Home Class of 2014

Class of 2014

by gafoundation1
Eleni Antoniadou
Co-Founder/Researcher of Transplants Without Donors & NASA/ESA
Eleni Antoniadou studied Computer Science and Biomedical Informatics at the University of Thessaly in Greece, and continued her studies at University College London and at the University of Illinois, where she earned graduate degrees in Nanotechnology and Regenerative Medicine, and Bioengineering and Tissue Engineering respectively. She is currently working on a doctoral degree in Bioengineering at the University of Illinois. Eleni has received recognition from the scientific community for her involvement in the development of life-saving therapies for artificial organ transplantations, and has received awards including the NASA - ESA Outstanding Researcher Award for 2012, the 50 for the Future Award, and was voted 2013 Woman of the Year at the annual British FDM Everywoman in Technology Awards. In addition, she has received several fellowships for her doctoral studies and was selected from among 1,200 students to participate in a course at the NASA Ames Academy for Space Exploration, where she continues to work as a Researcher focused on studying the effects of changes in atmospheric pressure on the nervous systems of astronauts. Eleni’s focus is to help ease human pain by translating scientific findings into therapeutic treatments that are affordable and accessible to patients. She was able to prove this possible when she and a classmate developed an artificial trachea that was later used in the first successful artificial organ transplant in the history of medicine on a 36-year-old late-stage tracheal cancer patient. The success of this procedure sparked the idea for Transplants Without Donors, a company co-founded by Eleni that is dedicated to developing life-saving therapies for artificial organs. As President and Scientific Researcher, Eleni has successfully represented Transplants Without Donors in competitions including Coad, Idea to Product, and Pitchfest. She is actively involved in humanitarian aid missions to Uganda, Peru and Costa Rica where she has served as a volunteer Group Leader with the Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children. Based in Philadelphia, the organization sends qualified volunteer groups to perform operations or offer health care to children that have been victims of the illegal organ trade.
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Demetri Argyropoulos
CEO/President of Prime Worldwide
Demetri Argyropoulos graduated from Westmont College with a degree in Business and Economics, and studied International Business at the American University in Washington, D.C. He participated in the Government and Foreign Policies program at Georgetown University and the Europe program at the International Business Institute. In addition, he is a graduate of the Exponential Technologies Executive Program at Singularity University and is currently working to complete the Owner, Presidents and Management Program at Harvard Business School. In recognition of his achievements, Demetri was awarded the 2010 Gusi Peace Prize. He is an honorary Naval Aviator and was honored as one of the Top 40 business leaders under 40 by the Pacific Coast Business Times. In addition, the National Republican Congressional Committee awarded him the National Leadership Award and the Business Man of the Year Award. Demitri founded Prima Worldwide, a management consultancy that has grown to include three operational entities including an advisory business, a holding company, and a venture origination business. Now CEO of the company, Demetri is known for forging relationships and creating transactions valued at approximately $9 billion. The company's range of projects include introductions to ultra-high net worth individuals and family offices, venture capital groups, financial institutions, merger and acquisition opportunities, divestitures of assets, and board of director placements. Through Demetri's direct involvement, Prima has successfully originated, co-founded, or been involved in over 35 companies in the last 5 years, across a variety of industries ranging from medical devices to internet advertising. Demetri co-founded Owl BioMedical (which was recently acquired by German multinational Miltenyi Biotec), serves on advisory boards for SocialParent, Evergram, Sword Diagnostics, The Backplane, Oddz and Ripple.com, and is an executive partner on the Board of Atigeo. In addition to his professional accomplishments, Demetri has raised tens of millions of dollars for charitable work and has convened global leaders on social issues such as poverty, global health, religious conflicts, and environmental concerns. He is an active supporter of the Clinton Foundation, sits on the California Republican Advisory Council and supports a number of charities both locally and internationally including Protimos, the Santa Barbara Historical Society, 1199 Foundation, Lotus Land Foundation, American Lung Association, Muscular Dystrophy Foundation, Westmont College, CALM, Unity Shop, United Way, Habitat for Humanity, Marymount School, Santa Barbara Symphony, American Hellenic Institute, and The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. He is a member and supporter of the National Hellenic Society, YPO-WPO International and Tiger21.
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Tsambika Bakiris
Founder/Owner of Sonrisas Therapies
Tsambika Bakiris completed her undergraduate degree in Social Psychology at Park University and later attended Baylor University in Texas, where she earned a graduate degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. As a Speech-Language Pathologist, she specializes in working with Spanish-English Bilinguals and has collaborated with Univision Austin, a Hispanic television station, to raise awareness of services available to the Spanish speaking community. Tsambika established her own agency, Sonrisas Therapies, in 2011, and is the youngest female to own and operate a licensed home health agency, accredited by the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services. Her agency provides speech, physical, and occupational therapy in the home environment and employs 55 therapists and support staff. Tsambika has testified on behalf of individuals with disabilities at Health and Human Services Commission hearings to ensure access and continuity of care, and is active in advocating legislation affecting the quality of care for therapy services. She was invited to participate in the Therapy Stakeholder Workgroup for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission created by the 82nd Texas legislature, and worked closely with the State of Texas to reach agreement on policy changes that limit compromise to quality of care.Tsambika is on the Texas Speech and Hearing Language Association's Executive Council as past co-chair of Grassroots and Development and present Chair of Consumer Advocacy. She is a member of Women Investing in Success and Education (WISE), Austin Young Women's Alliance, The Center for Child Protection's Guardian Angel Society, Dell Children's Women's Trust, and is involved with the People's Community Clinic where she is on the planning committee that has helped raise close to $30,000. Tsambika volunteers for the Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church in Austin, and was a member of the Greek Dance troupes both in Austin and in San Antonio. She has taught Greek language courses for elementary school students of Greek descent and is an active member of the Young Adult League and Ladies of Philoptochos.
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Yanni Dionisopoulos
Co-Owner of Golden Fleece Restaurant
Yanni Dionisopoulos grew up in Greece and immigrated to the United States with his family where they settled in Detroit. He is co-owner of the Golden Fleece, a restaurant run by his family in 1971, and Exodos Lounge, where he often hosts entertainers from Greece. He has dedicated much of his time to preserving the heritage of Detroit's Greektown and is recognized among the Greek community for his efforts. Yanni has worked with city officials and lobbied for the best interests of Greektown by emphasizing the neighborhood's historical and cultural significance to the city of Detroit. He has served on the Board of Directors for the Greektown Merchant's Association and is Vice President of the Greektown Preservation Society. Yanni was intimately involved in obtaining a National Historical designation for Greektown and continues to find ways to promote the neighborhood as a destination for Greeks, non-Greeks, locals and visitors. Yanni is responsible for ensuring that Greek flags hang and Greek music is played along Monroe Street, Greektown's main thoroughfare. He is a Greek School teacher at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Greektown, where he carries on the tradition of singing Christmas carols throughout Greektown with students each year, and is Secretary of the Messinian Association of Michigan, where he was instrumental in bringing a dance group from Messinia to perform at the 2011 Annual Detroit Greek Independence Day Parade. Yanni is a founding Board Member of the Annual Detroit Greek Independence Day Parade, which was revived in 2001 after a 20-year hiatus. In addition to playing an important role in the parade's organization, Yanni dons his own Greek uniform and walks the parade with his peers in support of his heritage. Yanni is responsible for raising substantial sums for Greek non-profits by organizing grass root efforts that include raffles, silent auctions, and events to support Greek Community programs, including the Hellenic Museum of Michigan.
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Demitri Douzenis
Managing Partner at Principle Strategy Group Ltd
Demitri Douzenis holds an honors undergraduate degree in Political Science, Sociology, and International Studies from Bishop's University, and graduate degrees in Diplomatic Studies and Law with specializations in International Law and Dispute Resolution from The Diplomatic Academy of London and Bond University in Australia, respectively. Demitri was awarded a Canadian Armed Forces Decoration for his 13 years of honorable service and has worked in Press Operations at two Olympic Games. He was part of a team that helped realize two First-Nations Treaties in British Columbia and has facilitated community development projects across Canada and Southeast Asia. As a cross-cultural relations consultant, business strategist, and public relations professional, Demitri has served elected officials, academic institutions, non-profit organizations, and companies both globally and locally. He heads a Vancouver-based PR and Communications firm, has served as advisor to the Mayor of Vancouver for the Olympic Torch Lighting and Torch Hand-Over Ceremonies in Greece in 2009, and represented the Federal Liberal Critic for Multiculturalism in British Columbia in 2012-2013. In addition, Demitri has pursued projects in acting, writing and directing short films. "O Tharraléos – The Courageous One" was screened at the Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner, Vancouver Short Film Festival, San Francisco Greek Film Festival, and at the Chinese Theater in Hollywood during Gabby Awards weekend. Within the Greek community, Demitri has held several positions including President of the Hellenic Housing Society of BC, ensuring that low-income seniors and those with disabilities have safe and comfortable places to live. Under his presidency, the HHS secured provincial funding to undergo a building renewal and rehabilitation project. Demitri continues to support this cause as a director and senior advisor. He has also served as a director of the Hellenic Canadian Congress of BC, where as President, he led successful Greek Day on Broadway celebrations attracting more than 120,000 people, and chaired fundraising efforts for the Greek fires of 2007, raising over $100,000. Demitri was appointed Co-Chair of the City of Vancouver's Multicultural Advisory Committee and is currently serving a second three-year term. He has helped facilitate dialogues on ethnicity, greater accessibility to information on civic elections, and has welcomed ethnic leaders to City Hall to discuss the changing face of racism.
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Thomas Eliopoulos
Vice President at Dominion Partners
Thomas Eliopoulos is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and holds Master's degrees from Boston University and The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. He is Executive Vice President of Beverly Hills-based real estate group Dominion Partners, LLC. He began his career in the political field, in campaign offices on Capitol Hill and on K Street for an entertainment industry lobbying group. Eventually moving to the West Coast, he served as campaign manager to a successful political race in Beverly Hills before joining Dominion Partners. Thomas has served as a member of the National Committee of the Boy Scouts of America and is on the Board of Directors for the Western Los Angeles County Council of the Boy Scouts of America. In 2013, he received the Outstanding Eagle Scout Award from the National Eagle Scout Association. Thomas was active with the Junior Council of the Children's National Medical Center Foundation and served on the Junior Gala Board for So Others Might Eat (S.O.M.E.), an inter-faith community-based organization in the District of Columbia that cares for homeless and extremely poor citizens. He held several leadership roles at Carnegie Mellon University as a student and as an alumnus, and is currently Co-President of its Los Angeles alumni board. As an undergraduate, Thomas was elected Vice President of the University's Inter-Fraternity Council and also served as President of the Greek Council, receiving one of the University's senior leadership awards upon graduation.
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Julie Eliopoulos Tsirambidis
Director of Advanced Practice Medical Providers at Akron Children's Hospital
Julie Eliopoulos Tsirambidis studied Biology and Nursing at Kent State University and later completed a double Master's degree in Pediatric and Family Medicine at Case Western Reserve University. Julie's work has been published in notable medical journals and she was awarded 2012 State of Ohio Nurse Practitioner of the Year by the Ohio Chapter of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners. She was the first nurse practitioner at the Cleveland Clinic to function in the role of 'hospitalist', providing internal medicine coverage to hospitalized patients in place of their primary care physicians. Over the past 15 years, she has been an active participant in legislation for advanced practice registered nursing and physician assistant practice, and continues to pursue legal changes that will decrease barriers to practice in the state of Ohio. She was instrumental in creating Ohio House Bill 139, granting nurse practitioners and physician assistants the ability to admit patients to the hospital. Julie serves as Director of Advanced Practice Nurses and Physician Assistants at Akron Children's Hospital, where she continues to see patients as an internal medicine hospitalist. She is the hospital's Advanced Practice Director, leading the creation of a center dedicated to providing professional development and practice support to advanced practice providers. Julie is an active member of her local Greek community, where she founded a Greek dance program, teaches a Greek dance group, and volunteers at Sunday School. Her passion to provide care for the underserved drives her volunteer work at local free clinics and for a Greek Orthodox diocese summer camp. During a health mission to Haiti in 2011, where one third of the population is under the age of 14 and only one hospital in the entire country is dedicated to pediatrics, Julie helped lay the groundwork for a pediatric nurse practitioner program, the first of it's kind in that country. Through a partnership between Akron Children's Hospital and Quisqueya University, the program became a reality, and has changed the way health care is delivered in Haiti. With training and support from Akron, local nurse practitioners are educated to be medical providers at local hospitals and in rural areas, meeting the health care needs of local populations.
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Alexis Fasseas
Chief Operating Officer at customedialabs
Alexis Fasseas studied English and Political Theory at Duke University before completing graduate degrees in Law and Business Administration at Northwestern University School of Law and Kellogg School of Management. She is a licensed attorney in the State of Illinois. Alexis was Chief Restructuring & Strategy Officer of the Metropolitan Bank Group, the largest privately held bank holding company in Illinois, where she led strategic, regulatory and operational planning, restructuring the company during the financial crisis and leading one of only a dozen successful recapitalizations in the banking industry. Prior to the economic downturn, Alexis oversaw a strong leadership team charged with standardizing and centralizing key operational and management functions to optimize efficiencies while maintaining the culture of localized customer servicing and contact. She currently serves as Managing Director of customedialabs, building the operational foundation and exploring strategic alternatives to scale the digital agency's business model. Alexis co-founded PAWS Chicago, a national model in No Kill animal welfare, where she currently serves as Treasurer. She oversees the organization's communications and publications, including the semi-annual magazine, and supports all operational and strategic planning.
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Christina Hioureas
Senior Associate Attorney, Public International Law and Arbitration, at Chadbourne & Parke LLP
Christina Hioureas is a lawyer specialized in Public International Law and International Arbitration, which includes the resolution of disputes between State Sovereigns, private entities, and individuals. These matters include: investment treaty / World Bank arbitration disputes; international commercial arbitration disputes; international human rights claims; law of the sea and State boundary delimitation; treaty drafting and interpretation; and energy law (oil and gas). Christina has particular experience in litigating and arbitrating disputes involving Southern Europe (including Greece), the Balkans, North Africa, Eastern Europe, the Caucuses, the Horn of Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. She has represented parties, given lectures. and advised on energy exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as issues concerning Greek-Turkish relations with respect to the development of the Southern Gas Corridor. She studied Political Science as well as Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of California Berkeley, where she subsequently completed her Juris Doctorate. Christina is qualified to practice in California, New York, the U.S. Supreme Court, and the Senior Courts England and Wales. Christina is also an Adjunct Professor of Law at Fordham University School of Law and has served as a Delegate to the United Nations Consultative Process on the Law of the Sea on behalf of the American Society of International Law (ASIL) and Co-Chair of the ASIL International Dispute Resolution group. With respect to her work in the field of international human rights litigation, Christina received the "Partner in Justice Award" from the Center for Justice & Accountability for her victory in the case Ahmed v. Magan, which resulted in the first judgment to hold a member of the Somali National Security Service accountable for human rights violations that occurred during the country's brutal dictatorship. The case has received international attention, having been featured in the Washington Post among other publications. In addition to her legal practice and teaching, she is also active in the community, serving on the Advisory Board of the non-profit Project Hellenic Hope, which works to help children living in poverty in Greece due to the economic crisis. Christina is also a member of the Board of Directors of the NGO Greece Debt Free, which aims to reduce Greek debt through charitable purchase and cancellation of Greek bonds. Mark Beckett, Global Department Head of International Arbitration and Public International Law at Chadbourne & Parke, said, "We are privileged to have Christina as a member of our group. She is a superb advocate who brings her considerable intellectual, strategic, and persuasive powers to bear on behalf of her client, whether that client is a corporation, an individual, or a state. Christina is a commanding presence before tribunals. She displays a preternatural mastery of the facts and the law, makes her case eloquently and memorably, and leaves no stone unturned in her representations. She is trusted by judges and arbitrators and inspires confidence and loyalty in clients." Ambassador Andreas Jacovides, former Cypriot ambassador to the US and the United Nations who also serves as an arbitrator, describes her as a "tremendously talented lawyer". He added, "She possesses excellent technical legal skills, thinks creatively, and is dedicated to her work. This, together with her charm and diplomatic qualities, makes her the complete package, uniquely qualified as a specialized public international law lawyer." Maria Telalian, Head of the Legal Department of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs offers additional praise: "I have come to know Ms. Hioureas through our collaboration at the United Nations. I can say without hesitation that she is truly an exceptional advisor and individual. In her field of work, she is very knowledgeable, thorough and effective as an advocate. She is a dedicated and talented colleague with a sincere interest in her field and a great capacity for positive contributions in this regard." Finally, Governor George Pataki, former Governor of New York and currently Hioureas' colleague at Chadbourne & Parke, states, "From the beginning of our working together, it became apparent to me that Christina has a deep-seated passion and respect for the law and its application to dispute resolutions around the globe. She is one of the few attorneys, worldwide, with such a depth of knowledge of international law as it affects sovereign states. Christina is a valued and respected member of the Chadbourne firm. She stands out among her peers as a lawyer who is proactive and judicious."
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Dr. Christine Kakoulas Podias
MD, Internal Medicine at Yaffe, Ruden and Associates
Dr. Christine Kakoulas received her undergraduate degree from New York University before continuing at Chicago Medical School, and later as a resident at St. Vincent's Hospital. Christine conducted research on early anion gap metabolic acidosis in acetaminophen overdose, which was published in The American Journal of Emergency Medicine, and has received several awards on sites like Patientschoice.org and Vitals.com including Patients' Choice Award (2009 - 2011, 2013), Compassionate Doctor Recognition (2009 - 2011), On-Time Doctor Award (2009), and Top Ten Doctors (2012). Christine has practiced internal medicine at the offices of Yaffe, Ruden and Associates since 2004, where she is recognized as a "hand-holding doctor," a physician who takes the time to listen, to show respect and compassion, all while providing the very best in patient care. She is an active member of New York's Greek community, often providing pro bono patient care to Greeks and non-Greeks who do not have medical insurance. A devoted member of the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Dr. Kakoulas has volunteered her time on the Young Professionals Committee and recently helped to organize a fundraiser in support of the Cathedral honoring the General Consul of Cyprus. As a member of the Hellenic Medical Society of New York, she has engaged in activities that include community education and scholarship awards. Dedicated to supporting health care in Greece, Dr. Kakoulas aided the Desmos organization by procuring medical samples from pharmaceutical companies to provide to the underserved in Greece.
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Katherine Kallinis Berman
Co-Owner of Georgetown Cupcake
Sisters Katherine Kallinis Berman and Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne are co-founders of Georgetown Cupcake, stars of hit series DC Cupcakes on TLC, and best-selling authors of The Cupcake Diaries and Sweet Celebrations. Katherine completed a Bachelor of Arts in Politics at Marymount University and Sophie studied Molecular Biology at Princeton University. In 2008, Katherine and Sophie traded careers in fashion and venture capital to follow their passion for baking and opened Georgetown Cupcake in Washington, DC. Since then, they have expanded Georgetown Cupcake with locations in Bethesda, MD, New York City, Boston, and Los Angeles, with an online business that ships cupcakes nationwide. Katherine, Sophie and the Georgetown Cupcake team bake over 5,000 cupcakes each day to keep up with demand. Their cupcakes have won numerous awards and contests, and they were voted Best Bakery in Washington, D.C. They have been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Washington Post, Better Homes and Gardens, Food & Wine, TV Guide, the NBC Today Show, The Martha Stewart Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Live! With Kelly, ABC Nightline, Access Hollywood, Extra, Entertainment Tonight, People, InStyle, Town & Country, US Weekly, Redbook, Real Simple, and Cosmopolitan. Georgetown Cupcake regularly participates in neighborhood and community events, supports numerous local and national charitable organizations and foundations, and in particular, focuses on women and children's health issues. Since opening in 2008, Georgetown Cupcake has donated tens of thousands of cupcakes to charitable causes. Through the Henry Foundation, Georgetown Cupcake partners with area hospitals and medical clinics to benefit children suffering from life-threatening illnesses as well as their families. The company has supported members of the United States military and their families since 2010 through Operation Cupcake, where in partnership with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, they send cupcakes to troops serving overseas during the holiday season. Each year, Georgetown Cupcake delivers 10,000 cupcakes to troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as those recovering from injuries in Germany. Georgetown Cupcake supports the Entertainment Industry Foundation Revlon Run/Walk for Women in New York and Los Angeles through the sale of red velvet cupcakes. 100% of proceeds go towards the Run/Walk cause. In addition, the company supports Heroes Against Childhood Cancer, a volunteer-driven organization that supports children fighting cancer and the Cancer Programs at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
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Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne
Co-Owner of Georgetown Cupcake
Sisters Katherine Kallinis Berman and Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne are co-founders of Georgetown Cupcake, stars of hit series DC Cupcakes on TLC, and best-selling authors of The Cupcake Diaries and Sweet Celebrations. Katherine completed a Bachelor of Arts in Politics at Marymount University and Sophie studied Molecular Biology at Princeton University. In 2008, Katherine and Sophie traded careers in fashion and venture capital to follow their passion for baking and opened Georgetown Cupcake in Washington, DC. Since then, they have expanded Georgetown Cupcake with locations in Bethesda, MD, New York City, Boston, and Los Angeles, with an online business that ships cupcakes nationwide. Katherine, Sophie and the Georgetown Cupcake team bake over 5,000 cupcakes each day to keep up with demand. Their cupcakes have won numerous awards and contests, and they were voted Best Bakery in Washington, D.C. They have been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Washington Post, Better Homes and Gardens, Food & Wine, TV Guide, the NBC Today Show, The Martha Stewart Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Live! With Kelly, ABC Nightline, Access Hollywood, Extra, Entertainment Tonight, People, InStyle, Town & Country, US Weekly, Redbook, Real Simple, and Cosmopolitan. Georgetown Cupcake regularly participates in neighborhood and community events, supports numerous local and national charitable organizations and foundations, and in particular, focuses on women and children's health issues. Since opening in 2008, Georgetown Cupcake has donated tens of thousands of cupcakes to charitable causes. Through the Henry Foundation, Georgetown Cupcake partners with area hospitals and medical clinics to benefit children suffering from life-threatening illnesses as well as their families. The company has supported members of the United States military and their families since 2010 through Operation Cupcake, where in partnership with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, they send cupcakes to troops serving overseas during the holiday season. Each year, Georgetown Cupcake delivers 10,000 cupcakes to troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as those recovering from injuries in Germany. Georgetown Cupcake supports the Entertainment Industry Foundation Revlon Run/Walk for Women in New York and Los Angeles through the sale of red velvet cupcakes. 100% of proceeds go towards the Run/Walk cause. In addition, the company supports Heroes Against Childhood Cancer, a volunteer-driven organization that supports children fighting cancer and the Cancer Programs at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
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Niki Kanaroglou
Pediatric Urologist at Halton Healthcare
Androniki (Niki) Kanaroglou completed her undergraduate degree in the Arts & Science program at McMaster University. In 2006, she became the first female urologic surgery trainee at the university, and was a pioneer in her field for other females who have since been admitted to the program. She was later accepted to the Schulich School of Medicine at The University of Western Ontario at age 22. After training in urological cancer surgery and kidney transplant operations, she became a certified Surgeon and Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada in Urology and spent an additional two years at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, mastering pediatric reconstructive urology, mostly repairing birth anomalies in newborn babies and young children. Niki's research has been published in over 23 scientific publications. Her areas of research focus on ways to improve access to medical care for all, and on surgical outcomes for children with congenital conditions. She has lectured on pediatric urology at conferences nationally and internationally, and has been an enthusiastic teacher and mentor for medical students and residents for several years. She was invited to speak at the University of Toronto for the annual national Basic Science Course for Urology residents, has served as a member of the organizing team of the annual Pediatric Urology Laparoscopy Course for trainees from the United States and Canada, and she has been an examiner for the annual preparatory mock clinical examinations for the McMaster Institute of Urology. As a teenager and a member of the Greek Orthodox Youth Association, Niki was an active volunteer in the Greek Canadian community. As a university student, she was an executive committee member of the McMaster Hellenic Association, motivating and organizing university students to set up fundraisers and cultural events. She spent time at the Canadian Institute for the Blind, and at local Catholic hospitals in Hamilton and Toronto. At McMaster, she organized the Annual Gandhi Peace Walk, and was awarded the 2002 Gary Newcombe Peace Prize for her volunteer work. In 2013, as part of a US/Canadian team of 15 surgeons and nurses, she voluntarily spent two weeks operating on babies and underprivileged children in Uganda, and trained local surgeons to continue benefiting local communities. In addition, she was invited to Rwanda by the University of Kigali to perform pediatric surgeries alongside local physicians for children in need.
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Vassy Karagiorgos
Founder of kissmyvasy/vassy entertainment LLC
Vassy Karagiorgos graduated from the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia, where she studied Interior Architecture, but her passion for music led her to hone her songwriting and guitar playing skills, record her first album, and move to Los Angeles. Vassy was discovered in 2003 after winning an Australian radio station contest. She quickly received recognition for her vocal talent and style, heavily influenced by Billie Holiday, and was signed by a major record label the same year. Her single ‘We Are Young', made number one on the Billboard Dance Chart in 2013 and has led to collaborations with artists all over the world including Dave Aude, David Guetta and Crystal Waters. She has lent her voice to television campaigns for Chevrolet, Target, Victoria's Secret, Sketchers, Google, Nike and Hilton Hotels; television shows including Grey's Anatomy, Ugly Betty and Human Target; feature film "The Cabin in the Woods," and games including FIFA 08 and The Sims. As a teenager growing up in a remote part of Australia, Vassy applied for grants from the Australian Arts Council and organized music workshops for kids. She ran hip-hop workshops in the detention centers of the Northern Territory and traveled to remote indigenous communities in New Caledonia, where she ran music workshops and performed for local people in their villages. Vassy's role as an ambassador with Australia and NT Careers made an impact on children and teens with family members that are terminally ill or have severe disabilities. In Los Angeles, she volunteers weekly at AVIVA, a teenage safe house and orphanage, running music workshops for girls. She is passionate about anti-bullying legislation, which inspired the music video for her song, Beautiful, led her to launch an online campaign to raise awareness of the issue, and sign on as spokesperson for the film Sticks and Stones. Vassy continues to donate her time to Greek events and was a presenter at the St. Sophia Greek Festival in Los Angeles. Vassy is Ambassador for the NOH8 Campaign, an anti-discrimination association that supports equal rights for all human kind, and a spokesperson for Green IT, an environmental campaign to help educate people on how to protect the environment. She works with the Studio Samuel Foundation, an organization that helps girls in Ethiopia, and Play Ground Of Dreams, which encourages youth to transform their dreams into reality.
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Stefanos Kasselakis
Associate at Goldman Sachs
Stefanos attended Athens College and subsequently studied at Phillips Academy in Massachusetts. He continued his studies at the Huntsman Program of the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a degree in International Studies from the School of Arts and Sciences and a degree in Economics from the Wharton School. Stefanos was selected by the University as the Andreas Dracopoulos Scholar, and he was later chosen to be the Student Speaker at the Annual Scholarship Celebration in New York. He also chaired some of the largest Model United Nations committees in the country, and was eventually asked to create the first Novice Committee. In addition, he worked on then Senator Joe Biden's Democratic presidential nomination campaign, spending several weeks in Northwest Iowa, where he led grassroots efforts ahead of the state's caucuses. He shared this experience with the Greek-American community, writing a series of columns for the National Herald, to which he has contributed over many years. In the midst of the 2008 global financial crisis, Stefanos started his career with Goldman Sachs. He worked in London, where his fluency in German, French, Spanish and Greek proved to be a valuable asset when managing commodity risk exposure for some of the world's largest multinational corporations. He later moved to New York, where he traded commodities with notable hedge funds and corporations, and continues to spearhead efforts in the North American agricultural space, often travelling to the heartland of America to meet with companies, merchants, and farmers. At the same time, as the economic crisis in Greece began to unfold, many of his former classmates saw their career prospects dwindle, and they reached out to Stefanos for help with their CVs. Their application materials needed considerable linguistic and structural improvements, prompting Stefanos to launch CVfromGreece.com, a website where Greeks can receive advice and guidance from professionals in their industry in exchange for contributing to a Greek charity through monetary donations or volunteer time. At the end of the mentoring process, employers are able to access the finalized CVs and cover letters, further increasing candidates' chances of being hired.
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Taki Kastanis
Founder & CEO of Yolk
Taki Kastanis attended the University of Illinois at Chicago before deciding that the restaurant business, which his family was involved with for many years, was his passion. In 2006, Taki opened his first Yolk restaurant in Chicago's South Loop neighborhood, an upscale breakfast and lunch concept that quickly took off and resulted in three additional locations throughout Chicago. Zagat rated Yolk "Best Breakfast" in 2008, Fox News' Chicago viewers voted it "#1 breakfast" and it was featured in the Chicago Tribune and on the cover of the spring/summer 2010 edition of Dining Out Chicago Magazine, where it was described as 'One of Chicago's most famous breakfast restaurants' with a 'scene that is energetic and vibrant' and a menu with 'truly something for everyone.' With four Yolk locations in Chicago and a fifth on the way, Taki also plans to open in Indianapolis and Dallas, and aims to launch franchise opportunities for interested investors. Using Yolk as a vehicle, Taki actively supports local charities and organizations. Each Christmas, Yolk locations sponsor a coat and toy drive, and throughout the year, store managers set aside a day to wait on tables and donate their tips to the charity of their choice. Taki serves on the Board of Simply from the Heart, a foundation dedicated to enriching the lives of terminally ill cancer patients by providing health, wellness, and beauty services. He also sponsored the Greek Americans Against Breast Cancer event held at the National Hellenic Museum in Chicago.
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Voula Maria Katsetos-Stratton
Owner of Voula's Greek Sweets
As a Studio Art and Photography major at Nazareth College, Voula Katsetos-Stratton pursued her passion and talent for the visual arts. Upon graduation, she worked as a Photo Reproduction Technician in New York City, until she opened her dream business, Voula's Greek Sweets, a stylish, welcoming Greek cafe in Rochester, New York. The café and its owner have been featured in Rochester Woman Magazine and have won the recognition of the Rochester community. Inspired by traditional Greek village cuisine, Voula's Greek Sweets features items like kolokithopita, lagana, and old world pastries like kariokes and paximadia, all made in-house. The café's vegan menu, including vegan rosewater frappe, is a hit with millennials, and has made the café a popular meeting spot. In addition to plans for an expanded menu including seafood and meat dishes, Voula established a partnership with a local grocery store that will carry her dips and pitas alongside national brands. Voula has been involved with the Greek community of Rochester for many years. She participates in church and community events and frequently donates food to Greek and non-Greek organizations and charities. She is viewed as one who took the risk to invest in her heritage and community, promoting Greek culture and ideals through her café.
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Katie Keim
Senior at The Ellis School
Despite the fact that Katie Keim is a senior in high school, she has proven to be an outstanding member of the global community and is founder of non-profit A Dozen at a Time, which provides monetary, non-monetary, social and emotional support to at-risk foster children worldwide. Katie promotes A Dozen at a Time by speaking at schools, churches, synagogues, and local businesses. She hosts shoe drives, clothing drives, sports equipment drives, car washes, and walk-a-thons to raise monetary and non-monetary donations for foster children. She works closely with the SOS Children's Villages in Chicago, Florida and Greece to understand their needs and help foster children who reside there. To date, A Dozen at a Time has helped more than 1,500 foster children worldwide, and the number grows daily. As Executive Director of A Dozen at a Time, Katie develops and manages the organization's strategic plan and budget, marketing materials and a website. In addition, Katie is conducting a senior independent study that compares the benefits of group foster care (common outside the US) with individual foster care (common in the US), and her long-term goal is to open a group foster children's village in the United States. Katie was selected to lead a team of students to the Children's Village in Israel, home to 275 underprivileged foster children who have been abused emotionally and physically. Each time Katie returned to the Village she conducted successful fundraising efforts that have resulted in the purchase of computers and printers, new bedding and mattresses, and tennis shoes. Katie was also selected to lead a team of 25 students, 11 teachers and 1 Holocaust survivor to Poland. She returned a changed person and wanted to share and educate others about Holocaust history. She successfully chaired a fundraising event for disadvantaged students from the Urban Pathways Charter School in Pittsburgh to travel to the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., and co-chaired a sold-out screening of the film Numbered, and plans to work on the Greek America Foundation's film, No Man is an Island. Katie was awarded the St. Lawrence Book Award by the faculty and administrators at The Ellis School for Girls, presented to the junior student who, in the opinion of the faculty and administrators, has best distinguished themselves in their communities by their commitment to community service. She has also won various Greek Orthodox oratorical competitions, and volunteers at the Children's Institute in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
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Emmanuel K. Konstantakos, MD
Orthopedic Surgeon at Holzer Medical Center
Emmanuel Konstantakos completed undergraduate studies in Biology at Case Western Reserve University and subsequently continued at the University's School of Medicine, before completing a fellowship in Sports Medicine at the University of Chicago. As an undergraduate, he created and directed the strength and conditioning program for his university's football team and won the Michelson-Morely Award for Research Excellence. While in medical school, Emmanuel received the Distinguished Student-Physician Award given by the Hellenic Preservation Society of Greater Cleveland. In addition, Emmanuel organized a community-based clothing drive to help refugees of the Serbian-Croatian war and received a token of honor from the Mother Marcha Serbian Orthodox Monastery. Emmanuel's work has been featured in over 16 peer-reviewed publications and 20 national presentations, and he recently co-authored a landmark study on obesity and musculoskeletal function. On April 20th, 1999, his hometown of Littleton, Colorado was faced with the devastating aftermath of the Columbine High School Massacre. Emmanuel immediately organized a university-based, school-wide effort to help the families, friends, and relatives of those affected by the tragedy, and launched the Kids of Columbine assistance program. His experience with Columbine compelled him to create a volunteer organization called Project Huddle that reaches out to teenagers and encourages them to participate in organized athletic teams, allowing them to release potential unwanted aggression and hostility through exercise. He was also awarded an Honorary Police Badge by the Cleveland Patrolmen's Association for saving the life of a wounded police officer. He worked closely with the National Orthopaedic Political Action Committee (PAC) and in 2009–2010, helped raise over $3.3 million and acquire over 4,500 contributors, making the Orthopaedic PAC the largest medical PAC in the United States. Upon completion of his fellowship at the University of Chicago, Dr. Konstantakos chose to practice in both Gallipolis and Athens, Ohio. When asked if it was intentional or mere coincidence that he practices in cities with names of Greek origin, he jokingly responds that the decision was not his, but that of the Greek gods and that they of course would not have allowed him to practice anywhere else.
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Catherine Kreatsoulas, PhD
Epidemiologist at Harvard University
Dr. Catherine Kreatsoulas completed a Bachelor of Science in Forensic Anthropology at the University of Toronto in Canada, and went on to achieve a Master's and Doctorate degree at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, in Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Dr. Kreatsoulas also holds a degree in Piano Performance and has maintained a private music studio for over 20 years, teaching all levels at the Royal Conservatory of Music. Her doctoral work focused on gender issues in the symptomatic presentation of cardiovascular disease and healthcare delivery. Catherine developed innovative qualitative and quantitative methodology approaches to explore her research questions, and her work has been published in high impact medical journals, including the Journal of the American Medical Association and the Canadian Journal of Cardiology, where her controversial study findings received international media attention. In addition to pursuing her research, she has served as a course instructor at McMaster University and at Harvard University, where she created two nanocourses that are available on the internet, reaching a global audience. Catherine has been awarded several prestigious scholarships, including a Fulbright Scholarship and a Heart and Stroke Research Fellowship to pursue post-doctoral research at the Harvard School of Public Health. In addition to studying gender differences in cardiovascular disease, her current research interests have expanded to understand the impact of the social determinants of health and adverse childhood events over the life course, and the pathways that lead to disease manifestation in adulthood. In addition, she is tackling issues in aging, including the emerging trend of individuals with multiple complex illnesses, such as individuals with both cancer and cardiovascular disease. She has been invited to present her findings to illustrious individuals such as the Governor General of Canada and Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands. She has made several appearances on live television and radio to discuss and disseminate the importance of her scientific research findings for the benefit of the general public.
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Ilias M. Lagopoulos
Fixed Income Portfolio Advisor at RBC Capital Markets
Ilias works in Fixed Income Sales and Trading at RBC Capital Markets. In his current role, Ilias covers global hedge funds and asset managers for Canadian dollar corporate bond trading. Prior to this, Ilias was a Fixed Income Portfolio Strategist at RBC Wealth Management, covering global fixed income and preferred shares products. While with Wealth Management, Ilias sat on the Group's Global Portfolio Advisory Committee, covering Canadian fixed income and currencies, which makes decisions on the team's global asset allocation positioning. Ilias joined RBC in 2009 as a member of the Wealth Management Generalist Program where he gained experience in 4 business units: Fixed Income Advisory and Trading, Global Asset Management, Investment Policy Group, International Wealth Management Discretionary Investment Management Group in New York City and Canadian Equity Group in Global Asset Management. Prior to joining RBC, Ilias earned his Bachelor of Management degree in Business Administration, concentration in Finance and Economics (Dean's Honours List) from the University of Western Ontario. Ilias is also a CFA Level 3 candidate.
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Sofia S. Lingos-Papaliodis, Esq.
Founding & Principal Attorney at Lingos Law, LLC
Shortly after graduating from the Northeastern University School of Law, Sofia Lingos-Papaliodis established Lingos Law, LLC, which provides representation to small businesses and entrepreneurs in forming, protecting, maintaining and growing their ventures. Last year, Sofia was named 2013 Super Lawyers: Rising Star, an award that is given only to the top 2.5% of all attorneys in Massachusetts under 40, and was also recognized as one of New England's Outstanding Young Lawyers in the field of business and corporate law by Top Attorneys. Sofia was also selected to represent the American Bar Association as a 2013-2014 Law Practice Fellow, traveling the nation to speak and write on practice management issues in the legal field. Two years after graduation, Northeastern University School of Law hired Sofia as the youngest Adjunct Professor. She developed the class "Law Practice Management and Access to Justice" to provide the middle class with access to legal services. Sofia serves on the Board of Directors of the Hellenic Bar Association, the Northeastern University School of Law Alumni Association, the Lenny Zakim Fund (a charitable foundation supporting grass root organizations), Starting Out Solo, and is Vice President of the University of Utah Alumni Association. She was honored by the request of His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios to serve on the Council of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston for the 2014-2016 term and established a partnership with an attorney from Athens, Greece in an effort to offer local representation on a global level, and provide legal services to Greeks and Greek-Americans. Sofia was Founder and President of the Utah Chapter of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship, and when she arrived in Boston for law school, her family's involvement with the EOK Hellenic Women's Club inspired her to co-create the Athena Society, designed to bridge the age gap and introduce younger Greek women of New England to a life of philanthropy. In addition, Sofia mentors a "little sister" weekly through the Big Sisters Foundation of Greater Boston. She presented this year's Metropolis of Boston Laity Awards to recipients from all New England parishes, and she and her husband were commentators for the Greek Independence Day Parade in Boston. In addition, Sofia has spoken on The Greek Program, Boston's only Greek television show, and Grecian Echoes, a local radio program.
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Leon Logothetis
CEO of Winston Enterprises
Leon Logothetis is a TV Host, Producer and Author who has always had a passion for interacting with people. He loves the camaraderie of making new friends and treasures the adventure of travel. This passion prompted him to swap his life as a city broker to pursue his dreams of traveling the world. His nomadic spirit has taken him across the globe to exotic locations like Nepal, Mongolia, New Mexico and the Galapagos Islands. His first foray into the television world was with the Discovery Channel's hit show Destination Future. His involvement in this show allowed him to combine his love of travel and television, which he later turned into a hit series with the creation of Amazing Adventures of a Nobody. He created the reality-travel format and funded the first edition of Adventures of a Nobody with the hopes that it would be picked up by a major television network. The UK's Sky TV was the first to air Amazing Adventures of a Nobody and following a successful first season, the show was licensed to National Geographic International and aired in over 100 countries around the world, including the United States on the Fox Reality Channel and Canada's OLN. Leon’s adventures have taken him all over the world, often by unconventional means. In one instance, he purchased a 1985 London taxi, dubbing it the Kindness Cab, and drove it from New York to Los Angeles, doing good deeds along the way, like driving a veteran to receive a cancer treatment and taking a family going through difficult times out for ice cream. At the end of his journey, Leon donated what would have been the fare he earned ($11,500) to charity. Logothetis also drove from London to Ulan Bator, Mongolia, as part of the Mongol Rally, a 10,000-mile trip after which he donated one book for every mile driven to FirstBook. His latest adventure was to circumnavigate the globe on a bright yellow motorcycle dubbed Kindness One, with absolutely no money in his pockets, relying solely on the kindness of strangers. He left Los Angeles with no food, gas or money, but only with a mission to prove that kindness matters. His trip garnered international attention and resulted in appearances on Huffpost Live and Good Morning America, creating a social media frenzy. The journey was filmed and is expected to air in the near future.
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Nicholas Logothetis
Board Member of the Libra Group
Nicholas Logothetis attended the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. During this time he worked at the Fox News Channel, British Sky Broadcasting, Bryan Cave LLP, Husch Blackwell LLP, and News Corporation. While in high school in Connecticut, Nicholas and a friend conceived and launched an after-school snack business that quickly took off and started earning revenues of $350,000. This early success attracted media attention from outlets such as ABC, NBC, and The New York Times. At the age of 22 he co-founded The Concordia Summit, a non-profit organization that seeks to promote and develop public-private partnerships around pressing global issues. In just the first two years, Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush participated in the summit along with other significant world leaders. Nicholas serves as its Chairman of the Board. Nicholas also sits on the Board of Directors of the Libra Group, which holds diverse business interests in 25 locations across four continents, including over 70 ships, $5 billion in aircrafts, 3 million square feet of property, 30 owned and managed hotels and restaurants as well as numerous cutting edge clean energy projects in the United States and around the world. Nicholas is a member of the Royal Institute of International Affairs London, the National Press Club Washington DC, and the Overseas Press Club. He recently became one of the youngest participants ever accepted into the Georgetown Leadership Seminar - a premier executive education program conducted and hosted by the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.
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Tony Lourakis
CEO, Complete Innovations
Tony Lourakis holds a degree in Computer Science from Seneca College. He has been recognized as one of Canada's best young entrepreneurs and has been featured in numerous publications. Tony is Co-Founder and CEO of Complete Innovations, one of the fastest growing North American technology companies. Complete Innovations via its flagship product, Fleet Complete, is a provider of mission-critical mobile workforce solutions for companies with fleets, assets and workers in the field. The Fleet Complete software platform enables over 6,000 customers across North America to track, optimize and manage over 80,000 vehicles, assets and people. As CEO, Tony drives the company's vision and inspires the company's teams to achieve the ambitious growth goals that have been set, and surpassed, for 14 years in a row. During his college years, Tony founded his first company, Canlogic Solutions, a first level systems support house and IT solutions provider. In 1998, he identified the opportunity to create a software solution for the courier industry. He and a partner created Courier Complete, the genesis to what is today Complete Innovations. As a direct result of Tony's leadership, Complete Innovations has grown continuously since its inception and has ranked in lists such as Profit500, Deloitte Fast500, Fast50 and Braham300 for several consecutive years. Although Tony started the company in his parent's basement in 2000 at the age of 20, the company now employees people across North America and is constantly growing. In addition to his professional accomplishments, Tony is a member of the YMCA Development Committee, is a YMCA volunteer and a financial donor. He has also directed Complete Innovation's social responsibility programs, which have become part of the company's core values and guiding principles. Over the years, Complete Innovations has supported SickKids Hospital and has financially assisted with various global disasters, such as the 2010 Haiti earthquake and the 2013 Philippines disaster. Tony serves as the Vice President of the Cretan Association of Toronto KNOSSOS and is a board member of the Hellenic Heritage Foundation. He is also a member of the Young Presidents Association (YPO) and serves on the board of the YPO Toronto chapter.
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Debbie Matenopoulos
TV Host at Crown Media Family Networks
Debbie Matenopoulos studied Journalism at New York University while interning for MTV. At age 21, she was chosen by Barbara Walters, to represent her generation on the then new talk show The View. After two years on the show, she moved on to the TV Guide Channel, TBS and VH1 in various capacities, and joined E!'s live red carpet coverage of the Golden Globe Awards. She currently works with the Hallmark Channel and plans to release her first cookbook It's All Greek to Me in April, sharing her family's Greek recipes with the world. Debbie took a hiatus from television when her father was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, and moved back home to care for her father. After her father's struggle and eventual passing, Debbie made it her goal to increase awareness of ALS, and plans to donate a percentage of proceeds from her book sales to the ALS Association. Debbie has spoken about the disease on NGTV and the Oprah Winfrey Network, and has organized countless events and fundraisers for the cause.
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Thanasi Papoulias
Director of Business Development and Strategy
Thanasi Papoulias studied Economics at the University of California, Irvine and subsequently completed an Executive MBA program at Pepperdine University. While in college, Thanasi created an online discussion forum and web portal that grew to over one million hits per day and was later sold. After working as a project manager for a real estate development firm for several years, and pioneering the inclusion of 'green' amenities in newly built homes, such as solar panels and tankless water heaters, Thanasi made a career change and joined UltraStar Cinemas. Since then, Thanasi has been instrumental in spearheading a partnership to build movie theaters in China, and last year, the first ever movie theater joint venture between an American and Chinese cinema company became a reality. With his expertise and leadership, UltraStar Cinemas signed an agreement to build 40 new movie theaters in China over the next five years. In addition to the theaters, Thanasi helped solidify a partnership with the Xiamen University of Technology in China to create and help teach a cinema management curriculum. The students that graduate from this program would then be employed at the movie theaters as they open. Thanasi has used UltraStar movie theatres as a venue to host fundraisers for organizations like the YMCA, local schools and churches, and has helped raise thousands of dollars for each of these organizations each year. He has remained involved with his local Greek community in Downey, California through volunteer work at Greek festivals, organizing fundraising events, and serving as coach for the church boy's basketball teams. He was also involved with the Greek Orthodox Folk Dance and Choral Festival (FDF) as part of the management team for several years, where among other roles, he served as Director of Operations. In partnership with a Greek professor, Thanasi is now working to establish a quarterly Greek documentary film series to promote Hellenism throughout southern California, educate Greeks about their culture and history, and create an event for Greeks to socialize with one another. But out of everything he is involved with, his favorite way to spend his time is with his lovely wife, Sophia, and their 2-year-old, Athanasios.
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Natalie Paziotopoulos
Senior Designer for Men's Wovens, Knits & Sweaters at Guess Inc.
Natalie Paziotopoulos attended the University of Kansas where she earned a degree in Communications, and later studied Fashion Design at the Fashion Institute of Design and Marketing (FIDM) in Los Angeles. She began her career with Guess Inc. in 2001, and rose through the ranks, spending most of her time working with woven and knit garments. As Men's Woven Shirt Designer, Natalie was instrumental in increasing the sales of the woven shirt business and was later asked to undertake the structured non-denim category. As a result of her efforts, sales in this category increased 227% from only $567,000. Through the global economic downturn, Natalie was able to maintain a steady growth in business and profitability. She is currently the only woman in a senior role in the men's division. Natalie serves as a mentor, is involved in the Guess Inc. internship program, and through the company, she has participated in countless philanthropic events such as the Revlon Breast Cancer Walk, the AIDS Walk, and Thanksgiving Family in Needs program. In addition, Natalie designed a line of t-shirts whose proceeds benefited children in Africa.
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Peter M. Polydor
Founder/Director of ERGO Capital Partners
Peter Polydor was an Edmonson Fellow at the University of Southern California and is a graduate of Occidental College where he earned a B.A. in Political Science with an emphasis on Energy. While conducting research on how the private sector can benefit from the public sector, Peter connected with SAIL Capital Partners, a cleantech venture capital firm, and eventually joined the company as Vice President. While at SAIL, Peter reviewed new investment options, accelerated business plans and discovered new market opportunities by developing strategic partnerships for SAIL. He also conducted market research at Citigroup, policy research at the US House of Representatives, and was involved in operations and management of privately owned real estate development firms. In addition, he built and sold a web services company, an experience that reinforced his focus on the tech and cleantech industries. Peter is Founder of ERGO Capital Partners, where he focuses on new investments and portfolio management within the technology, media and energy sectors. He sits on the Board of Directors of ecoPHYSI and Wikipad as well as the Advisory Board for a number of startups. Peter is also Founder of the Eureka Project, a three-acre tech hub meant to foster a community of innovation and entrepreneurship in Orange County with an emphasis on collaboration. This project was not only developed as a space for start-ups, but also provides opportunities for free legal services, serves as an event venue, and includes a coffee shop. Peter is a Charter Member of the Canadian C100, a member of Orange County Young Executives and serves on the Occidental College Board of Governors, American Hellenic Council Board of Directors, OCTANe Leadership Council, and the Investment Committee of the MaRS Investor Accelerator Fund. Peter continues to consult entrepreneurs to create companies that augment people's lives.
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Maria Pope Toliopoulos
Senior VP/Director of Leasing of Retail Properties of America, Inc
Maria Pope Toliopoulos is a wife, mother of three, an accomplished lawyer and the Senior Vice President and Director of Leasing for Retail Properties of America, Inc. (NYSE:RPAI), a self-managed REIT focused on the acquisition, development and management of strategically located retail assets. Maria started her career as a White House intern under the Chief Counselor for Privacy at the United States Office of Management and Budget, focusing on information technology and privacy policies. There she worked closely with the Clinton administration in the oversight of the drafting of critical portions of the Health Information Privacy and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and other privacy and cyber security issues affecting federal agencies. She was published in various legal journals, one of which was cited in recent case law as well as the Washington State Annotated Code. Maria then became a successful attorney at Holland & Knight, where she focused on technology law, HIPAA consulting and complex commercial real estate transactions. After five years of practicing at a large firm, her growing interest in real estate led her to join her colleagues as they started the boutique law firm Daspin & Aument, LLP, where she represented national and regional developers and institutional owners in the acquisition, development, leasing and disposition of various large commercial retail, condominium and office projects. Maria later joined Retail Properties of America, Inc. (RPAI), as Associate General Counsel. She was appointed to the company's Leadership Council and played an integral part in the company's IPO and re-branding initiatives. She was then promoted to Senior Vice President and the Director of Leasing, where she currently serves on the senior leadership team and manages RPAI's entire retail leasing portfolio, consisting of 237 properties, totaling approximately 38 million SF in 34 states. She has been a key driver behind RPAI's increase in occupancy gains and positive re-leasing spreads in addition to overseeing the development and implementation of a customized software system for deal tracking and document execution to allow for enhanced collaboration for all lease related activities. In recognition of her achievements, Maria was most recently selected as one of Chain Store Age's 10 under 40 in Real Estate. Maria is an active participant in the company's charity work including The Hephzibah Home in Oak Park and the Wellness House of Hinsdale's Annual Walk for Wellness. She is also involved with various trade organizations including the International Council of Shopping Centers and has previously served on the Board of Directors for the Hellenic Bar Association, during which time she also served on the scholarship committee and participated in mentoring Hellenic law students and young lawyers as they embarked on legal careers. In addition, she volunteers with Lawyers in the Classroom, working with 2nd to 8th grade students in Chicago public schools to provide opportunities to learn about student's rights and responsibilities under the law. Maria is a licensed attorney and graduated from Loyola University of Chicago with a B.A in English with minors in Classical Civilization, Theology and International Studies. She earned her Juris Doctor (J.D.) cum laude from The John Marshall Law School and earned a Masters of Law (L.L.M.) in Information Technology and Privacy Law, with honors, ranking in the Top 5% of her class.
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John Poulos
President & CEO of Dominion Voting
John Poulos holds a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Toronto, and a Master's of Business Administration from INSEAD, Fontainebleau France. John is President and CEO of Dominion Voting, a company focused on improving the electoral process through the application of technology. Since its creation in 2002, after the Florida recount incident, John has grown the company through direct support to elections in the United States, Canada, Mongolia and the Philippines. He was selected as one of Canada's Top 40 under 40 in 2010 and Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year (Technology) in 2011. His company has also been named to Deloitte Canada's Fast 50 Technology Companies for four consecutive years. John was awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Award in 2013 for his philanthropic work. Dominion Voting now offers a full suite of technology-enabled equipment and services for all aspects of election, from compiling lists of eligible voters and recording when they voted, to counting votes and polling stations, to remote voting technologies that take the booth to the voter. Dominion is in approximately 150 municipalities in Canada, and 1,000 United States counties across 35 states. Identifying that automated voting technology could enable disenfranchised voters a transparent say in their own destiny, John co-founded the Delian Project, a non-profit organization that aims to help post-conflict and emerging democracies implement positive change in their electoral process through the application of technology. John has donated his time and technology to democratic outreach in Africa, Haiti, the Republic of Georgia, and most recently as part of the Arab Spring in Libya. John is a youth hockey coach and a mentor to young aspiring business students. He is an active member of YPO, and part of an alliance of Greek-Canadian entrepreneurs who share a common goal to preserve their heritage.
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Harry Prassakos
First Vice President, Market Credit Director at Sterling National Bank
Harry Prassakos studied Finance and Marketing at New York University's Leonard N. Stern School of Business, and went on to earn an MBA from the Fordham University Graduate School of Business Administration, where he is a founding member of the Alumni Student Career Alliance. His career has taken him to Moody's, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Sun National Bank, and finally to Sterling National Bank. While at Bank of Tokyo, he handled high profile accounts for multinational corporations like Wal-Mart, and was responsible for accounts worth billions of dollars in exposure for the bank. He worked with Moody's Specialty Retail Group to rate leveraged buyouts, when they were coming to market at a record-breaking pace, and as a Senior Associate there, helped the transportation team reach a rank of #1 by Institutional Investor Magazine. At Sun National Bank he was instrumental in obtaining approvals for some of the Bank's most complex and profitable loans in the Bank's entire portfolio. Harry is the youngest Director of the 10-member Board of Directors of the Hellenic American Bankers Association (HABA), a membership group of over 200 professionals in the Tri-State area. He has used his contacts to identify, establish relationships, and introduce personalities like the CFO of Uber (former Chief Accountant and Treasurer at Google), to the Greek-American community as HABA's Executive of the Year, creating one of the most successful events in HABA's history. Harry gave the well-publicized introductory speech at the Union League Club in New York to an audience that included 2014 New York City mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis. He has also been an active participant of the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey, particularly with the Young Professionals group. He is a founding member of the Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC), founded to promote a renewed commitment to civic involvement, human rights and democratic values in the United States and around the world; and to enhance the historic relationship between the United States and worldwide Hellenism. Harry has been the Greek translator for Make-A-Wish Foundation of Metro New York since 1999 and has attended and translated for Greek families during the wish granting process.
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Steven Priovolos
Director of Photography
Steven Priovolos studied Physics at Imperial College in London. Upon graduation, he decided to pursue his dream of filmmaking, and received a Master of Arts in Cinematography from the London Film School. Steven is a multi-award winning Director of Photography working on a variety of projects around the world. He has been honored with awards for Best Cinematography at the New York International Film Festival and El Sector Film Festival, as well as Best Photography at the Cercola Film Festival. Over the last 13 years, Steven has worked on 13 feature films, over a dozen television shows, six documentaries and several commercials and music promos around the world. He has worked with recognized production companies like Warner Brothers, Village Roadshow, National Geographic, Sony EU, A&E, and CBC Canada, and brands including Panasonic, Coca-Cola, Hugo Boss and Max Factor. Steven also teaches Cinematography as a Guest Lecturer at colleges and universities throughout Europe and Asia. While at Imperial College, Steven was an integral member of a student group that fed the homeless across London twice a week, offering them tea, coffee and a hot meal. Now, as a Director of Photography, he offers his skills to projects that try to make the world a better place including a documentary shot in the UK about the Special Olympics of 2001 in Cardiff that depicts how athletes' lives dramatically improved due to their motivation to better themselves. He was also involved in an online documentary traveling from London to Mongolia for well-known charity First Book, a television show traveling around the world offering life-changing gifts to people in poverty stricken areas who were in great need for help, and a series of short educational films about the Mental Capacity Act 2005 in England and Wales. Currently Steven is helping to produce a short film and two documentaries on the Jews of the Greek island of Zakynthos, telling a unique story of the only Jewish community in Nazi occupied Europe where not one soul perished during World War II. He blogs daily at stevenht.com, where he shares the lessons that life teaches him every day.
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Leah Rubertino
Sports Broadcaster at WBTV
Leah Rubertino earned her undergraduate degree in Television Broadcasting at the University of LaVerne in California. Her passion for sports took her around the country, where she worked as a journalist, anchor and host for local stations in South Dakota, Tennessee, and North Carolina. She worked with Speed TV covering NASCAR, before her current role as Sports Anchor and Reporter with North Carolina's WBTV, a CBS affiliate. Leah received a "Hero Award" from the Charlotte Knights and the local Fire Department for performing CPR on a man who suffered a heart attack during a baseball game. She has used her local celebrity to raise awareness of Alzheimer's disease, inspired by her own grandmother's struggle, in cooperation with the Alzheimer's Association. She has developed feature stories on local sports figures and their experiences with Alzheimer's, to shed more light on the topic. As a college student, Leah taught a children's workshop on self-esteem and healthy living to young girls in cooperation with Girls, Inc. As a young girl herself, Leah organized for children on her street in Cleveland, Ohio to clean out their closets and donate unneeded clothing to children less fortunate. She continues to volunteer with the Alzheimer's Association, the American Heart Association, and the Levine Children's Hospital. She is also a member of the Daughters of Penelope in Charlotte, NC.
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Vicki (Vasiliki) Samaras
President of Hinterland Win Company Limited
Vicki Samaras studied Botany and Earth Sciences at the University of Toronto and entered the pharmaceutical industry upon graduation. Within 2 years, Vicki had purchased her first property and began establishing Hinterland Wine Company, where she is co-founder and president. She is also a co-founder and partner of Terra Lemnia, a Greek winery whose first release consists of Muscat of Alexandria and Limnio from Limnos. Hinterland Wine Company is Canada's only sparkling winery, and the company's wines have been featured in Toronto Life Magazine, Ottawa Magazine, Macleans Magazine, the Globe and Mail, and on CBC Radio. They appear on wine lists at Momofuku, Joe Beef, Café Buloud, and Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts. Hinterland's sparkling wine was chosen to represent Canada's best sparkling wine to Prince Albert of Monaco at the Royal Arctic Dinner, and wines were showcased at the Canadian Embassy's 70th Anniversary of Hellenic-Canadian Economic Trade event at the Hilton Athens in November 2012. In an effort to help support Greece's export industry during the financial crisis, Vicki began making inquiries about the country's wine regions and contacted the cooperative winery of Limnos, known for a red grape called Limnio (which means "of Limnos") that was mentioned in Homer's Illiad over four thousand years ago, and a white grape called Muscat of Alexandria, which has been grown on the island for over a century. After meeting with the cooperative's head wine maker, a partnership was established, and Terra Lemnia was born. Vicki is committed to mentoring the new generation of agri-entrepreneurs in Greece, and she does so through social media education and product marketing assistance. She is also head organizer of the Terry Fox Run in Belleville and Prince Edward County, an annual non-competitive charity event held in numerous regions around the world in commemoration of Canadian cancer activist Terry Fox and his Marathon of Hope, to raise funds for cancer research. The run was cancelled in 2012, and in 2013 with no budget, Vicki single handedly organized a run that raised $10,000 and was featured on national television station CBC.
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Perry C. Siatis
Vice President, Biologics Strategic Development and Legal Regulatory
Perry Chris Siatis studied Accounting at George Mason University, and worked as a writer for Trial Lawyers of America in Washington, D.C. before attending Law School at Brigham Young University where he made significant and long-lasting contributions to the University's Law Review. Upon graduation, Perry was hired as an associate at Piper Marbury Rudnick and Wolfe, where he worked for five years in the firm's litigation department before joining Abbott Laboratories as in-house counsel. At Abbott, Perry joined the Intellectual Property (IP) litigation team, where he was tasked to assist one of Abbott's businesses that was driven by innovation and juxtaposed with numerous challenges from patent-holding third parties. He created a strategy to navigate through the patent maze and provided legal advice to the business that provided a strategic construct to review future legal issues. Perry's approach was so successful that Abbott's CEO created an entirely new IP Strategy group for him to lead, and provided him the resources to implement similar strategies throughout the corporation. Specifically, his main focus was on the company's flagship product, Humira, the largest grossing biologic drug in the world. Abbott Laboratories eventually spilt into two Fortune 200 companies, Abbott and AbbVie, and Perry was selected as Divisional Vice President of Intellectual Property and Strategy for AbbVie. Perry's passion for music led to his role as percussionist in the Glenview Concert Band, where he has assumed a leadership role serving as the band's president. He has also served as the Choir Director for the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Chicago for several years. Perry made a significant contribution to help restore St. George, a 150-year-old church in Vithisma, a village located near the Evrytania region of Greece, and has been an active member of AHEPA since 1995, serving as Secretary of his chapter. Perry is a supporter of the BYU Law School general fund as well as the BYU Touchdown Club. As a member of the Touchdown Club, each year Perry pays the equivalent of a full-year of tuition at BYU to enable an aspiring student-athlete to attend the university. Perry has also contributed to the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation, as well as Live. Love. Life., an organization that supports research to help cure degenerative brain diseases.
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Dina Skokos
Senior Director, WNBA Communitcations at National Basketball Association
Dina Skokos studied Communications at St. John's University in New York, and has more than 15 years of experience in corporate communications and public relations, with a long track record of developing successful publicity campaigns that produce increased media exposure on a national level for leading brands. As Senior Director at WNBA Communications, Dina handles all public relations and media operations for the business and basketball units of the Women's National Basketball Association including television, digital media, marketing, merchandising, marketing partnerships, media sales and event management. She is also responsible for the communications strategy and outreach supporting the WNBA's Community and Player Programs, which integrate all the league's existing programs that promote player social and community responsibility and support player growth and development. Programs include the WNBA's Breast Health Awareness Program and WNBA BE FIT, which brings the fun and excitement of the WNBA to fans of all ages while promoting fitness, health and self confidence. Prior to joining the NBA, Dina worked as a Publicist for Lifetime Television Network. She was responsible for promoting the network's women's initiatives and programming including movies, specials, original series and sports coverage. In 2012, she launched two new businesses with her husband, Ultra Lavish and Soapulence. The companies offer unique extra virgin olive oils and soaps from around the world, and aim to bring these items to local markets. In addition, Dina serves as the School Board Chairperson for the Holy Cross Efstathios and Stamatiki Valiotis Greek-American School of Whitestone, New York, where she is responsible for day-to-day operations, with over 300 students enrolled. Under her leadership, the school has raised significant funds, increased enrollment and introduced successful enrichment programs that include tennis, soccer, science, art and chess. She also oversees the school's expansion efforts to include higher elementary grades.
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George Stroumboulis
President of BouliBrand Marketing
George Stroumboulis studied Business Administration at the University of Ulster and at Brock University. He is part of the team that successfully launched LED lighting company, Solais Lighting, which was eventually acquired and is now publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. He also launched GreekPropertyExchange.com, Greece's first and only dedicated real estate portal targeting international markets and attracting tourism and new investment to Greece. Now the leading real estate portal in the Greek property market for international investors, GreekPropertyExchange.com has been featured in dozens of newspapers and magazines around the world. George also created and produced Hellenic Home Hunting, a television show that featured international buyers searching for property in Greece. The series was pitched to all major television networks in Greece, and was selected by Antenna Satellite, the network with the largest international reach. The 6-episode reality series was created, produced and directed by George and aired during the Monday night prime time slot in February 2013. The show's aim was to promote Greece as a travel destination and educate potential investors about the Greek real estate market, featuring families that have Greek roots of some sort. Following the successful launch of the show, George and his show were featured on the cover of The Wall Street Journal. In addition, George launched SaveTheArchives.com after meeting with the Ambassador of Canada to Greece and the Head of the International Organization for Migration in Athens, to preserve the more than 200,000 entry documents of Greeks that migrated to other countries. George started this initiative to raise awareness within the Greek diaspora and to help raise funds needed to digitize. George participated in the I Am One Greece campaign organized by the Hellenic Initiative, which features a video that included people from the Greek diaspora coming together to share a message of unity and support for the country. He is an advocate for all things Greek, and continues to work with diplomats to promote these initiatives to communities in the United States, Canada and Australia.
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Irene M. Tsetsekos
Founding Member/President of IM Events Inc
Irene Tsetsekos is a graduate of Hofstra University and Hofstra Law School, and was a full-time practicing attorney until she decided to pursue philanthropic endeavors and start her own business. Irene started IM Events Inc. with very little capital and grew her business into a full service event planning company that manages all aspects of functions including weddings, corporate events, fundraisers, private parties, black-tie galas, awards dinners, and business seminars. She was recognized by the Rockland County's Economic Development Corporation as a winner of their 40 under 40 award. As Founder and Managing Director of IM Events Inc., Irene coordinates all internal functions, from the creative aspect to continuous day-to-day operations. Leveraging her skills as a trained attorney, she is able to offer her clients assistance on contractual issues with vendors. IM Events Inc. manages at least three large events per month, making it a highly successful and visible company in New York with an outstanding reputation. Irene has volunteered her time and resources to Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern, New York for over 12 years, where she has also been an active Board Member. She has advocated on the hospital's behalf, ultimately culminating in a successful capital campaign that raised over $20 million. Irene has also been an active member of her local church's Parish Council, serving in numerous executive positions and helping to organize fundraising and philanthropic events for many years.
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Elpitha D. Tsoutsounakis
Assistant Professor, Multi-Disciplinary Design at the University of Utah
Elpitha D. Tsoutsounakis earned a Bachelors of Science in Architecture from the University of Utah, and a Masters of Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin. Elpitha is an Assistant Professor Lecturer in the Multi-Disciplinary Design (MDD) program and the School of Architecture at the University of Utah's College of Architecture + Planning. She is also the Director of Spark Education Lab. In addition to refining curriculum, advising students and coordinating outreach and development for the new MDD program, Elpitha has presented papers at multiple national and international academic conferences in design. The University of Utah Office of Faculty Entrepreneurship recently awarded her a $13,500 interdisciplinary grant in partnership with the Natural History Museum of Utah and Jade Therapeutics. Elpitha has served as the design editor of Dialectic, a refereed journal at the University of Utah School of Architecture, and sits on several committees at the university. Her love of typography, graphic design and exploring the craft of letterpress led her to launch her own letterpress studio, Print In Cursive, specializing in fine art prints and custom stationery. Her work has been featured in print in local and international magazines and books as well as many online design blogs. Elpitha is currently Vice-President of the Salt Lake City AIGA Chapter and Chair of the 2014 Salt Lake Design Week as well as Graphics Chair of the Avenues Street Fair in Salt Lake City. She has been an active member and has served the PanCretan Association of America on both the local and national level in various capacities for over 17 years. She was the first to create a monthly version of the "Kri-Kri" newsletter – featured in each issue of KPHTH magazine. Elpitha is currently the creative director and album editor of the PanCretan Association's 2015 convention.
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