Chris Afendoulis: Michigan State Legislator

Chris Afendoulis, a Greek-American and lifelong resident of the Grand Rapids,

MI Metropolitan area was elected to the Michigan State House of Representatives last November and was sworn in on New Year’s Day.

A Republican who campaigned on “common sense conservative principles,” Afendoulis won the general election handily, with close to 70% of the vote.

A CPA, Afendoulis graduated with a business degree from the University of Michigan in 1984, worked as an auditor with Coopers and Lybrand (now Price Waterhouse Coopers) for four years, and eventually accepted a position with a Grand Rapids-based auto parts supplier for 24 years; the last 13 as its Chief Financial Officer.

His local government experience includes 10 years’ service as a Township Trustee and Treasurer. His family also owns a dry cleaning and tuxedo business, which has been in operation since 1947.

Public service is an Afendoulis family tradition. His late father, Sam, served four terms on the Kent County Board of Commissioners, served on the National Council of the Greek Orthodox Youth of America (GOYA), and was an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarch having received the honor from Patriarch Bartholomew himself in March, 2002, a month before his passing. Both of his parents have been honored for many years of dedicated community service.

His own parents met at a GOYA conference, and Afendoulis and his wife,

the former Phyllis Makredes of St. Paul, MN met at the 1999 YAL Convention in Chicago. Her parents, Mary Ballas Makredes and the late Hrone Makredes, were among the founders of the Orthodox Church of Saint Luke in Hong Kong. In 1996, Patriarch Bartholomew honored Mrs. Makredes for the work in establishing the Hong Kong Community. Phyllis’ paternal roots are in Saranda Ecclisies in Eastern Thrace (now part of Turkey), while her mother’s family hails from Apedia, Laconia (Sparta) and the Aegean Island of Koutali. Her uncle, the late Father Michael Makredes, served parishes throughout America, with his longest tenure in Fresno, CA.

Afendoulis’ family has lived in Grand Rapids since 1910 when his grandfather, Efstatheios and a group of cousins migrated there from Ortou (ancient Kotyora) on the coast of the Pontos (Black Sea) area of Turkey. His grandmother Vassiliki Zazopoulos arrived along with other female relatives from the Pontos in 1923 as part of the forced expulsion of virtually all Greeks from Turkey (Asia Minor), where they had lived for over

2.000 years. His maternal grandparents, Gus Dallas (DeJiyianis) and Georgia Andrews (Andrianopoulos) of Detroit emigrated in the early Twentieth Century from the Arcadian villages of Kandila and Pekemi, near Tripoli.

Afendoulis expressed deep appreciation to family and members of the Greek and Orthodox communities of Grand Rapids for their strong support in the election. He observed that while campaigning, he met voters who had either attended school, worked with, or had been taught by his relatives. The family effort was also bi-partisan as Aunt, Irene Marudas, (his father’s cousin) and her husband, Peter Marudas, longtime Chief of Staff to Democratic Senator Paul Sarbanes of Maryland, were enthusiastic and early backers.

Afendoulis joins other Greek-Americans who have served over the years in the Michigan Legislature, including: Robert Constan, Democrat, Dearborn Heights; Andrew Kandrevas, Democrat, Southgate; John Papageorge, Republican, Troy; Jim Plakas, Democrat, Garden City; John Stamas, Republican, Saginaw and the late Phillip Williams, a Detroit Republican in the 1940s believed to be the first Greek American elected to the Michigan Legislature.


LONDON - Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis had a meeting with Greeks of the diaspora while in London on Wednesday, during which he highlighted the options that Greeks living abroad now have to vote in Greek elections from their place of residence, as well as his government's emphasis on reforms.

Top Stories


OCEAN, NJ – Rafaella Lambrinos, whose family is from Karpathos originally, spoke with The National Herald about the Adopt a Yiayia and Pappou program she founded at St George Greek Orthodox Church in Ocean, NJ, which connects youth and seniors from her church community through weekly phone conversations.


NEW YORK – Greek-American Trevor Zegras, forward for the Anaheim Ducks is set to play in his first NHL game in New York City against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday, March 15, 7 PM.

General News

WASHINGTON, DC – AHEPA deeply mourns the passing of Past Supreme President and co-founder of AHEPA National Housing Corporation (ANHC) Nick Smyrnis.


1 Killed, 8 Hurt as Suspected Gas Explosion Hits Bronx Home

NEW YORK — A suspected gas explosion partially collapsed a home in the Bronx, setting the structure ablaze and killing a woman and injuring eight other people, including five police officers, officials said.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.