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Greek CommunityJohn Catsimatidis Launches New Memoir

John Catsimatidis Launches New Memoir

Hellenic News of America
Hellenic News of America
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A book launching event and signing of John Catsimatidis’ book, How Far Do You Want to Go: Lessons from a Common-Sense Billionaire, was held on Thursday, April 6 at 7:00pm at the Chiotes Hall of The Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The event was organized by the Hellenic American Chamber of Commerce.

Best known for his supermarket empire that morphed into a real estate and aviation company worth about $2 billion dollars in holdings, he is also the man who saved WABC radio from going under. John Catsimatidis is Vice Chairman of the Archdiocesan Council of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and a member of the Leadership 100 Executive Committee. He is a long-time member along with his wife, Margo. Their daughter, Andrea, and son, John Jr, are also fulfilled members of Leadership 100.

The evening was a celebration of Catsimatidis and his incredible accomplishments, both as a human being and as a businessman. His book, with the candid, sage advice he offers, from his humble roots born on the island of Nisyros in Greece to the man he has become today, are a true testament to his community spirit of giving back. He wants everyone to succeed on some level, and he wants you to know that you too can if you want to, through common sense, hard work, and perseverance towards your goals.

Welcoming remarks were given by Eftihia Pylarinou-Piper, Senior VP of Red Apple Group and Executive Member of the Board of the Hellenic American Chamber of Commerce. She thanked all the participating friends and organizations that were part of making this event happen. Among them were AHEPA, Capital Link, Cyprus Chamber of Commerce, EMBCA, Federation of Hellenic American Educators, Hellenic American Bankers Association, Hellenic American Congress, Hellenic Cultural Foundation, The Hellenic Initiative, Hellenic Lawyers Association, and Hellenic Medical Society, in addition to Leadership 100. The event had over 350 registrants and participants, and they have sold approximately 500 books already. It is no surprise that John Catsimatidis is loved and respected throughout the community and beyond.

Emmy award-winning TV News Anchor Ernie Anastos gave the opening remarks. He spoke of the man behind the success: “What you see is what you get. John has all of the qualities that we really want in a human being. This man is one of the hardest working people I know.” Anastos was honored to have recently joined WABC Radio, which is number 1 in NYC and around the country, and he credits John for that leadership:

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Fr. Alex Karloutsos, Protopresbyter of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in America, introduced John Catsimatidis, the author. He said that “John knows how to make money. He knows how to get the money. It’s common sense. That’s how intelligent he is. He did what others were reluctant to do. He bought a struggling radio station worth 300 million dollars for 12 million dollars. He bought WABC in what to him was a bargain deal, knowing nothing about the radio industry. He said he would bring in the right talent, work hard, and will make the money. It is the number one radio station now. Others could have done this too, but but he did it with common sense and perhaps a bit of fearless bravado. It not only takes intelligence, but confidence. Great leadership has both.” Fr. Alex emphasized that John was “a man of character and a human being that cannot be measured by dollar signs.”

Catsimatidis, in his remarks, thanked his wife Margo whom he referred to as “the sunshine of his life” and who always makes him smile. He thanked his longtime friends Ernie Anastos and Fr. Alex. He thanked everyone who attended. He also honored the memory of his forefathers, his father, his mother, and his grandparents. He said that people ask him why he wrote the book. He mentioned that a few years ago, the country of Greece made a stamp in his honor. He was reluctant at first, but he wanted to leave something for his family, and for the spirit of his grandfathers who are watching over him to be proud of the family name. The book is part of that legacy he is leaving behind. In his own affectionate humor, he added that “they came over in 1913 to find the streets of gold. It took me over 100 years to find it. The one thing my father and grandfather taught me is the fact that never do anything that is going to ruin the family name. I try to live by that and teach my children that.”

Source: Leadership 100

Born on the small Greek island of Nisyros, John Catsimatidis immigrated to the States with his family and quickly became a true New Yorker, raised in Harlem. He went to school by day and worked in a small grocery store by night to help his parents pay the bills until, just eight credits short of graduating from New York University, he opted to work in the grocery business full-time.

Today, that grocery business has become the Red Apple Group, a conglomerate with interests in energy, real estate, aviation, baseball, entertainment, and media, including the iconic radio station WABC, where John hosts leading figures in government, politics, business, and economics.

He never forgets his roots or where he came from on 135th street in Harlem. He has been actively involved with the Police Athletic League of NYC for over 40 years, a charitable arm of the NYPD that is dedicated to youth development. He goes into inner city communities and is a mentor to children. One day one of those children might read his book on their journey to success, and maybe one of those children will become tomorrow’s billionaire that gives back to their community. To the Greek children in the community, he had some great words of wisdom to offer them on their journey toward success, whatever that success may mean to them: “Don’t make the top just the Greek community. Make the top the entire American community. Seek to go to higher places.”

The evening ended with a book signing. At his side was the sunshine of his life, the lively and spirited Margo, assisting him. While we can’t reveal all the great tips and advice the book has to offer aspiring billionaires, we know that after listening to him speak we can’t go wrong with hard work and common sense, especially if we learn it directly from the man who’s been there, and still there, at the top of his game.

SOURCE; Leadership 100

The copyrights for these articles are owned by the Hellenic News of America. They may not be redistributed without the permission of the owner. The opinions expressed by our authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Hellenic News of America and its representatives.

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