John A. Catsimatidis
The Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle announced that Archon John A. Catsimatidis, chairman of the Order's Religious Freedom Initiative will be the recipient of the 2017 Nicholas J. Bouras Award for Extraordinary Archon Stewardship. Catsimatidis, who is a member of the Leadership 100 Executive Committee, has been a member of the Order's governing body, the National Council, for many years. A special tribute dinner dance will be held at the New York Hilton Hotel, Friday evening, Oct. 20, as part of the Order's annual three-day assembly, Oct. 20-22, 2017.
George Safiol, Award Committee Chairman, said, "Archon Catsimatidis has exemplified tremendous stewardship of time, talent and resources in support of the Mother Church of Constantinople, the Orthodox Christian Church throughout the United States, and to the mission of the Order of Saint Andrew in which all Christians should be granted religious freedom rights.” The prestigious Award is named in recognition of the extraordinary service exemplified by National Vice Commander Bouras of Blessed Memory, who demonstrated remarkable leadership as a faithful son of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and exemplary steward of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
Catsimatidis, who was was born on the Greek Island of Nisyros in 1948 and emigrated to the United States with his parents at six months old, was educated in both the parochial and public school systems in New York City, earning his high school diploma from Brooklyn Tech. He enrolled in New York University to study electrical engineering, going to school during the day and working in a small grocery store at night and on weekends to help his parents pay the bills.
During his senior year, with just eight credits remaining, Catsimatidis dropped out of NYU to work in the grocery business full-time. By his 25th birthday he was already a success with 10 Red Apple Supermarkets scattered along Broadway on Manhattan's Upper Westside. Now, four decades later the Red Apple Group has evolved into a diversified corporation that has holdings in the energy, aviation, retail and real estate sectors and over 8,000 employees, with approximately 2,000 located in New York City. Archon Catsimatidis and his wife Margo live on Manhattan's Upper East side and are parents to 2 grown children; Andrea and John Jr.
Catsimatidis is a firm believer in giving back to the community and has been a strong supporter of the Police Athletic League for nearly 30 years. He serves on the Board of Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, the Hellenic Times Scholarship Fund, and over the years served in a variety of volunteer positions in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, including Vice Chairman of the Archdiocesan Council, Board and Executive Committee member of Leadership 100 and a founder of Faith Endowment.
Past recipients of the Award have included George D. Behrakis (2011), James C. Fountas and John Halecky, Jr. (2012), Stephen J. Yallourakis, M.D., D.D.S. (2013), Christopher Stratakis, Esq. (2014), the Hon. Nicholas Tsoucalas (2015) and Theofanis V. Economidis (2016).