Salute to Women
The Salute to Women was founded by two Past Grand Presidents, Ms. Betty Athanasakos and Ms. Joanna Panagopoulos Merakos. The idea originated in 1965 to recognize that the Daughters of Penelope was emerging as a major National and International Woman's Philanthropic Organization.
Since the DOP had proven to be a dynamic force in their local communities and was making a stir throughout the U.S., Canada, and Greece. Ms. Athanasakos recommended the Daughters of Penelope recognize an outstanding woman outside of the organization. Four years later, Grand President Merakos adopted the idea to honor a woman who represented and possessed the goals and ideals of the Daughters of Penelope and the "SALUTE" became a reality.
The first Salute to Women was held at Sheraton Park Hotel in Washington, D.C. The first recipient was Senator Margaret Chase Smith. The Salute to Women is awarded biennially and is presented at a reception held during the AHEPA Family Supreme Convention.
America's Most Decorated Gymnast, Shannon Miller, received the 2016 Salute to Women Award. The event was held Thursday, July 28, at the Supreme Convention in Las Vegas, NV. The next Salute to Women will be in July 2016 at the Supreme Convention in Atlantic City, NY.
About the 2016 Salute to Women Honoree, Shannon Miller
Wife, Mother, Olympic Gold Medalist, Author, Health & Fitness Advocate and Cancer Survivor
Shannon Miller remains the Most Decorated Gymnast in American History. She is the only American to rank among the Top 10 All-Time gymnasts and is the only female athlete to be inducted into the US Olympic Hall of Fame - Twice! (Individual (2006) and Team (2008)). Shannon has won an astounding 59 International and 49 National competition medals. Over half of these have been gold. She is the only US gymnast to win 2 World All-Around Titles and she is the first American female to medal in the individual all-around of a non-boycotted Olympics. Her tally of five medals (2 silver, 3 bronze) at the 1992 Olympics was the most medals won by a US athlete in any sport. At the '96 Games, she led the "Magnificent Seven" to the US Women's first ever Team Gold and for the first time for any American gymnast, she captured Gold on the Balance Beam. She is the first American gymnast to win an individual gold medal at a fully-attended Summer Games and cemented her place as the most accomplished gymnast, male or female, in U.S. Olympic history.
After retiring from Olympic competition, Miller received her undergraduate degrees in marketing and entrepreneurship from the University of Houston and her law degree from Boston College. She then moved from Olympic athlete to advocate for the health and wellness of women and children.
Miller launched her company Shannon Miller Lifestyle: Health and Fitness for Women, along with her series of fitness books, DVDs, and a content based website in July 2010. With programs, partnerships, and a content based website, Shannon seeks to empower women to make their health a priority through education and awareness.
In January 2011, Shannon was diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer. She had the baseball size tumor removed successfully and followed up with 9 weeks of aggressive chemotherapy. Shannon is now cancer free yet remains open and public about her diagnosis and treatment. Shannon continues to travel the country as a motivational speaker and hosts her weekly health radio show in partnership with St. Vincent’s Health Care. Recently she launched four new YouTube series' dedicated to motivation, fitness, and gymnastics!
Shannon continues to remain involved with the sport of gymnastics and the Olympic movement through various projects and as an analyst and commentator. In 2012, Shannon worked as an expert commentator with Yahoo! Sports and as a commentator for Men's and Women's Artistic Gymnastics with various networks including NBCOlympics.com.
Shannon is a spokesperson and/or ambassador for a number of companies including Juice Plus+, Mancino Mats, Alpha Factor, A-1 Awards, Washington National, The Tom Bush Family of Dealerships, and the National Obesity Foundation. In addition, she has recently released her new book, "It's Not About Perfect: Competing For My Country and Fighting For My Life," published by Thomas Dunne Books.
Shannon and her husband, John Falconetti, reside in Jacksonville, Florida with their two children, Rocco (born 2009), and Sterling (born 2013).