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Forty Under 40 Awards

by gafoundation1

Why this project?

From Gregory C. Pappas, President & Founder

We launched Greek America’s Forty Under 40 in 2010 as a way to recognize, honor and celebrate the brightest and most successful members of our community who excel not only professionally but also philanthropically. Since their inauguration, the Forty Under 40 Awards have recognized 160 exceptional individuals during weekend receptions attended by the recipients’ family and friends as well as supporters of the Greek America Foundation. The aforementioned individuals come from various walks of life and from throughout North America. 

About the awards

The Forty Under 40 Awards are the leading recognition for North Americans of Greek descent, 40 years old and under, celebrating the community’s top young talent in business, the arts, the sciences and other fields. Since 2010, the Greek America Foundation has held a biannual awards reception acknowledging the outstanding accomplishments of these selected individuals.

The awards recognize those who have excelled in their professional endeavors while simultaneously showing care and concern for the world around them through philanthropic initiatives.

Excellence and philanthropy are two ideals espoused in the mission statement of the Greek America Foundation and our Forty Under 40 winners are the epitome of both.

Previous winners have included Emmy Award-winning directors and actors, successful business leaders in diverse industries, artists, and leaders in the sciences and law.


– Sole criteria of awards are the individual’s professional achievement AND philanthropic activity.

– Nominees must be U.S. or Canadian citizens or legal permanent residents of either country — and claim Greek heritage.

– Our awards recognize those individuals who are between 17 and 40 years old in the given calendar year. If the nominee’s 17th to 40th birthday falls any time within the calendar year of the awards, he/she qualifies for nomination.

Nomination process

In January of the given calendar year, the Greek America Foundation begins to receive nominations via an online form. All nominations must include the nominee’s full date of birth, which will be verified if the nomination advances to the final round. Nominators must also submit an essay NO MORE THAN 1000 words highlighting why the nominee deserves this distinction. Letters must include all professional accomplishments and philanthropic endeavors in which the individual has participated or supported that will make him/her stand out.

Selection process

A special committee is formed of past Forty Under 40 winners who review all applications and determine the winners. Winners are determined based on their achievement of excellence and commitment to philanthropy. In cases where a member of the selection committee has nominated someone himself/herself, then that member will obstain from voting on his/her nominee.

In our efforts to maintain a fair and impartial selection process, no members of the Greek America Foundation staff or board of directors are included in this completely independent selection process.

Class of 2020

The latest honorees have been officially announced as of January 13, 2021. Meet the class of 2020.

NOTE: Due to COVID-19 health guidelines and restrictions on in-person events, the Greek America Foundation will plan a celebration for the Class of 2020 later in 2021. Further details remain TBA. Subscribe to our email newsletter for the latest updates and announcements.

Previous Forty Under 40 Classes

Class of 2018

The fourth biannual awards ceremony took place in Philadelphia. Meet the class of 2018.

Class of 2014

The third biannual awards ceremony took place in Toronto. Meet the class of 2014.

Class of 2012

The second biannual awards ceremony took place in New York City. Meet the class of 2012.

Class of 2010

The inaugural biannual awards ceremony took place in Chicago. Meet the class of 2010.