It’s hard to define who I am and what I do in a single description. At any given moment of my life, I might be planning communications and marketing strategies for clients, on a Skype call with a film production team discussing a script, writing a story for my website, or spending time interviewing potential scholarship recipients for my non-profit organization that I founded more than a decade ago.
I split my time between my three favorite cities on the planet, New York City and Athens.
To make a living, I run a New York City-based public relations and event planning firm called PxP Special Events and Public Relations.
To feed my soul, I founded a charity called the Greek America Foundation that helps people connect with their Greek heritage. Since its founding, we’ve sent dozens of young people to Greece for Semester in Athens scholarships and volunteer programs. We’ve raised millions of dollars for various philanthropic and humanitarian relief initiatives.
I also publish a website called The Pappas Post, which features news and original content from throughout the Greek world that is read by more than 500,000 unique visitors every month.
I used to write for The Huffington Post as well, and got my inspiration to create and launch The Pappas Post from that publication’s namesake, Arianna Huffington. “Who knows ‘Pappas’ I asked her one day during a conversation about starting a website with my name on it.” She famously responded “A lot more people know a Pappas than they did a Huffington.”
In 2013 I decided to take my love for storytelling to a new level. I took the leap into film production and founded a small company to share stories that were important to me wit the world, using the medium of film.
I have executive produced several short films including Alethea Avramis’ The Foreigner, which was nominated for a student Emmy Award and Alex Thompson’s Irene and Marie, which starred Oscar winner Olympia Dukakis. I also produced a documentary film called Hello Anatolia about a Greek American filmmaker named Chrysovalantis Stamelos who returns to Turkey in search of his Greek family’s roots.
Another documentary film I produced, Palikari: Louis Tikas and the Ludlow Massacre has gone on to win numerous awards throughout the world and has received critical acclaim as one of the greatest untold stories of American history.
I’ve recently completed a short film called Eleftheromania, about an unprecedented incident of immense bravery on the part of 400 prisoners in Auschwitz during the summer of 1944. This film has won numerous awards and accolades, including Best Drama at the prestigious Toronto Shorts International Film Festival and Official Selection at Raindance in London.
I’m passionate about service and volunteerism and have frequently lent my time, talents and support to various initiatives whose ideals align with mine.
In 2017, I launched Greek America Corps, a volunteer initiative of the Greek America Foundation which sends young Americans and Canadians to Greece to serve various non-profit and humanitarian relief efforts with local non-profit partners.
In 2019, I narrated a film called “Mission to Santorini” about an organization called Healthy Seas and their dynamic efforts to clean the waters of Greece from tons and tons of abandoned fishing nets and equipment that have compromised the underwater ecosystem.
I speak regularly before large and small crowds about the importance of maintaining our cultural identity and historical issues pertaining to contemporary Greek-U.S. relations and history.
I also speak regularly about Greece’s role during World War II– an era I’ve studied and researched extensively. I own an extensive collection of items from this period, including a letter my paternal grandmother received from the British Field Marshall, thanking her for her role during the Battle of Crete with assisting Allied troops.
My collection was featured in an exhibition in October 2019 at the Hellenic American University in Athens, which was featured on the front page of Kathimerini and inaugurated in the presence of the U.S. Ambassador to Greece, Geoffrey Pyatt and Greece’s Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias.
I have produced major international events like The Gabby Awards, the National Innovation Conference and an annual film and photography festival in Toronto called Greek Film and Foto Week, all under the auspices of the Greek America Foundation.
In 2020 I produced my first song, a remake of a traditional Greek island song in collaboration with Glykeria as a fundraising campaign for the Greek America Foundation. The music video included almost 200 photographs of Greek memories that were sourced from people from throughout the world.
The #ElladaSagapo Project
The proudest moment of my professional career was the Spring of 2004 when I watched Glykeria perform in front of 2,000 people in Istanbul, Turkey at a special concert that I produced for the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople– the spiritual leader of the world’s 300 million Orthodox Christians. The performance included songs and music from the “lost lands” of Greek Asia Minor and many of the people in the audience were singing Greek songs they grew up with for the first time in decades.
In September of 2020 I got out of my “city comfort zone” and spent some time on an olive farm in Crete, developing my very own line of early harvest, high-phenolic extra virgin olive oil. The farm was a stone’s throw from where both my parents were born and after years of research, sampling and studying the health benefits of this true superfood, I decided to bring my own brand to market.
Another exciting professional experience I had was being part of the production team for a 13-episode television show hosted by Leon Logothetis, who traveled around the world on a yellow vintage motorcycle relying solely on the kindness of strangers. The show is available to watch on Netflix.
I was on much of that journey– which was more than a paying job for me, but a look deep inside myself and a familiarization with the world around me. I drove with Leon across the entire United States, from coast to coast, and also visited far-flung places like Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia, which will stay with me forever.
I was born and raised in Pittsburgh and grew up in the comfort of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, a close-knit community that was led by a beloved man named Fr. Michael Sfanos. To this day, Fr. Michael’s lessons about humanity and compassion remain with me in everything I do.
In the late 1990s I relocated to Chicago thanks to the encouragement to Maria Pappas, who recognized my skills and talent at an early age and pulled me by the ear to “big city.” I lived in the Windy City full time for almost 20 before moving to the capital of the universe, New York City, where I spend most of my time, with my husband Agamemnon and my dog, Duke. We still maintain a residence in Chicago but when we’re not in the U.S., we are in Kypseli, our favorite neighborhood in Athens.
A sentence that best defines me and defines everything I do in life– I am passionate about my Greek heritage and want to share it with the world.
Producer, The City Lives, commemorating the 568th anniversary of the Fall of Constantinople, screened live by more than 30,000 people globally, simultaneously.
Greektown Chicago’s Virtual Celebration of Greek Independence Day 2021