GR US

TNH’s 50 Wealthiest Greeks in America List 2021: Numbers 40-31

The National Herald

40. ANDREW N. LIVERIS

Michigan

$133 MILLION (TNHE)

CHEMICALS, PLASTICS, MANAGEMENT

University of Queensland (Chemical Engineering); Married, 3 children

Andrew Liveris, 65, is the former chairman and CEO of the international chemical, materials, agroscience, and plastics global giant, Dow Chemical Company, based in Midland, MI. The Australian born Liveris succeeded Dr. William Stavropoulos, a friend and mentor (also listed supra), in 2004 and became Chairman of the Board in 2006. Currently, he is the chairman of Lucid Motors, a director of IBM, Saudi Aramco, Worley, and NOVONIX. He is also on the advisory board of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and NEOM, an initiative driven by Saudi Vision 2030.

Liveris, a 40-year industry veteran, left Dow after piloting the merger of the U.S.’s two largest chemical producers – Dupont and Dow – in a $130 billion deal in 2017. According to Bloomberg, Liveris received $65.7M in pay for his last year at the company. Liveris spent a total of 42 years at Dow and was the company’s longest-serving CEO. As per the American Chemical Society, Liveris transformed Dow from a cyclical chemicals manufacturing company into one powered by science, driven by innovation, and delivering solutions to the world.

Liveris first started working at Dow Australia in 1976 and spent time in their manufacturing, engineering, sales, marketing, business, and general management departments. During much of this time he worked in Asia, including 14 years in Hong Kong. He served as general manager for Dow in Thailand, and president of all Asia-Pacific operations. He joined Dow's board of directors in February 2004, and was named CEO in November 2004. He was then elected chairman of the board, taking over on April 1, 2006.

Liveris is a firm believer in incentives for increasing manufacturing in the United States. He wrote and frequently speaks on his book Make it in America (2011) on that topic. Under his leadership, he wanted the ‘new’ Dow to make new products in America, often with an environmentally friendly or research-based core, such as solar shingles for homes.

With roots in Kastellorizo, Greece, Liveris was born in Darwin, Australia. As he told students in a lecture in 2005, his grandfather was a Greek sailor who made the impromptu decision to stay in Darwin after traveling there on a merchant ship at the start of the 20th century. He has been quoted saying:“I am a proud Greek. Though I was not born on the banks of the Aegean or on the shores of the Mediterranean, I come from a country that enjoys its beaches and likes its meat on a skewer – that country is Australia. There are millions of Greeks like me around the world, born overseas but drawn to our homeland. We grew up hearing stories from our parents and grandparents about our heroes and our history. And no matter our heritage, our accent, or our current address, we feel a special connection to Greece.”

Liveris attended the University of Queensland in Brisbane, graduating with a bachelor's degree (first-class honors) in chemical engineering, and was awarded the University Medal for that year. In 2005, he received an honorary doctorate in science from the school. Within a week of stepping down from his position as CEO of Dow Chemical, he revealed that he was donating $13.5 million to the university to be used to establish an endowment for what will be called the Liveris Academy for Innovation and Leadership.

Liveris is a member of the Concordia Leadership Council and the Australian government’s Industry Growth Centres Advisory Committee. He serves as a trustee of Saudi Aramco, The King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), the California Institute of Technology, and the United States Council for International Business. He is also on the board of the U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF), and serves as Co-Chair of the Saudi-U.S. CEO Forum. Recently, Liveris was named Senior Advisor to the Saudi Arabian Government’s Sovereign Wealth Fund, PIF. Most recently, Liveris was reportedly meeting with Dennis Mehiel (featured supra) and other business leaders to craft a set of proposals, including a potential carbon tax, to help pay for an expected $2trillion infrastructure plan under the Biden administration.

Liveris is a chartered engineer and a fellow of the Institute of Chemical Engineers, as well as a fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. He was awarded the Order of Australia, the nation’s highest recognition for outstanding achievement and service, in 2014. In 2019, the Greek community of Melbourne also honored Liveris and in 2012, he helped spearhead the founding of The Hellenic Initiative (THI), a global, nonprofit, secular institution whose vision is to mobilize the Greek diaspora and philhellene community to invest in the future of Greece through programs focused on crisis relief, entrepreneurship, and economic development.

Liveris and his wife Paula, also a native of Australia, have three adult children: Nicholas, Alexandra and Anthony.

38. D. JAMES BIDZOS

Virginia

$195 MILLION (TNHE)

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

D. James Bidzos, 64, is Greek-American who prospered in the information technology revolution. Founder, Chairman of the Board, Executive Chairman of Verisign, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRSN), which provides domain name registry services and Internet security worldwide, Bidzos’ company offers a range of security services, including cyber-threat reporting. Verisign currently manages $21 billion worth of .com domains, with each domain selling for $7.85 annually. Bidzos served as Verisign’s first CEO from 1995 to 2001. In 2010 the company’s authentication services were purchased by Symantec for $1.28 billion. Bidzos returned to the CEO job in 2011. The following year, he was named Fortune’s 2012 Businessperson of the year for reviving Verisign’s income, growth, and stock performance, which previously had flagged. His compensation increased by 46% in 2013 to $8.5 million, including his bonus and stock awards.

Born in Greece, Bidzos came to the United States as a boy. His father worked as a barber, and his mother managed a restaurant.

A former computer programmer, Bidzos is credited with foreseeing the need for online security in the early 1990s. He became an internet and security industry pioneer, whose accomplishments include building RSA Security into the early standard-bearer for authentication and encryption, and launching Verisign as a company in 1995 to develop the digital certificate infrastructure for internet commerce. Verisign operates infrastructure services that enable and protect billions of interactions every day across the world’s voice, video and data networks.  Among the company’s services are providing .com, .net, .cc, .tv, .name, and .jobs domain names for websites. According to Verisign’s website, the company reported revenue of $1.27 billion for 2020, up 2.7 percent from $1.23 billion in 2019 and net income of $815 million for 2020, compared to net income of $612 million in 2019.

Bidzos has been named one of Time magazine’s Digital 50, and is in CRN’s Computer Industry Hall of Fame. In September 2013, the Federal Aviation Administration named Bidzos, who is a certified pilot, to the FAA Airmen Certification Database. In late 2016, the National Cyber Security Hall of Fame honored Bidzos, who is an inductee, by naming him keynote speaker at its fifth annual award ceremony in October in Baltimore, MD, for his “key role in the creation of the cyber security industry.”

37. WILLIAM S. STAVROPOULOS

Michigan

$227 MILLION (TNHE)

CORPORATE ADMINISTRATION

Fordham University (Pharmaceutical Chemistry); Married, 2 children

William S. Stavropoulos was born in 1939 in Southampton, NY. The son of Greek immigrants, he grew up in the nearby town of Bridgehampton, where his family owned and operated a very popular ice cream parlor and eatery – The Bridgehampton Candy Kitchen. He attended Bridgehampton School, where he excelled both academically and athletically. One of the sixteen students in his high school graduating class was his close childhood friend Carl Yaztrzemski, the beloved future Hall of Fame baseball star who played for the Boston Red Sox for 23 years.

Stavropoulos holds a bachelor of science degree in pharmaceutical chemistry from Fordham University and a doctorate in medicinal chemistry from the University of Washington.

After a long and distinguished career at the Dow Chemical Company, where among other capacities he served as Chairman and CEO, Stavropoulos moved in a different direction: to president and founder of a minor league baseball team – The Great Lakes Loons. In 2005, he was inducted into the Midland County Sports Hall of Fame as a Professional Baseball Visionary for his work, which includes founding the Michigan Baseball Foundation. The Loons are affiliated with Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers. MBF’s mission, according to its website, is “to bring affordable, family-friendly entertainment to Mid-Michigan. Through the Great Lakes Loons MBF hopes to revitalize and reinvigorate the region and promote greater economic and civic prosperity.” In September of 2020, Stavropoulos appointed Mike Hayes as the interim-president and general manager of the team. “The global pandemic is challenging all aspects of our operations. Mike has expansive leadership experience that will help guide us through both business operations and event execution,” said Stavropoulos as reported by the Chemical City Paper. “As we make plans for our 2021 baseball season, his expertise will prove invaluable as we prioritize health, safety and the game-day experience for our fans.”

Prior to joining Tyco International Limited, where he served as a director from 2007 to 2012, Stavropoulos spent 39 years at Dow Chemical. In addition to leading the company, he held various positions in research, marketing, and general management. He also served in a variety of research and business positions in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Stavropoulos was named president of Dow USA in 1990, and was elected vice president of Dow Chemical Company. He was then elected a senior vice president of Dow in May 1991, and became chief operating officer in 1993. He served as CEO from 1995 to 2000 and again from 2002 to 2004, and was a member of Dow’s board of directors from July 1990 to March 2006 (he was succeeded by Andrew Liveris, a Greek-Australian, also featured infra).

Stavropoulos is a past chairman of the American Chemistry Council, Society of Chemical Industry, and American Plastics Council. He served on the board of trustees at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. Among his awards and honors are AHEPA’s Man of the Year (1995), the Hellenic American Bankers Association Man of the Year (1997), an honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from Northwood University (1998), the Ellis Island Medal of Honor (1998), American Section Award from the Society of the Chemical Industry (2001) and induction into Junior Achievement of Central Michigan’s Business Hall of Fame (2005). Institutional Investor magazine named him one of America’s best CEOs three times (1998, 2003 and 2004). In 2010, he received the title of Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

Stavropoulos and his wife, Linda, have two children, Bill and Angela, and several grandchildren. In 2016, the Bill and Linda Stavropoulos Family Foundation made a $10 million gift to the University of Notre Dame for the creation of a center specializing in biophysical research in the College of Science.

36. JOHN & CHRIS PAPPAS

Connecticut

$237 MILLION (WallMine)

RETAIL & WHOLESALE - FOOD

New on our list this year are brothers John and Chris Pappas who founded Chefs Warehouse, a specialty food products distributor for restaurants. According to the company’s website, “The Chefs’ Warehouse has been the trusted source of the world’s greatest ingredients to North America’s top chefs for 35 years, including Thomas Keller, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Eric Ripert, Missy Robbins, Michael Mina, Nancy Silverton, Dan Barber, Daniel Boulud, Jose Andres, and many others.”

Chris and John started the company (originally called Dairyland USA) inspired by their father Peter Pappas who was a “butter and egg man” years ago, selling from his truck. Peter Pappas and his cousin, Greek Cypriot immigrants and Korean War veterans, founded the Veterans’ Butter and Egg Company in 1956, providing butter, eggs and cheeses to many New York City restaurants.

Chris, 59, has served as the Chefs’ Warehouse chief executive officer since 1985 as well as Board chairman since the company’s IPO. Prior to founding the company, Chris played basketball professionally in Europe for several years following his graduation from Adelphi University in 1981 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration. Chris currently oversees all of the company’s business activities, with a focus on product procurement, sales, marketing, strategy development, business development and operations. He also serves on the board of directors of the International Foodservice Distributors Association and the Hudson National Golf Club.

John is also a graduate of Adelphi University. He currently serves as the company’s vice chairman, a position he has held since March 2011. From the company’s founding in 1985 to 2011, he served as CEO. He has 25 years of experience in logistics, facility management and global procurement and oversees the Chefs Warehouse network of distribution centers nationwide. John is also active in the development of the company’s corporate strategy.

During the pandemic, Chefs’ Warehouse began offering home delivery to home cooks in New York and Connecticut in an effort to help home cooks “stay safe and avoid long supermarket lines” as per the Daily Voice. Chris told the Daily Voice, “We recognize that COVID-19 presents significant challenges for consumers to obtain day-to-day household foods. We are transforming our company to serve our communities in their time of need.” The Chefs’ Warehouse management team also announced that they would be donating 10% of retail sales profits to their front-line furloughed employees and other impacted employees of the foodservice industry.

35. THEODORE ANTHONY SARANDOS JR.

California $250 MILLION (Celebrity Net Worth)

ENTERTAINMENT

Married, 2 children

Theodore (“Ted”) Anthony Sarandos Jr. is a Greek-American businessman. The fourth of five children, Sarandos’ father was an electrician. In a recent interview, Sarandos revealed his Greek heritage detailing how his paternal grandfather came from the Greek island of Samos to the U.S. as a young boy. Their original family name was Kariotakis, which his grandfather later changed to Sarandos.

In the same interview with The Standard, Sarandos described his first visit to Samos with his children:“My father described it: ‘You get into the port. Make a left. Look up the hill. There’s a yellow house with goats in the yard.’ I’m like, ‘it can’t be that simple.’ But it was. My kids were excited to meet their family. We knock on the door but they don’t speak English, and I don’t speak Greek, so I am trying to explain who I am, and finally they close the door on us. Sarah [his daughter] starts crying, ‘I thought we were going to see our family.’ I go, ‘Sarah, imagine if someone came to the door and started screaming at you in Chinese. But back at the hotel the manager wrote them a letter. So I handed it to them and five minutes later we are eating together and drinking together.”

Born in Phoenix, AZ, Sarandos is best known for his work at Netflix; he was recently promoted to co-chief executive officer and chief content officer at the company. In 2020, the company picked up 10.1 million worldwide subscribers during the April-June period, more than triple what it usually adds in that period. Netflix ended June with 193 million worldwide subscribers, including 70 million in the U.S. and Canada, its largest geographic market.

Nearly 26 million of those subscribers have joined Netflix during the first six months of this year — more than double the number compared with last year — as the pandemic curtailed travel and even nights out on the town. Since public health experts officially declared the pandemic on March 11, Netflix's stock has soared by 50%.

Sarandos has been responsible for all content operations since 2000, and led the company’s transition into original content production that began in 2013. He oversaw the production of series such as 'House of Cards', 'Arrested Development', 'Orange is the New Black', 'Stranger Things', 'Dark' (Germany), 'La Casa De Papel' (Spain), and 'Sacred Games' (India), as well as original films like ‘The Irishman’, 'To All the Boys I've Loved Before', 'Bright', 'Bird Box', and the 3-time Academy Award winning film 'ROMA.’ This year, Netflix dominated the Golden Globe nominations list when it received 42 nominations. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex also signed a deal to make programs with Netflix. Sarandos is also responsible for the company's massive investment in the UK, which resulted in over 40 shows including global hits like 'Our Planet' and 'The Crown.

In response to the pandemic, Netflix created a $100 million emergency support fund for workers in the creative community affected by the Covid-19 crisis. Regarding the fund, Sarandos said, “This community has supported Netflix through the good times, and we want to help them through these hard times, especially while governments are still figuring out what economic support they will provide.”

Sarandos is married to Nicole Avant, the former United States Ambassador to the Bahamas from 2009-2011 who was appointed to the post by former President Barack Obama. Last year, Sarandos landed among the 100 most influential people in the world in the ‘Titans’ list of Time magazine (a/k/a TIME 100). He is also a member of the Tribeca Festival and the Los Angeles Film Festival boards and he has been named Consultant of the Digital Entertainment Group. He has served on Spotify’s board since 2016.

34. CONSTANTINE IORDANOU

$279 MILLION (WallMine)

INSURANCE

New York University (Engineering); Married, 3 children

Constantine ‘Dinos’ Iordanou, 70, was president, CEO and Chairman of the board of Arch Capital Group, Ltd, a Bermuda-based insurance/reinsurance global entity until 2018.

Born in Cyprus, Iordanou was the eldest of six children with a father who was a policeman. In an interview with Risk & Insurance, Iordanou recalls that in the house of his father “you were expected to work hard and make something of yourself. All of the kids had jobs after school. The money they earned was theirs for pocket money – but sometimes it was needed to help the family cover its grocery bills.”

When Iordanou was 17, he boarded the SS Queen Anna Maria to the U.S. by himself. After 17 days, he arrived in America and called his father who asked him whether he had gotten a job already and whether he had registered for school – not whether he was OK. Iordanou settled in Astoria, NY with one of his uncles. His first job was pumping gas at a Shell station; he also washed dishes in a nursing home, drove a cab, and worked as a cook. Iordanou ended up working his way through New York University, earning a BS in aerospace engineering (and playing on the school’s soccer team!) before entering the insurance industry as a trainee at American International Group (AIG). He started working upwards of 80 hours a week – not because it was asked of him, but because he wanted to.

According to Risk & Insurance, Iordanou’s big break came after the passage of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act in 1976, which called for closer governance of hazardous waste disposal. Iordanou was given the responsibility of creating an environmental liability group at AIG. It was after this that Hank Greenberg, then AIG chairman, noticed him. In 1987 he moved on to Berkshire Hathaway, where he worked his way up to heading their commercial casualty operations. From March 1992 through December 2001, Iordanou served in various capacities for Zurich Financial Services and its affiliates

Iordanou then joined Bermuda-based Arch (NASDAQ: ACGL) in December 2001 as its president and member of its board of directors. In 2003, Iordanou was appointed president and CEO of Arch Capital Group, Ltd. and five years later he was appointed chairman of the board. In 2015, Fortune Magazine named him as one of its businesspersons of the year. He retired from the company in March 2018. His stated reasons for retiring were to spend more time with his grandchildren, focus on philanthropy, play golf, travel for leisure, and many other activities.

Iordanou is also a director at Verisk Analytics, Inc. and has served as chairman of the American Insurance Association (AIA) and the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers (ABIR). He is a founding member and lifetime trustee of the Pancyprian Association of America which was established in 1975. He is also a founding member of Faith: An Endowment for Orthodoxy and Hellenism. 

Most recently, in September of 2020, the Bank of Cyprus added Iordanou to its board of directors. Additionally, in December, Iordanou and another longtime industry executive, Greg Hendrick, launched a Bermuda-based private equity backed insurer and reinsurer, Vantage Risk. Private equity firms The Carlyle Group and Hellman & Friedman, together with Vantage’s management, have invested $1 billion in the company.

Iordanou has previously served as a trustee of Roosevelt University and the College of Insurance and Risk Management. His awards include the Ellis Island Medal of Honor (1999). He is married to Marianne Iordanou and they have three children. In May of 2018, Iordanou and Marianne received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Our Lady of Mercy Academy for his philanthropic efforts and in May of 2016 by the PanCyprian Association, whose president, Philip Christopher, said that they were honoring him in particular because he never forgot his roots. Christopher said,“he has been a trustee of our association from day one and as CEO of Arch, he went to Cyprus and opened an office there employing 20 Greek Cypriots. Hopefully other companies will follow.”

33. JENNIFER ANISTON

California

$300 MILLION (Celebrity Net Worth)

TELEVISION AND FILM

New York's School of Performing Arts

Born in Sherman Oaks, CA, the U.S.’s Greek-American sweetheart, Jennifer Aniston, spent a year of her childhood in Greece known as Jennifer Joanna Anastassakis getting to know her father’s family. The daughter of Nancy Dow (a direct descendant of the royal House of Stuart of Scotland – making Aniston a royal) and daytime soap opera star John Aniston (Days of Our Lives, born in Chania, Crete), she eclipsed her father’s television fame and success with her own role as Rachel Green on the eternally popular sitcom, Friends (1994-2004). Aniston and her five castmates struck what was a record payday at the time – $1 million each per episode for the last three seasons of the show – and she still collects sizeable residuals from the still-wildly popular sitcom’s syndication ($20 million/year as per USA Today’s calculation in 2015).

In February of 2020 it was announced that the original Friends cast would reunite for an HBO Max Special (a new streaming service). Originally set to air in the spring of last year, the coronavirus delayed its release. However, according to Bazaar magazine, the special will air in March 2021.  

Aniston has continued to appear in feature films and is often cast as the ‘girl-next-door’ type, but sometimes as a quirky villain. In 2018, Aniston made her Netflix debut with the musical comedy Dumplin. In 2019, she was seen alongside Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell in the Apple TV and drama series The Morning Show (earning $2M per episode) as well as Adam Sandler in Murder Mystery.

Aniston began her professional training as a drama student at New York's School of Performing Arts – a division of Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and the Arts. In 2015, Aniston told Collider that although she had a love for the theater growing up in New York City, her parents were pretty strict on her time in front of the television. "I was hell-bent because my dad was just begging me not to be in the industry. He said, 'I do not want your heart broken. The rejection is brutal. Please, please, please don't do that. Become a lawyer.'" she said. "That was my one rebellion. I was hoping that I was going to make it so that I could prove him wrong.”

While she was at school, Aniston thought there was something wrong with her – she thought she was ‘stupid’ – but was later diagnosed as dyslexic. She went on to appear in various off-Broadway productions, television series and films, until 1994 when Friends came along.

Besides her lucrative acting career, Aniston is in demand as a spokeswoman for brands such as Aveeno and Vitamin Water.

The actress has also been a director and producer in recent years. She directed one of five segments that made up the cable TV movie Five (2011), which focused on women living with breast cancer and was one of 100 artists and other public figures to narrate the documentary film Unity (2015), which “investigates human existence and interconnectivity.” She received her own Hollywood Walk of Fame Star in February 2013 – the first actor from Friends to be honored with a star.

Aniston has assisted and worked with many charities like Rain (an anti-sexual assault organization), St. Jude’s, and various cancer-fighting organizations. She was also named GQ magazine’s first ever Woman of the Year in 2005 and was Ellen Degeneres’ very first guest for the very first episode of The Ellen Show in 2003.

Aniston’s personal life is often a source of media attention, especially her relationships with actors Brad Pitt, whom she first met on a blind date and later married from 2000 to 2005, and Justin Theroux, whom she wed in 2015; the couple announced in 2018 that they were divorcing. As of February 2021, InTouch Weekly reported that Aniston was dating a new ‘dreamy, mystery man.’ According to the Evening Standard, Aniston is ‘real-life’ friends with fellow Greek, Rita Wilson (featured supra), and is part of her ‘regular dinner crew.’ During the pandemic, specifically in October 2020, Aniston adopted a rescue puppy named Lord Chesterfield.

Aniston is a well-known activist and a philanthropist. She has donated generously to different philanthropic organizations such as Doctors without Borders, AmeriCares, Feeding America, Clothes Off Our Back, EB Medical Research Foundation, OmniPeace, Project A.L.S., Friends of Al Faro, and many others. Aniston has also contributed appreciably to the cause of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights, and has hosted shows like Stand Up For Cancer and It Can’t Wait. Most recently, she quietly donated $1 million to Color of Change, the largest online racial justice organization in the U.S. in an ongoing effort to make a difference in the Black Lives Matter movement. She also put a nude portrait of herself up for auction to help raise money for coronavirus relief. The portrait sold in June for $16,250.

32. PETER J. BARRIS

Virginia

$310 MILLION (GuruFocus)

VENTURE CAPITAL

Northwestern University (Electrical Engineering); Married, 2 children

Peter J. Barris, 69, is a venture capitalist known for helping to launch companies including Groupon, CareerBuilder, SalesForce, TiVo, Jet.com and Diapers.com. He was managing general partner of leading venture capital investor New Enterprise Associates, Inc. (NEA) from 1999 to 2017, having joined the company in 1992. At NEA, Barris led investments in over 25 companies that have gone public or had successful acquisitions.

Today, Barris serves as the Chairman of NEA. According to the NEA website, during Barris’ 18 years at the helm, the company’s assets grew from $1 billion to over $20 billion and the organization scaled its operations to become one of the world’s largest venture capital firms. The company, which started with offices in Maryland and California’s Silicon Valley, now has branches in Menlo Park and New York. NEA, founded more than 35 years ago, has $23+ billion in committed capital, 500+ companies and has completed 230 IPOs.

Under Barris’ leadership, NEA invested in industry-transforming technology companies like CareerBuilder, Tableau, Diapers.com, Groupon, Jet.com, Juniper Networks, Macromedia, Salesforce.com, TiVo, and Workday. (NEA invested $14.8 million in Groupon early on and received $70 million back in 2011. That year, Groupon went public, reaping one of the greatest venture returns ever with an initial public offering value of $12.8 billion.)

Barris serves on the board of public companies Groupon (GRPN) and Sprout Social (SPT) and is currently a director of several private companies including Berkshire Grey, Catalytic, NextNav, Tamr, Tempus, ThreatQuotient, Upskill, and ZeroFox.

Barris grew up in Chicago, IL. His father, James, was an engineer, and his grandparents were from Greece. His father encouraged Barris to follow the same career path that he did – but Barris had his eyes set on the law – more specifically, patent law – which he had heard required an engineering degree. Northwestern had excellent law and engineering schools, so he enrolled there. Eventually, he realized that patent law wasn’t where his passion lay but continued his studies of electrical engineering and then went on to earn his MBA from Dartmouth College. He eventually started his career in various management positions at General Electric Company where he spent almost a decade.

Barris has been named several times to the Forbes Midas List of top technology investors, to Crain’s Chicago 50 Top Tech Stars, to Washington Tech Council’s Hall of Fame, and to the Washington Business Hall of Fame.

Barris is Vice-Chair of the Northwestern University Board of Trustees and serves on the boards of In-Q-Tel and The Brookings Institute. Peter previously served on the Executive Committee of the Board of the National Venture Capital Association and was also a founding member of Venture Philanthropy Partners, a philanthropic organization in the Washington D.C. area. Peter received his BSEE from Northwestern University and his MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.

Barris, a member of Leadership 100 and an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, lives in McLean, VA. with his wife, Adrienne. They have two daughters. His interests include traveling, skiing,“any and all Greek food,” boating, and spending time with his family.

31. MICHAEL PSAROS

New York

$325 MILLION (TNHE)

INVESTMENTS

Georgetown University (Business); Married, 3 children

Michael Psaros, 53, is a co-founder and co-managing partner of KPS Capital Partners, LP, one of the world’s leading private equity firms with approximately $12 billion of assets under management. KPS makes controlling equity investments in manufacturing and industrial companies across a diverse array of industries, including basic materials, branded consumer, healthcare and luxury products, automotive parts, capital equipment and general manufacturing. Under its ownership, KPS has transformed over 50 businesses into world-class, industry leading companies and has saved over 50,000 jobs.

KPS Portfolio companies currently have aggregate revenues of approximately $10.3 billion, operate 158 manufacturing facilities in 22 countries, and employ approximately 32,000 people worldwide.  

Psaros is the son of George and Mary Ann Psaros and grandson of four Greek immigrants from Chios and Halicarnassus (Bodrum) in Asia Minor. He grew up in Weirton, W.V., where the lifeblood of the town was the Weirton Steel Division of National Steel. Psaros' father was a senior executive in the steel mill, and his great-grandfather worked in the open hearth furnaces. In 1983, union steelworkers voted to purchase the company with the help of investment banker Eugene Keilin, renaming it Weirton Steel. The buyout saved the town, and inspired Psaros to think about how management and labor could work together to revitalize manufacturing in America. Psaros subsequently co-founded his own private equity firm, KPS Capital Partners, LP, in partnership with Keilin and David Shapiro. 

Psaros is a leading philanthropist and activist for Hellenic and Orthodox causes. He is the Vice Chairman of the Friends of St. Nicholas, the organization responsible for rebuilding the St. Nicholas National Shrine at Ground Zero (www.StNicholasWTC.org).  He is also the Chair of the Administrative Committee of the Holy Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and serves on its Executive Committee. He formerly served as Treasurer, where he led a transformational financial and organizational restructuring of the Archdiocese resulting in a balanced budget and a commitment to accountability and transparency.  Psaros is an Archon, Ostiarios, of the Ecumenical Patriarch, Order of St. Andrew the Apostle, where he serves on its National Council. He currently serves as Treasurer of the St. Andrew Ecumenical Patriarch Fund. He is also a founding member of FAITH: An Endowment for Orthodoxy and Hellenism; and serves on the Board of Trustees of The Leadership 100 – Advancing Hellenism and Orthodoxy in America; the Executive Board of The Hellenic Initiative; and is a proud member of AHEPA. Psaros also supports the Washington OXI DAY FOUNDATION.

Psaros received the Recipient of the Archbishop Iakovos Leadership 100 Award for Excellence, the Homeric Award from the Chian Association, the Socrates Award from AHEPA, the Humanitarian Award from the Hellenic Times Scholarship Fund, the Executive of the Year Award from the Hellenic American Bankers Association, the Hellenic Heritage Award from the Three Hierarchs Greek Orthodox Church, the Phidippides Award from Hellenic Public Radio (Cosmos FM), and was recognized by the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity. 

Psaros serves on the Board of Directors of Georgetown University. He and his wife created The Michael and Robin Psaros Endowed Chair in Business Administration at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business, where he also serves as Vice Chairman of its Board of Advisors. He serves on the Board of the Georgetown Center for Financial Markets and Policy. The Psaros Family donated a newly created Orthodox Iconostasis and accompanying Iconography for use in the Copley Crypt Chapel at Georgetown University. Psaros was honored by the Georgetown University Wall Street Alliance at its gala in New York City. 

Psaros is the Executive Producer and underwriter of the documentary short film, “PISTEVO”, about the centrality of Iconography in the Orthodox Christian Faith, which may be viewed at www.theartofbelief.org. The film has been viewed in over 20 countries by tens of thousands of the faithful. PISTEVO won “The Award of Excellence” at the IndieFEST Film Awards.