The Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce was formed over 70 years ago for the purpose of promoting and strengthening the economic and cultural ties between the United States of America and Greece.
Since that time, our organization has grown and its scope has broadened beyond the express purpose of fostering and developing commercial and trade relations between Greece and the United States.
Beyond its traditional commercial role, the Chamber administered the “George E. Athans Scholarship Fund” (prior to entrusting it to the Office of Financial Aid at New York University), and continues to assist in the selection of its recipients. The Chamber honorees for achievement have not been limited to commerce but have come from the arts and politics as well. The Chamber has co-sponsored investment seminars and hosted political leaders.
The Chamber today is a multifaceted organization that offers different things to different people and provides a network and forum for its members to meet, interact, and exchange ideas. It is a vehicle from which to gain an additional perspective.
Ultimately, it is our membership that has made the Chamber a successful organization and we would welcome the opportunity to meet with you at our next event.
Executive Board Members
Michael Theodorobeakos, Chairman – Minosis, Inc.
Markos Drakotos, President – M&N Management Corp.
Athas Ioannou, Exec. Vice President – Constantine Designers & Builders
Nick Katsanos, Vice President – Seward & Kissel
George Pierot, Treasurer – Jacq. Pierot Jr. & Sons, Inc.
Peter T. Bazos, Secretary – Southern Star Shipping Co.
Officers & Directors
Humera Ahmed – LISCR
Solomon Asser – Tecny Group Inc.
John Catsimatidis / Effie Piper – Red Apple Group
Greg Chase – Reed Smith
Antony Contomichalos – MacArthur Capital, Inc.
George T. Constantin – Heritage Investment Management LLC
Angela Giannopoulos – Studio 3
Hara Gisholt – Core Assurnace
Marina Hadjipateras – Dorian LPG
Chris Koutsis – Investors Bank
Nicholas Koutsomitis – Koutsomitis Architects PC
Clay Maitland – International Registries, Inc.
Nancy Papaioannou – Atlantic Bank, Division of NYCB
Ted Petrone – Navios Corporation; Toula Livanos
Michael Psyllos – Alma Bank
Dean Steele – Norton Rose Fulbright
Lauren Wilgus – Blank Rome
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.