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
|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)|