George and Margo Behrakis, right, with Jim and Marianthe Logothetis.
The Hellenic American Academy honored George D. Behrakis, noted business leader and philanthropist and Chairman Emeritus of Leadership 100, with the Heritage Award at its 11th Annual Gala on Saturday, Feb. 17 at the Loews Chicago O’Hare.
Behrakis, whose extensive research in the medical and pharmaceutical fields led to the development of asthma and allergy products, founded two successful companies – Dooner Laboratories and Muro Pharmaceutical. He also founded The Behrakis Foundation, along with his wife Margo. His philanthropy, which includes a devotion to Hellenic causes and the Greek Orthodox Church, extends to education, healthcare and the arts.
The Academy also presented its Service Award to Peter Maroutsos, a finance and operations executive, who has helped preserve Hellenic culture in America.
Jim Logothetis, Chairman of the Hellenic American Academy Executive Committee and newly elected Vice Chairman of Leadership 100, presented the evening’s awards. In acceptance remarks, Behrakis emphasized the importance of Greek education, stating that Hellenic values and respect are still instilled in Greek Schools.
Emmy Award winning television producer and morning radio co-host and producer, Cathy Vlahogiannis, served as Mistress of Ceremonies. Co-chairs were Dina Pappas Panagos, Eleni Papasimakis and Georgia Pontikes, graduates of Socrates School who are educating their own children there. The event featured a pledge drive and silent auction to benefit the Academy and its educational mission.
The Hellenic American Academy, which has set its sights on redefining Greek American education for the modern era, is home of the Socrates Day School, a private institution that provides high-quality bilingual education to students from preschool through eighth grade.
The Academy’s mission is to provide an enhanced curriculum to offer young Greek-Americans the opportunity to excel academically on a national level. It has provided Chicago students with a competitive advantage as they begin their academic careers. Recognized by the University of Crete as a model of outstanding Greek Orthodox education, the Academy’s students routinely score in the 90th percentile in national standardized testing. More than a thousand Greek-American children have been educated at the Academy over the last decade, making it the largest Greek-American educational institution in the Midwest.