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March's Greek-American Spotlight: Influential Figures in Chicagoland

March’s Greek-American Spotlight: Influential Figures in Chicagoland

Hellenic News
Hellenic News
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From the crossroads of America (Chicago, Northwest Indiana, Wisconsin and beyond)…

SW AIRLINES INVESTMENT: LanzaJet CEO Jimmy Samartzis is helping to rarefy the airways. In late February, the sustainable aviation fuel upstart announced a $30 million investment from Southwest Airlines. Samartis is a former VP at Chicago-based United Airlines and a former board member at internationally-renowned physics research facility FermiLab in Batavia, IL.
LanzaJet CEO Jimmy Samartzis (Photo credit: Jimmy Samartzis LinkedIn profile)
CHIC-FIL-A PREZ HONORED: The PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation announced that Tim Tassopoulos, president and COO of national restaurant chain Chic-Fil-A, Inc., will be the Paradigm Award recipient at its annual Awards Ceremony & Gala, to be held June 15 in Chicago. Visit Chairman of the foundation is entrepreneur/investment pro Robert Buhler, a prominent Philhellene who succeeded the late Chris Tomaras, PHSF founder. Robert is married to attorney Violetta Kapsalis Buhler. The couple’s daughter, Eunice Buhler, is an attorney/MBA who’s also involved in the foundation and serves as general counsel at G2 Software in Chicago. Their son Konstantine Buhler is a partner at Silicon Valley venture capital giant Sequoia Capital and an  artificial intelligence investor and engineer. Among numerous PHSF advisory board members is retired NFL player Angelo Loukas of the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots, which dovetails into our next item.
SINGING PRAISES FOR PRODROMOS PAREA: This Spring NFL teams will be keeping close watch on prized free agent quarterback Kirk Cousins as he attempts a comeback from a severe knee injury suffered last season. Chicago-based orthopedic surgeon Dr. Chadwick Prodromos, founder of the the Prodromos Stem Cell Institute, in conjunction with Dr. Joseph John of Antiqua, has taken on Cousins as a patient. The two physicians are treating Cousins with cutting-edge therapies and the former All-Pro appears to be making solid progress in his rehabilitation. Dr. Prodromos is married to Dr. Marilyn Prodromos, DDS. The Prodromos couple have two daughters. Lexy Prodromos, an attorney and head of Blockchain and Digital Currency Strategy at Discover Financial Services in Deerfield, IL, was one of the primary initiators of the Illinois Blockchain Initiative, a state of Illinois consortium dedicated to furthering blockchain development. In late February, Capitol One proposed a mega-merger that would create one of the world’s largest financial conglomerates. Lexy and her sister Stephany Prodromos, a web developer and program manager for Sling IT in Denver, are also accomplished classical singers who produced two albums and have performed many benefit concerts for the Illinois Miseracordia home. Singing runs in the family. Their father was also once an accomplished classical singer. Previously, he served as a staff physician for the NFL’s New England Patriots, where he was invited to sing the National Anthem prior to a game.
HELLENIC FOUNDATION 70TH: The Chicago-based Hellenic Foundation, a social services and senior care organization which has also awarded nearly $3 million in grants to various Greek American and Pan Orthodox charities, is in the midst of celebrating its 70th anniversary. In December, the HF awarded 24 additional grants. Visit
Hellenic Foundation board member Louis Apostol, right, and patent attorney Themis Frangos. An attorney and MBA, Apostol is also the longtime Cook County Public Administrator
MUSEUM NEWS: The National Hellenic Museum on April 17 continues its award-winning mock trial series with The Trial Of Pericles on April 17. Visit for more…Well wishes to museum trustee Jim Logothetis following his recent retirement after an illustrious career at global accounting giant Ernst & Young…The museum added recently retired Cook County judge Anna Demacopoulos to its board of trustees.
BOOKS: Chicago-area native Marianne Karagianis, now based in Los Angeles, wrote the book “Digging Deeper: The Only Sales Book You’ll Ever Need,” available on Amazon…John Vlahakis, a green industry entrepreneur and one of the various publishers of now-shuttered The Greek Star newspaper in Chicago, just released a black-and-white photo book about Athens titled “Enduring City”… The Hellenic Professional Society of Illinois recently hosted Constantinople-based award-winning author Nektaria Anastasiadou, who spoke about her latest tome, “Beneath the Feet of Eternal Spring,” written in the Istanbul Greek dialect.
SPORTS: Maine South H.S. senior Teddy Flores won the state wrestling championship. Proud parents are former Chicago alderman Manny Flores, now CEO of financial concern SomerCor, and Georgina Karas Flores, marketing executive with Encore. Teddy committed to continue his schooling and wrestling career at the University of Michigan this Fall…The AHEPA Marrow basketball tournament, open to all Orthodox players, tips off March 13 in Chicago. The tourney helps identify potential stem cell donors for the national AHEPA database. Visit…One week after, the National Hellenic Invitational Basketball Tournament plays in Chicago. Visit
MISC: Senior research conservator Harriet Stratis, formerly with the University of Chicago and a collaborator with the Art Institute of Chicago, now runs her own company, Statis Fine Art Conservation… Chicago area native Ted Pappas, an architect by trade, has been cooking up the airwaves on the hit PBS series The Great American Recipe…Diane Adam, former longtime editor of the The Greek Star, is currently serving as editor of Informa Connect Foodservice Vertical.

Until next…

Terry Poulos is a writer, entrepreneur (, and artist ( who has also covered Greek America for more than two decades for newspapers, magazines, and web portals. He’s co-founder of Chicago’s Greek Media Club and a member of the AHEPA Athletics Hall of Fame selection committee

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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