Welcome to TNH’s Takeover! In collaboration with The Hellenic Initiative (THI), The National Herald and THI have begun a partnership to introduce the NEXTGEN of Greek/Cypriot ‘movers and shakers’ to the rest of our Diaspora community around the world. Established to inform its readers about all things related to our homeland and its respective communities throughout the world, TNH is now providing THI’s New Leaders (40-years-old and younger), with a new platform to showcase their ideas and to engage their communities in a deeper, more meaningful way while simultaneously building a bridge to Greece and Cyprus. Our next featured New Leader is Nikos Hahalis. Get to know him below!
● Nikos Hahalis
● Villanova University
What city do you live in?
● New York City
Where in Greece are you from?
● Andros and Chios
● Private Equity, Blackstone
What motivated you to get involved with THI?
● I had an opportunity one summer to work in Greece. Although I had some of the best experiences of my life and made life-long friends, I also came to the realization that summer that my Greek counterparts on the island did not have the same access to opportunities, both economically and scholastically, that I did back in the States. This awareness and desire to help is what led me to THI in order to put my time and resources towards achieving a shared dream of Greece’s success.
What do you hope to achieve through THI?
● What I admire about THI is that in addition to direct aid, it also seeks to stimulate the economy and create jobs by supporting entrepreneurs and companies to fortify the Greek economy from within. That is the key to seeing Greece prosper – encouraging and driving organic businesses with the right guidance. With THI, I hope to continue to promote that effort.
Favorite activity to take part in where you live?
● Living in New York, I love trying and tracking all the different restaurants in each neighborhood and having a pulse on the newest/most up-and-coming places.
Go-to Greek dish/drink when you’re missing the homeland?
● Kalamakia with a Mythos.
Favorite Greek product you can find outside of Greece?
Top three people of Greek/Cypriot descent you admire?
1. Jamie Dimon
2. Andrew Liveris
3. Arianna Huffington
In addition to THI, how are you involved in the Greek community?
● I regularly attend my local church and try to stay connected through Greek events such as dances and happy hours whenever possible.
One piece of advice an elder has given you that has proved invaluable?
● Never let your thirst for knowledge be quenched. Constantly seek education through personal experiences and books.
Favorite quote from a Greek philosopher?
● “Moral excellence comes about as a result of habit. We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts” – Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics
One Hellenic tradition you’ll never stop keeping?
● Lamb on the spit for Easter
How has your Hellenic background helped shape who you are today?
● Growing up Greek instilled not only a lifelong set of values within me, but also an appreciation and pride for my roots and the culture I have inherited. These values have helped guide me in the choices I make and the future I want to build for myself.
● Success isn’t owned. It’s leased, and rent is due every day.