Nicholas Karakas

Mr. Nicholas Karakas, a prominent businessman and philanthropist, is well-respected for his many contributions to the Greek American community and for his benevolent philanthropic pursuits, and has received numerous commendations for accomplishments in business, education, community service.

Presently, Mr. Karakas serves as the chair of the Greek Professorship Advisory committee at the University of Missouri, St. Louis and is responsible for raising $550,000 to fund the Professorship chair for Greek Studies at the same institution. In 1998, he was awarded the Presidential Gold Cross of the Order of the Phoenix, the most notable commendation conferred by the Hellenic Republic, for his contributions to the causes of Hellenism and to the culture of his native land.

He is also cofounder of the Karakas Family Foundation, an organization which awards scholarship grants to needy college students. Currently, by the twenty-first year of its existence, the Foundation has awarded over 350 scholarship grants to young students and for the last twelve years has donated money to winners of the national St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival sponsored by the Greek Orthodox Church. Mr. Karakas also served as President of the Orthodox Christian Laity and is responsible for the establishment of the Mathew-Dickey Endowment Fund, an organization dedicated to the service of 40,000 children in inner-city St. Louis. Finally, he is one of the founders of the Hellenic Spirit Foundation, comprised of a benevolent group of Greek Americans who organize various social events ranging from community service to musical performances and educational programs.