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For Immediate Release

For More Information:
Chris Varones

John Balourdos Appointed as Interim Board President for St. Iakovos Retreat Center

ELK GROVE VILLAGE, IL, April 3, 2019 – The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago today announced the appointment of Mr. John Balourdos as interim President of the Board of Directors of the St. Iakovos Retreat Center (Retreat Center). Mr. Balourdos’ appointment was approved by the Metropolis Council at its April 1 meeting. The restructured Board of Directors will convene in the coming weeks.

“John Balourdos’ appointment as interim President is an important step toward the ability of the St. Iakovos Retreat Center to remain viable over the long-term as well as to support the vision that led to its establishment,” said His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael. “Under John’s leadership, the new Board will be instrumental in creating a fresh, farsighted and comprehensive plan to be presented and discussed at the Clergy-Laity Assembly in September.”

The restructuring of the Board of Directors follows the recommendations of a St. Iakovos Retreat Center Task Force established by His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael and is enacted in accordance with Retreat Center bylaws and Wisconsin state law. The Task Force was created to examine the long-term viability of the Retreat Center, located in Kansasville, Wisconsin.

Among other areas, the Task Force study included a thorough review of important legal and financial documents; interviews with Retreat Center staff and the Board of Directors; and a series of on-site visits. The Task Force recently presented a report including its findings and recommendations to His Eminence and the Metropolis Council.

“The Metropolis is thankful for the long and dutiful service of the Retreat Center Board of Directors, some of whom will continue serving on the Board. We are appreciative of and are eager to build on the past work of the Board members, staff and volunteers so that the Retreat Center remains a special place of recreation, community and prayer,” said His Eminence.

The Saint Iakovos Retreat Center was purchased in 2006 and has since been the home of various Metropolis ministries, including Fanari, the youth summer camping program. For more information about the Retreat Center, please visit:

About the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago 
Tracing its roots back to 1923, the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago is the diocese of Greek Orthodox faithful in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin as well as northern Indiana and southeastern Missouri consisting of 58 parishes and two monastic communities. The Metropolis is one of nine regions in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and is presided over by His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael. The general offices of the Metropolis are temporarily located in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. For more information, visit To sign up for news from the Metropolis, visit: