The Chamber was founded in 1947. Its founder was Kyriacos P. Tsolainos, a truly remarkable and legendary man. He was a native of Smyrna and came to Greece as a refugee after the Asia Minor disaster. Though only a youngster at that time, he became the personal secretary and trusted administrative assistant of Greece’s outstanding statesman and Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos. Upon his political eclipse, Tsolainos migrated to Canada to study at the prestigious McGill University in Montreal. On graduation he came to marry Phoebe Wilson, a direct descendent of the Confederate President Jefferson Davis. She was also the favorite niece of the then chairman of Citibank. Within months he became a partner at Baker, Weeks & Harden, the investment affiliate of Citibank. He was known throughout Wall Street as K.P. When he died, Wall Street closed early to attend his funeral en masse at Trinity Church.

The Chamber’s objective at its inception was to favorably present, publicize and service the substantial Greek Shipping interests which had gathered in the downtown financial area. It is for that reason that you will find amongst its early members people such as Manuel E. Kulukundis, Nicholas P. Goulandris, Pericles Callimenopoulos, Panaghi D. Marchessini, Nicholas Rethymnis, Costas D. Pateras, John Theodoracopoulos, George P. Livanos, and Michael Embiricos.

Upon the exodus of our maritime magnates to more favorable off-shore locations, the Chamber altered its operational objectives. It promptly emphasized the foreign trade and commercial aspects between Greece and the United States. Briskly activating this program, it obtained as members American corporations which were doing business in Greece, such as Irving Trust Co., American Express, Chase Bank, Guaranty Trust Co., Bank of Nova Scotia, Mobil Oil Corp., Exxon Corp., and American Cyanamid Corp.

Today, its members include many Greek Americans doing business in Greece or trading in Greek products. The Chamber is expanding its horizon so that there may be greater participation of corporate America in its active membership and that it may activate a wider and closer relationship with Greek businesses in the United States and throughout the rest of the world.

Presidents of the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce

Term Name
2016-Present Brian P. Devine, Esq., Norton Rose Fulbright
2014-2016 Nancy Papaioannou, Atlantic Bank
2011-2014 Michael Theodorobeakos, Minosis, LLC
2009-2011 LeRoy Lambert, Blank Rome, LLP
2007-2009 John C. Stratakis, Poles, Tublin, Stratakis & Gonzalez, LLP
2005-2007 Andre Gregory, John S. Latsis (USA) Inc.
2003-2005 Bobby Mitropoulos, Compass Maritime Services, Inc.
2001-2003 William Ioannides, Sigma Coatings
2000-2001 Andonios Neroulias, Western Management Corp.
1998-2000 George Kapetanakos, Southern Star Shipping Co.
1996-1998 Robert G. Shaw, Healy & Baillie, LLP
1992-1996 Basil S. Gregory, John S. Latsis (USA), Inc. (1926-2001)
1989-1992 Emmanuel Caravanos, Atlantic Steamers Supply Co. (DE) Inc.
1987-1989 Edward D. Hunter, Bank of Nova Scotia
1985-1987 Basil S. Gregory, John S. Latsis (USA), Inc. (1926-2001)
1982-1985 John G. Manos, Israel Discount Bank of New York
1978-1982 Stephen P. Pendias, Irving Trust Company (1916-2007)
1974-1978 Harry S. Papadakis, Olympic Airways
1971-1974 Theodore T. Cambouris, Atlantic Bank of New York
1969-1971 Gregory Bookis, Maritime Brokers
1968-1969 Charles G. Raphael, Attorney
1967-1968 John P. Diamandouras, Mobil Oil Corp.
1964-1967 John A. Haage, Manufacturers Hanover Trust
1962-1964 John J. Steitz, Jr., Thomas Cook & Son
1960-1962 Clifford R. Wise, Bethlehem Steel Corp. (1917-2005)
1956-1960 Manuel E. Kulukundis, “C” Ventures
1950-1956 Charles G. Raphael, Attorney
1948-1950 Peter T. Kourides, Attorney (1910-2010)