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AHI Business Network Host New York Event The King of “Easy” Tells His Story at the New York City’s Harvard Club
January 24, 2008—No. 5 (202) 785-8430

AHI Business Network Host New York Event The King of “Easy” Tells His Story at the New York City’s Harvard Club

Washington, DC—Greek-Cypriot “serial” entrepreneur Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou was the featured speaker at the Harvard Club in New York on Monday January 7, 2008. The event was sponsored by the American Hellenic Institute (AHI) Business Network in cooperation with the AHI New York chapter.

The evening began with a special reception where Mr. Haji-Ioannou and fellow entrepreneurs of Greek and Cypriot descent shared life-stories and ideas, followed by a larger reception that allowed the down-to-earth mega businessman, who likes to be called “Stelios,” to mingle with all the participants.

Welcoming the guests was Andonios Neroulias, president of the AHI New York Chapter and introducing Stelios was AHI executive director, Nick Larigakis.

The Biddle Room at the Harvard club was filled to overflowing with admirers and those seeking inspiration for their own endeavors. New sets of chairs were set up every 10 minutes as Stelios told the story of his life and his business ventures. A lively questions and answer period followed where the guest speaker offered his respected opinions about a wide variety of topics including the future of Olympic Airways.

One bold guest asked Stelios about his biggest mistake. He proceeded to talk about his internet café business, which began with spectacular success and “lines around the block” in 1998 but which eventually had to be kept afloat by money out of his own pocket as internet technology developed at amazing rates. Unfortunately, Stelios was beaten by technological breakthroughs that literally put the worldwide web in everyone’s pocket. He made his point when he asked “how many of you in this audience own Blackberries?” proving that even visionaries can’t see everything.

“Stelios is truly a remarkable businessman, who has been able to develop a business concept that not only works well for one industry, but can be effectively applied with the same success to other industries. Through his ‘easy’ brand, he has truly established the ‘one-stop shop’ concept, said AHI executive director, Nick Larigakis.

Stelios was Educated at London School of Economics and the Cass Business School at City University where he earned an MSc in Shipping, Trade and Finance. At 25 years of age in 1988 while employed by his father's shipping company, the Troodos Shipping Co Ltd he negotiated a $30 million payout from his father. Stelios then established his own shipping firm, Stelmar shipping which was ultimately sold to the OSG Shipping Group for approximately $1.3 Billion.

His entrepreneurial successes led to Stelios’ being made a knight by Queen Elizabeth II. When he was 28 years old Stelios started easyJet PLC , Europe's largest low cost airline. The company has a fleet of 122 jets and carried over 30 million passengers in 2006. As the owner of the easyGroup, which owns the “easy” brand which it licenses it to the various companies, Stelios’ brand now extends to easyCar, with 2000 locations car rental locations worldwide; easyBus, which provides bus transportation to and from airports; and easyHotel, offering low cost hotel rooms in city centers. His other ventures include Internet cafés and firms specializing in personal finance, cinema, male toiletries, online recruitment, pizza delivery, music downloads, mobile telephony, and wrist watches.

EasyCruise, Stelios’ latest venture, is designed for independent travelers, specializing in year-round holidays in Greece and the Greek Islands. The ships are floating hotels, offering a choice of onboard accommodations—from spacious suites to great value cabins. The Greek cruises sail for just a few hours each morning and arrive at a new place every day around noon.

AHI would like to thank all the generous sponsors of this event. They are: John Catsimatidis, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Red Apple Group, Inc; Andreas Pericli, Chairman, Euclid Financial Group; Peter Papanicolaou, President, Cyprus Federation of America; Peter Kakoyiannis, President, Cyprus-U.S. Chamber of Commerce; The Boathouse Central Park; Bank of Cyprus; George E. Leventis, President, Langan International; Hughes Hubbard & Reed, LLP; Stylianos S. Zavvos, Chairman, Continental American Capital; Nicholas G. Karambelas, Partner, Sfikas & Karambelas, LLP; Dr. Ana Maria Triliouris; Socrates A. Kyritsis; Anna V. Giabourani, Of Counsel, Bingham McCutchen, LLP; Nicholas J. Bouras; and Nicolas Bornozis, President, Capital Link, Inc.

The AHI Business Network is a division of the AHI, initiated in 1989 to reach out to the business experience of Greek Americans and others and to put it to work helping Greek Americans. Its purpose is to share business information and contacts. Its concept is people helping people by sharing experience, knowledge and ideas.

The photographs from this event are available at:


For additional information, please contact Georgia Economou at (202) 785-8430 or For general information regarding the activities of AHI, please view our Web site at