SOMERVILLE, NJ – Dr. Peter Stavrianidis, a Greek American entrepreneur, academic researcher, and community leader, has been appointed to the Commission of Culture and Heritage for Somerset County in the State of New Jersey. The swearing in ceremony took place on Friday, January 3 at the historic County Court House in Somerville, New Jersey.
This is the first time that an individual of Hellenic descent has been appointed to this distinguished position. Stavrianidis is very well known in the Greek Community for his long and dedicated service. During his interview with the National Herald he said “this is a quite interesting and important position, being that we reside in one of the most multicultural regions of New Jersey and the country as a matter of fact,” adding that, “these are all volunteer positions and I believe that we will have the opportunity to create programs that will enrich the cultural wealth of the county and bring it to another level where all of us can learn from each other. Actually, this is the true landscape of modern America.”
When asked if he is the first Greek American who has been appointed to this position he said “in this particular commission I would be the first individual of Greek descent, however, a fellow Greek American and dear friend, Dr. Zenon Christodoulou, leads the Hellenic Cultural and Heritage Commission which is a statewide office.”
Stavrianidis is the president of the Cultural and Scientific Society Hellenic Link of NJ and has served as an officer in numerous organizations including the Hellenic Federation of NJ, the Greek American Chamber of Commerce, The Elytis Chair Fund of Rutgers University, and many others.
He has served three terms as President of the Pan-Pontian Federation of US-Canada and during his latest term 2001-2003 he was instrumental in the issuing of proclamations, for first time in history, by the State of New York and the State of New Jersey consecutively, recognizing the Asia Minor Genocide.
In 2006, Stavrianidis appeared in front of a joint committee of the Senate and Assembly of the State of New Jersey and presented evidence of unprecedented violations of human and religious rights committed against the Ecumenical Patriarchate by the Turkish Government. This joint committee voted unanimously to condemn these violations by the Turkish Government.
Stavrianidis has been honored by Greek-American organizations in Washington for his significant activism and contribution Hellenic issues.
His academic studies include a Bachelor (BBA) and a Master (MBA) Degree from the City University of New York and a doctorate (PhD) from the Panteion University of Athens in the School of Social and Political Science. His doctoral research involves valuable quantitative and qualitative data regarding the current status and the future of the Greek-American community based on statistical studies. He is currently conducting post-doctoral research in conjunction with the Panteion University regarding the status of the Greek Jewry, its history, the holocaust, and its contemporary challenges.
Stavrianidis is the principal of a fifth-generation family business specializing in jewelry and precious gems. He holds several professional designations in the fields of gemology and evaluation/identification of gems and minerals. He occasionally teaches as an adjunct professor in local colleges and universities and was appointed Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew as an Archon of the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle. He resides in Somerset, NJ, with his wife Maggie (Magdalene) and their three sons: George, Jasonl, and Constantine.