Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago Foundation
“The Metropolis of Chicago Foundation represents a rare opportunity, not only to support and grow our faith today, but to have a far-reaching, multi-generational impact.” — His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael.
The purpose of the Foundation is to create an endowment for the Metropolis of Chicago that will provide stability and transparency for donors and generate funds that expressly advances the mission and long-term vision of the Metropolis of Chicago. The Foundation also will exist to provide the necessary resources to sustain and grow Orthodoxy for generations to come.
In 2021, the Metropolis received final approval to establish a foundation to support the long-term financial security of the Metropolis and its parishes. The Metropolis first presented its intention to create the Foundation at the 2019 Clergy-Laity Assembly, where it received the approval to proceed with the concept. For the next two years, the Metropolis prepared the Foundation’s governing instruments and obtained the necessary approvals from the Archdiocese. At the 2021 Clergy-Laity Assembly, the Metropolis presented the governing structure, purpose, and guiding principles of its proposed Foundation. After extensive discussion, the delegates unanimously approved the formation of the Foundation under Illinois law.
In May, 2022, the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago Foundation (Foundation) was formed as a separate Illinois not-for-profit corporation and applied to be recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. The funds raised by the Foundation will be subject to spending restrictions and the board of directors will develop policies for investment, gift acceptance, and conflicts of interest to ensure that the endowment is governed in accordance with its bylaws and applicable federal and state laws.
If you have any questions, please send an email to the Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Foundation is operated by a seven member Board of Directors that is comprised of two classes: 1) an Independent Class comprised of three directors chosen by an independent selection committee, and 2) a Metropolis Class comprised of three directors appointed by the Metropolitan subject to the advisement of the Metropolis Council. The seventh board member is the Metropolitan himself. All directors must be Greek Orthodox Christians who are stewards in good standing from a parish in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Metropolis Class members must be stewards of a parish from the Metropolis of Chicago, whereas Independent Class members must be stewards of any parish in the Archdiocese. All members are expected to have significant financial, wealth management, legal and/ or business experience. The Foundation’s first Board of Directors has been identified through this process and has begun serving.
His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael, Chairman of the Board
His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael of Chicago is the second metropolitan to preside over the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago, consisting of 58 parishes and two monastic communities in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin as well as northern Indiana and southeastern Missouri. He was unanimously elected Metropolitan of Chicago, succeeding His Eminence Metropolitan Iakovos of blessed memory, by the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on February 7, 2018. He was later ordained a Bishop in the Holy Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, New York, on March 17, and was enthroned as Metropolitan of Chicago in the Holy Cathedral of the Annunciation of Chicago on March 24.
His Eminence has served as a guest professor and lecturer of Orthodox Christian Ethics and Bioethics at Fordham University, the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, and Saint Vladimir Theological School, and has authored and delivered numerous articles and presentations in theology and bioethics. A fervent advocate of human rights, His Eminence coordinated the Archdiocesan commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the March on Selma in 2015 and represented the Archdiocese on the National Council of Churches (NCC) Special Task Force to End Racism in America. He currently serves as a member of a select non-partisan and interreligious working group in Washington, D.C., which seeks to advance religious freedom and pluralism in the Middle East.
Born Konstantinos Symeonides in Thessaloniki, Greece in 1978, His Eminence is the third child of Irene and Vasilios Symeonides and is of Pontic and Asia-Minor descent. He received his early education from the Greek-American Institute of the Zoodochos Peghe Parish of the Bronx in New York. He graduated from Hellenic College with a BA in religious studies (2000) and from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology with an MDiv (2003). He earned an STM in Christian ethics (2003) and a ThD in bioethics from Boston University (2007). He also studied the history and ethics of public health at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University.
His Eminence was ordained a deacon in 2003 and a presbyter in 2010 by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America. He also is a brother of the historic monastery of St. George Epanosifis in Crete, Greece. Among his clergy offices, His Eminence served as the presiding priest of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in New York City from 2010 to 2013, and as the interim pastor of the Holy Resurrection Church of Brookville, NY and the Saints Constantine and Helen Cathedral of Brooklyn, NY. As a parish priest in Manhattan, His Eminence developed a unique urban ministry, Orthodox Professionals in Action (OPA), which provided more than 400 young professionals the opportunity to minister to the most vulnerable members of society. From 2013-2018, His Eminence served as the Director of the Archdiocese’s Department of Inter-Orthodox, Ecumenical, and Interfaith Relations, and also oversaw the work of the Archdiocese at the United Nations. In 2016, His Eminence attended and supported the press office of the Ecumenical Patriarchate concerning the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church, the first such meeting of the 14 autocephalous Orthodox churches in 1,200 years.
In September 2018, His Eminence was appointed to the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople for the 2018-2019 ecclesial year. Among the many important decisions taken by the Holy Synod during this period was the granting of Autocephaly to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.
Since his enthronement, His Eminence has sought to implement policies and programs that promote greater transparency, accountability, and professionalism in the Metropolis of Chicago. He has launched a strategic planning initiative to encourage transformative action among the Metropolis’ parishes and has pursued efforts to engage young adults more fully, including through the formation of the Metropolis of Chicago Junior Board.
John Koudounis joined Calamos Investments as Chief Executive Officer in 2016. He became the firm’s first designated CEO hired by Founder John Calamos, Sr., as part of Calamos’ succession plan. Serving as a driving force behind improving strategic initiatives, Mr. Koudounis plays a critical role in delivering innovative solutions to business development and expanding product breadth for the firm’s global base of clients. Under his leadership, firm profitability and AUM growth have increased substantially.
Mr. Koudounis has 33 years of financial services experience including executive leadership in the global securities business and a deep background in global capital markets. Most recently, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Mizuho Securities USA, Inc. (MSUSA), a subsidiary of Mizuho Financial Group, one of the world’s largest full-service financial institutions. During his tenure at Mizuho Securities, he built the firm into a full-service investment bank, expanding its debt and equity capital markets teams. Because of his leadership, the firm also grew in profitability, number of clients, and product diversification, allowing Mizuho to be considered globally as a top tier investment bank. Prior to joining MSUSA in 2008, he was Managing Director and Head of Fixed Income for ABN AMRO Americas where he played a critical role in that firm’s successful growth.
Mr. Koudounis, often sought after for his thought leadership, serves as a speaker at conferences worldwide and appears frequently on financial news programs including CNN, Fox Business, CNBC, Bloomberg TV, TD Ameritrade Network, Yahoo Finance Live, and others. In addition to his executive career, Mr. Koudounis upholds a dedication to philanthropy through various board positions and community outreach. He is the Founder of the Chicago CEO COVID-19 Coalition, an organization he created in 2020 during the pandemic to provide COVID-19 relief and recovery for the city and bring Chicago’s business leaders together in a time of need. This initiative focused on four critical areas in COVID recovery: food, shelter/homelessness, counseling services, and PPE. The Coalition distributed over $1.5 million in proceeds from its successful telethon.
Mr. Koudounis is a member of the Leadership Council at Concordia and the prestigious Bretton Woods Committee. He is a member of the board of trustees of the National Hellenic Museum, a patron of the Prince’s Trust International, and an executive advisory board member for the SEAL Future Foundation. He is a founding board member and executive committee member of The Hellenic Initiative, a non-profit, non-governmental organization with the aim of supporting Greece and Cyprus in the aftermath of the financial crisis by helping to foster entrepreneurship in both countries. He is also a member of Leadership 100 and the Metropolis of Chicago Foundation. In October 2016 he was inducted as an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the Order of St. Andrew, the highest honor bestowed on a layman by the Orthodox Church.
He graduated from Brown University with a degree in International Diplomacy & Foreign Affairs and Economics.
Christos Linardakis is an attorney by trade. He has held positions as an Associate General Counsel, Corporate Compliance Officer, Global Trade Compliance, and other roles for Fortune 100 & 500 companies, along with private companies. During his career, he has established global corporate compliance programs for U.S., E.U. and Asian trade laws, as well as compliance programs in Foreign Corrupt Practices and Antibribery and Corruption. Mr. Linardakis has handled investigations/subpoenas/disclosures involving nearly all U.S. government agencies including in Canada, China and the E.U. He is a frequent speaker for both private and government associations, and an instructor for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the U.S. Air Force APEX program.
The highlight of his career was when he had the honor of working as co-counsel with the late U.S. Ambassador Richard Williamson on a Sudanese Humanitarian case, personally petitioning before the U.S. Department of State for deployment of humanitarian equipment and services to Sudan.
Credentials & Volunteer Work – Mr. Linardakis holds a Masters of Law (LL.M.) in International Trade Law & International Corporate Law, along with certifications from the Harvard Business School, and the Schulich Business School/York University, in Canada. In addition, he has a Masters of Theology with a concentration in Canon law. He’s taught as an adjunct professor at a Chicago law school, as well as having taught at the university level.
In addition, he is an Advisory Board Member for A.C.E.S, in partnership with the School of Public Affairs at American University Washington School of Law, on Antibribery/Anticorruption, Sanctions & Export Controls, as well as an Export Compliance Committee member with the American Association of Exporters and Importers (AAEI). He currently is the Sector Chief for the Defense Industrial Base for InfraGard Chicago, a partnership between the U.S. FBI and private sector. He has received numerous awards from various SBA offices, including Chicago, for promoting export growth opportunities for Illinois based companies. Lastly, he served for over 10 years as a Board Member for the non-profit Education Center in Naperville, IL and nearly 5 years as a Board of Director for the Anixter Center in Chicago, along with other non-profit organizations.
Peter J. Panton, M.D. attended Brown University and the Brown University School of Medicine. He completed his internship at the University of Chicago and his residency in ophthalmology at the University of Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary. He is certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and is a Fellow of both the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American College of Surgeons. He has served as president of the Chicago Ophthalmological Society and as president of the medical staffs at Rush Oak Park Hospital and Resurrection-Westlake Hospital. He has been in practice in Chicago’s western suburbs since 1986 and specializes in cataract surgery, advanced technology intraocular lenses, minimally invasive glaucoma surgery, and LASIK.
Dr. Panton is a lifelong member of the Assumption Greek Orthodox Church of Chicago and has served as president of the Parish Council for two terms (total of four years). Dr. Panton helped establish a capital campaign to renovate the church prior to its 75th anniversary in 2000. Shortly thereafter, he helped created the Assumption Church Endowment Fund and served as its first chair for more than a decade. Dr. Panton is a member of Leadership 100 and is a founding member of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Foundation.
In addition to his philanthropic efforts on behalf of the Orthodox Church, Dr. Panton served as chair of the Brown University School of Medicine Annual Fund for six years. Dr. Panton has also chaired capital campaigns for the Brown University School of Medicine and the University of Illinois Department of Ophthalmology. Dr. Panton and his family have established endowed professorships in memory of their late father, John H. Panton, M.D., at both Brown and the University of Illinois.
Dr. Panton is married to Estelle Patsavos Panton for 38 years. They reside in River Forest, Illinois and have two daughters—Christina and Connie—both of whom are physicians.
Evonne Sepsis has spent her career in the healthcare sector. She founded ESC Advisors, an advisory firm focused on life sciences companies, advising companies on both M&A and financings.
Prior to founding ESC Advisors, Evonne was head of healthcare banking at Susquehanna Financial Group and was a Managing Director at C.E Unterberg , Towbin. Evonne started her investment banking career at Salomon Brothers.
Prior to business school, she worked at APM, a healthcare consulting firm. Evonne received her MBA from Yale and her Bachelor’s degree from Northwestern.
Bill Spell has knowledge, experience and deep expertise in the areas of private equity buyouts, mergers and acquisitions, raising capital, and business management. Previously Mr. Spell was Vice President and Director of Corporate Finance from 1981 to 1988 at a regional investment-banking firm in Minneapolis. Since 1988, he has invested as a principal. Bill has served on the Board of Directors of a number of public and private companies, including several non-profit organizations. He has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Minnesota and a Master of Business Administration from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.