‘’The antiseismic armoring of the Ataturk Airport in Constantinople, after the destructive earthquake of 1999, the structural analysis and restoration of the dome of the Capitol in Washington D.C along with the planning and construction of the highest building in the world: the “Petrona” Twin Towers (451 meters tall) in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia” are among Manolis Velivasakis’ greatest achievements. Manolis Velivasakis is one of the leading engineers in the U.S.A today, vice president and one of the eleventh shareholders of the colossal American construction company “Thornton-Tomasetti”, president of the subsidiary company “LZA Technology Division” as well as president of the Pan-Cretan Association of America.
According to his interview to IN-ON magazine, he works for the planning of the next tallest skyscraper in Tai Pei, Taiwan, which will be 508 meters tall. However, even though his successful career, Mr. Manolis Velivasakis has kept his love and interest for Crete alive.
Mr. Manolis Velivasakis is known for his participation of the clearing of Ground Zero. He was elected as the 25th president of the Pan-Cretan Association of America at the National Congress of the Organization in Las Vegas, Nevada last July.
His vision to reinforce the Pan-Cretan Association of America, to promote Greek civilization all over the United States of America and his intention to collaborate with all the Greek Associations abroad, are the cornerstones of his two years presidency.
Manolis Velivasakis was born in Crete, where he finished primary and secondary education and also did his military service. He, then, went to the U.S.A., where he completed his University and post-graduate studies. Since he was a student, he was a member in many Associations of Greeks living abroad. He contributes to the Pancretan Endowment Fund (PEF) for the Universities of Crete since 1986, which supports summer courses (internships) and seminars for the American Greek students at the University of Crete. Concerning young people Mr. Velivasakis mentions that they already work with the Committee of Strategic Projects in order to approach the youth of 25 to 40 years old, with the aim to invite them to the breast of the Pan-Cretan Association. This year, due to the donation by Nikos Vidalakis ($100.000), we will have the opportunity to increase the number of scholarships from 60 to 70.This generous donation will allow Pan-Cretan Association to send ten more children to Crete.
Among Mr. Velivasakis’ targets is his attempt to “revive” the Pan-Cretan Associations through attracting and activating young adults (professionals, businessmen, scientists and others).
There are two other targets that the Pan-Cretan Association under the leadership of Mr. Velivasakis will try to accomplish; the creation of the House of the Pan-Cretan Association in New York and the creation of the Cretan Village at Atsipopoulo, which is next to the University of Crete.
It has to be mentioned here that because of an anonymous donation, the official records of the Cretans in America will be collected, classified and kept at the maliotian Cultural Centre of Boston. Regarding the Cretan Village Mr. Velivasakis explains that “the local parish offered a piece of land of 30 square meters. The preliminary study has already been conducted and we set up technical committees to examine the project.
Manolis Velivasakis was born in 1948 in Kamarioti, Malevizion at the foot of Mount Psiloritis. He received secondary education in Herakleion, Crete, did his military service at the Greek Army and went to New York to study. There, he graduated and also completed his post-graduate studies as a civil engineer. Manolis Velivasakis worked as a teacher of Mechanics at New York Institute of Technology and now he teaches at the Institute of Design & Construction. For these achievements he was honored by: James R. Lincoln Engineering Foundation, City College Alumni Association, US Consulting Engineers Council, American Society of Civil Engineers and the City of New York. The Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Municipality of Athens honored him with a cup and an award for his initiatives regarding Ground Zero and the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople nominated him as a “Lord of Order of Jesus Christ Big Church’’.
Source of publication 4th issue In-On