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NHS Talks Excellence
  • DEMETRI TSOLAKIS

    Demetri Tsolakis grew up in central Connecticut, working in his family’s gyro restaurants since he was “tall enough to pour a soda.” After a stint as an investment banker, he felt the pull of the restaurants and returned to the business determined to present Greek culinary culture in a more contemporary and true fashion. His restaurants, he says, are designed as places he would want to patronize, from the aesthetics to the food to the drink.

    Tsolakis’s footprint in Bean Town began with Committee Ouzeri + Bar and has extended to fast-casual Greco, and, most recently, Krasi Meze & Wine. (Another concept is on the way, but, as not to tempt fate, Tsolakis is keeping mum about the details). Except for the fact that each concept is rooted in Greek culture, they are all very distinct from one another, with almost zero menu overlap. If that link to Greek culture forms the fabric of the restaurants, it’s Tsolakis’s deft touch as a restaurateur along with his creativity and his passion for all things Greek that are the threads tying them all together.

    If the textbook on upscale Greek restaurants was written by the celebrated fish taverns in Manhattan, or the next generation Greek eateries of Chicago, it is immediately obvious upon entering his restaurants Committee or Krasi that Tsolakis has ignored those and charted a unique course. In fact, all three of the concepts that Tsolakis has created represent the epitome of perfection in each of their niches. And judging by the crowds, he is clearly onto something.

    National Hellenic Society Chairman Drake Behrakis interviews Dr. Elisa Konofagou. Elisa E. Konofagou designs and develops ultrasound-based technologies for automated estimation of tissue mechanics as well as drug delivery and therapeutics.

  • DR. ELISA KONOFAGOU

    Elisa E. Konofagou designs and develops ultrasound-based technologies for automated estimation of tissue mechanics as well as drug delivery and therapeutics. Her group has worked on the design of algorithms that can estimate minute deformation as a result of physiological function, such as in the heart and vessels, and displacements induced by the ultrasound wave itself, such as in tumors and nerves, while she maintains several collaborations with physicians in order to translate these technologies to the clinical setting. She has also developed novel techniques in order to facilitate noninvasive brain drug delivery as well as modulation of both the central and peripheral nervous systems. 

    Of particular interest to Konofagou are high-precision speckle tracking techniques that allow estimation of mechanical and electromechanical motion in soft tissues in vivo such as the heart, the aorta, the carotid, the breast, and the pancreas. Strain estimation is optimized and related to the underlying mechanical properties of the tissues in vivo.  Her group has pioneered methods such as Myocardial Elastography, Electromechanical Wave Imaging, Pulse Wave Imaging, and Harmonic Motion Imaging for the noninvasive early detection and screening of the early onset of cardiovascular disease and myocardial infarction as well as detection, monitoring, and generation of ablative therapy for noninvasive, extracorporeal tumor treatment, respectively. Her work encompasses unveiling of the mechanism of ultrasound-induced opening of the blood-brain barrier for facilitation of noninvasive and localized brain drug delivery while developing novel methodologies for noninvasive and deep brain stimulation as well as peripheral nerve modulation for the treatment of psychiatric and motor neuron diseases.

    Konofagou received a BS in chemical physics from Université de Paris 6 in 1992, a MS in biomedical engineering from Imperial College (London, UK) in 1993 and a PhD in biomedical engineering from the University of Houston in 1999.   She is a fellow of the Acoustical Society of America and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, and in 2007 she received the NSF CAREER Award.
     

    National Hellenic Society Chairman Drake Behrakis interviews Dr. Elisa Konofagou. Elisa E. Konofagou designs and develops ultrasound-based technologies for automated estimation of tissue mechanics as well as drug delivery and therapeutics.

  • VASILIS KOSTAS

    Vasilis Kostas is an acclaimed laouto player from Ioannina in Epirus, Greece. He is a member of 'Global Messengers', the group launched by Grammy Award-winning pianist and UNESCO Artist for Peace, Danilo Perez. Vasilis has appeared at Carnegie Hall, the Montreal International Jazz Festival, the Panama Jazz Festival and WOMEX. He has shared the stage with renowned artists such Simon Shaheen, Tigran Hamasyan, Antonio Serrano and Christos Zotos to name a few.

    His innovative approach on the laouto is a based on adapting Petroloukas Halkias’s clarinet lines and instrumental philosophy, as well as finding ways to combine jazz improvisation tools with the traditional elements of his musical roots. Vasilis has appeared as a soloist with the Berklee World Strings Orchestra conducted by Eugene Friesen and has traveled to Europe and Latin America to present his work on the laouto.

    Vasilis graduated with a masters degree from the Berklee Global Jazz Institute in Boston, where he studied on a full scholarship after he received his diploma from the Berklee College of Music’s undergraduate program. In addition, he has a diploma from Philippos Nakas Conservatory, and a degree in Philosophy and Pedagogy from the Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Greece.

    Vasilis is currently based in Boston, where he teaches music. He travels frequently throughout the United States and overseas to present his projects and work through the laouto. 

    National Hellenic Society Chairman Drake Behrakis interviews Vasilis Kostas. Vasilis Kostas is an acclaimed laouto player from Ioannina in Epirus, Greece. He is a member of 'Global Messengers', the group launched by Grammy Award-winning pianist and UNESCO Artist for Peace, Danilo Perez.

  • DR. ELAINA MANOLIS

    Dr. Elaina Manolis started her career in the subacute care setting at D’Youville Life and Wellness Community in Lowell, MA where she was a practicing physical therapist and rehab supervisor. Eventually, she transitioned to outpatient orthopedics at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Charlestown, MA where she continues to practice as an Advanced Clinician and is now a Board-Certified Specialist in both Geriatrics and Orthopedics. She also has a strong dance background and enjoys treating dancers and performers as well as serving as a member of the Spaulding Dance SIG and the Professional Development Committee of the International Association of Dance Medicine & Science. Dr. Manolis recently completed her Doctor of Science (ScD) in Physical Therapy with an emphasis on the development of educational skills and learning assessment as well as clinical research and advanced physical therapy skills. She joined the faculty of the Department of Physical Therapy, Movement & Rehabilitation Sciences in the summer of 2021. Her current research interests include injury prevention and resiliency in performers as well as evaluation and assessment in higher education.

    National Hellenic Society Chairman Drake Behrakis interviews Dr. Elaina Manolis. Dr. Manolis serves as an Assistant Clinical Professor and the Associate Director of Clinical Education at Northeastern University's Bouvé College of Health Sciences.

  • NHS Talks discussion on the economic impact and long-term outlook with featured panelists: Phil Angelides, California State Treasurer Emeritus, Chair Emeritus, Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, Mike Bapis, Managing Director, VIOS Advisors at Rockefeller Capital Management, John Koudounis, Chief Executive Officer, Calamos Investments, Doretta Mistras, Managing Director,Citigroup Health Care Investment Banking, Nicholas Sakellariadis, Emeritus Managing Director, Mergers and Acquisitions at Citigroup, Co-Chair and Principal Owner, Dayton Dragons Baseball Team.

    ERAKLIS DIAMATARAS

    VANESSA DIAMATARAS

    National Hellenic Society Chairman Drake Behrakis interviews Vanessa and Eraklis Diamataras. They respectively serve as the Online Features Editor & Marketing Strategist (Vanessa) and Publisher (Eraklis) of The National Herald.

  • LUCY XU

    While not of Greek descent, Lucy Xu moved from New York City to Athens in 2017 to explore a unique thesis on the potential for innovation, collaboration, and expansion that exists across tech ecosystems. Today, Lucy is the Founder & CEO of The Port Global, an international marketing and business consultancy enabling startups in Greece and similar emerging tech markets to realize their highest potential. She holds a business degree from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, is a TEDx speaker, and has a background in technology and marketing (formerly IBM, Curalate, and Startup Grind NYC).

    NHS Talks Excellence takes a look at Lucy Xu, the Founder & CEO of The Port Global, an international marketing and business consultancy enabling startups in Greece and similar emerging tech markets to realize their highest potential.

  • Our first episode features Aynne Kokas, an associate professor of media studies at the University of Virginia and a senior faculty fellow at the Miller Center for Public Affairs. She researches and writes about United States - China Media and Tech Relations.

    AYNNE KOKAS

    Aynne Kokas is an associate professor of media studies at the University of Virginia and a senior faculty fellow at the Miller Center for Public Affairs. Her multiple-award-winning first book, Hollywood Made in China (University of California Press, 2017) argues that Chinese investment and regulations have transformed the US commercial media industry. Her next book project Data Trafficking: The United States, China, and the Global Battle for Data Security examine the policy implications of the transfer of consumer data between the United States and China. Kokas' research has also appeared in Information, Communication, and Society, Journal of Asian Studies, PLOS One, and others. Kokas is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Funding agencies including Fulbright, the Library of Congress, the Social Science Research Council, the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Abe Fellowship Program and others have supported her research. Kokas’ writing and commentary have appeared in forty-eight countries and eleven languages.

Join the National Hellenic Society as we introduce NHS Talks Excellence, a new series that highlights the work and accomplishments of young Greek Americans.

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