CHICAGO – It’s official. Bank of New York Mellon Wealth Management Senior Director Alexi Giannoulias has wed. Sorry ladies, but the 37 year-old former State Treasurer has taken the elegant 27 year-old Italian-American Josephine “Jo” Terlato as his bride.
The couple, which had been dating for well over a year, tied the knot in the Windy City over Valentine’s Day Weekend, on February 15th. A snow-covered day welcomed the newlyweds, who married at the beautifully- decorated St. Andrews Greek Orthodox Church on Chicago’s North Side. About 300 guests attended the ceremony.
Daughter of Bill Terlato, President and CEO of Terlato Wine Group, the bride wore a beautiful fitted shiny silk dress covered by a long embroidered tulle veil. Three groomsmen and three bridesmaids wearing serious long dark grey dresses honored the couple, while Giannoulias’ two brothers, Demetri and George, served as best men.
Fr. John Kalomas, who performed the sacrament, entertained guests with his usual stories and jokes, and after the ceremony the celebration quickly moved to the dazzling Ritz Carlton Ball Room.
A plush and exquisite setup uniquely greeted guests while a large stage of about a dozen musicians played live music, as the guests enjoyed a spectacular array of food and dessert. It comes as no surprise that a varied selection of wines including champagne, garnished the tables, as the Terlatos have a long business history in spirits distribution.
The father of the bride, best men, and brother of the bride gave several speeches bearing wishes to the newlyweds. Giannoulias then spoke about his relationship with Josephine, also referred to as “Jo-Jo,” and paid tribute to his late father, who had suddenly passed away the summer before his victory as Illinois State Treasurer in 2006.
Esteemed guests for the night included Governor Patrick Quinn, former U.S. Ambassador to Hungary Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis, Illinois State Comptroller and former Illinois State Treasurer Judy Barr Topinka, the Honorable Judges Anna Demacopoulos and Peggy Chiampas, and Chris Tomaras of the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation.
“This was the most beautiful, most graceful, most entertaining, and most expensive wedding I have ever attended,” said Tomaras, who estimated the celebration’s cost at roughly a quarter million dollars. “It was all done for the most worthy, the most gracious, and the most lovable couple that I have come across in recent years, and I am very happy to know them. This was indeed ‘the wedding of the year,’” he added.
The couple had registered at Bloomingdale’s and requested that in lieu of wedding gifts, donations be made to two non-Greek charities: One Million Degrees, a community college student mentoring organization, and Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center, a support agency for abused and neglected children.
A Chicago native and Democratic candidate, Giannoulias in 2006 became Illinois’ youngest treasurer at age 30. He later lost the race for Barack Obama’s vacated senate seat in 2010, by less than two percentage points to Republican Mark Kirk.
Giannoulias graduated with a degree in economics from Boston University, and pursued a one-year stint as a basketball player for the Greek team Panionios B.C. in 1998. He later returned to the States to study law at Tulane University Law School. After graduation, Giannoulias joined his family-run business Broadway Bank until it closed in 2010, as did a string of other Chicago banks burdened with bad loans.
After losing the Senate race to Kirk, Giannoulias taught a political science course at Northwestern University. He currently serves as Senior Director of BNY Mellon Wealth Management and as Chairman of the Board at the Illinois Community College System.
Terlato since July serves as the Illinois region premier division sales manager at Terlato Wine Group, part of her family’s four-generation wine and spirits company, Lake Bluff, IL-based Terlato Wines International. A wine importer that markets more than 10 percent of wines over $14 sold in the United States, Terlato Wines International accounts for 41 percent of all advertising dollars spent among luxury wine brands, according to the company’s website.
Terlato taught fourth grade at Gary Lighthouse Charter School in Gary, IN as part of the Teach for America program after graduating from Duke University. Prior to joining her father at the family business, she spent three years at Southern Wine and Spirits Illinois.