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Nextgen

THI/TNH Takeover – Steven Gerazounis

Welcome to THI/TNH 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 Steven Gerazounis. Get to know him below!

Last Name, First Name
● Gerazounis, Steven

Alma mater?
● Lehigh University, Integrated Business and Engineering Honors Program

What city do you live in?
● New York

Where in Greece are you from?
● Chios, Lesbos, and Kastoria

Occupation?
● Mechanical Engineer designing building systems at MG Engineering

What motivated you to get involved with THI?
● For one, to have the opportunity to meet other driven young professionals who are passionate about their Greek heritage. Second, there are growing threats to Greece’s sovereignty from foreign powers, especially concerning the Aegean islands. And finally I was tired of my American friends teasing me for Greece’s lackluster economy.

What do you hope to achieve through THI?
● One initiative I am interested in exploring is bringing the game of golf to Greece. Greece already has the legendary weather and terrain to become an elite worldwide golf destination, but there are only a handful of courses across the country. The late Peter J. Pappas had been advocating to bring golf to Greece, and in a 2011 article with NEO magazine he proclaimed “we can establish a whole new industry for the country that will create revenue.”

Favorite activity to take part in where you live?
● My favorite Greek activities include parties at Kyma, dinners at Avra, and seeing Greek singers at Melrose Ballroom. I also enjoy golfing/boating on Long Island and going to Knicks games.

Favorite place to take your non-Greek friends when they visit you in Greece?
● If I want to show them a traditional Greek experience, I will take them to a panigiri in Chios. Otherwise, we are going to Scorpios on Mykonos.

Go-to Greek dish/drink when you’re missing the homeland?
● My Yiayia Magda’s tiropita and my Yiayia Koula’s youvarlakia (meatball soup).

Favorite Greek product you can find outside of Greece?
● The John Varvatos clothing line and mastiha liqueur imported from Chios.

Top three people of Greek/Cypriot descent you admire?
● Giannis Antetokounmpo
● John Catsimatidis
● Aristotle Onassis

In addition to THI, how are you involved in/helping the Greek/Cypriot community?
1. Leadership 100 Young Professional
2. International Youth Coordinator for the Chios Societies of the Americas and Canada.
3. Board Member of the PanChiaki ‘Korais’ Society of NY
4. Young Adult League through my local parish, Archangel Michael in Port Washington, NY.

One piece of advice an elder has given you that has proved invaluable?
● A leader takes people where they want to go… But a great leader takes people where they don’t even know they can go.

Favorite quote from a Greek philosopher?
● “Own the real estate” – John Catsimatidis

One Greek/Cypriot tradition you’ll never stop keeping?
● Winning the Vasilopita coin every New Year

Life Motto?
● If you’re going to be thinking anything, you might as well think big

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