Nine expatriate Cypriots share the secrets of their success in the USA

Cypriots are no strangers to finding a new home on foreign shores and, for its April Cover Story, GOLD magazine spoke to nine expatriate Cypriots who have achieved admirable professional success in the US.

Pictured above, left to right, the featured interviewees are Chris Christoforou, Andreas Chrysostomou, Dr. Eleni Toumarides, Evis Savvides, Maria Pappas, Michael Serghiou, Mike Stephani, Pannie Trifillis and Symeon C. Symeonides.

Read more about the interviewees below and click here to read the interviews in full in the digital edition of GOLD magazine.

Chris Christoforou

Chris Christoforou was born in Nicosia and raised in the suburb of Pallouriotissa. He attended the Pancyprian Gymnasium and then the Higher Technical Institute (HTI), graduating in 1979. After completing his 26-month military service in 1981, he departed for the US to study in the Civil Engineering Department of Rutgers University. He completed his BSc in 1983 and an MSc degree in 1985. While in school, he met his future wife, a native of Poland and also an engineer. They have two daughters, and recently became grandparents for the first time. They live in Bridgewater Township in New Jersey.

Andreas Chrysostomou

With over 25 years of corporate finance and valuation experience, Andreas Chrysostomou specialises in business valuations, particularly in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and specialty chemicals. He holds an MBA in international corporate finance and investments and a BBA in accounting and operations management from the Bernard M. Baruch College, City University of New York. He is a licensed CPA in New York, CGMA, ABV, CEIV certified, and a member of professional accounting bodies.

Dr. Eleni Toumarides

Dr. Eleni Toumarides PhD is the founder and director of a thriving group psychotherapy practice with 30 therapists and interns under her supervision. She has extensive experience in clinical practice, field instruction and telehealth and is also a passionate educator who enjoys training and supervising new clinicians, helping them discover their authentic selves and develop their classroom and field skills. Her private practice specialises in trauma treatment, where she guides patients in integrating their different parts into a cohesive whole, empowering individuals and communities to heal, grow and thrive through her work.

Evis Savvides

Originally from Limassol, Evis Savvides relocated to the US in 1989 and completed his undergraduate and graduate studies in Virginia in 1994 before settling in New York. After twelve years of experience in public accounting and management consulting, he transitioned to the leadership team at Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits, known for introducing Yellow Tail wine. Additionally, he is a Director at the Cyprus-US Chamber of Commerce and an Advisory Board Member at Kinisis Ventures, a business accelerator and private investment firm focused on Cypriot innovation.

Maria Pappas

Maria Pappas has 48 years of investment industry experience, and 42 years with Neuberger Berman. Born in the US, her father was a Cypriot (from Akapnou) while her mother was born in Smyrna, from where she and her family fled to Greece before settling in Heraklion, Crete. From 1979-1989, Maria Pappas was the proprietary fixed income/commodity trader for Neuberger Berman Partners. In the 1990’s, she collectively worked with the New York Federal Reserve Bank, the US Treasury and Neuberger Berman’s IT department on the development and rollout of the Automated Treasury Auction Tender System.

Michael Serghiou

Michael Serghiou is a seasoned supply chain expert with more than 40 years of combined IT and business proficiency across diverse industries including Pharmaceutical Sciences, CPG, Consulting, Retail, Financial Services and Technology. He currently holds the position of Senior Director at Takeda Pharmaceuticals and oversees the supply chain operations related to lab consumables, pre-clinical scientific services and lab capital equipment and maintenance.

Mike Stephani

Mike Stephani was born and raised in Nicosia after the 1974 war by refugee parents from Maronite village of Asomatos in the Kyrenia district. After receiving a Fulbright Scholarship in the US, he obtained his CPA and an MBA in Finance. After graduating he initially worked for KPMG in the New York area and then spent 16 years at Honeywell, a US$40 billion US multinational. He has been the Vice President of Finance and Controller for Panasonic USA, a US$60 billion Japanese conglomerate, for the last 5 years.

Pannie Trifillis

Born in Cyprus, Pannie Trifillis went to the US as a Fulbright Scholar, received a B.A. from Wellesley College, MA and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Human Genetics from the University of Pennsylvania. Today, she is a global medical affairs executive, passionate about discovering, developing and commercialising therapies for rare genetic diseases. During her 25-year career, she has launched five rare disease drugs around the world, bringing two of them all the way, from a concept idea at the bench to patients living with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

Symeon C. Symeonides

Symeon C. Symeonides was born and raised in Lythrodontas, Cyprus. He obtained his first Law degree from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki with the highest grade in that school’s history. He also holds an LLM and an SJD from Harvard Law School and three honorary doctorates. He has published 30 books and more than 150 articles. Reviewers of his work have described him as “the father of choice of law in the twenty-first century” and “the world’s leading expert on US and comparative conflicts law.” He also has an extensive record in law reform.

(These interviews first appeared in the April edition of GOLD magazine. Click here to view them.)

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