All the nominees were proposed and voted on by readers. The names below were transferred to this list in the order in which they finalised in the nomination vote which ended on January 3, 2011. For those that don't have any information by their names, it is because no information is available on them and we did not get a response from the people who nominated them...
From that point on Mario's multi-faceted musical career literally took off! Mario's talent is such that he can sing almost everything (from opera to folk), with everyone, (from Pavarotti to Westinra), everywhere, (from La Scala to Iera Odos), his vast popularity ensuring that most of his performances are sold out well in advance!
South Africa/Greece - Brand Strategist
As a successful brand strategist with a global perspective Peter is one of those who is giving it more than just thought. As a creator, he put words and images to our thoughts ...
We got to know Peter in November of 2011, shortly after his rousing, inspiring and inspired 'Rebranding Greece' presentation. His work impressed us greatly, it was just the tonic of hope and positive thinking that we neeed and we were one of the first to feature the presentation on one of our posts about Peter and his vision for Greece! It didn't take long for Greeks all over the world to acknowledge that what Peter was saying was right... the image of Greece needed to get a facelift, it needed to change... Peter's presentation went viral!
EMIRATES Airlines internationally are now including OPA! as part of their preferred reading list in all their VIP lounges.
2011 was a great year for Arianna Huffington!
She was named as one of TIME's 100 Most Influential for 2011, an honour she was given once before in 2006, and sold her Huffington Post to AOL for a record $315 million!
Arianna launched Huffington Post in 2005 as a news and blog site that quickly became one of the most widely-read, linked to, and frequently-cited media brands on the Internet.
Born Arianna Stassinopoulou in Athens, Greece, Arianna moved to Cambridge, England to study Economics at the age of 16. A gifted debater, Arianna became President of the Cambridge Union, no mean achievement for a person who didn't speak English as a native language at the time.
Arianna moved to the USA in 1980 and in 1986 married Michael Huffington, a Republican who narrowly lost a seat in the US House of representatives in 1992, despite Arianna's exhausting campaigning and support. The marriage did not last long but the result, their two beautiful daughters are Arianna's pride and joy. Truly charismatic, a smart and intelligent woman, Arianna quickly became a household name.
Following her divorce, and the gradual change in her political views, in 2003 Arianna unsuccessfully ran as a Democrat for Governor of California against Arnold Schwarznegger.
Leaping from one success to another, Arianna hasn't looked back and credits part of her success with the Huffington Post to her mother's pivotal influence in her life...
In 2011 after selling the Huffington Post to AOL, Arianna stayed on as
We look forward to the Greek version, in the very near future...
PS We loved your idea of moving Davos to Greece! Behind you all the way!
Having lived in Greece, Africa and England all before the age of Nineteen, Theodora describes herself as 'A citizen of the world' who is "addicted to ideas, and my therapy is the ability to express them” as she says.
At age 19, along with her family ,Theodora immigrated to London, England where she initially found the new country to be very challenging. After working for two British medical firms and obtaining valuable experience, at age 24 ,Theodora decided to open her own Medical recruitment company called WRIGHT PLACEMENTS, where her clients are some of the top private healthcare companies in the UK. She has had the opportunity to place all calibres of medical staff internationally, including Greek medical staff.
She is about to launch a Computer and Technology division of her company called WRIGHT IT JOBS which will be launching at the end of January.
Now at age 26, this budding entrepreneur hopes to expand her businesses beyond the British and European borders, to reach the US.
Theodora enjoys writing and producing music and is honoured to be a suggested candidate, even though she is still at the beginning of her journey and is still learning the ins and outs of life and business...
Lakis' 10 Mikroi Mitsoi (Ten Little Mitsoi) personifying 10 of the kind of Greek people we meet in society, were very popular in the 1990s and remain popular to this day as he 'invites' them often to his weekly one man stand up comedy show Al Tsantiri News on Greece's Alpha TV. He even managed to take his popular Al Tsantiri character to Athens' Olympic Stadium in 2004 for the Closing Ceremony of the Olympic Games.
Laki's speciality of course was the politico-satirical revue in which he excels, his sharp wit often cutting politicians to the quick, but he is also an accomplished actor and writer, who has taken part in many theatrical and stage productions as well as major films both locally and internationally. His latest appearance in the film biography of El Greco by Yiannis Smaragdis was very well received as were his other film appearances in Beware of Greeks with John Tatoulis , My Best Friend and Smaragdis' Cavafy, about the life of Greece's famous Cavafy. He achieved every actor's life ambition to play in the ancient theatre of Epidaurus and he did it twice, once as Lysistrata in the classic comedy of the same name, and the second in Ploutos (Wealth).
Indignados of Syntagma Square
The one who pays his taxes and his dues on time, the one who wants to see progress in Greece and who expects to have the roads, hospitals and public services that he pays for without having to bribe, the one who hasn't lied about having 2000 olive trees in order to get the olive oil subsidies, who hasn't declared he is disabled in order to get the benefit, who hasn't got a non-existent 105 year old father in order to keep getting the former's pension, the one who wears his safety belt, the one who wears his bike's helmet, the one who drives with consideration for others, the one who doesn't park in the special carpark reserved for handicapped drivers, the one who waits patiently in the queue, the one who doesn't call his MP to get his son to serve in the army at the MP's officethe one who pays his parking fines, the one who gives a receipt for the services he provides or products he sells.
This is the one who is continually being called upon to pay more taxes and make sacrifices yet sees the political and financial elite of the country getting away with all those dishonest practices that have brought Greece and its economy to its knees.
Greek-American Director/Screenwriter Alexander Payne was born Alexander Constantine Papadopoulos, in Omaha Nebraska. Recipient of many film awards, Alexander Payne already has one Oscar under his belt, for 'Sideways' in 2005, whilst his latest film The Descendants, seems to be a favourite for this year's Oscars!
In fact as we were writing this post we heard of his success at the Golden Globes for The Descendants, the film which opened the Thessaloniki Film Festival last year, along with his Greek Dream Team of course - Jim Gianopulos and Phedon Papamichael! All three are board members of the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival (LAGFF). Payne's Ad Hominem Enterprises and Gianopulos' Fox Searchlight Pictures won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture (Drama) for THE DESCENDANTS while Phedon Papamichael served as Director of Photography. The film also won Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture (Drama) for George Clooney. He now has an Academy Award Nomination as well! Congratulations Alexandre! Not bad going at all!
Asked to comment on the economic crisis in the middle of one of the most intense political crises in Greece, in November last year, Alexander Payne said the following in an interview to the English language Kathimerini:
is one of a handful of New Zealand composers who have made a mark on the international scene, particularly in Europe and North America.
Widely considered one of the three most important living composers of the Greek Diaspora, John Psathas is the son of Greek immigrant parents who arrived in New Zealand in the early 1960s. Born in Wellington in 1966 and raised in Taumaranui and Napier, John studied piano and composition at Victoria University, then studied in Belgium before returning to take up lecturing at the New Zealand School of Music in Wellington, where he is now Professor in Composition.
He is currently working on projects with Jane Curry (classical guitar), Salman Rushdie (author), a consortium of 14 American percussion ensembles, and Strike (percussion).
We look forward to the day that John's major works 'View from Olympus' or 'The New Zeibekiko' are performed in Athens at the Herodus Atticus or the Megaron!
Born in California, she spent a small part of her childhood in Greece before moving back to California and following in her father John Aniston's (born Anastasakis) footsteps.
A member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences since 2007, Jennifer Aniston became known to most of us with her superb portrayal of Rachel in the long running, immensely popular sitcom Friends for which she also received an Emmy, a Golden Globe and the American Screen Actors' Guild Award.
The daughter of Days of Our Lives actor John Aniston, she and her father teamed up with him to narrate the CD accompanying several of writer, and fellow Greek American, Nick Katsoris’ Loukoumi series.
“In our house, we grew up with the Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have others do unto you,” says her father, when asked about the values he instilled in his children, Alexander and Jennifer. That’s precisely the message in the children’s book, Loukoumi’s Good Deeds, the third book in a series which showcases the lovable lamb’s discovery of the joy of doing nice things for others, and follow up on the selfless themes in earlier books narrated by Jennifer and featuring the voice of John as Loukoumi’s daddy, Growing Up with Loukoumi and Loukoumi’s Gift.
(For more information on this, please visit www.Loukoumi.com)
His company, The Pappas Group Inc., handles public affairs advisory-related services and strategic corporate planning, business development, public and media relations and event planning throughout the world.
He serves on the Advisory Council of the X Prize Foundation, an educational nonprofit prize institute whose mission is to create radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity.
He serves the Greek Orthodox Church in a number of capacities, including membership on the Archdiocese Council of the Archdiocese of America and the Leadership 100, the late Archbishop Iakovos' Endowment fund. He also serves on the executive board of directors of the PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation, which awards $250,000 annually to Greek American university students.
The son of Greek immigrants from the island of Crete who were involved in the anti-Nazi resistance effort, he developed an interest in Greek World War II history. He is an avid collector of Greek-related World War II memorabilia, including original photos, newspapers, magazines and the largest known collection of authentic Greek War Relief posters.
Not long after his debut as an actor in 1947, he decided to concentrate instead on directing. In 1952 he left London to settle in Athens and one year later the success of his first film (“Windfall in Athens”) marked the beginning of an international career in directing. Among them “Stella”, “A Girl in Black”, “A Matter of Dignity”, “Zorba the Greek” and the trilogy of “Electra”, “The Trojan Women”, “Iphigenia”, his films were regularly screened at the most prestigious International film festivals, receiving awards and distinctions. Michael Cacoyannis has worked with some of the best and most distinguished actors of his time, in Greece, Europe and Hollywood.
Michael Cacoyannis distinguished himself not only as an international filmmaker, but also as a stage and opera director, with critically acclaimed productions in Greece, the U.S. France and other European countries. He published several screenplays, translated Shakespeare’s plays into Greek and Euripides into English, and wrote the lyrics of some of the best-known and best-loved Greek songs.
It was Michael Cacoyannis' initiative that led to the dramatic and inspiring new illumination of the Acropolis. Enlisting the services of the famous French Engineer Pierre Bideau for a study, and with generous donations by the Friends of Athens, which he established, the project finally received backing from the Ministry of Culture and the City of Athens.
In 2004, Michael Cacoyannis established a charitable foundation in his name, whose aim is to support , preserve and promote the arts of Theatre and Cinema. The foundation’s Cultural Centre, located in Piraeus Street, in the district of Tavros, opened its doors to the public in October 2009.
For his work and overall contributions to the Arts, Michael Cacoyannis has been awarded the Order of the Golden Phoenix (Greece), the Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres (France), the Grand Cross / Order of Makarios 3rd (Cyprus) and the Special Grand Prix of the Americas (Montreal). He has been honoured by the Greek Academy with its highest award for national services and with Lifetime Achievement Award by the Salonica, Jerusalem and Cairo Film Festivals, as well as the American Hellenic Institute in Washington. He has been declared an Honorary Citizen of Limassol, Montpellier and Dallas, and has received Honory Doctorates from Columbia College (Chicago), Athens University, Cyprus University, and the Aristotelio University of Salonica.
For most of us he lives on in our hearts as the talented and visionary director of Zorba the Greek...
Probably Igoumenitsa Rowing Club's most famous member, Alexandra Tsiavou was the 2009 Best Athlete for Greece. In that year she became a World Champion in the lightweight women’s double sculls and won the European Rowing Championships in the same class. This was on the back of making the 2008 Olympic final in the double and becoming the Under-23 Champion in the lightweight single for the second time the previous year. World Rowing profiled Tsiavou as the 2010 season got under way to find out where she was heading and said of her in 2009
' Tsiavou is good, very good, and her rowing career is only just beginning' .
Prophetic and no understatement as it turns out. Alexandra Tsiavou is one of our Greek Golden Girls headed for London's Olympics in 2012 armed with great hopes for an Olympic Medal!
Greece's Honorary Consul in Panama for many years, Bobby has used the economic benefits he has been fortunate enough to enjoy to ensure that others not so fortunate benefit also. He has contributed to many projects and charities in Panama and Miami, donating time and money and work behind the scenes for the benefit of Greece and all things Greek in that part of the world. He has donated the funds and the land for building the ATHENA Greek School in Panama. When Archbishop Christodoulos of Greece was in Miami for the liver transplant he was going to get it was Bobby's house he was staying at and it was Bobby's cousin, the lifesaving transplant surgeon Andreas Tzakis who would perform that operation. Things didn't work out for him but that Christmas, Bobby and Andreas Tzakis came to Athens and went to see the ailing Archbishop in his home.
The next evening Bobby had a small gathering really to honour Andreas Tzakis ...We count ourselves lucky to have been among those invited to that function, simply because we were able to hear first hand the amazing stories of philanthropy from the people who had been the recipients...children, parents and others who had been touched by the magic hands of Dr Tzakis, the welcomed assistance of Bobby and of his friends in Miami, the tireless John and Evangeline Scurtis.
The Greek mother of a child who had been operated on by Dr Tzakis some years before told us how they arrived in Miami and were greeted by John who introduced Bobby as his chauffeur...
Bobby's latest charity project is the development of a giant hospital complex in Panama dedicated to Irmita, the daughter he lost so tragically in an accident at the age of 21...
You name it, and you can be sure that there will be a Global Greek, somewhere, in some city, in some country, who has done it, and in a lot of cases, who has done it extremely well.
Architecture, Politics, Law and Order, Medicine, Technology, Sport, Fashion and Design, Music, Drama, Theatre and Films are just some of the areas in which Global Greeks have excelled.
With his spouse, Elaine Dundon, he has developed The OPA! Way®, a new paradigm and approach to Living & Working with Meaning that is uniquely inspired by Greek culture ( www.theopaway.com). As part of this global initiative, he is also the co-author with Elaine of a forthcoming book on The OPA! Way, as well as the co-founder of the "OPA! Center," based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA, where clients are introduced to and apply the ageless lessons of The OPA! Way to enhance meaning in their personal and work lives.
Alex and Elaine are also responsible for creating "OPA! Day," a designated day--September 15th--each year for the world to recognize and celebrate the vast contributions made by Greece and Greeks to our way and quality of life. First celebrated in Rethymno, Crete, Greece, on September 15, 2010, OPA! Day 2011 celebrations were held on five continents and plans are already underway to expand awareness of and celebratory activities on this special day to more locations around the world.
Among his many publications, Alex is the author of the international best-selling book, Prisoners of Our Thoughts, available in 20 languages, including a Greek edition, and his writing has appeared in a wide variety of Greek-themed publications, such as The National Herald newspaper where he has been a featured columnist, Greek America Magazine where he most recently wrote the cover story on Arianna Huffington, and OPA! Magazine, with whom his meaning-focused venture, The OPA! Way, is an official partner.
Alex can be reached by email at: email@example.com
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