America will soon get a new sexy vampire in the form of Theo Alexander, an actor who will star on the upcoming season of True Blood as the vampire named Talbot. Alexander, from Athens, Greece, who emigrated to America over a decade ago, will play the Greek heartthrob and sarcastic boyfriend of Russell Edgington, the vampire king of Mississippi. Alexander’s character, Talbot, was originally supposed to be British but will instead be Greek on the show. Alexander recently talked about his audition to a recent True Blood fan website. “My character is wearing a robe in the first scene,” Alexander said. “So I went in with my kimono in the audition, and I decided to speak as Greek as I could and bring my heritage into the room. It worked!” The vampire Talbot is a wealthy aristocrat born in the Byzantine era and is an excellent chef despite vampires’ tendency towards poor cooking skills. He is strong-willed and sharp with words, guaranteed to make him one of the show’s more interesting characters. Over the last few years, Alexander has guest-starred on Chuck, CSI: New York and Pushing Daisies. He has twice appeared on the cover of Status magazine in Greece and won the Greece People’s Choice Awards Man of the Year in 2007. Known as Theodoris Zouboulidis in his native Greece, he changed his stage name to Alexander in America after Alexander the Great, his role model and hero. He graduated from Boston University in 2002 with a degree in management and later studied acting at New York’s Circle in the Square theatre school. He then went back to Greece and starred in the movie “El Greco,” which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in 2008 and was the biggest budgeted feature film ever made in Greece. In addition to acting, Alexander also writes and produces his own films. He is now working on a romantic thriller called Love and Let Die, which he wrote. Another of his projects was recently picked up by a production company in France, and is distributing in Europe. It is a love story between a monk, played by Alexander, and a nun. Though his first love is acting, Alexander’s many other talents include martial arts, stage combat with swords and krav maga, a kind of hand-to-hand combat. Alexander’s magic and appeal to mainstream audiences is evident from the internet buzz that is swirling around him and his character, despite the fact that the episode he appears in won’t premier until later in June.
Vice President & Director of Publicity at HarperCollins Publishers
Tina Andreadis, 39, is the Vice President and Director of Publicity at HarperCollins Publishers in New York, where she oversees the imprints Harper Trade, Harper Business, Harper Audio, Ecco and Amistad. She has worked in the publishing industry for more than 19 years. Andreadis got her start as a book publicist for Simon and Schuster. Prior to Harper, she was the deputy director of publicity for Warner Books, working with such bestselling authors as David Baldacci, Jane Goodall and Brad Meltzer. Andreadis graduated from Barnard College and holds a Masters of Arts in English literature from Fordham University. At Harper, Andreadis has worked with notable authors such as Secretary Madeline Albright, Anderson Cooper and former CIA director George Tenet. She represents her clients regularly in national publications such as The New York Times, TIME magazine and The Washington Post. Most recently she orchestrated the hugely successful 35-city national book tour for Sarah Palin’s bestselling book Going Rogue. She will also be working on publicity efforts for Palin’s upcoming book America By Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith and Flag. Andreadis is very involved in philanthropic and media efforts on behalf of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. In October 2009 she was a key member of the media team for Patriarch Bartholomew’s historic tour of the United States, working to promote his trip to America. Her influence helped secure an opinion piece by the Patriarch in the Wall Street Journal. Andreadis is an active member of Kimisis Tis Theotokou Greek Orthodox Church of the Hamptons. There she is media chair for the future expansion of the church and a committee chairperson for the church’s annual festival in Southampton. Andreadis resides in New York City and East Hampton, NY. She herself loves to read and has been quoted saying that she feels compelled to get behind an important book so that others may have the opportunity to read it.
Senior vice president of baseball operations & general manager for the Toronto Blue Jays
Montreal native Alex Anthopoulos is senior vice president of baseball operations and general manager for the Toronto Blue Jays. The 33-year-old was selected to the position last year, when he replaced former GM J.P. Ricciardi. Anthopoulos’ passion for baseball first began in the early 90s when he first saw the former Montreal Expos play at Olympic Stadium. As a young man he studied economics at McMaster University in Ontario. After the death of his father, Anthopoulos realized he needed to do something that he loved, which was baseball. He began making cold calls to major league baseball general managers at 23 in hopes of getting his foot in the door. In 2000, he began working for the Expos as an intern sorting through fan mail. His work there led to a job offer with the club as an assistant in international scouting the following year, and he moved up the ranks to become the Expos’ scouting supervisor for Canada. He joined the Ricciardi and Toronto Blue Jays in 2003 as their scouting coordinator. By 2005 he was assistant general manager, and by 2006 he was vice president of baseball operations. Post-Ricciardi, Anthopoulos has been determined to turn the Blue Jays around from shaky previous records. He has is focused on building relationships with players and developing their strengths, completely rebuilding the team’s scouting system to attract star players. In the past six months, he has reorganized the Blue Jays’ front office and overhauled the player development and scouting staffs. He constantly travels across the country to meet players himself and watch them in action. He is one of the youngest general managers in major league baseball, and one of only six GM’s under 40. In 2004 he helped put together the Greek national baseball team for the Olympics in Athens, bringing the unknown sport—and his passion—closer to the people of his ancestral country.
Managing director of HighTower Advisors
Managing director of HighTower Advisors Michael Bapis, 35, saw an opportunity in the 2008 market recession when he and his team transitioned to the independent investment advisory firm HighTower, from a wealth advisor position at Morgan Stanley. He now works with a group of elite advisors for what has been hailed as the new business model of the investment advising world. Michael Bapis and The Bapis Group made the move together to HighTower from Morgan Stanley. It was a risky move in the middle of an economic crisis, but The Bapis Group has since emerged as a national leader in financial services for wealthy clients, managing an estimated $750 million. At HighTower, Michael Bapis is an independent financial advisor providing wealth management services to high-profile, high-net worth clients. He specializes in comprehensive wealth management for individuals, families, businesses and foundations as well as equity and fixed income trading. Bapis began his career working for his father Nick’s brokerage practice in Salt Lake City. After graduating from the University of Utah, he pursued a career in the golf industry working for the Jim Flick golf schools. In 1997, Bapis moved east, trained at Morgan Stanley in New York and later returned to Salt Lake and worked as a financial advisor. He earned his MBA from the University of Utah in 2004 while working full time. He later transitioned to a branch of the Bapis Group in New York City. The Bapis Group currently has locations in New York City and Salt Lake City. Outside his work life, Michael is very involved in the Greek community He currently serves as a member the Board of Trustees of Leadership 100 and chairs the Leadership 100 Partners Program, which is designed to recruit and reactivate younger members of the community. He is also a member of AHEPA and The American Hellenic Institute. Last August, Bapis was featured on the cover of Investment Advisor magazine and profiled in their piece on HighTower’s business model. In the article, Bapis credits his parents for much of his success. Bapis lives in New York with his wife Eleni and their two daughters, Maria and Georgia.
Vice president in the NB Alternatives division of Neuberger Berman
Justin Bozonelis, 34, is vice president in the NB Alternatives division of Neuberger Berman. He is one of only a handful of individuals from his original team who remained with the former Lehman Brothers after it filed for bankruptcy in 2008. Neuberger Berman assumed the private equity assets of Lehman Brothers which included the surviving members of his group. Born in Morristown, NJ, Bozonelis was raised in nearby Chatham. He first became interested in the stock market at seven years old when his aunt gave him five Hasbro stock certificates as a birthday present. His mother had worked at the Hasbro, Inc. toy factory to support herself through college and Bozonelis treasured the gift. He went on to graduate as a Dean’s Merit Scholar with a degree in finance from the Stern School of Business at New York University. Bozonelis has held investment banking positions at both Morgan Stanley and UBS, as well as a partnership position at a Greenwich, CT based hedge fund. His strong professional achievements in the field of finance mirror his accomplishments in the Greek-American community. Bozonelis was recently appointed by Archbishop Demetrios as the youngest member of the board of trustees of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Cathedral of Holy Trinity in New York City, where he is a pacesetter steward. He is also member of Leadership 100 and was one of ten professionals selected nationally for their “New Generation of Leaders” project. Friends of Bozonelis refer to him as the “mayor” of New York’s Greek-American community for his extensive contact list, ability to mobilize young adults to attend events and time devoted to the community. Bozonelis also serves on the board of the Hellenic American Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals (HACC-YP). He has taken a proactive role in organizing many of the galas held in support of the both the Greek Orthodox church and Greek-American community. In addition, he has also hosted two successful political fundraisers including one for Alexi Giannoulias, Illinois State Treasurer and candidate for US Senate from the state of Illinois.
Founder & CEO of Heart Rhythm Consultants of New York
Dr. George Carayannopoulos is an international expert on sudden cardiac arrest and practicing cardiologist board-certified in internal medicine cardiology and cardiac electrophysiology. He is the founder and CEO of Heart Rhythm Consultants of New York, a successful practice on Long Island. Born and raised in Dallas, TX, Carayannopoulos spent his summer trips to Greece visiting his grandfather’s medical clinic. There he often observed his grandfather dealing with patients. It was his grandfather’s generosity and dedication to serving others that inspired Carayannopoulos to become a physician at a young age. After completing medical training at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Carayannopoulos worked in Greece at the University of Athens Laiko Hospital and at the Onassis Cardiac Surgery and Cardiology Hospital in Athens. Notably, he was the only non-Greek national to serve as a cardiologist during the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens at the Olympic Village Polyclinic Hospital. During his volunteer work for the 28th Olympiad, Carayannopoulos was one of only six cardiologists responsible for more than 17,000 athletes from over 120 nations around the world. In 2004 Carayannopoulos moved to New York and set up Heart Rhythm Consultants, a business focused on cardiac electrophysiology. His work in cardiology has led to his recognition as a leading national speaker on sudden cardiac arrest with more than 50 lecture and media presentations since 2005. He is also currently the vice-chairman of Suffolk County Health Education and Awareness Resources Task Force. Apart from being a leader in the medical community, Carayannopoulos has focused his efforts in the Greek-American community as well. He is the secretary and executive board member of the Hellenic Medical Society, the largest Greek medical society outside of Greece. He is also member of Leadership 100 and was one of ten younger-generation members selected nationally for their “New Generation of Leaders” project.
Fashion designer Elene Cassis did a 180-turn on her life after the tragic drowning death of her father a few years ago. The former membership coordinator for a real estate association had an epiphany and decided to follow her dream of designing her own clothing line. Cassis, 34, was inspired to enter the fashion industry upon seeing fashion consultant Tim Gunn’s appearance on the Martha Stewart show. She immediately enrolled in Parsons School for Fashion Design in New York City, and threw herself into her design work. A competitive gymnast for more than a decade growing up, Cassis was no stranger to hard work and criticism. The self-proclaimed consummate fashionista’s work and love of clothing paid off when she graduated at the top of her class. Elene Fashions, Inc. was established in June 2009, just one month after Cassis finished at Parsons. Her first collection mixed classic styles and modern pieces, blending together ultra-feminine fabrics with color blocks and construction details. All pieces are black and white with classic design that is both trendy and timeless. Her high-end dresses have been spotted on several celebrities, including Dancing with the Stars contestant Cheryl Burke and starlet Olivia Jones at the Grammys. The collection has been compared to Jackie O. and London Town. Cassis’ fashions are available on her website, elenecassis.com, or at select boutiques nationwide. She plans to launch a line of women’s sports clothing called E-SPORT in the near future. Cassis recently dedicated her fall/winter 2010 collection to her parents, the late George and Patricia, for their constant encouragement throughout her life.
Emergency physician for the U.S. Soccer National & World Cup Team
Dr. George Chiampas, 38, is the team emergency physician for the U.S. Soccer National and World Cup Team, as well as an emergency medicine physician and sports medicine physician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. He is also an assistant professor in emergency medicine at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University. Chiampas completed his Emergency Medicine Residency from Cook County Hospital, where he was awarded the Trauma Resident of the Class of 2003. He went on to work at Rush University as an emergency medicine physician. After two years helped found and completed his own sports medicine fellowship at Resurrection Medical Center. In his capacity as physician for the U.S. soccer national team, Chiampas travels internationally with the team for tournaments and the World Cup in South Africa. In addition, he is the team physician for Northwestern University sports teams. In February 2007, Chiampas was named Medical Director of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, for which he has served as a consulting physician since 2000. The Chicago Marathon is one of the largest in the world drawing more than 45,000 participants, a huge coordination effort for Chiampas due to both the size of the event and uncertainty of Chicago’s weather. For the past three years he has also served as the medical director of the Bank of America’s Shamrock Shuffle, an 8K run in Chicago. Chiampas has written chapters in emergency procedure textbooks and has presented as an invited speaker at national emergency medicine and sports medicine conferences. In addition, he wrote the medical information for the U.S. World Cup bids for 2018 and 2022. He is a member of the American College of Emergency Physicians and American College of Sports Medicine. In addition to his work in the medical field, Chiampas is the co-founder and president of the Hellenic American Leadership Council, a group dedicated to inducting a new generation of civic leaders in the Greek-American community. His Hellenic involvement extends to his church, St. Demetrios of Chicago. He works tirelessly on behalf of Greek-American candidates for public office, hosting high-dollar fundraisers and even posting signs for candidates after long shifts in the ER. He volunteers with Girls on the Run in Chicago and with the Chicago police and fire departments. In 2009, he was named Man of the Year 2009 by the Hellenic American Police Association of Chicago for his volunteer work with them. Chiampas and his wife, Lori, have two children – Katia and Athan.
DC-area Lawyer & co-founder of DCGreeks.com
Aristotelis Chronis works hard to connect Greek-Americans looking for networking opportunities and “parea.” The 35-year-old Washington, DC-area lawyer co-founded DCGreeks.com with his twin brother, Themistocles Chronis, in 2001, where they engage site users through their online persona, TheGuys@DCGreeks.com. Chronis is the site’s primary writer and editorial voice on issues pertinent to the Greek American community. In his free time, he’s also a successful DC-area attorney. But Chronis is more than just one of TheGuys@DCGreeks.com. In 2007, The northern Virginia native founded and directs the AHEPAcademy, an annual weeklong summer leadership and professional development program for the nation’s best and brightest Greek American incoming high school seniors. The program was held for the first time that summer at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA, with 17 students and has grown ever since to become one of the few officially recognized AHEPA national programs, having seen its young alumni already starting to make an impact on Greek America early in their college careers. Chronis and his brother also organized a Pan-Hellenism Weekend 2009 in Washington, DC. The conference featured 14 cosponsoring organizations, including AHEPA, the Hellenic Professional Society of Illinois and the PanCretan Youth of America. More than 450 Greek American young adults came together for the four-day weekend in November. DCGreeks.com, a social networking community that came along years before Facebook, has successfully connected hundreds of young adult Hellenes and philhellenes. The community has attracted a national following through the years with its all-inclusive social calendar, members-only messaging center, articles, photos and games. The site also contains an extensive member directory to aid networking among its users. In addition to his Hellenic activism, Chronis maintains his own law practice in Arlington, VA. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where he holds bachelor’s degrees in government and psychology, and a doctorate in law.
Orthopedic surgeon & Professor at San Jose State University
Dr. John Costouros, 38, is a prominent orthopaedic surgeon specializing in the arthroscopic and open treatment of complex shoulder and elbow disorders. He is a Professor at San Jose State University, the Medical Director of the Graduate School of Athletic Training and Kinesiology, and associate team physician for their NCAA Division 1 athletics program. He is also a published expert and frequent speaker nationally and internationally, and despite his young age a leader in his field. Born in Santa Clara, CA, Costouros graduated with honors from Stanford University in 1994, and later graduated with a MD from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) in 1998. In college, Costouros was a Rhodes Scholar finalist. He later worked on breakthrough medical research regarding treatments for cancer and inflammatory conditions at Syntex Pharmaceuticals and the Linus Pauling Institute. During his residency at UCSF, Costouros developed groundbreaking treatments for arthritis, which are currently being reviewed by the FDA. Since 1993, Costouros has published more than 12 original articles and seven book chapters in orthopaedic surgery. He currently practices in the San Francisco Bay Area where he is the Director of the Center for Shoulder Disorders of The Permanente Medical Group and has been a frequent visiting Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Stanford University Medical School. He is also the president of the University of California, San Francisco Department of Orthopaedic Surgery Alumni Society and is on the board of directors of the Western Orthopaedic Association and the Leroy C. Abbott Orthopaedic Society. As a member of more than ten national and local orthopaedic associations, Dr. Costouros is a prominent figure in the medical society. Costouros has also volunteered as a physician for the 2004 Summer Olympic Games and in underdeveloped countries in Africa, Asia, and South America as a member of Health Volunteers Overseas. Costouros serves with several local and national Greek organizations, including Leadership 100 and the Elios Society. Aside from his practice and research, Costouros also has a boutique winemaking business called Amari Cellars, which has produced Bordeaux blends since 2006.
Chief marketing and development officer for Edward Marc Chocolatier
Christian J. Edwards, 33, is the chief marketing and development officer for Edward Marc Chocolatier, his 96-year-old family business. Earlier in his career, he served as a White House Commissioned Officer and Special Assistant to President George W. Bush and also as Deputy Chief of Staff to former Republican Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin during the 2008 Presidential campaign. Edwards began his career with the United States Government in 2001 at the U.S. Department of State. There he was responsible for all diplomatic visits to the United States while working in the Office of the Chief of Protocol. He moved to the Office of Presidential Advance at the White House before the 2004 Presidential campaign, traveling and organizing events for the president, after which he assumed the role of Special Assistant to the President overseeing media operations for Presidential events both domestically and internationally. Edwards resigned from the White House to work in his family business. He and his sister Dana Edwards Manatos, both alumni of the Bush White House, have successfully expanded their business from a small chocolate shop in Pittsburgh to a national corporation. They were most recently awarded the Department of Defense contract to open their newest retail space inside the Pentagon, which serves the nearly 30,000 people who work there. They have increased business by 47 percent in 2009, produce over 250,000 lbs. of chocolate annually and provide gourmet chocolates for Members of Congress, Ambassadors, State Department, and the White House. Edwards is active in the Greek community through fundraising for Greek-American politicians and participates in various Greek-American events around the country. Most notably, he was responsible for the media surrounding the visit of His All Holiness Bartholomew, Ecumenical Patriarch, in the Fall of 2009. His great-grandparents Orania and Sarandis, who founded the family chocolate business, immigrated to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from the island of Limnos in 1914. Edwards graduated from Duquesne University in 2000 with a degree in Business Administration. He has traveled to more than 70 countries with the president and has been featured on MSNBC, Fox News, the Today Show, Martha Stewart Living Today Radio and in the books Going Rogue and Sarah from Alaska.
Director of speechwriting for the President of U.S.
The second-youngest chief speechwriter ever to work for the White House, 29-year-old Jon Favreau has been penning President Barack Obama’s speeches since 2005. He is now director of speechwriting for the President. Born in Winchester, MA, Favreau spent his high school summers as a telemarketer, selling newspapers. He later earned his degree in political science from the College of the Holy Cross, where he graduated class valedictorian. At Holy Cross he was the opinion editor of the school newspaper and founded a project in Worchester, MA, to assist welfare recipients in finding employment. Favreau took off one semester intern for John Kerry’s Senate office. Upon his graduation he worked for John Kerry’s presidential campaign and later became Kerry’s deputy speechwriter. Politics was part of John’s early years. Another Massachusetts Greek who happened to be in the race for the US Presidency, Michael Dukakis, galvanized his mom—a schoolteacher from Woburn, MA, named Lillian Favreau. Favreau met President Obama backstage at the 2004 Democratic National Convention when Obama was rehearsing his keynote speech. He was sent to share with Obama the bad news that he and John Kerry had the same line in their convention speeches, and that Obama would have to take his out. ”He kind of looked at me, kind of confused – like, ‘Who is this kid?’” Favreau told The New York Times. The encounter revitalized Favreau’s hopes of working in Washington after Kerry’s defeat in 2004. With a recommendation from Obama’s communications aide Robert Gibbs, Favreau joined Obama’s staff shortly after he won the Senate seat in 2005. Since then Favreau and Obama have worked on significant speeches at pivotal moments, including Obama’s speech on race, his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention in Denver and his election night victory speech in Chicago’s Grant Park. Favreau was also the primary writer for Obama’s inaugural address in 2009. Favreau describes his work as a collaborative effort between Obama and himself, while President Obama has referred to Favreau as his “mind reader.” Together they’ve developed a technique for conveying a story with every speech rather than a single quotable line. Favreau, known as “Favs” to President Obama, has been featured in several publications and has won numerous scholastic awards. He is a trained pianist, and although he travels with Obama, he does not like flying.
Brooklyn-based mosaic iconographer
Yiannis Frazis, 33, is a Brooklyn-based mosaic iconographer who crafts beautiful Byzantine art piece-by-piece. He is one of just a handful of artists who create Byzantine mosaics in the United States. With his parents’ encouragement, Frazis was first inspired to pursue his creativity after he witnessed the excavation of an ancient Byzantine church on his home island of Kalymnos. That day he came face-to-face with a damaged mosaic icon. Inspired by the brilliant design it once was, Frazis joined the Archeological Agency of Kalymnos to bring the icon back to life through careful restoration. Frazis continued working with the Archeological Agency’s excavation teams and began preserving other unearthed relics. By shadowing his mentors at the agency, he eventually engulfed himself in the art of Byzantine mosaics. Frazis pieced together his first mosaic, a mural of Alexander the Great, with no formal training in the art to guide him. He continued his mosaics after immigrating to the United States more than a decade ago. Mosaics of the Virgin Mary, St. Demetrios, and his original Alexander the Great amongst many others adorn the homes of private collectors in New York, Greece and Australia. Frazis was commissioned by St. Eleftherios Greek Orthodox Church in New York City to create two mosaics that now hang on the exterior walls of the church. In addition, mosaic icons hang in St. Nicholas Church in Tarpon Springs, FL, and a mosaic cross that has been mounted on the ceiling of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of New Jersey. He also has been involved in the preservation of icons. Frazis recently extended his talent to jewelry design. He fashioned a Byzantine-style engolpion (a Bishop’s religious pendant) to have a miniature mosaic interior pieced together with rubies, emeralds and gold. Frazis’ one-of-a-kind engolpion was presented to His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew during his visit to the United States in 2009.
Senior vice president of business development, Constellation Energy Projects & Services
One of the nation’s leaders in energy efficiency and sustainability, Troy Geanopulos has more than a decade of experience in energy-related businesses. Geanopulos, 38, was appointed senior vice president of business development for Constellation Energy Projects and Services (CEPS) after his former company, CLT Efficient Technologies, was acquired by Constellation. A native of Pittsburgh, PA, Geanopulos spent his summers working in his father’s chain of fast food restaurants. He earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania. Upon his graduation, a key opportunity presented itself within a family business, FOSTECH, providing consultation and installation of efficient retrofit lighting systems. In that capacity, Geanopulos immersed himself in learning about all aspects of energy conservation long before it was a popularly supported initiative. He founded CLT Efficient Technologies group in 2000, envisioning a company that could provide more complete energy efficiency services. As president and founder of CLT, Geanopulos had full responsibility for the execution of the company’s business plan and the delivery of financial results. He was particularly concerned with the implementation of the business development initiative and creative marketing strategies. Focusing on government entities, school districts, colleges and healthcare facilities, Geanopulos brought the company from $1 million to $34 million in eight years. When CLT was acquired by Constellation in 2009, Geanopulos was appointed to senior vice president of business development. Throughout his success in the energy field, Geanopulos has always made time for his church, Holy Trinity in Pittsburgh, where he serves as a parish councilman. Geanopulos, his wife Annika and their two children reside in Pittsburgh.
Senior Vice President of Corporate and Business Development and Head of the Respiratory Business Unit at MAP Pharmaceuticals in Mountain View, CA
Tassos Gianakakos, 37, has been an entrepreneur and executive in the biopharmaceutical industry for more than 12 years. Since starting in vaccine research at Merck & Co., he has helped start up three biotechnology companies, each of them going public on NASDAQ, creating hundreds of jobs and billions of dollars in market value. His companies have pioneered innovative solutions to critical issues facing our world – developing medicines for uncured diseases, improving crop yields to help feed the hungry, and converting renewable resources into affordable green fuels. Gianakakos developed his approach to framing and solving problems at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he received degrees in chemical engineering and economics. At Northwestern University he earned his master’s in biotechnology, which led him to Merck. There he experienced the power that entrepreneurial teams of bright scientists had to do extraordinary things. He left Merck to go to Harvard Business School, earning his MBA, and finding an outlet for his entrepreneurial spirit. Gianakakos is currently Senior Vice President of Corporate and Business Development and Head of the Respiratory Business Unit at MAP Pharmaceuticals in Mountain View, CA. He has led the company’s efforts to establish partnerships with industry leading companies for commercialization of its therapies. Prior to joining MAP Pharmaceuticals, Gianakakos helped spin off Codexis Inc. from Maxygen. While at Codexis and Maxygen, he held several leadership positions including senior vice president of business development and head of Codexis’ pharmaceuticals business unit. Gianakakos was instrumental in raising close to $1 billion in financing and has led dozens of partnering transactions, including some of the largest in his industry. He has been very active in the Greek Orthodox Church and Greek American Community, which have both played an important role in shaping his life and identity. Born to Greek immigrant parents, he was raised in the St. Demetrios community of Chicago. He now lives with his wife Katina and two sons in Menlo Park, CA, and is a member of Holy Cross Church in Belmont. Gianakakos is a member of Elios Society and has hosted several events in support of Greek-Americans in public service. He is a regular speaker at biotechnology industry events and as an alumni adviser to MIT, Northwestern and Harvard Business School.
Michael N. Gianaris has come full circle in life. The New York assemblyman now represents the 36th assembly district in Queens, which includes Astoria, the neighborhood where he was born and raised. He is also currently running to represent Astoria and other areas of western Queens in the New York State Senate. Gianaris, 40, was the first Greek-American elected to legislative office in New York City. Raised by immigrant parents, Gianaris graduated from New York City public schools and attended Fordham University, where his father has taught economics for more than 40 years. He graduated summa cum laude from Fordham with degrees in political science and economics, and earned his law degree at Harvard Law School. Dedicated to the neighborhood he was raised in, Gianaris a lifelong resident of Astoria, Queens and continues to live there today. Gianaris became politically active at an early age. His civic involvement began in 1988 with the presidential campaign of Michael Dukakis. Though still a teenager, he served as chairperson of a voter registration committee, registering 10,000 new voters in support of Dukakis. In later years, he served as Queens representative for former Governor Mario Cuomo and as an aide to late Congressman Tom Manton. He also served as Finance Chair of the New York State Democratic Committee in the 2006 election, in which Democrats won every statewide office. Gianaris has been representing Astoria in the New York State Assembly since 2001. As an assemblyman, he is an outspoken leader in the efforts to reshape New York’s energy policy, advocating reforms of utilities such as Con Edison and demanding more accountability after major blackouts in Queens. He wrote the state’s Clean Energy Law, which encouraged the private sector to reduce pollution. A fighter for consumer protections, Gianaris wrote the first Airline Passenger Bill of Rights in the nation, as well as New York’s Energy Consumer Bill of Rights. In addition, his Energy Security Act was the state’s first major homeland security law after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. A leading reformer in New York, his legislative redistricting proposal was hailed as “the real key to reform” in Albany by The New York Times.
2010 Democratic candidate for the Illinois U.S. Senate
Alexi Giannoulias, 34, has been the Illinois State Treasurer since 2006. Upon his election, he became the youngest statewide elected official in the United States, and the first Greek American statewide elected official in Illinois in three decades. Giannoulias is now the 2010 Democratic candidate for the Illinois U.S. Senate seat formerly held by President Barack Obama. Giannoulias was born in Chicago to Greek immigrant parents from Kalavryta and Chania. He holds degrees in economics from Boston University and law from Tulane, played professional basketball for Panionis B.C. in Greece, and served as vice president of Chicago’s Broadway Bank, a bank that was founded by his late father. Giannoulias’ political mentor is President Barack Obama. He worked on the Obama Senate campaign in 2004, was on the Obama for America National Finance Committee and had a speaking role at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Giannoulias was also part of the now famous election day basketball games with the President that started during the Iowa caucuses. As State Treasurer, Giannoulias enacted sweeping ethics reforms in his office, banning contributions to his campaign from office employees, contractors, and banks. Giannoulias also intervened to save Hartmarx – the last remaining manufacturer of American made fine suits – from being closed down. Today, Hartmarx in Des Plaines, Illinois – where, incidentally, many Greek-Americans have worked – does not only still employ hundreds of employees whose jobs Giannoulias helped save, but is hiring further. He has been commended for taking Illinois’ Bright Start college savings program from one of the worst in the nation to one of the best, recognized in Money Magazine and Consumer Reports as one of the top programs in the country in 2009.
President of the American Hellenic Institute
Aleco Haralambides, 37, is the president of the American Hellenic Institute, representing the Greek American community on issues ranging from the occupation of Cyprus to the treatment of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Haralambides works with American and Southeastern European diplomats to spread awareness and gather support for Greek and Cypriot issues. AHI has been called one of Washington’s most effective lobbies by TIME magazine. Haralambides grew up in Miami, FL, speaking both Greek and Spanish at home as a result of his mother’s birthplace of Cuba. He later attended the University of Rochester in New York, where he earned his degree in political science. While working for his father’s real estate firm, Haralambides became involved in numerous political campaigns of Greek Americans including Senator Connie Mack, Congressman Michael Bilirakis and Senator Olympia Snowe. He received his doctorate in law from St. Thomas University. After working for numerous South Florida litigation firms, Haralambides opened his own law firm in 2002, focusing on real estate transactions and mortgage finance. In 2003 he opened Advent Title Company, a title insurance agency, and in 2004 he founded Aristo Mortgage Investments, a licensed mortgage lender and investment firm. Aristo has done more than $50 million in transactions in 10 states. Haralambides is also involved in his local Greek community, serving on the board for St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church in Miami. He started the Hellenic Bar Association in Florida, the largest association of Greek American lawyers in the state. Haralambides was also part of a steering committee to open the first Greek language charter school in Pinellas County, Florida, an effort started by his late father. Since the school opened in 2002, Haralambides has served as vice president and legal counsel for the school. In addition, he organized over $3 million in equity for the purchase of the Archimedean Academy’s current 12.5-acre campus. The school, which teaches all subjects in the Greek language, has over 800 students with 600 on the wait list – and only 8 percent of the students are Greek-American.
Professional soccer player for the FC Dallas Soccer Club of Major League Soccer in the U.S.
George J. John, 23, is a second-year professional soccer player for the FC Dallas Soccer Club of Major League Soccer in the U.S. He is a former soccer player for the Huskies at the University of Washington, where he played in the Pac-10 conference. A native of Shoreline, WA, John excelled in the classroom as well as on the soccer field. He graduated with a 3.47 cumulative GPA and was captain and starting center mid-fielder for the university’s soccer team. John was first-team All-Pac 10 in 2007 as well. While at the University of Washington, John twice led his team to the second round of the NCAA tournament. He was also a two-time ESPN The Magazine academic all-district player. In 2005, John was named the Gatorade Soccer Player of the Year for the state of Washington. He is also a recipient of the AHEPA Greek American Male High School Athlete of the Year award and scholarship. During the 2008 to 2009 season with the Huskies, John racked up many impressive achievements, including 2008 First Team NSCA/Adidas Academic All American, 2008 First Team All Pac-10 Men’s Soccer Team, as well as 2008 Pac-10 Men’s Soccer Scholar Athlete of the Year. In the 2009 Major League Soccer SuperDraft, John was drafted by the FC Dallas Soccer Club in the first round and the 14th pick overall. He just began his second professional season and is a starter at center back for Dallas. Last year, John received the honor of making the “goal of the week” for Major League Soccer during the week of Oct. 21, 2009. John has always prioritized his Hellenic heritage, continuing to Greek dance competitively with St. Demetrios of Seattle’s dance troupe at the annual Folk Dance Festival in San Francisco throughout his entire college career. He has been known to skip soccer games in favor of Greek folk dance competitions, a trait highlighted by a Seattle news station impressed by his dedication.
Attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice
Chrysovalantis Kefalas, 30, is a distinguished attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, representing the Secretary of Health and Human Services and overseeing a docket of more than 300 cases. According to National Advocacy Center appellate instructor Terry Cushman, Kefalas is regarded as a “stand-out” attorney. Kefalas graduated from Loyola College in Maryland and magna cum laude from the University of Baltimore School of Law. When he was 23, Kefalas served on the staff of a gubernatorial transition team’s Homeland Security Task force, making recommendations on Maryland’s response to post-9/11 terrorist threats. At 25, he was appointed deputy legal counsel by Governor Robert L. Ehrlich and served as the fourth-highest ranking attorney in the state’s executive branch. Kefalas was the youngest legal counsel to the Governor in Maryland history and first Greek-American to hold the position. As legal counsel to Ehrlich, Kefalas formulated and oversaw the governor’s executive clemency initiative, praised by The Washington Post as a national model. More than 200 individuals benefited from Kefalas’ own investigations of their requests for clemency. His record of recommendations is perfect – of the cases he recommended for clemency, no recipient has reoffended. Kefalas successfully defended the Governor in an investigation of the administration’s personnel practices and served as a key advisor to the Governor on open government, energy, criminal justice, and state constitutional issues. In 2007 he was selected by SmartCEO magazine as one of Maryland’s “legal elite” for his accomplishments as a civil litigation attorney at Hodes, Pessin & Katz, P.A. Kefalas is now one of a handful of attorneys representing the Secretary of Health and Human Services in litigation under the National Vaccine Childhood Injury Compensation Act to protect the nation’s vaccine supply. He also ensures that the rare person injured by vaccines is compensated and cared for long-term. Kefalas is an active member of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Baltimore, volunteering for the annual Greek Folk Festival, and is a member of St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Washington, D.C. In his spare time, he continues to offer his assistance to his family’s acclaimed steamed crab restaurant, Costas Inn, in Sparrows Point, Maryland.
Chief Operating Officer of Edward Marc Chocolatier
Dana Edwards Manatos, 30, is the Chief Operating Officer of Edward Marc Chocolatier, her family’s 96-year-old chocolate business. She was previously a White House aide under former President George W. Bush. Edwards Manatos grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, spending her after-school hours working in her family’s chocolate factory with her brothers, Chris and Mark. She attended Palm Beach Atlantic University in Palm Beach, FL, where she received a full scholarship and graduated with a degree in business administration. Though none of the Edwards siblings considered a career in politics growing up, Dana joined the White House as an intern in 2003 and quickly was hired on as a staff member organizing events for both the President and the First Lady. That same year, she became Senior Trip Coordinator to the President, where she was responsible for coordinating all logistics for Presidential travel domestically and internationally. Edwards Manatos was promoted to Associate Director in the Office of Public Liaison in 2005. In this role, she served as the primary liaison to outside groups involved in Presidential events. Her primary responsibility was to highlight the President’s message and participate in ongoing outreach to various constituent groups to create coalitions and gather issue-based support. She was the primary liaison to the Greek community, promoting events such as Greek Independence Day. Her influence led to March 25 becoming a White House East Room event attended by the President. Dana was featured in a 2006 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article where she credited her White House success to lessons learned in the family’s chocolate business. Dana left the White House in 2007, continuing the family tradition in the chocolate business, which has been run by four generations of Greek- American women, and founded by her great-grandparents in 1914. She currently oversees the Washington, D.C. corporate offices and all Edward Marc Chocolatier retail stores, including their flagship store in the Pentagon. Their business recently teamed up with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, donating 20 percent of sales to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. Edwards Manatos crossed party lines and married House Speaker Nancy Pelosi aide Tom Manatos in July 2008, officiated by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios. They currently reside in Bethesda, MD.
Deputy Director of Member Services in Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's office
Tom Manatos, 30, is the Deputy Director of Member Services in Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s office, where he works with members of the Democratic Caucus on behalf of Pelosi. He also serves as an outreach advisor to Pelosi on youth and young adult issues—as well as someone on The Washington Post’s list of locals to watch for the 2028 Presidential election. Born and raised in Bethesda, MD, Manatos graduated from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. In college he took a semester off to work for the Gore/Lieberman campaign, and later worked for then-U.S. Senate Banking Committee Chairman John Sarbanes. Most recently, Manatos completed his masters degree in government from Johns Hopkins University. Manatos comes from a family involved with America’s leaders in Washington for more than 70 years. His grandfather, Mike Manatos, was the first Greek-American to work on Capitol Hill and was the first Greek-American to work in the White House where he was the head of Senate liaison for presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. His father, Andrew Manatos, served as assistant secretary of commerce for president Jimmy Carter and as a private sector advisor to Democratic candidates Michael Dukakis, Al Gore and Bill Clinton. Tom and his brother Mike, who runs a family lobbying firm, couldn’t help but continue their family tradition. They were recently selected to Politico’s top ten list of DC’s most powerful siblings. Tom Manatos was the second-youngest paid staff member when he worked at the National Headquarters for the Gore Presidential campaign in 2000. He then interned in both the Senate and the House. For the past eight years he has been with Pelosi’s office. He oversees Pelosi’s “30-something” working group, composed of Democratic members of Congress under 40 years old who focus on listening and talking to the younger generation on issues of importance to them. Prior to his position in the member services department, he was a national trip director and director of advance for Pelosi where he was responsible for assembling the Speaker’s advance operation. Manatos, who lives in Glen Echo, MD, crossed party lines in 2008 when he married his wife Dana Edwards Manatos, a former staffer for Republican former president George W. Bush.
Leader of the Manousakis Winery
A few years ago, 26-year-old Alexandra Manousakis was so distraught that had only 10 days to visit Crete, her father’s homeland, before getting back to her New York job that she decided to move there and take over her family wine business. She now leads the Manousakis Winery outside of Chania, Crete, producing their brand of Nostos Wines and perpetuating a cycle of immigration and repatriation that is reminiscent of a Greek myth. Born in Washington, D.C., Manousakis loved art and painting from a young age. Convinced she could make it as a famous artist, she began working toward her dream to open an art gallery in New York. She took art classes her entire life and later applied to New York University in hopes of studying art there. As a testament to her perseverance and unwillingness to take “no” for an answer, upon receiving a rejection letter from NYU she called the Deans of Admissions office to inform them that they had made a huge mistake. She was eventually accepted to the school and graduated 3 ½ years later with degrees in Business Administration, Art and Hellenic Studies. While in school, she was also president of NYU’s Hellenic Heritage Association and devoted much of her time to the school community. After her graduation, Manousakis worked for the Onassis Foundation in New York and later transferred to a high-profile real estate marketing company. Feeling the necessity to explore her father’s ancestral land get to know her own roots more closely, Alexandra relocated to Crete, taking up residence in the same home from which her father began his journey decades earlier. Armed with experience in marketing and public relations, Manousakis has become an integral part of the winery’s expansion, making Nostos one of the world’s top wine brands. Since her arrival at the company two years ago, Nostos has enjoyed a 30 percent increase in sales, with new markets in the U.S., Holland, Germany, Austria and Poland—all driven by Alexandra’s efforts—not to mention stellar reviews in top international magazines. Manousakis is spearheading plans for construction of a new, state-of-the-art organic winery while taking courses to expand her knowledge of the business. In addition to running Nostos, Manousakis still finds time for art. Her paintings will be shown in an exhibit called “Enchanted City” in a Chania, Crete gallery for one week in July.
President of the Hellenic American Professional Society of Northern California
Yannis Mantas Paulus, MD, 26, is completing his medical internship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, NY. He will then pursue his ophthalmology residency at Stanford University in Stanford, CA. He graduated cum laude from Harvard University in 2005 with degrees in chemistry and physics and went on to earn his MD with a bioengineering scholarly concentration from Stanford University in 2009. Born in Saint Louis, he moved with his family to Buffalo and New Orleans before settling in Memphis, where he grew up. Dr. Paulus’ father is an ophthalmologist, his brother an inter-ventional cardiologist, and his sister a surgeon, so it may come as no surprise that he, too, chose to enter the field of medicine. Even at his young age, Paulus has received numerous honors and awards, including Stanford University Bio-X, Medical Student Association, and Scholarly Concentration grants, as well as multiple Hellenic scholarships and entrepreneur competition awards. In addition, he co-founded OcuBell, a biomedical device company. While at Harvard University, he received the distinguished senior award for excellence in promoting intercultural and race relations at Harvard in 2005. Paulus has participated in medical research since starting high school. He has published 19 peer-reviewed articles and 26 research abstracts. He has also given 14 oral scientific conference presentations on the East and West coasts. He is president of the Hellenic American Professional Society of Northern California, was co-founder and clinical vice-president of the Stanford Vision and Ophthalmology Interest Group (VOIG) in 2009, and was the manager of administration of the Pacific Free Clinic in San Jose, CA from 2006 to 2007. He is a member of multiple professional associations including the Hellenic Medical Society of New York, the Optical Society of America, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the International Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers, among others. Paulus’ hobbies include competing in marathons and triathlons, playing the trombone and piano, singing baritone in his church choir and Greek folk group, cooking and hiking.
Owner and founder of Vosges Haut-Chocolat
Katrina Markoff, 37, is the owner and founder of Vosges Haut-Chocolat, a luxury exotic truffle company that reached nearly $12 million in sales in its first 10 years. Her lofty goal of bringing peace to the world through chocolate is achieved by mixing together unlikely ingredients from all corners of the world into unique, delicious chocolates. Three days after her graduation from Vanderbilt University, Markoff left for Paris to study culinary arts at Le Cordon Bleu. After a yearlong program in Paris, she embarked on an eight-month, nine-country world tour where she studied the native cuisines of France, Spain, Italy, Thailand, Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, China, Australia and Hawaii. She apprenticed at restaurants including the Hotel Crillon in Paris, France and El Bulli in Rosas, Spain, and graduated from the Thai Cooking School and Chiva Som School in Thailand. The trip commenced with in an apprenticeship in Spain under the direction of world-famous chef Ferran Adria. It was during these international experiences where she developed the concept of ‘exotic truffles.’ Her chocolates fuse together a wide range of indigenous spices, flowers, roots, herbs and liqueurs with premium chocolate. In 1998 she launched her specialty chocolate company from her Chicago apartment, experimenting with exotic ingredients such as wasabi to chili powder to Italian Taleggio cheese. By 2007, company sales reached $12 million, with retail stores in New York, Chicago and Las Vegas. Vosges’ long list of celebrity fans includes Kelly Ripa, Bruce Springstein, Dave Matthews and Cameron Diaz. Markoff is dedicated to the balance of mind, body and spirit within her company, holding weekly yoga classes for employees in a meditation room at their offices. Her latest undertaking is the building of a platinum LEED-certified, green manufacturing facility for the company, which is powered by 100 percent renewable energy. Vosges Haut-Chocolat donates to several philanthropic causes, including V-Day, a global movement to stop violence against girls, and Little Kids Rock, a nonprofit organization that revitalizes music education in public schools. Markoff is the recipient of numerous awards, among them the Bon Appetit Good Artisan of the Year Award 2004 and one of the Top 35 Culinary Artists by Food & Wine magazine. She was featured in Crain’s Business magazine as one of their 40 Under 40 in 2002, and Inc. magazine listed Vosges as one of its Fastest-Growing Companies for three consecutive years. Markoff was profiled by Entrepreneur magazine as their OPEN American Express Woman of the Year in 2007.
Actor, musician & American Idol finalist
Constantine Maroulis, 34, is a Tony Award-nominated actor, musician and American Idol finalist. He is currently the star of the new Broadway musical Rock of Ages. Maroulis, a grandson of Greek immigrants, was born in Brooklyn and raised in New Jersey. He graduated from the Boston Conservatory of Music and went on to pursue a career in the performing arts. Though he did not win the popular American Idol contest, Maroulis continued on to created his own independent label, Sixth Place Records, releasing his solo album titled Constantine, which debuted in the top 75 on the Billboard charts. Maroulis’ rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody was included on a Queen tribute CD titled Killer Queen. After releasing his solo record, Maroulis made his debut on Broadway in the Tony-nominated musical The Wedding Singer, adapted from the Adam Sandler movie. He went on to become a series regular on CBS long-time running drama The Bold and the Beautiful, joined FOX morning show Good Day New York as the show’s resident American Idol expert, and has made guest star appearances on various TV shows including Law and Order and the Conan O’Brien Show, and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Maroulis also starred in critically acclaimed Off-Broadway musical Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris. This past year Maroulis achieved true theater stardom in his critically acclaimed leading role as “Drew” in Broadway’s musical Rock of Ages. He went on to enjoy tremendous success, and was fan-selected as Broadway.com’s “Broadway Star of the Year” beating the likes of Daniel Craig, Will Ferrell, and Hugh Jackman. He was also nominated for a Drama League Award. Apart from his talents, Maroulis has been praised for his charitable donations, providing an annual scholarship for the Hellenic Times Scholarship Fund, which acknowledged him with the humanitarian award for artistic achievement. He has also been recognized for his outstanding achievements in the Greek-American community from New York Comptroller William C. Thompson Jr. and continues to support Hellenism. Maroulis was additionally awarded with a Broadway Beacon Award in recognition of his support for theater and arts for the inspiration of young people by non-for-profit educational organization Inside Broadway. As a result of his appearance on an episode of Don’t Forget the Lyrics as a contestant, $25,000 was donated to the charitable organization Broadway Cares. In 2010, Maroulis was immortalized in a caricature at Sardi’s restaurant in New York City’s theater district, taking his place of honor alongside other Broadway luminaries. This fall Maroulis plans to take Tony Award-nominated smash-hit musical Rock of Ages on the road. The musical will be performed in more than 50 cities, including Chicago in September, as part of the 2010/2011 Broadway in Chicago Season Series. Titled “Sexiest 30-year-old in America” by People Magazine, Maroulis is currently developing a TV special for his solo concert A Night at the Rock Show, a celebration of his self-produced Rock and Roll Songbook. As a nod to his Greek pride, Maroulis always mentions his heritage and upbringing in mainstream media interviews.
Senior legal counsel to the Senate President
Elias Mossos works for the Illinois Senate as senior legal counsel to the Senate President, working for the committees on energy, gaming, redistricting, executive, judiciary, telecommunications and technology. Mossos, 33, graduated from Loyola University in Chicago with a degree in communications and also focused on classical studies and political science. He got his doctorate in law from the John Marshall Law School, spending his summers working for Cook County Judge Anna Demacopoulos and Federal Judge Charles Kocoras. He was then recruited to an internship in the United State’s Attorney’s Office during law school. He went on to earn his Master of Laws degree with honors in International Business and Trade Law from John Marshall in 2006. Several of his articles have appeared in legal publications. Though this advanced degree and honors opened many doors for him in the private sector, Mossos’ passion for public service led him to remain working for the people of Illinois. In 2005 Mossos was hired by Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan and served as assistant counsel to Madigan.There he served as a liaison between Speaker Madigan and lobbyists. Mossos has also appeared in federal court on behalf of Speaker Madigan and has represented members of the Democratic Party of Illinois in election cases. In early 2007, Mossos worked on various Illinois consumer protection measures to regulate electric utilities and alleviate a serious utility crisis. This included the creation of the Illinois Power Agency, an agency to procure power on behalf of the biggest electric utilities. Mossos later went on serve as an assistant attorney general for Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office, where he represented Illinois residents on public utility and energy issues. He has litigated various cases involving public utilities seeking to increase rates. In total, his cases involved more than $1.6 billion in proposed rate increases and surcharges. In 2009, Mossos joined the Illinois Senate as senior legal counsel shortly after the impeachment of ex-Governor Rod R. Blagojevich. During this difficult time in Illinois’ history, Mossos worked hard to repair the public’s trust in government. Mossos worked on reforming Illinois law regarding government procurement and contracting, redistricting of legislative boundaries, lobbying of public officials, and freedom of information access. In addition to his legal duties, Mossos serves as a freedom of information officer, ensuring that the citizens of Illinois have access to public records and the inner workings of the legislature. Mossos sits on the board of directors for the Hellenic Bar Association. In his time at the Illinois House of Representatives, Mossos also garnered support from state representative Edward Acevedo to sponsor an Illinois House resolution marking March 25 as Greek Independence Day. Throughout all of Mossos’ education and early career, he worked either a full or part-time job as a bartender/waiter to support his mother, who raised him single-handedly. According to Demacopoulos, Mossos “wears his background as a badge of honor,” saying his upbringing has influenced his strong work ethic and ability to succeed.
Film producer & humanitarian
Film producer and humanitarian Nikolette Orlandou is the director of web development and production for Philanthropy Project, a non-profit initiative that uses the power of the moving image to inspire ordinary people to become philanthropists. Orlandou, who lives in Los Angeles, grew up with her family on the island of Spetses in Greece. Once she finished her high school-level studies, Orlandou came to the United States and studied film production at University of Southern California’s prestigious School of Cinematic Arts, graduating in 2001. As the assistant to the legendary film producer Robert K. Weiss, Orlandou got her break working on The Race for Space: Ansari X Prize, a documentary of the X Prize Foundation’s challenge to private teams build a spacecraft within two weeks. The film aired on the Discovery Channel and AOL. In 2005, Orlandou was promoted to associate producer for Scary Movie 4. Following that production, Orlandou worked with the independent film Hurt. In addition to her success in the film industry, Orlandou is an eco-entrepreneur with a lifelong passion for recycling and conservation of the environment. She is the founder and CEO i’m eco friendly, an upscale reusable tote bag label for consumers pursuing more sustainable lifestyles. Marie Claire in Greece featured Orlandou in their August 2008 issue, calling her life and success the American dream. Her sustainable tote bags were featured in American Fitness magazine. Orlandou’s work with the Philanthropy Projects includes producing the “Give and Glow” Web series. She is committed to Greek cinema and culture through her various volunteer efforts; she served as a programmer for the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival in 2007, during its inaugural year.
President & CEO of Grecian Delight Foods
Peter Parthenis, Jr., 34, is the president and CEO of Grecian Delight Foods, a leader in premium Mediterranean food products, holding more than 40 percent of the gyros market in the United States. Parthenis graduated from Purdue University’s Krannert School of Business Management. He also completed an Executive Education Program from the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business. Throughout high school and college, Parthenis worked for the business, working his way through the ranks to his current position. He took over his father Peter Parthenis Sr.’s legacy in January of 2007 after 15 years of working for the company. Through his management, Grecian Delights Foods has seen record sales and profits year after year despite the unstable economy. The company, headquartered in Elk Grove Village, IL, was founded in 1974 by Peter Parthenis Sr., an immigrant to the U.S. from Greece. In business for more than 35 years, Grecian Delight Foods is represented by over 400 distributors and 50 brokers. Grecian Delight Foods offers more than 300 items, manufacturing and producing artisan flatbreads, signature sauces and specialty meats. As featured in the Chicago Tribune, Grecian Delight Foods had sold over 1.3 billion gyros in the past 35 years – enough for 18.5 percent of the world’s population. Parthenis has also been active in a number of professional organizations, including Vistage International, which is the largest group of chief executives in the world, and the Young Presidents’ Organization. He is a board member of the Hellenic American Leadership Council, an organization of under-40 second-generation Greek Americans looking for ways to help and give back to their community. Grecian Delight Foods has partaken in several humanitarian aid causes, donating 34,000 pounds of various flatbreads and specialty meats to assist Hurricane Katrina victims in 2008. Parthenis, Jr., is married with a child and is currently pursuing his MBA at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management while successfully balancing family, community, work and continued education.
Tenor in the opera world
Thirty-three-year-old Dimitri Pittas is a celebrated tenor in the opera world, commended by Opera Now magazine for “tones youthful but golden, sculpted with ardor and a master’s confidence.” He has made a name for Greek-Americans in an artistic area dominated by Italian, Russian and French influence. A native of Queens, NY, Pittas grew up with a love for music and later graduated from the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. Since then he has performed the roles of Tybalt in Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette, First Prisoner in Beethoven’s Fidelio, Arturo in Lucia di Lammermoor and First Knight in Wagner’s Parsifal at the Metropolitan Opera. Pittas performs in many different languages, among them Greek, Italian, French, German, Russian, Spanish and Czech. In 2008 he sang in the annual Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park concert in Chicago, under the baton of Sir Andrew Davis. He returned to the Metropolitan Opera to sing Tamino in the The Magic Flute, followed by performances of the role of Macduff in a new production of Verdi’s Macbeth, conducted by Nicola Luisotti, in his debut at the Bavarian State Opera. He sang the role of Nemorino in L’Elisir d’Amore throughout the United Kingdom with Welsh National Opera, for the Metropolitan Opera, and at The Santa Fe Opera. Pittas is a winner of numerous prizes and competitions, including first prize in the Elardo International Competition and the Licia Albanese/Puccini Foundation Competition. He has won career grants from the Richard Tucker, George London and Sullivan Foundations. In addition to operas, Pittas has performed with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra as a tenor soloist. In Europe, he has sung for the Lille and Bordeaux opera houses in France as well as the U.K.’s Welsh National Opera. He has been regarded as one of the world’s most exciting tenors from early on in his career. The New York Times praised his performance, stating, “his effortless and cultured singing nailed Italian-tenor style with accuracy. Mr. Pittas has a future and, evidently, already a present.”
Fundraiser & strategist in the political & non-profit arenas
Stefanie Roumeliotes, 33, is a seasoned fundraiser and strategist in the political and non-profit arenas recognized nationally as a leader in the field. In 2007 and 2008, she served as the Northwestern finance director for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, where she led a record-breaking fundraising effort of more than $15 million in the American Northwest. Roumeliotes, a San Francisco native, graduated with bachelor’s degrees in world arts and cultures from UCLA. She is the founder and CEO of San-Francisco-based SGR Consulting, which has played significant roles in the success of local, statewide and national political campaigns and non-profit organizations since 2004. She has created and managed more than 700 fundraising events and raised more than $40 million in her 10 years in fundraising development. She acts as a finance consultant or director for several national organizations including the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the William Jefferson Clinton Foundation, the Foundation for AIDS research and WomenCount. Roumeliotes frequently coordinates events of high-profile political leaders, including several former U.S. presidents and vice presidents. She is an influential facilitator in establishing relationships between San Francisco Bay-area and Silicon Valley executives. In 2000, she worked on a fundraising campaign for Dianne Feinstein’s U.S. Senate re-election, and in 2004 she served as deputy finance director for Phil Angelides’ gubernatorial campaign. She continues to play a major role in identifying new growth opportunities, maximizing investor pool, and expanding supporter base. Outside of her work, Roumeliotes leads lectures and training seminars for EMERGE America, a national women’s organization which recruits and trains women to run for public office. She has been a board member of the San Francisco Symphony since 2005. A leader in the Greek-American community, Roumeliotes became a member of the Leadership 100 at age 30 and continues to promote Orthodoxy and Hellenism through her active involvement in the Leadership 100 Partners Program and the Philoptochos Society. She is one of 10 up-and-comers selected by NEO magazine as The New Generation of Leaders.
Program analyst for the U.S. Department of State Office of Information, Programs & Services
Alice Shukla is a program analyst for the U.S. Department of State Office of Information, Programs and Services. She is an emerging leader in foreign affairs, focusing on human rights issues in Southeastern Europe and the broader region. Shukla, 26, graduated from the University of Michigan with degrees in political science and communication studies, and a minor in Modern Greek Studies. As an undergraduate she began working as a press intern for U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow in Washington, D.C., as a political intern at the U.S. Embassy – Athens, and as a political/public affairs intern at the U.S. Consulate – Thessaloniki. As a graduate student at the American University in Washington, D.C. Shukla continued working with the State Department as a graduate fellow. Working with the Muslim minority in Northern Greece sparked her initial interest in human rights and religious and ethnic minorities, including the Greek minority in Turkey. Shukla’s professional goal is a career in public service with the U.S. State Department or international organizations. As part of her effort to develop a regional expertise on Southeastern Europe, Alice combined her knowledge of the Modern Greek language and politics with the study of the Turkish language and politics. In 2007 and 2008, Shukla completed two U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarships for Turkish and returned to Istanbul in 2009 on an American Research Institute in Turkey (ARIT) Fellowship. Her professional comprehension of Turkish is an important part of her training and preparation for the U.S. Foreign Service. Shukla has gained experience with protocol and administrative services at the State Department through assignments in 2009 and 2010 with the Presidential Travel Support Office. While in Turkey, she was recognized for translating White House guidance from English to Turkish for local staff to use in the event of an emergency. She has traveled to Istanbul, Cairo and Bali in support of President Barack Obama, analyzing and successfully meeting the needs of White House agencies and senior presidential support staff. A prominent leader in the Greek-American community as well, Shukla has been an active member of GOYA, the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival, the Hellenic Student Associations of the University of Michigan and American University, the Orthodox Christian Fellowship, and the Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) Youth Network. A native of West Bloomfield, Michigan, Shukla has extended family in the U.S. and Thessaloniki, Greece. She enjoys playing the piano, supporting the performing arts and traveling to visit friends. Shukla attributes much of her success to the tremendous continued support of her family, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church- her home parish in Farmington Hills, MI, the University of Michigan Modern Greek Studies Program and Foundation of Modern Greek Studies, and the greater Greek American community.
President and CEO of Customedialabs
Manos Sifakis, 34, is the president and CEO of Customedialabs, an interactive media start-up that combines smart marketing with the latest multimedia technology. Sifakis’ dream of running his own company began when he was a young boy growing up in Larissa, Greece. He attended college at Manchester, U.K., where he studied engineering and computing. He moved to the Philadelphia area with his American wife after college, hoping to pursue a career in information technology. In 2000, when Sifakis was just 23, he launched Custom I.T. a technology firm with one employee: himself. Sifakis grew the company’s European client base in his free time during his mandatory two years of service for the Greek military. By the time he returned to the U.S., he’d established a second home for Custom I.T. in Larissa. Despite the world economic recession and tendency of more than 50 percent of small businesses to fail in their first five years, Sifakis’ company overcame all odds and kept growing. He transformed Custom I.T. into a full-blown interactive media agency and renamed it Customedialabs in 2007 to reflect its unique blend of marketing and technological innovation. His client list grew to include Organic Valley, Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry and Cordis, a Johnson & Johnson company. In the fall of 2009, Customedialabs partnered with Philadelphia’s Ronald McDonald House to revamp its website; the new site has increased donations by 333 percent since its launch. Customedialabs is now comprised of 20 full-time employees split between the headquarters in Wayne, PA, and offices in Larissa and Athens, serving clients throughout the United States and Europe. Customedialabs is a major player in Philadelphia marketing and has won multiple awards, including a Webby Award for the Museum of Science and Industry’s website and a silver ADDY award for its pharmaceutical marketing. Sifakis’ work has been featured in global industry publications such as Communication Arts and .net magazine.
Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health and Social Services
Gerry Sklavounos is a leader in the Greek Canadian community and successful member of the Quebec National Assembly having secured more than $60 million in funding for infrastructure, health and education projects in his electoral district since his first election three years ago. He is currently serving as the Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health and Social Services. Sklavounos, 35, is the son of Greek immigrants and grew up in Park-Extension, an area of Montreal that is home to one of Canada’s oldest Greek communities. He earned his degrees in Civil and Common law from McGill University and went on to practice criminal law in Montreal. As a Quebec National Assembly member, Sklavounos has worked on various social matters such as homelessness, on environmental issues such as climate change and waste management, was part of the Canadian delegation at the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity in Bonn, Germany and has represented his government at the U.S. National Conference of State Legislatures. Sklavounos has always been active in the Greek Canadian community. Between 2003 and 2007, he served simultaneously on both the Hellenic Congress of Quebec and the Canadian Hellenic Congress, the Greek community’s provincial and federal lobby groups. He was elected Vice president Public Relations of the Canadian Congress in 2006 and held that position until his election to the National Assembly of Quebec in March of 2007. He has also held leading roles in various Greek-language theatrical performances and was a torch bearer in Montreal for the 2004 Athens Olympics torch relay. Always seeking to give back to his community, Sklavounos was a regular guest on a weekly, Montreal Greek-language TV show where he dispensed legal advice to the region’s Greek community. He has also served on the board of the Hellenic Scholarships Foundation, an organization from which he had received a scholarship as a student and where he went on to create a scholarship in his own name, now awarded annually to a student of Hellenic heritage. He was also instrumental in securing critical public funding for the Socrates trilingual elementary schools during a period of government cutbacks. Sklavounos is one of the youngest elected officials in Quebec, a profile he has turned to his advantage by spearheading an outreach program designed to get youth involved in the political process. He hosts regular informal meetings and networking events for young people involved in public affairs, hoping to instil his passion for civic service in younger generations.
Executive vice president and executive officer of the San Diego Chargers football team
It may be all in the family, but A.G. Spanos, 31, is making his own mark as the executive vice president and executive officer of the San Diego Chargers football team. He is second-in-command under his father, Dean Spanos, who inherited the team from his father and A.G. Spanos’ grandfather and namesake. Born in Stockton, CA, Spanos attended La Jolla Country Day School in La Jolla where he lettered in football and basketball. Spanos earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California. He played football as a freshman at Tufts University in Medford, MA. His entire upbringing was dedicated to the Chargers, his family team – he and his younger brother John Spanos were expected to inherit the team since they were born. Before joining the Chargers full-time in 2001, A.G. Spanos assisted the director of strategic planning for NFL Europe’s London office, analyzing market research for the entire league. While working for the team, he also spent one summer at the NFL League office in New York assisting the business operations department. He was responsible for the development and implementation of the Chargers’ new lightning bolt logo, which included new uniforms for the team. In 2008 he was promoted to executive officer after serving five seasons as the team’s director of marketing programs and business development. Spanos has fronted several key initiatives for the Chargers, including the organization’s vision for growth on the internet by coordinating all marketing content on the team’s official website. He is also spearheading an effort to preserve the team’s video and photo historical collections by developing an electronic archiving system. He oversees all business operations of the team, including all marketing, sales, public relations and community relations efforts. Spanos also represents the Chargers at NFL and ownership meetings. Spanos is a member of the executive committee and the board of directors for the San Diego Hall of Champions Sports Museum and also serves on the board of directors for the San Diego Chamber of Commerce.
Director of college scouting for the NFL's San Diego Chargers team
John Spanos, 30, is the director of college scouting for the NFL’s San Diego Chargers team. He coordinates the San Diego Chargers’ scouting efforts in preparation for the NFL Draft. He is the son of team President Dean Spanos and his wife Susie, and brother of the team’s executive vice president A.G. Spanos. John Spanos was born in Stockton, Calif. He attended The Bishop’s School in La Jolla, lettering in football, basketball and golf, and winning three CIF championships. He then earned a bachelor’s of science degree in business from Wake Forest University in 2002. The Spanos family purchased majority interest in the team on 1984, and John Spanos began working for the Chargers in 1995. While in high school, he worked as an assistant in the team’s football operations office during summers, researching salary caps for every player in the league. From 1998-2000, he worked under the direction of Ed McGuire, who schooled him in contract negotiations and managing the salary cap. He then served two stints in the NFL’s Management Council office in New York, learning a wide range of league procedures. He reviewed new player contracts and assisted in the league’s salary cap reconciliation process. Spanos was 23 when he was hired as a full-time college scout, the youngest in the business at the time. He spent the 2003-05 seasons as a professional and college scout for the Chargers and 2006-07 seasons as assistant director of college scouting. He also assists in negotiating contracts and managing the salary cap. Much of his year is spent preparing the Chargers for the draft. Spanos is well-respected in the NFL and the San Diego community wherein he generously serves. They are recognized as one of pro football’s most philanthropic families and one of southern California’s most committed and generous donors. Their financial and emotional support of youth sports and education is unmatched in San Diego, and represented well by the third generation of the family, namely by John Spanos and his brother A.G.
President, CEO and principal of AKT Development, Investments, Properties and Group of Companies
Kyriakos Tsakopoulos is a national leader in business and public policy, with a specialty in higher education. He is the president, CEO and principal of his family-owned businesses AKT Development, Investments, Properties and Group of Companies. The Sacramento California company oversees land development, real estate, farming, ranching, and building projects throughout North and Central California. Tsakopoulos earned his degree in political science from Columbia University and later his J.D. from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, where he focused on environmental, water and real estate law. He is a member of the California and U.S. Supreme Court Bars and was a California Elector in the Electoral College of the United States in the 2004 election. As a member of the Board of Trustees of Columbia University, Tsakopoulos is vice chairman of its physical assets committee, overseeing all physical plant and operations at the Columbia Main Campus as well as a multi-billion dollar building project at the Manhattanville campus. He is the youngest trustee named to the university since Alexander Hamilton. He is also Trustee Emeritus of the California State University System, where he chairs its statewide buildings and grounds committee. In that position, Tsakopoulos approved more than $2 billion in university capital projects throughout 23 campuses in California. Tsakopoulos and his family have founded university chairs in Hellenic Studies at Stanford and Georgetown universities. Throughout the years he has donated more than $4 million in funding to his alma mater in addition to also founding Columbia’s Aristotle and the Moderns Chair in Hellenic Studies. He served as a member of the forum of Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where he was named one of 250 global leaders under the age of 40. He is an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and sits on numerous boards including the American Hellenic Institute Advisory Committee, the Crocker Museum of Art and the Davis M.I.N.D. Research Institute. A native of Sacramento, Tsakopoulos is an avid athlete, pilot, fisherman, and outdoorsman. As an undergraduate at Columbia University, he rowed for the school’s Varsity Eights.
Philanthropist and senior attorney for Mayer Brown LLP
Christina Tsesmelis, 29, is a generous philanthropist and accomplished senior attorney for international law firm, Mayer Brown LLP in New York, NY. She was previously a judicial law clerk for well-known federal judges Nicholas Tsoucalas and Richard K. Eaton. Tsesmelis graduated from Rutgers College in New Jersey with a degree in political science. She went on to earn her J.D., on academic merit scholarship, from St. John’s University School of Law, where she interned with the United State’s Attorney’s Office criminal division, and was Managing Editor of the New York International Law Review. Her career in law began with very prestigious positions as a clerk for Judges Tsoucalas and Eaton. With Judge Tsoucalas, Tsesmelis drafted multiple opinions resolving complex international trade disputes between foreign nations and the United States. With Judge Eaton, she drafted a landmark opinion resolving a United States –Canada $20 billion trade dispute pending before NAFTA and the WTO. Tsesmelis joined Mayer Brown as a litigation associate in 2007. Her focus is on domestic and international complex litigation, specializing in securities litigation and enforcement, white-collar criminal defense, corporate internal investigations and crisis management. She has represented hedge funds, private equity firms, broker-dealers, investment and commercial banks, auditors and several Fortune 500 companies in multiple aspects of securities regulation, compliance, enforcement and litigation under the state and federal securities laws. Tsesmelis is dedicated to using her influence and expertise to help others, devoting a large portion of her work to pro bono legal work serving underprivileged clients. She works with the Veterans Assistance Project to assist U.S. veterans in receiving government benefits and is part of the New York Legal Assistance Group – Haiti TPS project, which secures temporary protection status in the U.S. for Haitians. She is dedicated to both the legal and Greek-American communities in her area. A member of the Federal Bar Counsel and American Bar Association, Tsesmelis served as executive secretary for the Standing Committee on the United Nations at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. Tsesmelis also acts as a mentor to law students and junior attorneys at both Mayer Brown, St. John’s Law and in the community. She is a committee member of the Hellenic Times Scholarship Fund and the Hellenic Lawyers Association of New York, where she works to raise scholarship money to assist Greek-American law students in funding their legal educations.
Emmy Award-winning television and film director Greg Yaitanes, 39, is one of the most recognized names in Hollywood, directing and producing top shows including Damages, Lost, Prison Break, Heroes and Grey’s Anatomy. His Emmy Award came in 2008 as result of his work on House, M.D., the most popular show worldwide. Yaitanes grew up in Wellesley, Massachusetts and was raised in an Orthodox Christian household. At the age of 18, Yaitanes moved to Los Angeles and attended the University of Southern California Film School. By 23, he landed his first directorial job. Yaitanes was so persistent that he once waited seven hours for a 10-minute meeting with action film producer Joel Silver. After screening Yaitanes’ work, Silver signed him for his second feature. Since then, Yaitanes’ artistic talent and dedication have led him to a successful career in the director’s chair in television. Though he is well-known in Hollywood for his work on several top-watched shows, his technological entrepreneurship has also made him a respected name in Silicon Valley. His investments in start-up companies such as Twitter have earned him a reputation for foresight in technology. Yaitanes is one of Twitter’s original investors and a frequent guest speaker at the company. A third-generation Greek-American, Yaitanes has stayed connected to his Greek heritage by passing on the Greek culture and language to his two most important accomplishments: his sons, Evangelos and Leonidas. He is an active member and supporter of St. Sophia Cathedral in Los Angeles and has lent his artistic talent in directing and producing film to solicit donations for the cathedral. In an interview with Greek magazine Down Town, Yaitanes expressed his hope to share Greek traditions and legacy so that his sons may do the same. Greg Yaitanes resides in Los Angeles with his wife Genna and his two boys.
Senior advisor, Illinois State Treasurer & U.S. Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias; Counselor, Johnston & Greene law firm
Endy Zemenides is the senior advisor for Illinois State Treasurer and U.S. Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias. He is also of-counsel at the Chicago-based Johnston & Greene law firm. Zemenides, 37, graduated cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center in 2000, where he was an editor of the Georgetown Journal of Law and Policy in International Business and a student-fellow at the Harrison Institute’s Public Policy Clinic. He holds a master’s degree in the theory and practice of human rights from the University of Essex and a bachelor’s degree in political science from DePaul University. Zemenides’ legal career began when he was an associate for the government department with Altheimer & Gray in Chicago. He was later a partner at Acosta, Kruse & Zemenides. At Johnston & Greene, Zemenides has primary responsibility for legal issues pertaining to the zoning and economic incentives for numerous properties in Chicago and its suburbs. His land use, zoning and government affairs practice focuses on representing developers and municipalities in connection with land use, economic incentive, zoning and public sector-related matters for complex commercial, industrial, retail, residential and office developments. He specializes in public/private development transactions. He is extremely dedicated to philanthropic efforts and the Greek-American community. Zemenides sits on the board of the National Hellenic Society and the Coordinated Effort of Hellenes, the most significant Greek-American political advocacy group in the U.S. He serves on the board of directors of the National Hellenic Society, is founding president of the Hellenic American Leadership Counsel, and as pro-bono counsel for the National Hellenic Museum in Chicago. He received the Hellenic Bar Association’s Community Service Award in 2009. Zemenides has lectured in International Relations and American Foreign Policy at DePaul University and sits on the Editorial Board of the National Strategy Forum, a Chicago based foreign policy organization. His articles have been published in The National Strategy Forum Review, the Pentagon’s The Officer, the American Bar Association’s National Security Law Reporter, and he has appeared on WGN’s Milt Rosenberg Show and John Callaway’s Front and Center.