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Connecting Greeks Podcast

Connecting Greeks Podcast

By Ari Kalos

This podcast is designed to explore, nurture, and enhance our Greek culture all across North America using humor and topical conversation. Hosted by comedian/actor Angelo Tsarouchas and his co-hosts Ari Kalos & Foti Stamos.
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The Multi-Talented Dimitra Korri

Connecting Greeks PodcastDec 01, 2021

Author, Musician, & Dreamer Zafirios Georgilas
Aug 30, 202340:55
Instagrammer & Designer Yannis Dimoulis of 54thirty
Jul 13, 202331:42
Actress, Filmmaker, & Influencer Arianna Papalexopoulos
May 19, 202339:32
Jenny & Eleonora of Grandpa J's Seasoning

Jenny & Eleonora of Grandpa J's Seasoning

Welcome Jenny and Eleonora of Grandpa J's Seasoning! Jenny Siormanolakis is long tenured in the food industry, with her family owned and operated one of the “longest running single family owned & operated establishments from 1973-2014. Her first job was standing on milk crates working in the dish pit. Working all through school and college, she always helped the family business. She is always to be relied on to come up with an extremely clever solution to difficult problems.

In 2004, an opportunity arose to buy her recently deceased uncles business Grandpa J’s Seasoning Inc, and with the support of her parents, her and her sister Eleonora were suddenly business partners. At that time, food manufacturing was undergoing industry changes in supply chain advancements. The small business suddenly needed things they knew nothing about i.e.: Nutritional Fact Tables and barcodes which were all mandatory to operate. It was an extremely tedious learning curve and with zero mentoring from their uncle, everything was based on trial and errors. Unfortunately, she suffered a workplace career ending traumatic brain injury in early 2018, and she embarked on a long and solo recovery, filled with self-renewal, and where she discovered her talent for sales.

As she neared the end of her healing process, the start of the pandemic was commencing. Taking initiative, she took their only product and started pitching it into many small local grocers and shops around Vancouver. Their Grandpa J’s seasoning went from 8 locations to 20 in just a few months, and by the summer of 2022 would be in 90 locations all by sticking to the basics of working the pavement, building relationships and helping small business be successful at selling out of their product with the use of social media and engagement.

Jenny is a social maven and a connector within her community. She is extremely passionate about food security for children and seniors. Obviously, she is a strong advocate for mental health given her own journey. Her fun social media channels will always have loud cheerleading and mentoring for women businesses and show off her cooking or food experiments. Most describe her as strong, energetic, extremely empathetic and honest. Travelling to Greece, cooking or eating out and enjoying food with friends fills her spare time. Her favorite quote is “if you don’t ask, you won’t know”. She has a teenage daughter and a husband who eat the delicious food she is always cooking and may have had to be unofficial taste testers on a few occasions for the research and development of new seasonings and food concepts.

Immersed in small business her entire life, Eleonora Iliakis is passionate, hard-working and creative. Her small business background come from decades of working for her family-owned Greek and Italian restaurant. Starting at the young age of 5, she remembers rolling and pressing dough and saucing thousands of pizzas. Most of her youth and young adult life was spent in a commercial kitchen, working alongside chefs, cooks and prepping Greek cuisine, while learning the ins and outs of the restaurant business. This experience taught her the importance of quality, consistency and the need for outstanding products.

In 2004, Eleonora and her sister Jenny purchased a small business named Grandpa J’s Seasonings Inc. The brand came from their late great uncle Jim’s legacy, who was well known for his MSG free products across BC and Alberta. At the time of purchasing the business, the product line was a local food industry and chefs ‘best kept secret.’ This was a great opportunity for Eleonora to use her skills and background in the food industry to take Grandpa J's to the next level. Eleonora’s roles and experience has varied tremendously, in an ever-changing industry.

Embracing all of the work along the way from admin duties, managing the inventory, production, receivables/payables, any day-to-day operations.

Apr 24, 202337:11
George Veras

George Veras

We welcome a titan of media, the incomparable George Veras. A former Chief Operating Officer, Chief of Staff & Executive Producer of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, among many other achievements. Prior to joining the Pro Football Hall of Fame, his production company Veras Commuications Inc produced and managed world-renown musician Yanni. He produced and directed the PBS record breaking television specials, “Yanni Live at the Acropolis” and then for the first and only time in history, “Yanni Live at the Taj Mahal” and “Yanni Live at the Forbidden City”, the first time ever a Western artist performed at both venues. He managed and promoted Yanni worldwide, including “Live at the Taj Mahal” and “Live at the Forbidden City”, which launched a 100-city, two-year tour “Tribute” grossing more than $150 million. He produced for NBC Sports 2 Winter Olympics and the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, awarded two National Sports Emmys. VCI produced and marketed over 100 hours of entertainment, sports and documentary programming for seven networks.

Veras is also an Adjunct Professor of Sports Business at Case Western Reserve University, a judge for play by play and studio analysts for the National Sports Emmys, an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate Order of Saint Andrew (, a member of St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, Rocky River, Ohio and an Ellis Island Gold Medalist Recipient. Past associations include member of 1996 Athens Olympic Bid Committee for Broadcasting and Television, Board membership for the Cleveland Pops Orchestra and Anatolia College, Thessaloniki. He has been honored four times as Man of the Year by the Greek-American community. The Hellenic Spirit Foundation 1994 ( the Elios Society 1999 ( , the American Hellenic Institute 2005 ( and Leadership 100 ( 2018.

We could go on and on, but instead please watch our amazing interview with this amazing human!

Winning 10 Emmys to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Apr 21, 202353:46
Irina Kapetanakis

Irina Kapetanakis

We welcome entrepreneur, investor, consultant, and board member Irina Kapetanakis to the show! Irina possesses a unique skill set having helped Fortune 500 businesses drive top-line sales and revenue growth. She has a keen understanding of not only the sales process but what is needed to create an environment that fosters high growth by optimizing processes to achieve results. As a fan of Simon Sinek, she believes that to be a great leader, one needs to continuously define the “why” for every single individual on the team. When people work with purpose, they feel empowered, motivated, and satisfied.

Irina most recently invested in a boutique franchise fitness brand, Rumble, and is expanding their popular NYC based experience into the New Jersey area with 3 studios. The Hoboken NJ studio is opening February 2023.

As an angel investor, mentor and advisor that inspires entrepreneurs, Irina launched corben & lane, a consulting business to help fashion companies scale and diversify their production needs. She also is responsible for representing many international brands looking to enter the US market. She and her team create business value by identifying and executing upon market opportunities.

While Vice President of Marketing at Suuchi Inc, a venture backed, supply chain management software company, she redesigned the marketing organization to improve lead generation efforts by 360% resulting in 90% of the company’s pipeline. In addition to laying the groundwork to create a sales engine, she rebranded the company from a manufacturing business to position it as a tech driven SaaS platform working with enterprise fashion brands worldwide. Within six months the team was exceeding its goals. She also hosted the company’s widely viewed podcast focusing on timely supply chain issues.

Prior to joining Suuchi, Irina was a Director, National Accounts at Legg Mason Global Asset Management. She was promoted several times while at the company before being appointed to the national sales role in which she managed the relationships with the companies two biggest distribution partners — Morgan Stanley and UBS. She expanded the relationship with UBS from $25 million a year in 2006 to $2 billion in under 3 years.

Irina is an investor in several companies including Suuchi Inc. in which she is an angel investor. In 2020, she invested in KLEOS Mastiha Spirit, a woman-owned, luxury spirit brand and sits on their Board of Advisors. She also invested in Mammogen, a biotech company that seeks to radically improve the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of breast cancer. She continues to seek investments in women-led, female-focused companies with strong and passionate leadership that are disrupting the status quo.

She is a board member at the Fashion Institute of Technology’s School of International Trade and Marketing and President of the Hellenic Professional Women Organization. She is mother to her 9 year old son, Lucio, who is her wingman in all her ventures.

Check out Hellenic Professional Women Inc.

Apr 01, 202336:01
Tina Karras of Tina's Planet Vodka

Tina Karras of Tina's Planet Vodka

Say hello to the awesome Tina Karras! It's amazing how one dream can give birth to another.  Tina moved to Los Angeles with literally one guitar and two suitcases to pursue her dream of being a singer-songwriter.  She paid rent by working in restaurants and eventually music venues.  Little did she know that these day jobs would lead to the creation of Tina's Vodka.

Tina grew up working in a family-owned restaurant in Charlotte, NC and her first job was washing dishes. Watching her parents juggle the bills, a family, and the highs and lows of owning a small business was challenging. It was also a great education that influenced her outlook on life. 

Tina has worked as a waitress, bartender, cook, hostess, manager, and buyer while growing up, attending UNC-Chapel Hill, and living in Los Angeles while writing music in her free time.  After countless liquor & wine tastings and classes, she realized there wasn’t a vodka that had all of these traits:  made from organic corn, non-GMO, American made, fantastically smooth, delicious, and at a good price.  

Tina started Tina's Vodka with her credit cards and an SBA loan and just finished her album that was also self-funded. She spent two years recording her record in-between jobs and went to mastering in March 2020. 

Tina was preparing to launch both her vodka and her record during the music festival season of 2020...then the pandemic lockdowns hit!  She was suddenly unemployed, going further into debt, and fighting off a billion-dollar corporation opposing her trademark.  

It's been a crazy, winding road and thankfully, her trademark is registered, she's blessed to have Southern Glazers Wine & Spirits as her distributor, and her record is now out on all digital platforms.

We are excited to share her vodka and music with you!

It's never too late to realize your dreams, they can be bigger than you ever thought. The person you become along the way is the true creation.

Learn more about Tina:

Buy this amazing vodka!

Download the free app:

Sep 22, 202247:07
Fashion Designer Niko Kokkinos
Sep 06, 202233:28
Restaurateur Nick Livanos
Sep 04, 202228:25
Andreas & Michael of KI Legal
Jul 21, 202201:06:13
Dimitris Kardaris & Spiros Stathas of New Wave Productions

Dimitris Kardaris & Spiros Stathas of New Wave Productions

We check in with up-and-coming Greek rappers out of Toronto, Dimitris Kardaris and Spiros Stathas. We get to know them and their group from New Wave Productions. Check them out!

Jun 16, 202238:34
The Gyros Queen Kelly Roditis
Jun 02, 202231:14
Actor / Comedian / Voice Artist Peter Kelamis
Mar 18, 202201:00:03
Actor Anthony Skordi
Feb 23, 202201:04:41
Ultramarathoner / Author Dean Karnazes
Jan 28, 202245:59
It's All Greek to Me's George Diakomichalis
Jan 26, 202249:33
Executive Director of The Hellenic Initiative Peter Poulos
Jan 11, 202236:54
Kristina from "Are You Even Greek?" Instagram
Dec 09, 202156:57
The Multi-Talented Dimitra Korri
Dec 01, 202150:13
Journalist, Activist, & Political Commentator Nomiki Konst
Nov 27, 202158:38
Greece in Disney Founder Lee Pashalopoulos
Nov 18, 202101:00:44
Artist, Singer & Songwriter Evangelia
Oct 20, 202146:34
Ecogenia Founders Lia Papazoglou & Erika Spagakou
Oct 13, 202101:12:31
Dora Papoutsakis
Jun 22, 202101:08:09
Actor / Writer / Comedian Harry Basil
Jun 16, 202101:10:23
Dimitris Ilias & Maria Diamantis of Chroma Musika
Jun 09, 202101:12:32
Jim Mirkopoulos
Apr 15, 202101:07:26
John Kapelos
Apr 08, 202101:03:57
Costas Mandylor
Mar 25, 202101:17:14
George Kapiniaris

George Kapiniaris

George Kapiniaris is one of Australia's best loved comedy, music and TV stars - having had an incredible impact on Australian popular culture over the last thirty five years.

His claim to fame was his starring role in the hugely popular stage show 'Wogs Out Of Work'. Since then, the Australian public has continued to see him use his Greek heritage as inspiration for future roles and performances.

George developed his popular style of ethnic comedy at Rusden College in 1985. Straight away he was labelled as a pioneer of Ethnic Humour in Australia.

We all loved him as DJ in 'The Flying Doctors' and who could forget his starring role as the manic waiter Memo in TV's 'Acropolis Now' from 1989 to 1992 (a show which he co-produced & co-created). Since 1992 George has also been the front man of his 70's cover band 'The Flares'. 

In 2004 George was nominated for a Green Room Award for his role of Stretch in the musical 'Oh, What a Night'. other musical credits include 'The Rocky Horror Show' and 'Return to the Forbidden Planet'.

His theatre credits include 'The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui' for the MTC, 'The Queen and I ', 'An Evening with Merv Hughes' and Guy Masterson's production of '12 Angry Men'.

George's film credits include 'Alex and Eve', 'Big Mammas Boy', 'Thundersruck', 'Bloody Footy', 'Fat Pizza', 'Housos The Movie', 'Closer and Closer Apart' & 'Joey' - George also appeared on the TV series 'Its A Date!'.

Kapiniaris was also seen in the controversial mini series 'Underbelly', playing George Defteros - the lawyer to Melbourne's underworld. In 2009 George appeared as a regular panelist on the very popular SBS show "The Squiz".

In 2021 George will be touring OZ with his comedy stage show, 'Crazy Rich Ethnics'.

He and his Co Stars have received two ACE awards for Best Comedy for their 'Il Dago' Shows and this year he and his team were nominated for Best Comedy for their 'Wildwogs' Production.

George has recently played a Vulgarian Spy in The Australian production of 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang The Musical' and starred last year in The Production Company's Award Winning Show 'Nice Work If You Can Get It!' where he stole the show with amazing reviews.

Download the Connecting Greeks app:

Mar 06, 202155:39
Dannis Koromilas
Feb 25, 202101:07:58
Leon Logothetis

Leon Logothetis

What a pleasure to have had the amazing Leon Logothetis on our show! His inspiring and hopeful message to the world gave us such a necessary and welcome feeling and we anticipate his word spreading everywhere!

Before Leon became a global adventurer, TV host, motivational speaker, and best-selling author, he was living an uninspired and disconnected life as a broker in London. On the outside, it looked like he had it all. But inside, he was chronically depressed. He decided to do something radical about it – give it all up for a life on the road.

He embarked on an adventure around the globe, fueled by the receiving and giving of kindness. On his journey, he found the essence of humanity and learned about the bonds that connect people worldwide. Through kindness, he discovered that when we start to compare ourselves by our similarities instead of our differences, we start to create a brighter future.

For over a decade, he has traveled to over 100 countries and to every continent. He’s documented his experiences through his best-selling books and TV shows. Leon has devoted his life to inspiring the world with his message of kindness and hope. This is best shown through his Netflix series “The Kindness Diaries.” 

He’s worked with many well-being brands and companies to ignite a spark of love, adventure, and humanity into their message and expand their global awareness. When he’s not making TV shows and writing books, he’s traveling around the world, speaking to schools and businesses about the power of kindness, compassion, and empathy. Leon's goal is to always make a positive impact with his work and content.

Leon is also the founder of Winston Entertainment, a travel/adventure television production company that produces content that highlights the good in humanity.

You can also download the free Connecting Greeks app!

Feb 18, 202150:28
Anna Rezan

Anna Rezan

Join us as we chat with the multi-talented Anna Rezan! Anna was born in Athens, Greece, to a lawyer, who wanted to become an actress and to a federal judge who wanted to become a director. She is of Greek American Jewish (from her maternal grandparents), Spanish, Polish, and Greek from Izmir and Crete descent. Rezan grew up in Athens, Greece and began acting as a child on the stage of a Club Med while on family vacation, where she made her stage debut in the hotel's theatrical(musical) shows. She appeared in many more productions through her early teens but at the age of 8 she had already decided that she wanted to make acting, her career.

She enrolled in dance studies at the age of 4.The story is that she was staging theatrical plays with friends after school and directed her first short film at the age of 9, using her father's video camera in an attempt to persuade her parents to allow her to become an actress. Her parents were supportive but didn't love the idea and they revealed their own artistic endeavors to her when she was 17.

She began her career in her early teens by appearing in films and television series, most notably starring in the 2010 comedy film "ShowBitch". Her first international feature film co-starring role was in "La commedia di Amos Poe", that premiered in the 2010 Venice Film Festival.Her debut song "Let there be rain" was released internationally in 2011 and in 2016 her song "Let there be Love" was released internationally by Universal Music Group. In 2017 she co-starred in "Dance Fight Love Die - With Mikis Theodorakis on the Road" by Asteris Koutoulas which premiered in Hof International Film Festival to rave reviews. Her directorial debut, "The Greek Holocaust", is a documentary about the Jews of Greece during World War II, produced by her, Zafeiris Haitidis and Academy Award winners Mitchell Block and Kim Magnusson.

Feb 04, 202101:02:29
Harry Sideropoulos

Harry Sideropoulos

Talk about a great episode! We had renaissance man Harry Sideropoulos all the way from South Africa. Harry is an award-winning stage actor, singer, voice-over artist, speaker, business man and foodie, celebrating over 20 years on stage. He started his public career many years ago on 94, 7 Highveld Stereo’s Rude Awakening Breakfast Show and soon became an integral part of the show for 6 successful years, before resigning to focus solely on his career on stage. Since then, Harry’s has performed and produced a multitude of shows in his home-town Johannesburg as well as frequent appearances in America and Canada. He loves comedy and loves to sing jazz and blues and is the recipient of 3 Naledi Theatre Awards with a further 2 Naledi Theatre Award nominations for his work on stage.

More recently Harry has launched his brand of unique pop-up entertainment experiences around the country. He’s mad about food, but never wanted to run a full time restaurant, instead he creates pop-up culinary experiences for the corporate and private market, fusing both his passion for food and his love of entertaining. Harry is also a very sought after MC with a unique approach to his entertaining. With his deep, gravelly voice, he becomes your event ring master, combining his MC duties with comedy, song, audience interaction with playful frivolity, making his guests feel as though they’ve spent an evening entertained by a friend. Harry can also be booked as a key-note speaker for corporate companies, using his skills as a performer and a comic to fuel thought, encourage dialogue and to bring down the house with laughter with his very unique, larger than life personality. The Sunday Times newspaper has said of Harry “Tasting his food and experiencing his entertainment in his signature raspy voice – live, should be on everyone’s bucket list.” And The Star Newspaper wrote “He’s hysterically funny! He sings like a raunchy angel and dances like a Broadway butterfly”

Jan 28, 202156:12
Dena Romios
Jan 22, 202101:06:11
Ioannis "Johnny the Greek" Birmpilis
Jan 15, 202154:15
Lazo Ioannidis
Jan 08, 202148:51
Opera / Classical Singer Stephanie Kacoyanis
Dec 08, 202054:25
Comedian Jim Dailakis
Dec 04, 202001:09:21
Actress / Model / TV Personality Patricia Kara
Nov 26, 202001:04:33
Singer / Songwriter Vassy
Nov 19, 202053:60
Eraklis & Vanessa Diamataris
Nov 12, 202047:20
Singer/Dancer/Performer Ariana Savalas
Nov 02, 202053:20
Daniel Sam aka Plastic EP
Oct 24, 202056:13
Shelly Papadopoulos
Oct 15, 202048:29
Oct 08, 202054:50
Paul Delios

Paul Delios

We have chef and donut king Paul Delios join us for a great chat. Paul's company - Kane's Donuts - is a staple in the greater Boston area for decades, and Paul has traveled the world as a renowned chef. Join us for the conversation!

Oct 01, 202001:05:20
"Chairman George" Sapounidis
Sep 27, 202052:03
Gus Constantellis
Sep 17, 202051:31
Christos Sourligas
Sep 10, 202001:09:45