Metropolis of Chicago Forms New Council and Holds First Meeting

H.E. Metropolitan Nathanael Officially Enthroned by H.E. Archbishop Demetrios, Geron of America at The Annunciation Cathedral in Chicago by H.E. Archbishop Demetrios and Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit Bishop Athanasius and Bishop Makarios were present. PHOTOS: © GANP/DIMITRIOS PANAGOS

CHICAGO – The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago today announced the formation of its new Metropolis Council. The Metropolis Council is the advisory and consultative body to the Metropolitan and is concerned with the life and growth of the Metropolis, its ministries, institutions and financial condition.

“In forming the new Metropolis Council, we sought members from across the Metropolis’ Midwest region, not just the Chicago area. It’s important to bring new voices to the table, including people with professional expertise who had not previously been asked to serve the church,” Metropolitan Nathanael said. “Having a council that is diverse in age and gender is also important as it allows us the opportunity to consider a broad range of perspectives as we labor to transform the world through our people’s God-given gifts and talents.”

In his search for new members of the Council, Metropolitan Nathanael sought faithful Orthodox Christians with backgrounds in a number of areas, including: finance, real estate, education, communications, law, security, development and management.

“As we set a course to build upon past achievements and bring about important changes to the Church, it’s important to work with experts who could provide new ideas for consideration,” His Eminence said.

The Metropolis Council met for the first time on Monday evening, May 7. The Metropolis Council approved the issuance of a Request for Proposal for financial auditing services to audit the Metropolis’ finances; reviewed the current financial condition of the Metropolis; and agreed to begin a yearlong Strategic Planning process, among other agenda items. The Metropolis Council also acknowledged the need to convene a Metropolis Clergy-Laity Congress after Pascha, 2019. Metropolitan Nathanael also announced the formation of a Young Professionals Advisory Board, which will work closely with the Metropolis Council to ensure that the emerging leaders of the Metropolis are active participants and stakeholders in the future of the Church.

Members of the Clergy on the Metropolis Council include:
• Fr. Richard Demetrius Andrews of Saint George Greek Orthodox Church, Saint Paul, MN
• Fr. Stephen Bithos of All Saints Greek Orthodox Church, Joliet, IL
• Fr. Nicholas Georgiou of Holy Apostles Greek Orthodox Church, Westchester, IL
• Fr. Nicholas Greanias of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, Kankakee, IL
• Deacon Paraskevas Hamalis of Holy Apostles Greek Orthodox Church, Westchester, IL
• Fr. Chrysanthos Kerkeres of Saint George Greek Orthodox Church, Chicago, IL
• Fr. Ciprian Sas of All Saints Greek Orthodox Church, Peoria, IL
• Deacon Vasilios Smith of Saint George Greek Orthodox Church, Chicago, IL

Members of the Laity on the Council include:
• Nick Boosalis of Saint Mary Greek Orthodox Church, Minneapolis, MN
• Gus Chafoulis of Saints Kosmas and Damianos Greek Orthodox Church, Rochester, MN
• Lori Chiampas of Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, Chicago, IL
• Athan Demakos of Saints Peter and Paul Greek Orthodox Church, Glenview, IL
• George Kafkes of Saint Andrew Greek Orthodox Church, Chicago, IL
• George Korkos, M.D. of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, Milwaukee, WI
• Lou Laros of Three Hierarchs Greek Orthodox Church, Champaign, IL
• Michael Laudizio of Saint Andrew Greek Orthodox Church, Chicago, IL
• Andrew Limoures of Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, Elmhurst, IL
• John Manos of Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, Elmhurst, IL
• John Mercuris of Saint George Greek Orthodox Church, Des Moines, IA
• Kosmas Pablecas of Saint Nectarios Greek Orthodox Church, Palatine, IL
• Rachael Pontikes of Saint George Greek Orthodox Church, Chicago, IL
• Maria Schultz of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, Sioux City, IA
• Chris Varones of Saint Andrew Greek Orthodox Church, Chicago, IL
• Angela Zotos of Saint Andrew Greek Orthodox Church, Chicago, IL

Georgia Loukas Demeros of Thompson Coburn LLP serves as the non-voting legal advisor to the Council. Other non-voting ex officio members include the President of the St. Iakovos Retreat Center, the President of the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society, the Metropolis Director of Ministries and the officers of the Metropolis Young Professionals Advisory Board.

“I am sincerely grateful to everyone who has agreed to give of their time and talents by serving on the Metropolis Council. Together we will assess, plan and implement positive and necessary changes for the good of our people and parishes across the Metropolis of Chicago,” Metropolitan Nathanael said.


  1. 4 females out of 24 members does not make a Metropolis Council diverse. 83% of the board is male making this Metropolis Council anything but diverse.

    1. Agreed. But HEMN actually “doubled” the number that served in the past. We are moving in the right direction.

  2. Lori Chiampas and Rachael Pontikes should not be included. Many reasons for it. You have to investigate certain issues.

  3. With so much at stake, can we forget about PC and focus on abilities?
    Who cares anyway, God bless them and much success towards the healing of that Metropolis

  4. Lori Chiampas and Rachael Pontikes are exemplary Greek Orthodox Christians. Both have post graduate degrees and attend our Parishes. The innuendo here is shameful. Here is an example of one of their professional backgrounds:

    “Rachael is a partner in the Life Sciences Health Industry Group and practices in the Chicago office of Reed Smith. She counsels compounding pharmacies, in both human and animal health, regarding compliance with various applicable state and federal law. She also acts as litigation counsel for compounding pharmacies in disputes with the state boards of pharmacy, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in administrative proceedings and federal courts.
    Rachael is a nationally recognized authority in the FDA’s Drug Quality and Security Act (DQSA) Compounding Quality Act (CQA), and participated in various discussions with the Senate HELP Committee staffers as the law was drafted. She is frequently invited to speak on the DQSA-CQA and its implications for compounding pharmacies, most recently by the Food Drug Law Institute (FDLI) for their enforcement conference and the American Pharmacist Association (APhA) for their annual conference.

    Her deep experience with the laws governing compounding pharmacies stems from her role as trial and appellate counsel for two seminal cases that shaped the legal landscape. Rachael served as trial counsel in Medical Center v. Mukasey through defeat of the motion to dismiss, and trial and appellate counsel in Wedgewood Village Pharmacy v. United States. She also has an active commercial and appellate litigation practice, acting as lead counsel in representing companies in a broad range of business disputes.

    Fluent in Italian and a former resident of Milan, a core focus of Rachael’s commercial practice involves assisting companies in litigating or arbitrating cross-border disputes, both as counsel for international entities doing business in the United States, and also as a liaison for American companies in disputes abroad. She served as lead trial counsel for an Italian vineyard sued for $18 million in Palm Bay Int’l, Inc. v. Marchesi DiBarolo S.p.A. After a month long federal jury trial, she obtained a defense verdict of $500,000 and successfully defended this win in the Second Circuit.

    Rachael also maintains an active civil action and pro bono practice, focusing on assisting clients affected by sexual exploitation and domestic violence.

    In each of these contexts, Rachael approaches client problem solving creatively, from crafting beneficial settlements to creating novel legal theories on matters of first impression. She distills complex legal theories to an essence that anyone can understand. Rachael passionately advocates her clients’ positions in a manner tailored to her audience, whether it be regulators, trial or appellate judges, or juries.”

  5. I can’t tell all of you how disappointing it is to read these comments. The tone reeks of disgruntled former members of the support group, or “Prom Committee” that lead the Metropolis of Chicago. The same people that have hurt this Metropolis are now continuing in the sane vane. Here is what else I can add to the resume of Rachael Pontikes:
    She graduated from Wesleyan University, 1996, B.A., Philosophy and Italian Studies, with honors, Phi Beta Kappa. Then she attended the University of Chicago Law School, 2001, J.D.
    She has received the following awards:
    • Illinois Super Lawyer, 2014, 2015, 2016
    • Illinois Rising Star, 2012, 2013
    • One of “40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch” in 2013
    • Illinois Leading Lawyer, 2013

    She has the following Court Admissions:

    • State Supreme Court – Illinois
    • U.S. District Court – Northern District of Illinois
    • U.S. District Court – Northern District of Florida
    • U.S. Court of Appeals – Second Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals – Third Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals – Seventh Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals – Eleventh Circuit
    • Trial Bar of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

    Lori Chiampas’ credentials are equally impressive.

    Then you have the misrepresentation of the numbers in these posted comments. According to the Uniform Parish Regulations 8 of the 24 positions go to Clergy. Here as we all know, these are all males. But the person who posted hid this to slant their argument. So, here we have 16 positions left to be filled. Of those 25% went to women. Of the non-Clergy members of the Executive Committee, of which there are 6 positions, 3 are women. So 50% of the New Metropolis Council of Chicago Executive Committee are women.
    God help us!

  6. I personally know Mrs. Chiampas and she will be an outstanding member of the Metropolis Council. More than qualified on any level. Mr Basil 312; shame on you for insinuating that disgruntled former members are behind the previous horrible comment by Kelly Bozna. The previous council members served the Metroplis faithfully for years and sacrificed their time and talent for the benefit of the Metropolis. It is her quote and your accusations that has divided this community. God help us indeed. Best of luck to the new council. Have Christ in your hearts and you most assuredly will guide the Metroplis to success.

    1. Arthur B, we agree that Mrs. Chiampas will be an excellent member of the Metropolis Council of Chicago. As to your comment “Mr Basil 312; shame on you for insinuating that disgruntled former members are behind the previous horrible comment by Kelly Bozna.” It is noted, acknowledged but not accepted. Because we don’t know who Kelly Bozna is, I don’t know who you are, and you and others don’t know me. It could very well be a disgruntled former member of the Council. It could also be just a misinformed or even malicious member of our Laity.

      As for you serving as the “apologist” of the former members of the Metropolis Council of Chicago, please think about it more carefully. Anyone who advocates that there was any value from the sacrifice of time and talent is merely peddling the type of propaganda that help create the mess that we all acknowledge is a Metropolis in decline. I strongly suggest that you listen to Rev. Dr. Frank Marangos formerly the Director of Communications for the Archdiocese. Here is a link to a lecture you can watch and listen to:

      We are losing adherents at an alarming rate. These people who “served the Metropolis faithfully for years and sacrificed their time and talent for the benefit of the Metropolis.” Where were they when Metropolitan Iakovos wrote a letter attempting to exculpate convicted Felon Rev. James Dokos? Where were they when Fr. Angelo Artemas, the only one in that mess with “clean hands” was punished for telling the truth and protecting the Church? I could go on with 50 more examples but hopefully you and others get the point. NOT ONE OF THESE PEOPLE RESIGNED, PROTESTED, OBJECTED PUBLICALLY OR DID ANYTHING TO BRING A MORAL STANDARD TO THEIR POSITION. Personally and outside the Church environment, these may be good people but where were they, what were they doing while the Metropolis of Chicago was failing? Listen to Rev. Dr. Marangos at about the 15 through 20 minute mark of his lecture. I know that the Metropolis of Chicago lost 38% of their stewards during a five year period. In your mind don’t they bear any responsibility?

  7. There is one thing that makes me rather hopeful, I do not see any names of the previous administration, either clergy or laity. Under Iakovos and Demetrios, they all failed us miserably!

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