NAME: Rodanthi Florou
BACKGROUND: College, Continuing Professional Education
ACTION/SECTOR: Education, Third Sector
ORGANIZATION: THE MESOLONGHI BYRON SOCIETY
My Background and Career
My successful 20-year career at the National Bank of Greece, my studies in computer programming and analysis, in public relations and in business management and administration both in Greece and England, as well as my communication skills have all helped me achieve my targets and dreams: the creation of an international Research Centre for Lord Byron and Philhellenism in Messolonghi, Greece, the town where the celebrated Romantic poet and fervent Philhellene, Lord Byron, breathed his last. The Philhellenic Centre is entirely supported by voluntary work and dedicated to educational and cultural contribution. For further information about our work and contribution both within and outside Greece, please visit our website: www.messolonghibyronsociety.gr.
With gracious cooperation from the local people and Authorities, the Greek and the International Byron Societies, distinguished Professors from the English Faculty departments both at home and abroad, and individual Byronists from around the world, the Messolonghi Byron Society has grown in size and prominence by organizing many local, national and international activities dedicated to the memory of the poet Lord Byron, plus other literary figures of the philhellenic movement.
The shared research and study topic, regarding literature, poetry, history and comparative literature, among students and professors from Greece and abroad coming to Messolonghi (to the annually-held Lord Byron Student Conferences) offers us the opportunity to make our Greek cultural heritage known worldwide and establish ties of friendship and trust. We have collaborated with at least 60 universities to this day.
I started up with my own money. I later met people who put faith in my vision, stood by me, helped me financially and boosted my morale. Being a workaholic, I am sometimes neglectful of my family duties.
It is common practice, in provincial towns in particular, that some people use societies as a means to advance a political career. This is the reason why I was treated with suspicion at first. Eventually, it became crystal clear that I was acting from altruistic motives and faith that the foundation of the Research Centre for Lord Byron and Philhellenism and its Library could make Messolonghi, the Sacred City of Freedom, the focal point of the international academic community and a meeting place for Byronists worldwide. Today the Messolonghi Byron Society engages qualified senior staff assisting in attaining goals and organizing activities.
Following a unanimously approved Municipal Council Resolution, I was given the Gold Medal of the Sacred City of Messolonghi, awarded by the Mayor of Messolonghi in a special ceremony held at Trikoupio Cultural Centre of Messolonghi on the 25th of March 2010, in recognition of my long contribution to bringing the Sacred City of Messolonghi into prominence in the international academic community by creating the International Research Centre for Lord Byron and Philhellenism and organizing local and international activities there. The Gold Medal is the most prestigious award available honouring citizenship in Messolongi.
Among my competences, I am able to learn and put into practice new information in my work. I easily adapt myself to changes. I know and I use the required techniques to do a good job. I easily spread and transmit information. I listen and I pay attention to one’s problems. I like partnership building. My personal development through my job is important the personal development of people working with me is important. In case of arguments I’m looking for solutions. I like to negotiate and that satisfy my collaborators. I like to work as a team; I schedule activities and organize them easily
Among my qualities I’m active, progressive, talkative, optimistic, innovative, practical, flexible, relaxed, fast, open-minded, confident, risky, patient, democratic and organized
Hints & Tips
Lord Byron’s life and work along with unwavering faith in and love of the history of Greece in general and of the Sacred City of Freedom, Messolonghi, in particular
I am inspired by all those significant people “who in the life they lead define and guard a Thermopylae” contributing, in any and every possible way, to a better quality of life and cultural development of our fellow people.
About entrepreneurship the assets to be developed are administration and management skills; communication skills; organisational skills; self-confidence and the weaknesses to overcome it depends on the entrepreneur’s personality and talents.