top of page

keynote speaker

Yelena Popovic.heic


Popovic is a Serbian/American actress, writer, director, and producer. She wrote, directed and produced "Man of God'', a film based on the life of St. Nektarios of Aegina starring Mickey Rourke as well as the 2013 NYIIFVF Audience Award Winner, "L.A. Superheroes". Popovic also produced "Monday Nights at Seven" starring Edward James Olmos and has several active projects in development including "Moses the Black". Popovic co-founded Simeon Entertainment and has recently set up Simeon Faith, a new film fund focused on financing/producing content with strong elements of faith. She studied at Playhouse West, an industry-recognized premier acting school and training ground for actors, writers, and directors, founded by Robert Carnegie and Jeff Goldblum. Popovic received the Order of the Praying Theotokos from His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel of Romania in honor of her work through film. 

We are so fortunate to have her speak at our conference this upcoming February, and are looking forward to hearing all of her amazing insights!

workshop speakers

Dr. Randa Anderson.png

dr. randa anderson

Dr. Randa Anderson is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who provides psychotherapy to adults, adolescents and children in her private practice both in Park Ridge and remotely online.

Dr. Anderson completed her Ph.D. in Psychology at The University of Chicago and her clinical psychology training at The University of Chicago Hospitals and Michael Reese Medical Center. She aims to integrate concepts from psychology and Orthodoxy in ways that can be practically applied to everyday life, and therefore has presented workshops and retreats at parishes across the Pan Orthodox Community in Chicago, as well as recorded many podcasts for the Orthodox Christian Network and Ancient Faith Radio.

Dr. Anderson currently serves as the President of the Orthodox Christian Association of Medicine, Psychology and Religion (, a national organization that offers interdisciplinary dialogue, fellowship and education for Orthodox Christians in the healing professions.

Dr. Anderson is married and has two young adult sons. When she’s not working or doing ministry, she loves to experiment with new recipes, host dinner parties, and walk endless miles on her basement treadmill while listening to music or watching YouTube!


Topic: “Finding Peace Under Pressure” 

Abbot Athanasios

Archimandrite Athanasios was born in the U.S. and raised in Jerusalem and Greece from 3 years old.

Archimandrite Athanasios was tonsured a monk in Panagia, Petra in 2011 and was ordained to the Holy Priesthood in 2013 by His Eminence Geron Athanasios of Chalcedon with the blessing of his local Bishop Kyrillos; he also received the offikion of Archimandrite.

Abbot Athanasios has a unique connection to art through his upbringing as the son of Iconographer Tom Clark. His artistic journey includes formal training, awards, and even a piece displayed at the International Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Venturing into mosaics, Father Athanasios contributed to significant projects, including the Vatican's Micromosaic Laboratory and restoration work in St. Peter's Basilica. With works in permanent collections across several countries, he is currently involved in installing exterior mosaics for the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George in Louisiana.
Father Athanasios is honored to have works in permanent collections in Greece, Italy, Vatican, Georgia, Norway, Lebanon and the U.S. They are currently installing 5 exterior mosaics for the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George in Shreveport, Louisiana, commissioned in honor of the church’s 100-year anniversary.

Abbot Athanasios has directed 3 successful summer camp programs at the Monastery drawing upon his wealth of experience at the Ionian Village. He has also led yearly pilgrimages to Mt. Athos and the Holy Land and has led several mosaic workshops from Grand Junction, Colorado to Salzburg, Austria.

Topic: "Background and Journey of a Monastic"

Abbot Athanasasios.jpg

kyra limberakis, m.t.s.

Kyra Limberakis, M.T.S serves as the Chief Operating Officer for Orthodox Volunteer Corps. She previously served as Director of the CrossRoad Summer Institute and Assistant Director of the Office of Vocation & Ministry at Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology.

She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Villanova University and her Master of Theological Studies from the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry where she focused her studies on youth and young adult ministry and the ministry of women in the church.

Kyra’s experience in youth work spans 10+ years and includes serving as staff for her Metropolis camp, Ionian Village, Orthodox Christian Fellowship, and CrossRoad—all programs that were part of her own faith formation. In addition to working in full time ministry, Kyra has published articles on the topic of young women’s faith formation. The granddaughter of an Orthodox priest, she is committed to the education and ministry of young people for the future of the Church. Kyra, her husband and their son attend St. Mary Orthodox Church in Cambridge, MA. 

Topic: “What does it really mean to love your neighbor?”

Fr. & Pres. minetos

We are looking forward to having Fr. and Pres. Minetos join us at the YAL Chicago Conference 2024, and hearing their presentation on “Building Long Lasting Relationships”. These two will be highlighting what the foundations are around Christ centered relationships.

Fr. Athanasios and Pres. Nicole both received their MDiv from Holy Cross, and Pres. Nicole also has her Masters in Teaching concentrating in Social Studies from Columbia University.

Father Athanasios is currently the head priest at St. Basil’s Greek Orthodox Church in Chicago, and Pres. Nicole is a 5th and 6th grade Humanities teacher at Catherine Cook School located in Chicago.

Father and Pres. have one amazing daughter, Melani and they love to travel! Between the two of them, they have been to 13 different countries.

Topic: "Foundations of Christ Centered Relationships"

Screenshot 2024-02-09 at 3.56.19 PM.png

directing our lives

Introducing our Sunday Discussion: Directing Our Lives!
“My life is like a movie…” who writes the script? What is the plot? Who is the star? 
Join us for an interactive discussion on Sunday afternoon on what it means to direct your life in Christ, including break-out groups with other participants (a great way to meet new people!), time to reflect on learnings from the conference, and how to bring this direction back into our lives!


bottom of page