to deal with employers’ organizations such as the Federation of Industries of Attica and Piraeus (SVAP) where she served as Secretary General for several years; all the same she became (and still is) a member of the Technical Committee of the Business European Capital Cities Association (BECC). However, she very soon caught the pulse of the times and thus organized the development of the Hellenic-Chinese Chamber (1993) where she became Executive President in the years 2006 to 2010. Today, feeling once again the need for a new approach in business she ventures, in cooperation with Greek and Chinese Entrepreneurs, in the Hellenic-Chinese Center for Entrepreneurship being its President since 2013. She has written a number of essays and lectures on Euro-Chinese and Hellenic-Chinese business and economic relations.
Apart from her professional concerns she also has a strong civic engagement. Among other activities, she is elected Vice President of the European Union of Women (EUW), member of “Helliniki Estia” and member of the Executive Board of the Hellenic Red Cross. She has served as Municipal Counselor at her hometown of Psychico in the years 1986-1990. Was named by PM Karamanlis candidate to the European Election in the year 2009 on the Nea Dimokratia list. In 2014 she has been honored to become a member of ACG President’s Advisory Council (PAC).
Last but not least she is married for 35 years to Pavlos Papassinos and is the proud mother of three (two boys and a girl).
Q.: What are three enduring lessons you learned during your studies at Pierce?
- To serve the Community
- To work hard and organize my efforts
- To put goals and follow them to the end
Q.: Describe Pierce in three words.
Wonderful, Amazing, Multidisciplinary
Q.: One of your favorite Pierce memories?
Our last day at School and all the emotion that followed
Q.: What do you miss most from your days at Pierce?
The overall atmosphere and the endless discussions on humanity, love, politics and other “deep” issues.
Q.: Where was your favorite spot on campus?
In winters the gym where we spent an important part of our free time; by nice weather the mantel outside the classroom where we gathered to chat.
Q.: Who was your favorite teacher and why?
Maria Fotinou, for introducing us to the magic of Theater, and then Prof. Zakopoulos who was tough but fair and opened my mind to the mysteries of the Mathematical thought.
Q.: Have you kept in touch with any of your classmates?
Sure. A couple of them are still my BF, some became fb friends, and we all meet from time to time as if we never parted!
Q.: Did having studied at Pierce help you during your university studies and beyond?
Certainly; it helped me obtain organizational skills as well as an orderly thought, both advantages that others tried to learn during University years, often without success. It also offered me a series of other valuable skills which follow me throughout life such as endurance, persistence, honesty, compassion.
Q.: What’s the greatest piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Every obstacle in life is for a good purpose (kathe empodio gia kalo); Given to me by Professor Kravaris on my last day in school.
Q.: What (or who) inspires you most?
The eyes of my three children expecting all answers from me, even though by now they are far more competent than I am.
Q.: Your motto in life?
If…… A poem by Rudyard Kipling offered by my father the day I became a lawyer.
ACG Alumni: We Stay Connected!