Haven’t we all been helped by a mentor at some point in our careers? In this excerpt from our ‘Mentor’ is a Greek Word series of interviews, we asked Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jeffrey Eugenides, Academy Award-winner Kary Antholis of HBO and Emmy nominee Alexis Christoforous of CBS News how mentors helped them in their careers — and heard why it’s so important to mentor young people on their way up.
That’s why we help bright, motivated students and aspiring young professionals get advice from experienced professionals and executives in the field they are pursuing. After all, who wouldn’t want to get advice from someone who’s learned the ins and out of their profession?
If you would like to help advise a next generation student interested in your field — like the Next Generation Mentors featured below have — sign up online today, and join the ranks of recent grads, NextGen alumni and experienced professionals who want to help bright, hard-working young men and women get ahead in their careers, and give back to their communities.
James Kales has served as the president and chief executive officer of Aspire, leader in services for children and adults with disabilities, since January 2007. From 2003 to 2006, Jim served as the chief executive officer of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lake County in Chicago, IL. During his tenure, this agency developed a new way of getting adults involved in mentoring and helped forge pioneering mentoring partnerships with Fortune 500 companies such as Baxter, CDW, HSBC, and Macy’s.
From 2000 to 2003, Jim was the director of communications for the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, one of the nation’s largest United Ways. Jim helped to oversee United Way’s rebranding process, and led the development of a website to promote volunteerism across metropolitan Chicago, called Chicagovolunteer.net.
From 1997 to 2000, Jim acted as project coordinator for the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, a statewide advocacy organization led by former Senator Paul Simon and prominent business, labor and civic representatives. This organization led the effort to enact the most sweeping ethics reform in Illinois history since Watergate. The reform legislation was crafted by a select group of young legislative leaders, including then-State Senator Barack Obama.
Jim received his Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where he focused on Health and Human Services Policy. His master’s thesis at Harvard examined the problem of family homelessness in New York City. As part of his thesis research, Jim spent time interviewing homeless families in New York City shelters, to learn their personal stories. Jim received his BA in Economics and History from Bucknell University. He graduated from Bucknell summa cum laude with honors, and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
Yiannis Monovoukas is chairman, president, and CEO of TEI Biosciences Inc., a privately held regenerative medicine company based in Boston, MA. TEI develops and commercializes novel biologic products for a broad spectrum of soft tissue repair, reinforcement, and reconstruction applications.
Dr. Monovoukas is the winner of the prestigious Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2011 Life Sciences Award for New England, and was a 2011 Life Sciences US Finalist. The program recognizes global entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success.
Dr. Monovoukas joined TEI Biosciences in 2001. Prior to that, he was president and CEO of Thermo Fibergen, a Thermo Electron (now Thermo Fisher Scientific) spin out, which he grew from an R&D concept to a profitable public company.
Lucia Fakonas Howard
Lucia Fakonas Howard is the immediate past President of the Board of Directors of O’Connor House, an organization founded by Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. She currently co-chairs the Avon Program for Women and Justice at the O’Connor House. Ms. Howard has practiced law in Arizona for over 30 years, first as a partner in of the firm of Meyer Hendricks Osborn and Maledon (now Osborn Maledon), and then a principal of her own firm, Fakonas Howard Ltd. Ms. Howard is the co-founder and past president of the Arizona Women Lawyers Association. Ms. Howard founded the Arizona Center for Women and the Law, and participated in the first women lawyers’ delegation to travel to China and Russia through the Eisenhower Foundation.
Ms. Howard has served on numerous civic boards and commissions, including Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC), Arizona Commission on Salaries for Judges and Elected Officials, Arizona State Retirment Fund, Charter 100, Phoenix Arts Commission, Phoenix Ad Hoc Committee on Child Prostitution, AZ Center for Women and the Law, and Voices of Moderation.
Ms. Howard is actively involved in Arizona politics, having served on numerous issues and candidate campaigns and as an advisor to elected officials at the city and state levels.
Thanassis Mazarakis is the chief operating officer of Southern Star Shipping Company, and a member of the board of directors of Flour Mills of Nigeria, PLC.
Prior to this, Mr. Mazarakis was a senior executive in the financial services industry, including serving as Chief Financial Officer of a life insurance company, and serving as Chief Executive Officer of a credit card-processing company.
Mr. Mazarakis grew up in Athens, Greece, and is active in a number of Greek causes.
Archelle Georgiou, MD
Dr. Archelle Georgiou is the founder of Georgiou Consulting, a strategic healthcare consultancy that helps companies translate complex medical information and data into products and services that have a meaningful impact on health, working with diverse clients in industries that range from health insurance to disease management, software technology and mining.
In addition, Dr. Georgiou is Senior Advisor and Chair of the Health Executive Roundtable at TripleTree, a mergers and acquisitions firm in Minneapolis, as well as an ACE Panelist and healthcare expert for Tunheim Partners, a strategic public relations firm in the Twin Cities. Since 2007, Dr. Georgiou has been Fox 9 News’ medical expert with a twice weekly health segments on the morning news. In the spring of 2009, Dr. Georgiou was a medical correspondent on the Blue Zones international expedition to Ikaria, Greece, where she helped explore the secrets of longevity with National Geographic researcher and best-selling author, Dan Buettner.
In 2009, Dr. Georgiou was appointed to the Board of Directors of PRGX, Inc., a recovery audit firm based in Atlanta, Georgia. She serves on the Board of the American Heart Association in the Twin Cities and on the business advisory boards for EmpowHER, a women’s health media company and Mental Workout, a company that is transforming the delivery of psychology with online self-help applications.
Dr. Georgiou founding her consulting practice after 14 years as an executive with UnitedHealth Group, where she served as Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President of Strategic Relations, and becoming the primary spokesperson for clinical media opportunities, medical advisor to the UnitedHealth Foundation and launching a new medical management model, “Care Coordination,” that eliminated and replaced pre-certification review with a proactive collaborative care approach for patients and physicians that fueled a sea change in the managed care industry.
Dr. Georgiou is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She trained and practiced in internal medicine in northern California before transitioning into healthcare administration policy. Archelle lives in Wayzata, Minnesota with her family.
John Vlahakis is founder and president of Earth Friendly Products, pioneering manufacturer of the top-selling ECOS “green” laundry detergent and other green household products.
Mr. Vlahakis has long maintained a keen interest in the environment and the human experience. He is a daily blogger at the earthlyreport.com and the author of Green Bites: Ecological Musings from the Front. Mr. Vlahakis also has a passion for photography, and is represented exclusively by ZIA Gallery. His photography can be viewed at johnvlahakis.com.
Mr. Vlahakis recently acquired The Greek Star, the longest running Greek American weekly newspaper, publishing since 1904. John holds an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. John lives with his family in Winnetka, IL and Harvey Cedars, NJ.
William Capitan is the President Emeritus of Georgia Southwestern State University. During his tenure as president at Georgia Southwestern, he established the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Human Development to honor Rosalynn Carter, a distinguished alumna of Georgia Southwestern. Following Mrs. Carter’s wishes, the Institute is dedicated to the improvement of caregiving in all of its forms.
Before becoming President of Georgia Southwestern, Dr. Capitan was a university administrator and taught philosophy at the University of Minnesota, University of Maryland, Oberlin College, and the University of Georgia. He has held the Ulster-American Fellowship at Queens University Belfast in Northern Ireland and the American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship in Paris.
The author of numerous articles, reviews, and books on philosophy, religion, and ethics, Dr. Capitan’s most recent book is The Ethical Navigator, a layperson’s guide to contemporary ethics. Currently, he is writing a novel based on his experience at Mount Athos.
Dr. Capitan has served as a registered mediator and arbitrator with the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution and has worked primarily with the juvenile court in southwestern Georgia. Past president of the Americus-Sumter County Chamber of Commerce, past president of the Americus Rotary Club, Dr. Capitan was also past vice president of the Atlanta Hellenic Chamber of Commerce. Bill is an avid sailor, a licensed captain, and has recently served as flotilla commander of the St. Simons Island United States Coast Guard Auxiliary and commander of Seventh Coast Guard District Division 10.
Dr. Capitan is a founding member of the Next Generation Initiative and one of the many distinguished leaders on the Initiative’s Advisory Board.
Bill Capitan was born in Owosso, MI, the son of Harry and Anthe Capitan, natives of Kalamata, Greece, who established and operated the Sugar Bowl Restaurant and Candy Store for over fifty years. During his school days, Bill bussed tables, washed dishes and served customers there.
He holds a BA from the University of Michigan and an MA and PhD from the University of Minnesota. He and his wife, Dolores, a retired journalist, have a daughter, Rita Spalding, who is an attorney in Brunswick, GA, and a son, Ned, who is an attorney in Atlanta, GA.
Dody Tsiantar is an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s School of Journalism, as well as a freelance journalist and editor. Until June 2006, Tsiantar served as the senior business reporter for Time magazine, where she supervised a team of six reporters. Tsiantar still contributes to the magazine regularly.
She began her career in 1983 as a special correspondent for The Washington Post and later worked as a business reporter and associate editor for Newsweek magazine. In between her newsweekly stints, Tsiantar served as the editorial manager of In Style magazine’s special issues division and as the deputy chief of reporters at Money magazine, where she managed a nationwide network of stringers.
Alex Geourntas is currently serving his third term as Assistant City Clerk for the City of Boston having been appointed by the Boston City Council and Mayor Thomas Menino in 2005. Alex is the highest-ranking Greek American in city government.
Prior to his appointment, Alex served as communications administrator at the Boston Water and Sewer Commission from July 2002 to March 2005 where he served as a spokesperson for the Commission and managed the community outreach process for SmartRead, the new automated water meter reading system. Alex was named District 5 liaison by the Boston City Council from March 2002 to June 2002 to continue representing the 65,000 residents of the district until the election of a new District 5 city councilor. This was a result of City Councilor Daniel F. Conley’s appointment by the governor to be Suffolk County district attorney. Alex served as Councilor Conley’s Chief of Staff from January 1994 to March 2002.
Presently an elected member of the Ward 20 Democratic Committee, Alex has been involved in many campaigns and he has been an active member of his community for over thirty years. He also serves as president of the board of directors of the Greater Roslindale Medical and Dental Center, chair of the Archdale Community Center Council in Roslindale, MA, president of the Greek Spirit of Boston Association, a member of the Mayor’s Greek Committee, a member of St. John the Baptist Hellenic Orthodox Church in Boston and hosted The Greek Program on Boston’s public access television from 1996 to 2006.
Alex has been an active member at the National, District and Chapter levels of AHEPA. Alex was appointed by the AHEPA supreme president to serve a three-year term in 2011 as a member of the AHEPA Educational Foundation and he served as supreme governor of Region 4 which includes all of the New England states during the 2009-2010 term.
A lifelong resident of Boston, Alex graduated from Suffolk University’s Sawyer School of Business with a MA in Public Administration in 1988 and he earned his BA in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts Boston in 1984. Alex is a proud graduate of the Boston Public Schools graduating in 1979 from English High School. Alex lives in Roslindale with his wife, Nancy.
Larry Rouvelas is a principal of Senior Housing Analytics, consulting practice with broad experience in senior housing, from operations to development, finance, sales and marketing.
From 2003 to 2009, Mr. Rouvelas was at Sunrise Senior Living, a large operator and developer of senior housing, where he assessed the feasibility of real estate developments, and sold corporate subsidiaries. Among other operations roles, Mr. Rouvelas was the executive director of an assisted living community.
Prior to Sunrise, he was a consultant at McKinsey & Co. Mr. Rouvelas led the rewrite of the Real Estate Development section of “The Investment Case for Senior Housing,” a study published by the industry’s primary financier group, the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care Industry (NIC).
Mr. Rouvelas, who has taught development feasibility at the Erickson School at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, currently serves on the Arlington County Long-Term Care Residences Commission.
Jane Rossmango is senior vice president of the Kuoni Group, a publicly traded company headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, and one of the oldest and most reputable global travel companies in existence. Since January 2102, Ms. Rossmango has served as the chairman for both AlliedTPro and Kuoni Destination Management.
A citizen of both the USA and Greece and educated in both countries, Ms. Rossmango embarked on her travel career in Thessaloniki, Greece, where she was director of a small outbound tour operator. Upon her return to the USA she joined Allied Tours as a senior vice president.
Ms. Rossmango was appointed COO of the newly formed AlliedTPro Inc., following the acquisition of Allied Tours by Kuoni in 2002. She was promoted to CEO of AlliedTPro in 2006. In February 2010, Jane was instrumental in Kuoni’s acquisition of a US-based Destination Management Company with twelve offices across the nation, focused on domestic meetings, incentives, congresses and events for many Fortune 500 companies.
John Costouros, MD
Dr. John Costouros is an assistant professor of Orthopedic Surgery at the Stanford University School of Medicine, and serves as president of the Northern California Orthopedic Society, the Northern California Chapter of the Western Orthopedic Association, and the Leroy C. Abbott Orthopedic Society. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and the American College of Surgeons.
Dr. Costouros has over forty publications consisting of articles in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters, and abstracts at national and international scientific meetings. His research focuses on improving our understanding of cartilage injury and arthritis at the cellular level, specifically the development of methods to modulate programmed cell death or apoptosis. He also is involved in the development of cell-based strategies in improving outcomes following rotator cuff repair and better understanding the causes of rotator cuff disease. Dr. Costouros continues to be interested in the development of instruments to analyze surgical outcomes and the creation of registries which allow surgeons to better understand patient-specific outcomes, implant longevity, wear mechanisms, and how surgeons can consistently deliver the best results following surgery.
Dr. Costouros is also the medical director of the Graduate School of Athletic Training and adjunct professor of Kinesiology at San Jose State University. He is also an associate team physician for their Division 1 collegiate athletics program.
Dr. Costouros graduated from Stanford University with honors in Biological Sciences in 1994 followed by medical school, internship, and residency in Orthopedic Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). While at Stanford and UCSF, Dr. Costouros made significant award-winning research discoveries in the molecular etiology and treatment of arthritis and cartilage injuries. Following UCSF, Dr. Costouros completed fellowships at Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital as well as the University of Zurich, Switzerland.
Pete Caramanis is an attorney and partner with ScottKroner PLC, in Charlottesville, VA, where his practice focuses on business formation, transactions and litigation, real estate, land use and zoning. Pete has been practicing law for thirteen years and has successfully worked with a wide range of clients from solo entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 companies.
He began his career in Charlottesville with Tremblay & Smith in 1999, and joined Scott Kroner, PLC as a partner in 2011.
Pete is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where he served several years in the early 1990s as Hellenic Society president. He obtained his law degree from the University of Richmond School of Law. Pete and his wife Ida are the proud parents of three children.
- Georgia Katsoulomitis is the executive director of the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute (MLRI), a leading nonprofit poverty law center whose mission is to advance economic, racial and social justice through legal action, policy advocacy and education.
Ms.Katsoulomitis began her career with judicial clerkships at the DC Superior Court and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington, DC, then advanced to a White House appointment during the Clinton Administration at the U.S. Department of Labor, where she served as special assistant to Labor Secretaries Robert B. Reich and Alexis Herman.
Ms.Katsoulomitis was a vice president at Robinson, Lerer & Montgomery, a premier national communications firm in New York City, where she specialized in strategic philanthropy, government affairs and litigation/crisis communications. Upon returning to her native state of Massachusetts, Ms.Katsoulomitis served as the managing director of the Boston Bar Foundation (the philanthropic arm of the Boston Bar Association), managing its grant making and operations and its access to justice policy initiatives.
Georgia is a graduate of Tufts University and the Catholic University School of Law and is active in several community organizations. A resident of Boston, she is a member of her childhood parish of St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Lynn, MA and is a former president and member of the Hellenic Bar Association.
Until 2011, Nick Papageorgis was Director of Advanced Technology for GE Aviation Systems, where he also served as Director of Engineering and led departments involved in systems, software, test equipment and cost estimation as well as the bid and proposal and IR&D activities. Previously, Mr. Papageorgis managed GE Aviation’s Engineering-Manufacturing Development Facility (EMDF) that developed manufacturing processes prior to full scale production.
In addition, Mr. Papageorgis served as Chairman of the Aerospace Vehicle Systems Institute from 2005 to 2006, and Chairman of the Industrial Advisory Board for the Center of High-Performance Reconfigurable Computing in 2008.
Jim Kolotouros is the director of distribution partnerships at Google. After receiving his undergraduate and MBA degrees from Stanford University in 1993 and 1997, respectively, he worked at Intel Corporation and Financial Engines before joining Google in April of 2003.
During his seven-year tenure, Jim has managed and negotiated some of Google’s most prominent partnerships with leading corporations and brands in the media and Internet space.
While at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, he wrote cases for then-Intel Chairman Andrew Grove on the rising prominence of digital media in the Entertainment and Technology industries. He also interned for Senator Edward M. Kennedy in 1990. In his spare time, Jim is a home winemaker and enjoys snowboarding, cooking and learning more about American history.
Katherine Triantafillou served three terms as a City Councilor in Cambridge, MA, where she led efforts to enact a first-in-the-nation Asbestos Protection Ordinance, co-drafted the Abuse Prevention Act, a national legislative model for addressing domestic violence, established the right of unmarried cohabitants to jointly adopt in the case of Adoption of Tammy (1993), and helped enact the City of Cambridge’s Domestic Partnership Ordinance.
In addition to her domestic law practice, Ms. Triantafillou has consulted internationally with a number of organizations including CARE, IFES, NDI and KEDE on a range of issues from the criminal defense of a Kenyan accused of plunder in Kosovo, training parliamentarians in campaign tactics and strategies in Bosnia, evaluating local government programs in Azerbaijan and creating a nurse’s training program for Iraqi women in Greece. Triantafillou has also presented papers on the issue of violence against women in Singapore and Cyprus.
Ms. Triantafillou co-founded the Massachusetts Lesbian and Gay Bar Association and the National Lesbian and Gay Law Association and served both organizations as founding co-chair. She was a member of the board of directors of MassEquality for five years and served a term as the organization’s vice president.
Ms. Triantafillou has taught Family Law as an adjunct professor at Suffolk University Law School, and Sexual Orientation and the Law at Northeastern University, as well as paralegal training programs at Boston University, the University of Massachusetts, and Transition House, a shelter for battered women in Cambridge. Triantafillou has served as a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association Family Law Council, and chair of the Massachusetts Bar Association Individual Rights and Responsibilities Section.
Her many publications include: Representing Non-Traditional Families, How To Do Your Own No-Fault Divorce, The Legal Rights of Battered Women: How to Use the Law, and numerous essays that have appeared in the Boston Herald, Bay Windows, People for the American Way, and Cambridge Day.
In college, Triantafillou was active in the Order of AHEPA and served as grand president of the Maids of Athena. Katherine Triantafillou graduated from the Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government (MPA, 1999), Suffolk University Law School (JD, 1975) and the University of Michigan (BS with distinction, 1972). She is an affiliate of the Boston Law Collaborative and has offices on Martha’s Vineyard, MA and in Boston, MA.
Prof. Mavridis is the founder and director of the Interactive Robots and Media Laboratory (IRML), which has received worldwide media attention for the world’s first Arabic-Language Conversational Android Robot Ibn Sina, as well as the Microsoft award recipient FaceBots project – on human-interaction robots that utilize and publish social information on Facebook.
Prof. Mavridis is the co-author of more than thirty publications in scientific journals, books and conferences, with at least 250 known citations, has given numerous invited lectures worldwide, and his robots have appeared in media of more than thirty countries.
Nikolaos received his PhD degree from MIT in 2007, as well as an MS from UCLA, and a MEng from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. During his studies at MIT, Nikolaos developed the conversational robot Ripley, whose abilities of connecting language to sensorimotor activities are comparable to those required for passing the “token test,” a psychological test for children.
One of our youngest mentors, recent graduate George Lattas studied at DePaul University where he double-majored in Finance and Economics as an undergraduate. He was part of the Honors Finance Cohort at the College of Commerce and graduated cum laude in 2004, where he was selected to be the commencement speaker.
A lifelong resident of Chicago’s south suburbs, George decided to pursue his legal education at DePaul University College of Law and dually enrolled in DePaul’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business where he attained an MBA. He served as the president of the Student Bar Association for the 2007-2008 academic year and was again selected to be the commencement speaker.
George’s experience in real estate includes working with General Electric’s Real Estate Group as a financial analyst, where he tracked properties in the Specialized Industries portfolio. After his completing his BS, George took a year off to work in the nonprofit sector as faculty advisor and associate director of Programs for Education with the National Youth Leadership Forums on Law and Technology.
After graduating in May 2008, George accepted a position with Deloitte Tax. In that position, George worked in the Multistate Tax Practice where he handled complex tax compliance as well as consulting, planning and tax strategy for some of the world’s largest corporations. His experience with myriad lending institutions prepared him for his current work at Lattas & Lattas, and makes him a formidable advocate in negotiating loan modifications on his clients’ behalf.
Konstantine Haralampopoulos is managing director of Konfidant, a strategic management firm established in 1996, that develops marketing strategies for the health care and other industries, working with clients ranging from Fortune 100 corporations (Johnson & Johnson and GE Healthcare), new start-ups and active turnarounds, to academia (Harvard School of Dental Medicine).
A dual citizen of Greece and the USA, Mr. Haralampopoulos regularly travels between North America and Europe for work. He is also an adjunct professor in marketing at the University of St. Francis and is invited to speak as a healthcare panelist and as a Continuing Medical Educator (CME).
A son of Greek immigrants, Mr. Haralampopoulos earned his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Illinois. Konstantine currently resides with his wife, Andrea, and young daughter, Alexia, in the Chicago area.
Thomas Paschos is the managing partner of Thomas Paschos & Associates, PC, a member of the International Society of Primerus Law Firms, of which Tom is the co-chairman of the Professional Liability Practice Group, and serves on the executive committee of Primerus’ Employment and Labor Group.
Tom is currently the chair for the Legal Claims Committee of the Professional Liability Defense Federation. In 2004 he was voted by his peers as one of Pennsylvania’s Super Lawyers. He is also an ARIAS-US certified arbitrator.
Tom is a graduate of Temple University School of Law, where he received his JD in 1985, and LLM in Trial Advocacy in 1998, and Drexel University, where he received his BS in 1982. He is admitted to practice in the federal and state courts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, as well as the US Supreme Court.
- Demetri Patitsas is the Founder and Managing Director of eXela Ventures, a social enterprise that organizes and leads educational programs and expeditions for social change. Participants including students, young professionals, and educators work alongside of and assist “real people doing real things.”
Prior to founding eXela Ventures, Demetri worked in Athens, Greece for an international shipping start‐up, Atlas Maritime Ltd., and represented the company in London. In 2005, Demetri founded his first company, Absolute Creo Ice Cream Truck Service, that serviced 15 communities throughout Central Pennsylvania. In 2006, Patitsas and his twin brother founded their first nonprofit organization, St. Paul’s Fellowship of Labor, that organizes religious service trips to Orthodox Christian monasteries and convents in six countries throughout the world.
Patitsas has travelled extensively throughout North America, the Middle East, Northern and Western Africa, and in Central, America. He has personally led over 70 expeditions globally for SPFL and Exela Ventures. He has been an instructor, guest lecturer and mentor on subjects related to leadership, social entrepreneurship, and venture startup.
Demetri is a graduate Juniata College. While at Juniata’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, Demetri was recognized as the “Small Business Development Center’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year” for the state of Pennsylvania.