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General News

50 Wealthiest Greeks in America (50-41): An Annual TNH Edition of Our Community’s Top Achievers

The story of Greek Americans in the United States is a tale of perseverance, hard work, and an unrelenting drive for success. From humble beginnings as immigrants, Greek Americans have risen to become some of the wealthiest and most influential people in the country, leaving an indelible mark on American culture, business, and politics. Just two years on from the 200th anniversary of Greek independence, it is fitting to recognize the many contributions of Greek Americans to their adopted homeland.

For the first Greek immigrants who arrived in the United States in the late 1800s and early 1900s, life was anything but easy. They faced prejudice, discrimination, and even violence as they tried to carve out a new life for themselves in a new land. Despite these challenges, they worked hard, saved their money, and built successful businesses and communities.

Greek Americans have played a key role in shaping the United States, from fighting in World War II to serving as lawmakers and public officials. They have excelled in a wide range of fields, from entertainment to finance to technology, and have made their mark on the world in countless ways. Many Greek Americans have used their success to give back to their communities, donating time and money to charitable causes and organizations.

As we honor the achievements of Greek Americans, it is worth noting that they have faced their share of challenges in recent years. The economic crisis in Greece has hit many Greek Americans hard, and the pandemic has further exacerbated their struggles. Nevertheless, Greek Americans remain resilient, and their contributions to American society continue to be felt.

In this special insert of The National Herald, we profile the 50 wealthiest Greeks in America, highlighting their stories, successes, and philanthropic efforts. These individuals represent the best of the Greek American community, and their achievements serve as a testament to the strength and perseverance of Greek Americans. We hope their stories inspire and motivate readers to pursue their own dreams and make a positive impact in their communities.

From shipping magnates to media moguls to tech entrepreneurs, the Greek Americans on this list have achieved remarkable success in their respective fields. Their contributions to American society are vast and varied, from creating jobs and driving economic growth to supporting charitable causes and promoting cultural exchange. We hope readers find their stories both informative and inspiring, and that they serve as a reminder of the countless contributions of Greeks to the United States of America.

By Eraklis A. Diamataris

The National Herald will publish 10 names from the list every day for the next five days. We are incredibly proud of each of the individuals’ achievements and look to them as mentors and aspirational role models in our Community.

50. JAMES T. DEMETRIADES

$71 MILLION (NetworthLeaks)
ENTREPRENEUR
Loyola Marymount University

James T. Demetriades

James (Jim) T. Demetriades is a lifelong inventor, entrepreneur and investor. At a lecture he took part in at Loyola Marymount, he discussed his early fascination with computers at age 9. He also discussed how his father, a Caltech education rocket scientist who fled Greece during World War II, would often drop him off at the Caltech computer lab for hours at a time. Of the experience, Demetriades said that it shaped him for his lifelong love for technology and science.

At the age of 26 and with only $5,000, he founded SeeBeyond which grew to 1,600 employees with offices in 35 countries and a client list that included GM, Porsche, BMW, Pepsi, NY Columbia Presbyterian, JP Morgan Chase, Unilever, Air Liquide, the British NHS, Aetna, the Cleveland Clinic, and about 10,000 others.

Mr. Demetriades took SeeBeyond—which became the world’s largest organically grown integration software company and whose products were ranked #1 globally by the Gartner Group—public in 2000 and in 2005 successfully sold it to Sun Microsystems, a subsidiary of Oracle, in an all-cash $386 million deal. Mr. Demetriades went on to found and continues to manage Kairos Ventures, his own venture capital investment company, Multiversal, a real estate development and management company, and created Inspero.net, his own unique children’s internet education media company.

Kairos is currently invested in more than 50 portfolio companies that are producing groundbreaking technologies with the potential to disrupt the industries in which they operate. Jim’s fervent belief is that the discoveries Kairos is bringing to life will not only improve lives, but also, ultimately, help restore a sense of hope.

Mr. Demetriades also serves on the boards of numerous technology companies in a variety of industries including Transient Plasma Systems Inc., Davis Petroleum Inc. and the Jane Goodall Legacy Foundation. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics, with a second major in Computer Science, and minors in Marketing and Mathematics, all from Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles.

 

48. ANGELO SOTIRA

California
$75 MILLION (Celebrity Net Worth)
ENTREPRENEUR

Angelo Sotira – Deviant Art Logo

Angelo Sotira, born in Greece in 1981, is an entrepreneur who co-founded the online community DeviantArt when he was just 19-years-old. But even before that, Sotira was setting up other companies as well – most notably, Dimension Music (a music record sharing site).

DeviantArt was created to entertain, inspire, and empower the artist and art lover in all of us. Founded in August 2000 (and now a subsidiary of Wix), DeviantArt is home to over 65 million registered members worldwide (2021) and features an extensive platform used to exhibit, promote, and discover works and other members within a peer community. As the largest aggregator of creative talent on the Internet, fueled by tens of thousands of daily submissions and reaching over 100 million monthly unique visitors, DeviantArt is one of the world’s largest websites enabling participation in the arts at a scale never imagined in the traditional art world. It provides artists with access to millions of art lovers worldwide and the opportunity to grow their fan base, engage their community and monetize their work, all from one platform. In 2021, Deviant launched a subscription service for artists to offer custom content to their fans, empowering them to monetize their art directly from the platform. The addition of this service joined the company’s online art protection service and offers with Wix and BitPay to further DeviantArt’s vision to provide a place for artists, creators and designers of all types to create, manage and showcase their work. The subscription service enables artists (photographers, digital artists, storytellers, etc.) to offer their fans exclusive content, allowing them to earn a monthly income and grow their audience directly from the platform.

DeviantArt was sold to an Israeli web developer Wix for $36 million in 2017 – but Sotira has remained CEO.

 

48. TINA FEY

New York
$75 MILLION (Celebrity Net Worth)
ENTERTAINMENT
University of Virginia (Drama); Married, 2 children

Tina Fey

Elizabeth Stamatina Fey, known as Tina Fey, has maintained both her net worth and industry influence since last year, thanks to her continued creation and starring in critically acclaimed content that has captured the hearts of audiences. Despite her father not being Greek, her mother, Zenobia (née Xenakis), made sure to speak Greek at home and take Fey and her siblings to church every Sunday. Fey, a native of the predominantly Greek suburb of Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, knew from a young age that comedy was her calling. Over twenty years ago, she joined the cast of Saturday Night Live, where she became the first female head writer and hosted the popular Weekend Update mock news segment. Throughout her career, Fey often referenced her Greek heritage in her work, once humorously commenting on the retirement age in Greece: “What did you say? Retire at 54? Really? Αλήθεια? Greek people in America work the register at the diner until they die…”

Tina Fey is a celebrated actor, writer, and producer who has earned numerous accolades throughout her career. She boasts nine Emmy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, five Screen Actors Guild Awards, three Producers Guild Awards, and seven Writers Guild of America Awards. Fey made history in 2010 when she became the youngest recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. She is best known for her work on the critically acclaimed sitcom 30 Rock, which received a staggering 112 Emmy nominations. Fey also co-created the popular Netflix series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and, more recently, the NBC sitcom Mr. Mayor. In recognition of her significant contributions to the entertainment industry, Fey was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2011. The Guardian newspaper in the United Kingdom has proclaimed her the best comedian of the 21st century.

Tina Fey has had an extensive career as an actress, including numerous feature film appearances as both an on-screen actress and voice actress. Some of her notable film credits include Martin & Orloff (2002), Mean Girls (2004), Baby Mama (2008), The Invention of Lying (2009), Megamind (2010), Date Night (2010), Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (2016), Wine Country (2019), Soul (2020), and most recently, her voiceover work in the movie Free Guy. Additionally, she made an appearance on Peacock’s Only Murders in the Building.

Fey is also an accomplished author, with her 2011 memoir Bossypants topping The New York Times Best Seller list for five weeks and earning her a Grammy Award nomination. She created the musical adaptation of her film Mean Girls, which premiered on Broadway in 2018 and earned her a Tony Award nomination. Fey also served as an executive producer for Girls5Eva, a comedy series about a one-hit-wonder girl group from the ’90s who reunite to give their pop star dreams one more chance. This show was one of the first original series for NBCU’s streaming platform, Peacock.

Tina Fey is a passionate advocate for various causes, including fundraising and benefit events for Autism Speaks and Mercy Corps, a global relief and development organization that aims to end world hunger. She is also a vocal proponent of gender equality, expressing her views on the subject in a 2016 interview with Town & Country magazine. Fey lamented the fact that, despite the progress made in the field of comedy, women still face significant obstacles and are often paid less than their male counterparts.

Fey is well-known for her comedic collaborations with fellow comedian Amy Poehler. The two co-hosted the 2021 Golden Globe Awards remotely from opposite coasts. In 2022, Fey and Poehler embarked on a comedy tour called “The Restless Leg Tour” which they are still on today.

In 1994, Fey began a romantic relationship with Jeff Richmond, a pianist who later became a composer on 30 Rock. The couple married in a Greek Orthodox ceremony on June 3, 2001, and they have two daughters, Alice, born in September 2005, and Penelope Athena, born in August 2011.

 

47. JASON CALACANIS

$93 MILLION (TNHE)
INTERNET ENTREPRENEURSHIP, INVESTMENTS
Fordham University (Psychology); Married, 3 children

Jason Calacanis – This Week in Startups Logo

Jason Calacanis, born in Brooklyn, NY to parents of Greek and Irish origin, is a digital entrepreneur, angel investor and writer. His name, which roughly translates “to have done well” or “good for you”, is a type of foreshadowing for what was to come in his life (according to the podcast, The Tim Ferriss Show, the Ks were switched to Cs when his grandfather went through Ellis Island). On that same podcast, Calacanis said he grew up working at his father’s bar in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn and attributes that experience to being really good at dealing with people from an early age.

Calacanis worked two jobs to pay for college: fixing laser printers and building computer networks with cables. He decided on a psychology major, but he saw his future in the future of tech, initially covering the internet industry as a reporter in the 1990s, before becoming one of that industry’s prominent figures. His journalistic vehicle was the Silicon Alley Reporter, a 16-page photocopied newsletter which blew up into a fully-fledged, 300-page magazine. In 2003, along with Brian Alvey, and with an angel investment by Mark Cuban, Calacanis co-founded Weblogs, Inc., a blog network featuring entries of a variety of different interests -primarily tech news, but also video game, automobile and cultural features- which he sold to AOL for over $25 million, only 18 months later.

Since then, Calacanis took on for others the role that Cuban played for him, amassing most of his fortune by his activity as an angel investor. Most notably, he was one of the first investors in tech behemoth Uber that was recently valued at more than $65 billion. He has reportedly invested in over 300 startups and has invested $15 million a year in 30 promising startups through the LAUNCH Fund and his Angel-List Syndicate, which has invested, among others, in Thumbtack, Trello, Robinhood, and Calm, the award-winning meditation app valued at $2 billion. More recently, Calacanis raised millions of dollars for Elon Musk’s Twitter deal (the minimum investment required to participate was $250K). He has been said to be a longtime friend and fan of the Tesla CEO (according to Vox, Calacanis was reportedly the first owner of Tesla’s Model S car) and even joined him in New York in 2021 when he was a guest host on Saturday Night Live. In October of 2022, The Washington Post revealed that Calacanis appeared in the Twitter company directory with the title: staff software engineer.

Calacanis has been the host of popular podcasts This Week in Startups, the largest talk show about technology and startups in the world, and All In, which covers all things economic, tech, political, social and poker related and has become a top 30 podcast in the world. In 2017, he also authored a book titled “Angel: How to Invest in Technology Startups—Timeless Advice from an Angel Investor Who Turned $100,000 into $100,000,000” on angel investing published by HarperCollins.

 

45. JOHN VARVATOS

New York
$100 MILLION (Celebrity Net Worth)
FASHION
Eastern Michigan University & University of Michigan (Pre-Med & Education); Married, 3 children

John Varvatos

John Varvatos, born in Detroit in 1954 to Greek parents from Kefalonia, spoke about his Greek roots in an interview with Untouchable Blog. When asked whether his collections reflect his Greek heritage, he responded that while he is unsure if they do, his passion and humility definitely do. He grew up in a humble 100% Greek family of seven, with a father who worked as an accountant, in a small house with only one bathroom, where family and heritage were essential. He now honors the heritage of his brand and the menswear industry with great respect.

John Varvatos began his career in the design industry at the age of 17, working for Polo Ralph Lauren. In 1990, he made the transition to Calvin Klein (CK) where he served as the head of menswear design. It was during his tenure at CK that Varvatos revolutionized the apparel industry by introducing “boxer briefs,” a hybrid of boxers and briefs for men’s underwear. This groundbreaking invention quickly rose to fame, and the ads featuring Mark Wahlberg made boxer briefs one of the greatest apparel revolutions of the 20th century. “We just cut off a pair of long johns and thought, this could be cool,” said Varvatos about his innovation. His success at CK propelled him to the top of the design industry. In 1995, Varvatos returned to Polo Ralph Lauren and took charge of menswear design for all Polo Ralph Lauren brands. During his tenure, he created the Polo Jeans Company.

In 1999, John Varvatos launched his own eponymous company, after his second stint with Ralph Lauren. He debuted his first clothing line in 2000 and soon opened a boutique in New York City’s SoHo district. Since then, the brand has expanded to include a variety of accessories such as belts, handbags, footwear, eyewear, and fragrances, and is available both at retail stores and his own stores. A few years later, Varvatos signed a new contract with Converse, the athletic footwear manufacturer, to design a line of clothing under the Chuck Taylor label. Prior to this, he had already been designing his own versions of classic shoes for Converse.

In 2012, Varvatos joined the cast of NBC’s Fashion Star and the following year, he was honored with a limited edition Chrysler 300 bearing his name. In 2014, he collaborated with a music label to launch John Varvatos Records, signing the Zac Brown Band as his first act. Varvatos was named GQ’s Designer of the Year in 2007 and he attributes his interest in fashion to his love for rock and roll. He would observe the fashion choices of various musicians, such as Alice Cooper and Green Day. Music has also inspired his philanthropic pursuits, particularly Ringo Starr’s advocacy for “inner peace and global peace,” both causes that are significant to him. In March of 2023, Varvatos combined his love of music and philanthropy when he served as one of the three executive producers for the seventh annual LOVE ROCKS NYC benefit concert. The concert aimed to raise awareness and funds for the organization God’s Love We Deliver.

In March of 2019, John Varvatos partnered with HBO to launch a Game of Thrones upscale merchandise clothing line, marking his first collaboration with a television series. The collection featured 11 menswear pieces, including a hand-dyed leather jacket, cross-over Henley shirts, pants, a textured messenger bag, and graphic prints on spray-dyed t-shirts that showcase emblems such as the “iron-throne” motif. Later in September of the same year, Varvatos selected Badflower to be the cover artists for the fall/winter 2019 John Varvatos Star USA campaign. During that same month, Varvatos and singer Nick Jonas announced that they would be entering the celebrity tequila market with their brand called Villa One, created by the Stoli Group.

John Varvatos experienced a setback in 2020 when his namesake company filed for bankruptcy and was subsequently sold to Lion Capital. However, he bounced back in 2021 with his latest venture gaining momentum. His new brand, OTD (On This Day), was launched in SoHo and has since expanded with a flagship store on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles in 2022. Varvatos has plans for three more stores in the U.S. and a UK store in 2023. In addition to his success with OTD, Varvatos recently shared the items he “can’t live” without in an interview with The New Yorker magazine. These include the Philips Norelco Multigroom Trimmer, New Balance sneakers, JBL Flip 5 Portable Bluetooth Speaker, VPI Classic Signature Turntable, Hobby Mirage Passport Kayak, Trader Joe’s Salt and Pepper Pistachios, Elevated Craft Hybrid Cocktail Shaker, Barmalade Mango Habanero Cocktail Mixer, and Villa One Reposado Tequila, which he co-owns.

 

45. ARIANNA HUFFINGTON

New York
$100M (CELEBRITY NET WORTH)
MEDIA
University of Cambridge (Economics); 2 children

Arianna Huffington

Ariadne Anna Stassinopoulos, a/k/a Arianna Huffington, gained widespread recognition due to her eponymous news website. She has since established herself as a modern-day Renaissance woman, earning comparisons to “the most upwardly mobile Greek since Icarus.”

In 2016, she founded Thrive Global, a company dedicated to behavior change. Currently, Thrive Global is focused on addressing the burnout crisis affecting the workforce in the wake of the pandemic. Huffington also serves on the boards of several companies, including Uber, Onex, Gloat, and others.

Huffington was born in Athens, Greece in 1950 to Elli and Konstantinos. Her father, a newspaperman, was imprisoned in a concentration camp during World War II for publishing an underground newspaper during the German occupation of Greece. After the war, he was treated at a sanatorium where he met Arianna’s mother, who was also recovering from an illness. Arianna and her sister, Agapi, were raised by their mother in a one-bedroom apartment. According to a 2010 interview published on the website Inc., Huffington attributed her ability to connect with people to her mother, saying, “She was capable of having an impersonal relationship with anybody. The delivery man would arrive at the house, and she’d say, ‘Sit down; have something to eat.’ As a result, I find it very easy to connect with people. And that’s part of the Huffington Post. I’m bringing in voices – some well-known, some not – and providing a platform.”

Stassinopoulos left Greece for Great Britain during her teenage years and pursued her education at the University of Cambridge before relocating to the United States in 1980. In 1981, she published a highly-regarded biography of opera legend Maria Callas entitled “Maria Callas: The Woman Behind the Legend.” Huffington later married Michael Huffington, who held a position in the U.S. Department of Defense, in 1986 and the couple had two children before ultimately divorcing in 1997. Despite the split, Arianna retained her husband’s last name.

Arianna launched The Huffington Post in 2005, where she served as co-founder and editor-in-chief. The online site gained tremendous success, leading to AOL’s acquisition of The Huffington Post Media Group for $315 million in March 2011 (now owned by BuzzFeed). In 2016, Huffington announced her departure from the company to focus on her new venture, Thrive Global, which promotes health and wellness. She is a prolific author with 15 books to her name, including Thrive where she passionately argues for the need to redefine success in today’s world, drawing from her own experience of collapsing from exhaustion and lack of sleep as president and editor of the Huffington Post Media Group. Additionally, Huffington has ventured into the film industry, executive producing Valley of the Boom, a 2019 docuseries about the 1990s tech boom.

Huffington has garnered numerous accolades throughout her career. She has been named to Forbes’ Most Powerful Women list and the Most Influential Women in Media list. Time Magazine recognized her as one of the world’s 100 most influential people, and she also made The Guardian’s Top 100 in Media list. Last year, she was even portrayed by Uma Thurman in Showtime’s TV series Super Pumped who, as per Entertainment Tonight, worked extensively with a renowned dialect coach to recreate Arianna’s Greek accent.

Arianna has been known to live by the mantra: “Fearlessness is not the absence of fear. It’s the mastery of fear. It’s about getting up one more time than we fall down.”

 

44. GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO

Wisconsin
$110 MILLION (Celebrity Net Worth)
PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE
2 Children

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis Sina Ugo Antetokounmpo stands out among the successful individuals on our list not just because of his estimated net worth of $110 million, but also because of his significant impact on the NBA and his inspiring journey to success. Despite being just over 28 years old, Giannis has already cemented his place as a household name in the United States and around the world. He achieved a major milestone in his career by winning the 2021 NBA championship with the Milwaukee Bucks. Additionally, Giannis and his partner Mariah Riddlesprigger, a volleyball player, expanded their family in 2021 with the birth of their son, Maverick Shai, who joined their first son, Liam Charles, born in 2020 and recently celebrated his third birthday. While Giannis’ net worth may not be the highest on our list, his accomplishments and impact in the NBA and beyond make him one of the most important shining examples of success.

Giannis is an NBA superstar who has been named Most Valuable Player twice and was also named the 2021 NBA All-Star Game MVP. Born in Athens, Greece, to Nigerian immigrants from Lagos, he and his three of his four brothers were born in Greece, but were not automatically granted full Greek citizenship due to the jus sanguinis provision of Greek nationality law. As a result, Antetokounmpo was stateless for the first 18 years of his life and lacked official documents from either Nigeria or Greece. In 2013, he was granted Greek citizenship, and his family Hellenized their surname from Adetokunbo to Antetokounmpo to comply with Greek spelling rules. Giannis grew up in the Sepolia neighborhood of Athens, and he and his brothers sold items on the street to help their parents make ends meet in the face of harsh working conditions for immigrants in Greece.

Giannis Antetokounmpo’s basketball career started in 2007 when he first discovered the sport. Three years later, he was already playing on the youth team of local club Filathlitikos. In 2011, he earned a spot on the senior squad of Filathlitikos, which competed in the Greek Basket League’s Third Division before being promoted to the Greek A2 League’s Second Division for the 2012-2013 season.

Antetokounmpo made himself available for the 2013 NBA draft, where he was chosen in the first round as the 15th overall pick by the Milwaukee Bucks. He was named to the NBA All-Rookie second team at the end of his first season in the league.

After a remarkable rookie season, Giannis was selected to the NBA All-Rookie second team. As he continued to impress the basketball world, Antetokounmpo signed a four-year $100 million contract extension with the Milwaukee Bucks on September 19, 2016, a testament to his growing superstar status and the Bucks’ confidence in his ability to improve further.

Over the course of his eight seasons in the NBA, he has been selected to the NBA All-Star team seven times, serving as an All-Star Captain twice, and won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award in 2020. Just before the end of 2020, he signed another massive five-year extension with the Bucks worth $228 million.

Giannis is not just a basketball player, but also a successful businessman with a range of financial ventures. In the past year alone, he has become a minority owner of MLS’ Nashville SC, created the Calamos Antetokounmpo Sustainable Equity Funds in collaboration with John Koudounis and Calamos Investments, invested in Israeli health startup Antidote Health, made his acting debut in partnership with WhatsApp to promote their Naija Odyssey documentary, and became a minority owner of the Milwaukee Brewers in 2021.

Despite his numerous commitments, Giannis still finds time to give back to his community. He is an active member of the philanthropic community in the Milwaukee metro area, and remains closely connected to his Greek heritage. Giannis supports Greek tourism, Aegean Airlines, recycling initiatives, and more recently, pandemic safety efforts in Greece. Giannis is actively involved in promoting basketball for youth in his hometown of Sepolia in Athens, Greece. He organizes basketball tournaments and contributes to the creation and renovation of basketball courts in the area. Additionally, Giannis’ family has established the Charles Antetokounmpo Family Foundation in honor of his late father, which is dedicated to supporting various charitable causes. Three of Giannis’ brothers are also professional basketball players: Thanasis plays alongside Giannis for the Milwaukee Bucks, Kostas plays for Turkey’s Fenerbahçe, and Alexandros plays for the Wisconsin Herd.

 

43. HOWARD LORBER

$124 MILLION (WallMine)
REAL ESTATE, INVESTMENTS, FOOD
Long Island University (Taxation); Married, 2 children

Howard Lorber

The chairman of real estate powerhouse Douglas Elliman, Howard Lorber’s Greek roots go back to the impressive, resilient Jewish community of Thessaloniki. Appointed in 2017 to serve as Chairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum by President Trump, to whose 2016 campaign he was a senior economic adviser, Lorber talked to Leaders Magazine and discussed his family history: “My grandmother and grandfather were Greek Jews born in Thessaloniki. Greece had 100,000 Jews and 50,000 of them lived in this area of Greece. Ninety-five thousand of those 100,000 Jews were killed. In Thessaloniki, 48,000 of the 50,000 were taken to Auschwitz and murdered. Luckily, my grandparents were able to come to the United States years before World War II. I remember my grandmother telling me that my grandfather died so young because he had lost his will to live as a result of every single relative and every person he knew having been murdered. When I looked at getting involved in the museum, those whom I’d spoken to who had been involved in the past all described the experience as life-changing. I then accepted the opportunity to become the Chairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.”

In addition to Douglas Elliman, one of the nation’s oldest and largest real estate brokerage firms with over 7,000 affiliated real estate agents and approximately $27 billion in annual sales volume, Lorber is also the President and CEO of Vector Group Ltd. and its wholly owned subsidiary, New Valley, LLC. He also serves as the Executive Chairman of Nathan’s Famous, Inc., which is headquartered in Jericho, NY. SEC filings (2021) revealed a gross transaction value of $51 billion for 2021, nearly doubling its 2019 and 2020 performance.

Lorber was honored with the Metropolitan Chrysostomos Award by the ‘Oxi’ Day Foundation, which highlights the courage of the Greeks during the Holocaust. He also serves on the board of the 92nd Street Y, on the board of the Garden of Dreams Foundation, as Chairman of Southampton Hospital Foundation, and as Co-Chairman of the Silver Shield Foundation—a non-profit organization that provides financial assistance towards the educational costs of children of police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty.

In addition to his BA and MSc from Long Island University, Lorber also received an honorary doctorate from the school where he serves as a trustee.

 

 

42. ELENA FORD

Michigan
$125 MILLION (Celebrity Net Worth)
AUTOMOTIVES
New York University

Elena Ford

Elena Ford is chief customer experience officer of Ford Blue, and the first female Ford family member to hold an executive position in the company. She is the daughter of Charlotte Ford and Stavros Niarchos, the great-great-granddaughter of Henry Ford and the granddaughter of Henry Ford II (the longtime Ford Motor Company president). She was born in New York in 1966, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in business from New York University.

Prior to her position at Ford Blue, Elena was chief customer experience officer of Ford Motor Company, responsible for leading the organization that’s creating a world-class customer experience throughout the entire ownership cycle.

She has also been responsible for integrating the work of Ford Customer Service Division, the Quality organization, Sales and Marketing and the global dealer network to more tightly connect the interactions between Ford and its customers worldwide.

“We know that an exceptional experience is what today’s customers want and expect and we are focused on understanding those expectations so deeply and so continuously that our customers feel that we care at each and every touch point, regardless of where they meet us,” she says.

Since joining the company in 1995, Ms. Ford served in a number of marketing, brand strategy and business management roles. Among her notable achievements is the development and launch of Ford’s global brand promise: Go Further. She also spearheaded the global rollout of Ford Signature dealership design and has strengthened the company’s dealer relationships in every region it operates, including North America, South and Central America, Asia Pacific and Europe, through initiatives like establishing the Dealer Advisory Group which she continues to lead.

Ms. Ford has led in other roles, including, vice president, Customer Experience and Global Dealer from March 2013 – October 2018. In that role, she was responsible for developing global standards and sharing best practices for planning, training, vehicle delivery and customer interaction with dealers and within the company. She also led the development and launch of the company’s innovative FordPass and The Lincoln Way apps.

Prior to that, Ms. Ford was director, Global Marketing, Sales and Service from February 2009 through February 2013, responsible for implementing the company’s One Ford marketing vision globally. She was appointed executive vice president, Global Brand and Marketing, Ford Credit in August 2007, leading marketing, product management and sales support activities for Ford’s financial services arm around the world.

For Ford Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, she champions activities to increase literacy skills among young people from low-income families, including a collaboration with the

nonprofit First Book which aims to increase access to new books and encourage STEAM education for children.

Ms. Ford currently serves on the boards of FordDirect, Percepta, Southampton Hospital Association, the Forman School and Fair Lane: the Home of Clara and Henry Ford. She was twice named among the leading women in the auto industry by Automotive News, is active with the Henry Ford Hospital and is involved in a number of community and business organizations, including United Way and International Women’s Forum, Michigan.

 

41. GEORGE SCANGOS

$136 MILLION (TNHE)
BIOTECHNOLOGY
Cornell University (BA Biology); University of Massachusetts (Microbiology PhD); Married

George Scangos

George Scangos, a third generation Greek American, is back on our list this year after a brief hiatus. He is a 40-year veteran biotech executive who has run multiple publicly traded companies and helped build two from their earliest days. Originally from Lynn, MA Scangos didn’t learn English until he was in kindergarten, spent summers at the beach and didn’t like science until he fell in love with biology at Cornell.

Currently, Scangos serves as the leader (president, CEO and member of the board) of infectious disease drugmaker Vir Biotechnology and is one of the industry’s more high-profile chief executives. Scangos has led Vir since its launch in 2017 and oversaw its transition from startup to a developer of multiple marketed medicines. However, at 74, he has decided to step down from his post on April 3 and retire (but will continue in an advisory role through June 2 and hold a position on Vir’s board afterwards).

Under Dr. Scangos’ leadership, and in less than six years, the Company has delivered life-saving therapies for Ebola and COVID-19 to millions of patients around the world, built a robust pipeline that currently spans five therapeutic areas and established a strong balance sheet with approximately $2.7 billion in cash and cash equivalents. In 2022, Vir was named the fastest growing company on the 2022 Deloitte Technology Fast 500.

Prior to joining Vir, Dr. Scangos served as CEO and as a member of the Board of Biogen Inc. for six years. During his tenure, Biogen restructured, reshaped its management team, moved its headquarters and amassed a portfolio of risky brain drugs headed by the Alzheimer’s medicine now known as Aduhelm. Previously, he was President and CEO of Exelixis for 14 years. From September 1993 to October 1996, Scangos served as President of Bayer Biotechnology, where he was responsible for research and development, business development, process development, manufacturing, engineering and quality assurance of Bayer’s biological products. Before joining Bayer in 1987, Dr. Scangos was a Professor of Biology at Johns Hopkins University.

In recognition of his industry leadership, Dr. Scangos was among the top 10 CEOs to be named a “Businessperson of the Year” by Fortune (2014 and 2015). He was also named one of “The Best Performing CEOs in the World” by Harvard Business Review for three straight years (2014, 2015 and 2016) and “The Most Admired CEO” by the San Francisco Business Times (2021).

Dr. Scangos served as Chair of PhRMA in 2016, and as the Chair of the California Healthcare Institute in 2010. He received the Pantheon Life Sciences Leadership Award in 2018 and was named lead of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization’s response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) in 2020. Today, he serves on the Board of Overseers of the University of California, San Francisco and the Board of Trustees of Life Science Cares. He is also professor emeritus of biology at Johns Hopkins University.

“Having the opportunity to bring life-saving medications to patients around the world has been the greatest privilege of my career,” said Dr. Scangos. “I am extremely proud of our employees’ unwavering commitment to the patients we serve and all that we have accomplished as a result. I feel confident that now is the right time for me to retire…”

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