Chicago Greek News & Notes, People & Places

Susanna Homan
A quick glance at general bits of Chicago Greek News – from here to the greater Midwest and beyond…

Here’s the latest Chicago Greek News…



Chicago Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed reported on April 6 that Jennifer Aniston has been in town filming a new movie called “Office Christmas Party” with co-stars Jason Bateman and Olivia Munn. Chicago native and Greek American Giota Trakas plays the role of an office worker in the movie. Filming is taking place at Cinespace Chicago studios, owned by the Mirkopoulos family. CEO is Alex Pissios.


Publicly-traded convertible bonds pioneer Calamos Investments of Naperville, IL recently announced the hiring of John Koudounis, formerly head of Mizuho Bank’s investment banking operations. Koudounis now serves in the position of CEO at Calamos. A graduate of Niles West (IL) high school and Brown University, where he played football, Koudounis serves on the board of the National Hellenic Museum and it was there he established a close relationship with Calamos chairman John P. Calamos Sr. At Mizuho, Koudounis led efforts at record expansion and the bank was profitable. This is a high-profile hire by Calamos as Koudounis not only has international contacts stemming from his work with the Japanese banking conglomerate, he has also established a regular presence on the national cable business shows including regular appearances on CNBC with Maria Bartiromo.

The January 2016 cover of Forbes magazine, in retrospect, appears prophetic after banker John Koudounis subsequently made the switch to Calamos Investments.
The January 2016 cover of Forbes magazine, in retrospect, appears prophetic after banker John Koudounis subsequently made the switch to Calamos Investments.


The past year has been a whirlwind for Park Ridge, IL native Dr. Steven Petrovas. Now based in Grand Rapids, MI, Dr. Petrovas passed his boards in both Anesthesiology and Pain Management and is currently new accepting patients. He’s professionally affiliated with multiple area hospitals through Spectrum Health Services. A graduate of Maine South High School, Dr. Petrovas went on to achieve his undergrad in physics at Loyola University, Chicago. He then graduated Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine & Science. He later completed his fellowship, residency and internship at Wayne State University-Detroit Medical Center. He was recently married to Nia Tsanganos, daughter of Leo and Lambrene Tsanganos. Parents of the groom are Dr. Peter and Stella Petrovas. Best man was Demetri Alexakos and maid of honor was Gloria Laco. The couple were wed at St. John Greek Orthodox Church in Sterling Heights, MI, with the reception being held at the Palazzo Grande in nearby Shelby Township.



Introducing... Dr. & Mrs. Steven Petrovas!
Introducing… Dr. & Mrs. Steven Petrovas!




WGN9 TV and WGN radio host/culture critic Dean Richards was recently inducted into the WGN “Walk of Fame“… The Chicago Sun-Times recently promoted Tina Sfondeles to be the new political beat reporter, as first reported by media critic Robert Feder… Susanna Homan (nee Stergianis) in April was hired away from the Sun-Times “Splash” section and is now the publisher and editor-in-chief at Chicago Magazine.

Susanna Homan
Susanna Homan


Evanston, IL native Nadia Kountoures has been moving up (pun intended) the ranks of the airline industry. Recently she was profiled by See the article here. Nadia is now a test pilot for Gogo, flying 737 aircraft in some unusual zig-zag routes across the Midwest at 34,000 feet. She’s been flying for about 10 years now, ever since her days at her alma mater, the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Nadia is the daughter of Chicago businessman Alex Kountoures and Marianne Vallas Kountoures, development director at the National Hellenic Museum.


WGN9 TV’s Dina Bair in April hosted chef and Avli Estiatorio owner Louie Alexakis for a “Lunchbreak” segment on how to make his delicious roasted porchetta. Avli is based in downtown Winnetka, IL and is one of the top area Greek bistros.


Northwest Indiana native Nick Mantis, father of three, just wants to do his part. With that, the corporate videographer and broadcast producer has been working for a while to develop and hone a new children’s book, called “Waterville,” which teaches kids about the environment using entertaining marine life caricatures. He’s been able to partner with some public institutions and libraries in the region to launch the book and get exposure to a wider audience.
The sister/brother duo musicians Alex White and Francis Scott Key White of Chicago this April appeared on the “Carson Daly Show” for a late-night live performance. Their band is called “White Mystery.” Their mother is Chicagoan Diane Alexander White, a professional photographer who captured some of the most iconic images in Chicago broadcast history while attending the infamous “Disco Demolition Night” at the old Comiskey Park.
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