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Elena Maroulleti
Founder/Executive Producer & Host AKTINA FM/TV
President AKTINA Productions, Inc., & CYPRECO Of America, Inc.
Selected Among The 100 Most Successful G/Cypriots Living Abroad
By IN Business Magazine 

 

Elena Maroulleti Top PhotoElena Maroulleti is a Greek Cypriot American independent journalist/reporter and producer of news, special features for television and radio, including live concerts, folk arts and cultural programs and original documentaries pertaining to Greece and Cyprus. She is the founder and President of the non-profit and 501 (c) 3 New York-based cultural organizations AKTINA Productions, Inc. (EST. 1993) and CYPRECO of America, Inc. (EST. 1977) as well as the founder and Executive Producer/Host of AKTINA FM (EST. 1993) and AKTINA TV (EST. 2002). She fully commits her professional talents and efforts to the Greek Cypriot and Greek American communities at home and abroad. Ms. Maroulleti is a dedicated volunteer who donates her time and work without any compensation in all of her capacities within AKTINA Productions, Inc., and CYPRECO Of America, Inc.

 

LIFE

 

Ms. Maroulleti comes from the beautiful coastal town of Famagusta in northern Cyprus.  In the summer of 1974 she was forced to leave her town following the illegal invasion and subsequent occupation by Turkey. A year later in 1975 she immigrated to the United States and settled in Astoria which is the home of the largest Greek American community in the U.S.A and outside of Greece.

 

Ms. Maroulleti studied Administration at the London College of Secretaries and Journalism, TV/Radio Production, Advertising/Promotion at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York through a scholarship from the American Broadcasting Companies (ABC). Furthermore, she has independently studied and extensively researched Greek and Cypriot folklore and culture. She continues to enhance her knowledge with frequent working trips to Cyprus and Greece. Over the years she has gathered and recorded substantial information and literature and has conducted countless interviews with traditional folklorists, musicians, dancers, archaeologists, authors among other folk arts professionals in Greece and Cyprus. She is also a filmmaker and has produced many documentaries highlighting different aspects of the Greek and Cypriot cultures, including ancient sites and monuments. Her documentaries are shown on AKTINA TV, during live screenings, while several are posted on the AKTINA TV Youtube Channel.

 

CAREER AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS

 

Shortly after immigrating to America and settling in Astoria, New York, Ms. Maroulleti co-founded and co-instructed the first Greek Cypriot Folk Dancing Group in America, later known as Greek Cultural & Folk Dancing Group “The Vraka.”  At about the same time in 1975, she began her professional working career in administration at the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA-CREF) and thereafter in 1979 at the American Broadcasting Companies (ABC). Her professional career in TV news broadcasting and production began in 1981 when she joined the ABC News division where she held positions in support of the production of the Network’s acclaimed news programs, World News Tonight, Nightline, 20/20 and Good Morning America among others.  By 1982, under her leadership, “The Vraka” organization grew and expanded into a complete Cultural organization, with non-profit and tax-exempt status, with diverse folk arts departments including ancient Greek theatre among other.  In 1990, the organization was officially renamed, CYPRECO Of America, Inc.  Since then, CYPRECO has grown to become a leading and multi-awarded cultural organization with notable contributions and activities.

 

Elena photo studio apr 2004Photo by Maria ToliosAmong her achievements over the years was her bold decision in 1993 to establish AKTINA FM on WNYE 91.5FM in New York as the first-ever Greek American Radio in the U.S.A broadcasting in English as well as with an innovative bilingual language format. AKTINA FM was one of the earliest radio programs to begin broadcasting online. Thereafter in 2002 AKTINA TV on WNYE-Channel 25 was established as the first and only English-language Greek American television program. Her vision, and to great success, was to provide radio and television broadcasts for Greek Americans and Greek Cypriot Americans of all generations, especially for those who were born and raised in the USA and whose first language is English.  This audience was underserved by the existing Greek-only media.  Moreover, it served as a great outlet for those Americans of Hellenic ancestry to learn Greek and become acquainted with their history and culture.  Furthermore, to make these two media outlets easily accessible to all New Yorkers of all ethnic backgrounds, the “Greek language barrier” was removed for the delivery of news, Greek and Cypriot cultural content and entertainment among other interesting and fun programs. AKTINA FM and AKTINA TV were quickly embraced by Greek and non-Greek audiences and to this day are among the most highly rated and desired Greek American media outlets. Over the years, the name-brand “AKTINA” has become a household name for 950,000 New Yorkers, spanning many generations. In 2018, on the 25th anniversary of AKTINA Productions, Inc., and of AKTINA FM, the New York City Council and the City of New York honored AKTINA FM by making it the first Greek American Radio to have Street in Astoria named after it known as, “AKTINA FM WAY.”

 

Although many in the Greek American media were skeptical and critical, Ms. Maroulleti’s revolutionary decision to broadcast such radio and television programs in English with great success later inspired other Greek American media to follow and adopt the English language into their publications and broadcasts.

 

GMJ 2015 Machairitsas MaroulletiGMJ 2015 With Lavrentis Machairitsas. Photo by Anastasios MentisIn 1994 she introduced the successful concert series GREEK MUSIC JOURNEY(GMJ), later fully established in 1997, with a mission of further introducing the music of Greece to the general audience.  Since then she has produced from the series memorable and sold-out concerts covering different Greek music themes at renowned New York City venues such as The Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, The Town Hall and the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College among other venues.

 

In 2016, Ms. Maroulleti also launched the expansion of AKTINA FM on the Internet by establishing it as an Online Radio Station that has been streaming 24/7 worldwide from eight affiliated websites including this one.  Since then, AKTINA FM has grown to become a strong and popular online Greek American Internet Radio Station attracting across its eight websites 3.8M visitors who also enjoy its daily programs.

 

Between 2001 to 2004, Ms. Maroulleti spearheaded the campaign and the coalition of the Ethnic Broadcasters leasing airtime on WNYE FM-TV to prevent the sale of these two important media assets, owned and operated at the time by the NYC Board of Education (BOE). In December 2004, the BOE accepted Ms. Maroulleti’s proposal to transfer the licenses of the WNYE stations to the NYC Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, instead of selling the entities.

 

Ms. Maroulleti's long and impressive career as a broadcaster/journalist includes countless exclusive interviews with worldwide personalities, world leaders including Presidents (Cyprus, Greece, USA - Pres. Bill Clinton 1990), elected officials in the U.S.A from all branches of the City, State and Federal governments, as well as elected officials in Cyprus and Greece, several high profile personalities and Greek and American stars (cinema, music, arts) among many others.

 

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

 

GMJ 2015 Kotsiras CitationGMJ 2015 With Yannis Kotsiras. Photo by Anastasios MentisOver the years, Ms. Maroulleti has been featured in Greek-American and American newspapers, magazines, as well as in major newspapers in Cyprus and Greece for her devotion in promoting the Greek and Cypriot culture in America and in particular in the Tri-State area New York City.  Among other media sources, she has been featured in articles and profiles by The New York Times, Newsday, The Daily News, and other local American and Greek/American newspapers. 

 

Her contributions for the preservation and promotion of the Cypriot and Greek cultures in America through radio, television and live performances are recognized and much appreciated by the public she serves, as well as the governments of Cyprus, Greece and the U.S.A.  For her achievements and outstanding contributions to her community and to her profession she has been awarded over the years by various US officials with Citations, Proclamations and Congressional records while she was also the recipient of the "Women of Achievement Pacesetter Award 2000" presented by former Council Speaker Vallone on March 28, 2000 during a special ceremony held at the New York City Hall in Manhattan. In January 2009 she was also awarded with "The Distinguished Fellow Award" by The Panpaphian Association of America, Inc., during the organization’s annual gala awards ceremony. In July 2010, in recognition of founding and establishing in the U.S.A the highly rated radio and television programs AKTINA FM and AKTINA TV, she was selected by the Cyprus-based Magazine “In Business” and was featured in their cover story, "Business Success Stories - 100 Cypriots Who Have Distinguished Themselves Abroad."    

  

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