Stephen G. Yeonas of McLean, Virginia was inaugurated as the Chairman of Leadership 100 on February 16, 2008, at the Grand Banquet of the almost 25-year-old national charitable organization, which concluded its 17th
Annual Conference in Palm Desert, California. Yeonas succeeded George D. Behrakis of Lowell, Massachusetts, whom he characterized as “a dynamic and respected Chairman who, with boldness and vision, has brought us to the highest level of achievement in our history and enabled us to exceed our present goal and pave the way toward the commemoration of the 25th
anniversary.” The organization has launched the 25th
Anniversary Fund with goals of 1,000 members and $100 million in endowment funds, in order to increase grants to $5 million a year, by its 25th
Anniversary in 2009.
In addressing the outgoing Chairman and the 300 members and guests at the affair, Yeonas said, “I am humbled and honored to accept the challenge of Chairman and it is my fervent hope and prayer that I will be able to continue the path which you have paved to reach the next plateau of Leadership 100.”
Stephen G. Yeonas founded and served as President of the Yeonas Company, a major builder of new homes in the Washington metropolitan area where he has been a leader in real estate for five decades. He served for two years on the Executive Committee as Vice Chairman of Leadership 100 and was National Chairman of the Millennium Membership Drive 2000-01. A U.S. Army veteran, he began his career in construction immediately after the war, completing his first house in Arlington, VA in 1948.
In 1949, he married Thelma Stathopoulos. They have two children – Stephanie Yeonas Ellis and Stephen G. Yeonas, Jr. He is a member of St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Washington, DC. In 1996, he was named an Archon of the Church and in 1997 he served as chairman of the Washington Committee of the Visit of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
Yeonas holds a BS in Business Administration from American University – Class of 1948, received a JD degree from the Columbus School of Law at Catholic University in 1955 and is a member of the Virginia Bar Association. Mr. Yeonas has been the recipient of numerous professional and civic awards including: American University's Alumni Recognition Award, Catholic University's 1980 Alumni Award for outstanding achievements in the fields of business and finance, Man of the Year Award by the Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Washington, Marketing Man of the Year by the American Marketing Association (Washington Chapter), Virginia Realtor of the Year, the Citizenship of the Year Award (by the American Legion); and Member, Northern Virginia Board of Realtors Hall of Fame, Member, Home Builders Association of Virginia Hall of Fame and Member, National Association of Home Builders Hall of Fame. He has held a Real Estate Brokers License for over 50 years. He is a member of the Chief Executives Organization (CEO) and a founding member of the Chesapeake Chapter of the World Presidents Organization (WPO).
Yeonas was the longest serving director (1964 to 1998) on the Board of Directors for Washington Gas Company. He serves as a Director Emeritus on the Board of Washington Mutual Investors Fund and served as a Trustee of the American Funds Tax Exempt Series I. He also served as director of First American Bank of Virginia and Atlantic Bank of New York.
In 1998, he received the Arete Award from the Greek Institute for his philanthropic work and the St. Theodore Greek Orthodox Church Christian Service Award. He was cited in 1999 by the U. S. House of Representatives and paid official tribute in the Congressional Record. Mr. Yeonas was a 2001 recipient of the American Hellenic Institute’s Hellenic Heritage Achievement Award and an Ellis Island Medal of Honor. He was honored at the 12th Annual Hellenic Conference receiving the George P. Livanos Award.
The Board of Trustees elected Yeonas as Chairman at its meeting earlier in the week. Constantine G. Caras of Greenville, Delaware was elected Vice Chairman and George E. Safiol of Weston, Massachusetts was elected Treasurer. Mark D. Stavropoulos of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan remained as Secretary. The Board elected five members to the Executive Committee, including Constantine G. Caras and George E. Safiol. The others elected were Chris W. Caras of Palos Verdes Estates, California, Charles H. Cotros of Memphis, Tennessee and Louis Nicozisis of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.