Who We Are
The Hellenic Initiative Board of Directors
Andrew N. Liveris (Chairman)
Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
The Dow Chemical Company
Andrew Liveris AO is the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Dow Chemical Company and former Executive Chairman of DowDuPont. A recognised global business leader with more than 42 years at Dow and experience in manufacturing, engineering, sales, marketing, and business and general management.
Andrew advocates the criticality of manufacturing worldwide. He is the author of ‘Make It in America’ and was tapped by the current U.S. Administration to help identify new ways to spur innovation, revitalize the U.S. manufacturing sector and drive economic growth and prosperity as chair of the manufacturing council and a member of the apprenticeship of the future task force. Previously he served as Co-Chair of U.S. President Obama’s Advanced Manufacturing Partnership steering committee and a member of the U.S. President’s Export Council.
Andrew is the Special Advisor to the Australian National COVID-19 Co-ordination Commission and Chair of the Manufacturing Taskforce. He was recently appointed as Co-Chair of the Territory Economic Reconstruction Commission, advising on how to accelerate the Territory’s economic rebound and growth. He is an Independent Member of the Australian government’s Industry Growth Centres Advisory Committee providing advice on the Industry Growth Centres initiative.
Andrew is a director at IBM, Saudi Aramco, Worley (Deputy Chairman), Lucid Motors (Chairman), NOVONIX and the Minderoo Foundation. He is on the advisory board of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Teneo (a global CEO consulting and advisory firm), and NEOM (an initiative driven by Saudi Vision 2030). He is Chairman of the Blackrock Long Term Capital and a special advisor to the Public Investment Fund (PIF) and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. Andrew serves as a trustee for the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and is a member of the Concordia Leadership Council.
In 2018 the Andrew N Liveris Academy for Innovation and Leadership was established at the University of Queensland for students to garner a real-life understanding of global challenges and how to create positive change for society.
Nicholas W. Alexos
EVP/Chief Financial Officer
Univar Solutions, Inc.
Mr. Alexos joined Univar Solutions in January 2020 as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Before joining Univar Solutions, Mr. Alexos served as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer at Dentsply Sirona, Inc. where he led the growth strategy and executed successful portfolio shaping initiatives. Previously, he served as a Managing Director of Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC, where he helped a wide array of portfolio companies achieve growth and margin expansion. He has served on several boards including VWR International, Option Care Health, Sirona Dental Systems, Team Health, Performance Health and various others. He has also served on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations including the Children’s Inner-City Educational Fund, Lake Forest Country Day School, MetroSquash, University of Chicago Booth School of Business Council, Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago and the Harvard Dental School of Medicine Advisory Board. He proudly serves on the board of The Hellenic Initiative and along with his wife Marcie and their three children, are very supportive of these commitments to the legacy of their Hellenic Diaspora.
Mr. Alexos received his bachelor’s degree in business from Loyola University, and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Drake is President of Marwick Associates, a real estate investment and development company located in Lexington, Massachusetts. Marwick is the real estate arm of a family owned privately held investment company. He is also active in the Behrakis Foundation, the family’s philanthropic vehicle.
Prior to establishing Marwick, Mr. Behrakis held various positions with Muro Pharmaceutical, Inc. and the Gillette Company.
Mr. Behrakis has a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from Boston College and an MBA from Northeastern University. He serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of The National Hellenic Society and is on the Board of Directors for The Hellenic Initiative, Boston College, and The Leadership 100 Endowment Fund. He is also a Board of Overseer at Brigham & Woman’s Hospital and is invested into the Order of St. Andrew.
Mr. Behrakis’ engagement as both a volunteer and as a donor has expanded throughout the years. He and his wife have established Endowment Funds & a Professorship at Boston College. In 2015 he was the recipient of the Boston College Distinguished Volunteer Award. Prior commitments and involvements include a member of the State of Massachusetts Economic Assistance Coordinating Council; Perkins School for the Blind; Sudbury Youth Basketball; The Lowell Plan; Saints Memorial Medical Center and Fordham University.
Mr. Behrakis resides with his wife and three children in Sudbury, Massachusetts. His oldest son is at Tufts University and his daughter at Boston College. His personal interests include traveling, golf, skiing, and wine collecting.
Fortress Investment Group, LLC
Mr. Dakolias is a Managing Partner based in New York of the Fortress Credit Funds Business. Mr. Dakolias also serves on Fortress’s Management and Operating Committees. Prior to joining Fortress in 2001, Mr. Dakolias was a Managing Director, Chief Credit Officer and co-founder of American Commercial Capital LLC (a specialty finance company) and Coronado Advisors (an SEC registered broker dealer), both of which were sold to Wells Fargo & Co. in 2001. Mr. Dakolias was previously a director at RER Financial Group (“RER”) where he was responsible for the firm’s acquisition efforts as a principal and as a provider of third party due diligence and asset management. Mr. Dakolias serves on the Board of Trustees for Columbia University, the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, and the Millbrook School. Mr. Dakolias is also a co-founder and member of the Executive Committee of The Hellenic Initiative, as well as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Mr. Dakolias received a B.S. in Physics from Columbia University.
William P. Doucas
William Doucas serves as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Elutions, Inc., an artificial intelligence enterprise that delivers unparalleled operational savings and transformational growth opportunities to clients across verticals and geographies. In addition, William serves as Chairman of Elutions Capital Ventures, a private equity firm based in Luxembourg.
With over 25 years of experience in the technology sector, William fully understands that technology alone has the ability to fuse with human thought to drive real change and define the next generation of enterprise solutions. Through his thoughtful leadership and guidance, Elutions has evolved from a provider of solutions that Do, to solutions that Teach, Learn and Innovate, thusly creating cognitive solutions capable of impacting an entire ecosystem to deliver transformational value.
William Doucas aspires to make Elutions’ market-leading platform, known as Maestro, the world’s premier artificial intelligence solution, drastically improving operations at scale while reducing associated costs in real-time. Driven by Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Automation, Elutions’ Maestro establishes a neural network across a client’s ecosystem, augmenting powerful technology with the empowerment of human thought to deliver an unprecedented level of value. Maestro closes the gap between operational data, action and savings by identifying and automating the implementation of specific corrective actions for operational optimization rather than simply producing data, dashboards and insights for further analysis.
Mr. Doucas graduated Summa Cum Laude from Georgetown University in 1981 with a degree in finance. He is proud to be a member of the Georgetown University McDonough School of Business Board of Advisors. William Doucas is an active guest speaker at Georgetown for undergraduate students through their entrepreneurship initiative, Startup Hoyas. In addition, Mr. Doucas is an member of the Executive Board for the Hellenic Initiative, founded to support crisis relief efforts, promote entrepreneurship, and catalyze economic development to help shape Greece’s long-term recovery.
Father Alexander Karloutsos (Honorary Advisor)
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
Father Alexander Karloutsos is the Vicar General of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and Special Assistant to His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America. He is the Spiritual Advisor to the Order of Saint Andrew, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in America, and to Faith: An Endowment for Orthodoxy & Hellenism. He also serves as the representative of the Archdiocese to the White House, the Congress, state and local officials, Greek American organizations, political action, religious freedom and human rights groups. Father Alexander is also the pastor of The Dormition of the Virgin Mary Church in the Hamptons and serves as the Orthodox Christian Chaplain for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. He was previously Executive Director of Leadership 100, serving from 1986 to 1992 and 1999 to 2004, and was appointed by Archbishop Iakovos as the first Vicar of Public Affairs of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America in 1985, holding that position simultaneously until 1992 when he was appointed Special Assistant to His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. In 1994, The Ecumenical Patriarch personally elevated Fr. Karloutsos to the prestigious office of Protopresbyter of the Sacred See of Saint Andrew
Father Alexander is married to Xanthi Karavellas Karloutsos. They have three children, happily married, and nine grandchildren, Alexander, Konstantine, Xanthi, Luca, Konstantina, Demetrios, Steven, Leo and Michael.
Muhtar Kent (Emeritus)
Chairman of the Board of Directors, former CEO
The Coca-Cola Company
Mr. Kent joined The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta in 1978 and has held a variety of global marketing and operations leadership roles throughout his career. In 2005, Mr. Kent was appointed President of Coca-Cola International, responsible for overseeing all operations outside of North America. In 2006, he assumed the role of President and Chief Operating Officer and in 2008 was elevated to President and CEO. He was named Chairman of the Board of Directors in 2009 and served as Chairman and CEO through April 2017.
Mr. Kent holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of Hull in England and a Master of Science degree in Administrative Sciences from Cass Business School in London.
Mr. Kent is the past Chairman of the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum and a member of its Chairman’s Community, a member of the Concordia Leadership Council, FIA High Level Panel on Road Safety (Federation Internationale l’Automobile), the Council on Foreign Relations, and Chairman Emeritus of the U.S. ASEAN Business Council. He serves on the boards of 3M, Special Olympics International, Catalyst, Cambridge China Development Trust and Emory University.
Chief Executive Officer
John Koudounis is Chief Executive Officer of Calamos Investments. Appointed to the role in 2016 by the firm’s founder, John Calamos, Mr. Koudounis brings a wealth of experience in global capital markets and is considered one of the most accomplished leaders in the financial services industry.
Prior to joining Calamos Investments, Mr. Koudounis served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Mizuho Securities USA, Inc. (MSUSA), a subsidiary of Mizuho Financial Group, one of the world’s largest full-service financial institutions. During his tenure at Mizuho Securities, he built the firm into a full-service investment bank, expanding its debt and equity capital markets teams. Under his leadership, the firm grew in profitability, number of clients, and product diversification, allowing Mizuho to be considered globally as a top tier investment bank. Prior to joining MSUSA in 2008, he was Managing Director and Head of Fixed Income for ABN AMRO Americas where he played a critical role in driving growth for the firm.
Mr. Koudounis is a regular featured speaker and guest on financial news programs, including CNN, Fox Business, CNBC, Bloomberg TV, TD Ameritrade, Yahoo Finance and others. He is a member of the Leadership Council of Concordia and the Bretton Woods Committee, as well as a founding board member of The Hellenic Initiative, the National Hellenic Museum, a Patron of Prince’s Trust and an Advisory Board member of the SEAL Future Foundation. He received his B.A. in International Diplomacy & Foreign Affairs and Economics from Brown University.
George M. Logothetis
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
George Logothetis is Chairman and CEO of the Libra Group, an international business controlling 30 subsidiaries active in 35 countries across six continents. The group is focused on aviation, energy, hospitality, real estate, shipping and diversified investments.
George joined his family’s shipping company in 1993, becoming CEO in 1994 at the age of 19. In the ensuing years he presided over the company’s transformation from three vessels into a fleet of 55 before creating the Libra Group in 2003.
The group expresses its corporate responsibility through programmes that seek to deliver educational opportunity, business opportunity, and acts of humanity towards people who are marginalized or under-served. These programmes include the Envolve Award for Greek entrepreneurs that has been run by Libra on behalf of The Hellenic Initiative since 2012.
George and his wife, Nitzia, founded the Seleni Institute, a New York-based non-profit organization that addresses maternal mental health. George also chairs the Leadership Council of Concordia, a non-profit organization which seeks to promote public-private partnerships, and sits on the Board of Directors of President Barack Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Alliance.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Four M Investments, LLC
Mr. Mehiel is the Principal Shareholder and Chairman of U. S. Corrugated, Inc., formerly the Nation’s largest independent manufacturer of corrugated packaging until a recent transaction in which a substantial portion of USC was acquired by Kapstone Paper and Packaging Corporation. U. S. Corrugated divested 14 converting facilities and a recycled containerboard mill; it continues to operate 10 manufacturing plants located across the country.
Mr. Mehiel is also the Managing Member of Four M Capital, LLC, a Buffalo Wild Wings Franchisee developing the New York Metropolitan region in behalf of the Brand. The company owns and operates 20 BWW Sit Down Restaurants with additional sites under development.
In 2012 New York Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed Mr. Mehiel Chairman and C.E.O. of the Battery Park City Authority. BPCA operates a 92 Acre property created when the World Trade Center was constructed 40 years ago at the south end of Manhattan. The site contains ten million square feet of commercial space, residential properties with a population of 14,000 along with parks and other public spaces.
Mr. Mehiel is a member of the Holy Trinity Cathedral in New York City. He is a former member of the Archdiocesan Council, the Lay Leadership of the Greek Orthodox Church of the Americas, and continues as a member of its Leadership 100 Group and Faith: An Endowment for Orthodoxy and Hellenism. He is an Archon of The Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, the world’s oldest Lay Religious Organization and a recipient of the Medal of St. Paul, the Highest Honor a lay person may receive from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
John Pappajohn (Emeritus)
Pappajohn Capital Resources
John Pappajohn emigrated from Greece at the age of 9 months. He grew up in Mason City, Iowa. His father died when he was 16 years old… and it changed his world. He worked his way through college and alternated working and attending school with his brothers. He graduated with a BSC degree in business from the University of Iowa in 1952. He did not interview for a job. He wanted to own his own business.
In 1969, Mr. Pappajohn organized Equity Dynamics, Inc., a financial consulting entity and Pappajohn Capital Resources, a venture capital firm in Des Moines, Iowa. He was one of the early venture capitalists. Since this time, Mr. Pappajohn has been involved in more than 100 start-ups, more than 50 IPOs and has served as a Director in more than 40 public companies.
In the fall of 1996, Mr. Pappajohn established the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers at five Iowa universities and colleges. He has funded the various Centers for more than $25 million. These centers have helped create and launch more than 2000 new companies.
Mr. Pappajohn and his wife, Mary, have gifted more than $100 million to various philanthropic causes, the John Pappajohn Business Building at the University of Iowa, the Pappajohn Pavilion at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics, the John and Mary Pappajohn Clinical Cancer Center and the Pappajohn Biomedical Institute Building at the University of Iowa. He and his wife, Mary, funded a $5 million John and Mary Pappajohn Scholarship Fund for ethnic, disadvantaged, and minority students.
He has been the recipient of four honorary doctorate degrees and many other awards including: Horatio Alger recipient in 1995; Iowa Business Leader of the Year 1992; 30 year board association with the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; member trustee council National Gallery of Art; Vice Chairman Hirschhorn Museum, Washington, DC; named by Art News Magazine as one of the top 200 art collectors in the world from 1997 – 2014; first Iowan to be awarded the Woodrow Wilson Award; 33rd Degree Mason Shriner 2003; Greek Orthodox Archon Award 2000.
Mr. Pappajohn lives in Des Moines, Iowa with his wife, Mary. They have one daughter, Ann Vassiliou.
Michael G. Psaros
Co-Founder and Managing Partner
KPS Capital Partners, LP
Michael Psaros is a Co-Founder and Managing Partner of KPS Capital Partners, LP, and a member of its Investment Committee and Management Committee. KPS Capital Partners, LP is the manager of KPS Special Situations Funds (www.kpsfund.com), a family of private equity funds with approximately $11.4 billion of assets under management focused on making controlling equity investments in manufacturing and industrial companies across a diverse array of industries worldwide. Mr. Psaros serves on the Board of Directors of Georgetown University and is the Vice Chairman of the Executive Board of Advisors of Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. Mr. Psaros is the Vice Chairman of Friends of St. Nicholas, the organization responsible for constructing the new St. Nicholas National Shrine at Ground Zero.
CEO and Founder
Arianna Huffington is the founder of The Huffington Post, the founder and CEO of Thrive Global, and the author of 15 books, including, most recently, Thrive and The Sleep Revolution. In May 2005, she launched The Huffington Post, a news and blog site that quickly became one of the most widely-read, linked to, and frequently-cited media brands on the Internet. In August 2016, she launched Thrive Global, a corporate and consumer well-being and productivity platform with the mission of changing the way we work and live by ending the collective delusion that burnout is the price we must pay for success.
She has been named to Time Magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people and the Forbes Most Powerful Women list. Originally from Greece, she moved to England when she was 16 and graduated from Cambridge University with an M.A. in economics. At 21, she became president of the famed debating society, the Cambridge Union.
She serves on numerous boards, including Uber, Onex, The Center for Public Integrity, Global Citizen and Just Capital.
Her last two books, Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder and The Sleep
Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night At A Time, both became instant international bestsellers.
She is a mother, sister, flat shoe advocate, and sleep evangelist.
Peter joined NEA in 1992 and was the firm’s Managing General Partner from 1999-2017. After retiring in 2019, Peter now serves as Chairman. During his 18 years at the helm, NEA’s assets under management grew from $1B to over $20B and the organization scaled its operations to become one of the world’s largest venture capital firms. Under Peter’s leadership, NEA invested in industry-transforming technology companies like CareerBuilder, Tableau, Groupon, Jet.com, Juniper Networks, Salesforce.com, TiVo, WebMD and Workday. He has been named several times to the Forbes Midas List of top technology investors, to Washington Tech Council’s Hall of Fame, and to the Washington Business Hall of Fame. Peter has personally led investments in over three dozen technology companies that have successfully completed public offerings or mergers. He serves on the board of public companies Berkshire Grey (BGRY), Groupon (GRPN), NextNav (NN) and Sprout Social (SPT) and is currently director of several private companies including Tamr, Tempus, ThreatQuotient and ZeroFox.
Prior to joining NEA, Peter was President of LEGENT Corporation (LGNT) and Senior Vice President of the Systems Software Division of UCCEL Corporation (UCE). Both companies were ultimately acquired at valuations that were record breaking for their time. Earlier, Peter spent almost a decade at General Electric Company in a variety of management positions, including Vice President and General Manager at GE Information Services. He is Vice-Chair of the Northwestern University Board of Trustees and serves on the boards of the Brookings Institution, P33 and In-Q-Tel. Peter previously served on the Executive Committee of the Board of the National Venture Capital Association, the Tuck School Board of Overseers and was a founding member of Venture Philanthropy Partners, a philanthropic organization in the Washington D.C. area. Peter received his BSEE from Northwestern University and his MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.
Peter and his wife, Adrienne, reside in McLean, VA and are long time members of St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Bethesda, MD. They have two married daughters who also reside in the Washington DC area.
John P. Calamos, Sr.
Founder, Chairman and Global Chief Investment Officer
John P. Calamos, Sr. founded Calamos Investments in 1977. With origins as an institutional convertible bond manager, the firm has grown into a global asset management firm with major institutional and individual clients around the world. The firm is headquartered in the Chicago metropolitan area with additional offices in London, New York, San Francisco and Miami.
Mr. Calamos has established research and investment processes centered around a team-based approach designed to deliver superior risk-adjusted performance over full market cycles through a range of U.S. and global investment strategies including equity, fixed income, convertible and alternative investments. Mr. Calamos has developed a reputation for using investment techniques to control risk, preserve capital and build wealth for clients over the long term.
With over 45 years of industry experience, he is often quoted as an authority on risk-managed investment strategies, markets and the economy. He is a frequent speaker at investment seminars and conferences around the world and appears regularly on CNBC, Bloomberg TV and Fox Business Channel.
Mr. Calamos has authored two books, Investing in Convertible Securities: Your Complete Guide to the Risks and Rewards and Convertible Securities: the Latest Instruments, Portfolio Strategies, and Valuation Analysis.
He received his B.A. in Economics and an M.B.A. in Finance from the Illinois Institute of Technology. He joined the United States Air Force after graduation where he served as a combat pilot during the Vietnam War and ultimately earned the rank of Major.
A son of Greek immigrants, Mr. Calamos is an active philanthropist supporting educational and Hellenic organizations, and serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the National Hellenic Museum in Chicago. He has been honored for his lifetime contributions by the Hellenic Bar Association and was awarded an honorary doctorate of humanities by the Hellenic College and Holy Cross School of Theology.
Aristides (Aris) S. Candris
President and CEO – Retired
Westinghouse Electric. Co.
Dr. Candris retired as President and CEO of Westinghouse Electric Co. In 2012, after a 37 year career with the company. In addition to his role on the THI Board, he is currently on the Board of NiSource Inc., and the Advisory Boards of Atomos Inc., the Carnegie Institute of Technology, and the Carnegie Energy Institute. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of Transylvania University, and the Hellenic American University, and has has previously served on Carnegie Mellon University’s Board of Trustees. Aris and his wife Laura live in Naples, Florida and Sifnos Island, Greece.
Achilles Constantakopoulos is a graduate of Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne.
Since 1997 he has been leading TEMES S.A., developers of Costa Navarino, where he currently holds the position of Chairman. He is also the Chairman of IONIAN HOTEL ENTERPRISES S.A., owner of the Hilton Athens hotel.
He is a member of the Board of Directors of AEGEAN AIRLINES S.A., CHIPITA S.A. and SETE (Greek Tourism Confederation).
Mr. Constantakopoulos is President of the Captain Vassilis & Carmen Konstantakopoulos Foundation.
Aristeus Financial Services
In 2016 Jeremy set up Aristeus, a fully regulated asset management firm in Cyprus and is the company’s CIO.
In 2001 Jeremy set up a family office managing the investments of a prominent European family. The office made investments across the asset class spectrum in developed and emerging markets. He acted as CIO until late 2015 and remains a board member.
Previously Jeremy was a founding partner and board member of Greece’s first investment bank, Alpha Finance from 1989 to 2001. Alpha Finance listed on the Athens Stock Exchange is April 1995 and was sold to Alpha Bank in 2001.
Prior to Alpha Finance he worked at Continental Illinois Bank in New York, Athens and Piraeus.
Jeremy graduated from Leeds University in 1976.
He sits on the boards or advisory committees of various companies, investment vehicles, educational bodies and NGOs.
Co-founder and Managing Partner
An entrepreneur, Co-founder and Managing Partner with Outseta LLC, a company that challenges how business is done, resulting in employees who are more fulfilled in both their personal and professional lives. Outseta is an experiment in organizational purpose and design – informed by principles shared in Frederic Laloux’s Reinventing Organizations. Prior co-founder of Buildium LLC which was sold to RealPage Inc in 2019.
An investor in companies with a social impact mission to become profitable and benefit society at large.
A philanthropist via the Helidoni foundation, primarily supporting initiatives and institutions that are having or looking to accomplish a meaningful positive impact while becoming self-sustainable via revenue that they derive from services that they provide to the public at large. A large part of the focus is in Greece.
Reed Smith LLP
Constantine is the current Managing Partner of the Miami office of Reed Smith, LLP. Reed Smith is a global law firm with more than 1,500 lawyers in 30 offices throughout the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Constantine counsels companies and funds in a wide range of matters including distressed credit and special situations transactions, private equity, restructurings, and corporate governance. Constantine has worked with entities across the corporate growth cycle from early stage private companies to established publicly traded entities. He also has considerable cross-border experience and acts for foreign companies operating in the United States.
Constantine previously served on the board of directors of the Florida Chamber of Commerce and now sits on the Legal Committee of the Greek Orthodox Church. His pro bono work has included a significant amount of refugees assistance within the Greek Islands, using legal skills to help protect human rights, support due process, and uphold the rule of law.
Ambassador Eleni Kounalakis
Lieutenant Governor of California
Ambassador Eleni Kounalakis was sworn in as the 50th Lieutenant Governor of California by Governor Gavin Newsom on January 7th, 2019. She is the first woman elected Lt. Governor of California. A native Californian, she visited each of the state’s 58 counties during her historic campaign.
From 2010 to 2013, Kounalakis served as President Barack Obama’s Ambassador to the Republic of Hungary. Kounalakis was the first Greek-American woman – and at age 43 one of America’s youngest – to serve as U.S. Ambassador. Her highly acclaimed memoir, “Madam Ambassador, Three Years of Diplomacy, Dinner Parties and Democracy in Budapest” (The New Press, 2015), chronicles the onset of Hungary’s democratic backsliding.
Governor Jerry Brown appointed Kounalakis to chair the California Advisory Council for International Trade and Investment in 2014. Kounalakis was a Virtual Fellow at the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) between 2014 and 2017, specializing in international trade and immigration. She is currently a director of the Association of American Ambassadors and a National Democratic Institute (NDI) “Ambassadors Circle” advisor.
Prior to her public service, Kounalakis was president of one of California’s most respected housing development firms, AKT Development, where she worked for 18 years. She built master-planned communities and delivered quality housing to the Sacramento region’s working families – recognizing her as one of the capital region’s most prominent businesswomen. Passionate about early childhood development, Kounalakis served as a member of California’s First 5Commission and the California Blue Ribbon Commission on Autism.
Eleni Kounalakis graduated from Dartmouth College in 1989 and earned her Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from U.C. Berkeley’s Haas School of Business in 1992. She holds an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the American College of Greece. She is married to Dr. Markos Kounalakis and the couple has two teenage sons, Neo and Eon.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Monumental Sports and Entertainment
Ted Leonsis is founder, chairman, majority shareholder and CEO of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which owns the NHL’s 2018 Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals, NBA’s Washington Wizards, WNBA’s Washington Mystics, AFL’s 2018 Arena Bowl Champion Washington Valor and Baltimore Brigade, the NBA G League’s Capital City Go-Go and the NBA2K League’s Wizards District Gaming. Leonsis is a co-owner of aXiomatic, which has controlling interest in global esports franchise Team Liquid. Monumental also owns the 20,000-seat Capital One Arena and operates MedStar Capitals Iceplex, the Capitals’ training facility, and George Mason University’s EagleBank Arena.
An integrated media, technology, sports and entertainment company, Monumental also runs Monumental Sports Network, a first-of-its-kind regional sports network for digital, mobile and over-the-top platforms. In addition, Leonsis is co-founder and a partner at Revolution Growth, a $1 billion set of investment funds via which he and his partners make a select group of speed-up capital investments in businesses each year. He sits on a variety of boards, including American Express and Groupon, and is the former vice chairman and president of AOL.
George M. Marcus
Founder and Chairman
The Marcus & Millichap Company
Born George Mathew Moutsanas in 1941 in Limni, Evia, Greece on the island of Euboea, one of the oldest-known confederation of Greek states in classical antiquity, he emigrated to the United States in 1945. He graduated as George M. Marcus from San Francisco State University with a B.A. degree in Economics, was honored as Alumnus of the Millennium in 1999 and received an honorary doctorate in 2011. He also received an honorary degree of Humanities from the Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in 2016. He is the co-founder and chairman of Marcus & Millichap Company. He is the founder and chairman of Essex Property Trust (ESS) and Marcus & Millichap, Inc (MMI) both publicly traded companies.
Mr. Marcus received the high Offikion of Archon Exarchos in 1991 by His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New York.
His considerable commitments to the Greek Orthodox Church and his community include memberships on the Board of Directors at the Modern Greek Studies Foundation, CSU Foundation, UCSF Foundation, Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute, which honored him in 2012, the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco, which honored him in 2014, International Orthodox Christian Charities, Elios Society and is committed to Leadership 100. He founded the National Hellenic Society, which brings together distinguished Greek Americans on a national level to preserve their heritage.
He is the majority owner of renowned Greek restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area; Kokkari in San Francisco and Evvia in Palo Alto. In 2014 Mr. Marcus participated in the White House Greek Independence Day celebration, where the authentic cuisine of his restaurants was served, both President Obama and Vice President Biden were in attendance.
C. Dean Metropoulos
Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
C. Dean Metropoulos & Co.
Metropoulos & Co. is a boutique acquisition and management firm started by Mr. Metropoulos and later joined by his sons, Evan and Daren, which have been involved for the past 30+ years in building, restructuring and growing numerous businesses in the U.S., Mexico and Europe.
Some of the “buy-build” private equity transactions led by Mr. Metropoulos include:
• Stella Foods (the #1 specialty cheese company in the U.S. & Canada)
• The Morningstar Group, Inc. (traded on the NASDAQ at the time)
• International Home Foods, Inc. (Chef Boyardee, Pam Cooking Spray, Gulden’s Mustard & Bumble Bee Tuna) – traded on the NYSE at the time
• Ghirardelli Chocolate Co.
• Mumm and Perrier Jouet Champagnes (France)
• Hillsdown Holdings, PLC (Premier International Foods, Burtons Biscuits, & Christie Tyler – UK/Europe)
• Pinnacle Foods Group, Inc. (Swanson/Hungry-Man, Vlasic Pickles, Open Pit Barbeque Sauce, Duncan Hines, Log Cabin Syrup, Mrs. Butterworth’s Syrup, Aunt Jemima Frozen Breakfast, Mrs. Paul’s Seafood, Van De Kamp’s Seafood, Celeste Pizza, & Lender’s Bagels)
• National Waterworks
• Solar Marine (a private international dry cargo shipping company)
• Pabst Brewing Company
• EPAQ (an integrated oil drilling company)
• Hostess Brands, LLC
• Utz Quality Foods, Inc. (one of the oldest east coast salty snack companies)
• Golden Flake Snack Foods (salty snacks)
Mr. Metropoulos has been involved in more than 81 acquisitions in many parts of the world over the past 30 years and has earned some of the most attractive returns on Wall Street.
The Metropoulos family is also very active with philanthropy, including, their commitments to the Gate’s Foundation “Giving Pledge”, the Campaign to End Childhood Hunger, Hole in the Wall Gang Camps, veterans, education, medical research and others.
Mr. Metropoulos and his wife, Marianne, of 43 years, have two sons, Evan and Daren, who have been involved and are an integral part of Metropoulos & Co
Jalouise Pty Limited
Nick Mitaros is a Perth, Western Australia based businessman with extensive commercial interests in the north of Australia. He has been on The Hellenic Initiative global board since its inception.
Nick sits on a number of private boards including as the Australian Resident Director for the cattle operations of the Government of Brunei Darussalam in northern Australia since 1998.
Nick holds both a Bachelor of Jurisprudence and Bachelor of Laws, and since retiring from legal practice in 2002, remained a Consultant to national law firm, Clayton Utz, until June 2019..
Nick is a director of commercial property development company, Jalouise Pty Ltd, a significant financial contributor to the Hellenic Entrepreneurship Awards (2013 – 2017).
Since 2015, Nick has served as Chairman of Leichhardt Industrials Pty Ltd, a resource company developing one of world’s largest solar salt projects in the Pilbara region of Australia.
Whilst at University, he served as Vice President of the National Union of Greek Australian Students (NUGAS 1979 – 80), and following graduation, as a member of the Governing Council of the Greek Orthodox Community of Northern Australia Inc (1982 – 1985).
Jim Neary heads the Industrial and Business Services Group and is the Co-Head of the Healthcare Group at Warburg Pincus. Mr. Neary is a member of the firm’s Investment Management Group. During his career at Warburg Pincus, Mr. Neary has led Business Services; Late Stage Technology-enabled Services; Technology, Media & Telecommunications and Capital Markets. Prior to joining Warburg Pincus, he was a Managing Director at Chase Securities. Mr. Neary is the chairman or board member of several companies including Allied Universal, Consolidated Precision Products, Duravant, Endurance International Group, Hygiena, Sotera Health and WEX. Among other public and private companies, he has previously served on the boards of Crossmark, Fidelity National Information Services, Inc., Interactive Data Corporation, InComm Holdings, Coyote Logistics, EFS (Electronic Funds Source) and Alert Global Media Holdings. Mr. Neary is on the Board of Trustees of The Mount Sinai Health System as well as The Eaglebrook School. In addition, he is the Co-Chair of the President’s Council at Tufts University. He received a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Tufts University and an M.B.A. from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, where he was the Eugene Lerner Finance Scholar.
Cathy Papoulias-Sakellaris achieved a successful business career occupying executive management positions in leading global companies including Proctor & Gamble, Nielsen Marketing Research, ITT and Dun & Bradstreet. She has dedicated resources, expertise and service in community, philanthropic, and Hellenic Organizations. She serves on the Board of Trustees of Leadership 100, and served on the Board of Overseas at the Museum of Sience in Boston. She also sits on the boards of The Hellenic Initiative, Milton Academy, Public Power International, and the Faith Endowment.
Senior Vice President, Sales, and General Manager
API at Albany Molecular Research Inc.
George Svokos, was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. He has been married for 35 years to his wonderful wife Grazia and has three beautiful and successful daughters, Erini, Elizabeth and Alexandra. George has a BS in Chemical Engineering from Columbia University and an MBA for the University of Missouri. He has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for over 30 years in various managerial and executive positions. He is a Trustee of the Dr. Agnes Varis Trust which has supported THI since its inception.
Tina Courpas became the Executive Director of the Hellenic Initiative in March 2022. Prior to that time, Tina was the Director of the Global Corporate Partners Program of THI, responsible for establishing a corporate giving circle to support THI’s economic development activities. Prior to THI, Tina served as the Executive Director of the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women in Connecticut, a bipartisan legislative non-profit corporation with a 47-year legacy, where she is currently on the Board.
Before joining the non-profit sector, Tina worked for 20 years in investment banking and corporate law. Most recently, she worked for SAB Capital and Silver Point Capital, two hedge funds, where she was responsible for capital raising, and in the case of SAB, was the firm’s Head of Investor Relations. For 14 years, Tina raised institutional capital for private equity funds, most recently at Credit Suisse. Prior to that time, she practiced corporate and M&A law at Kirkland & Ellis in New York. She began her career as an analyst in Global Finance at Goldman, Sachs & Co.
Tina served on the Board of Trustees and was the Treasurer of St. Paul’s School for Girls in Baltimore, MD. She is on the Steering Committee for the Princeton Women’s Leadership Initiative, serves on the Princeton Alumni Schools Committee, and served on the Advisory Council of the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University.
Tina holds an A.B., magna cum laude, from Princeton University and a J.D. from Columbia Law School.
She is a first generation Greek American.