HISTORY OF THE UNION OF GREEK SHIPOWNERS

LEONIDAS A. EMBIRICOS

1916 - 1920

Leonidas Embiricos, the eldest son of Andreas Embiricos, was born in Andros in 1869. He studied commercial sciences in Romania, subsequently working in the office of his uncle Alcibiades C. Embiricos, a grain merchant and shipowner, in Braila. He started…

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LEONIDAS A. EMBIRICOS

1916 - 1920

Leonidas Embiricos, the eldest son of Andreas Embiricos, was born in Andros in 1869. He studied commercial sciences in Romania, subsequently working in the office of his uncle Alcibiades C. Embiricos, a grain merchant and shipowner, in Braila. He started his shipowning activities in 1899, with his three brothers Antonios, Michael and Maris, purchasing two second-hand steam ships and founding the shipping and commercial company Embiricos Bros., based in Syros and expanding in 1902 to the construction of steam freighters. In 1909, together with his brothers, he founded the National Steam Navigation Co. of Greece, in Piraeus. The company acquired the new-build ocean liner "Patris" and soon evolved into one of the largest shipping companies of the time, dominating transatlantic transport and performing impressively until 1935, when it shut down due to accumulated problems caused mainly by poor choices on the part of the government. Apart from the above companies, in 1915, with his brother Michael, he founded the UK-based Byron Steamship Company, which acquired and managed a significant number of steam ships under the British flag until 1932.

Leonidas Embiricos was actively involved in politics. An avid supporter and personal friend of Eleftherios Venizelos, he was a leading figure in the Liberal Party and was elected Member of Parliament (MP) for the Cyclades in 1910, 1912 and 1915. He lent invaluable assistance to the national struggle of Venizelos, at whose disposal he put his vessels and fortune. He served as minister for Supply and Food Distribution from 14 June 1917 to 18 January 1918.

In addition to his shipping activities, he undertook major business initiatives, salient among which were the founding of the Bank of National Economy and the National Life and Good Faith insurance companies, while he purchased the traditional Vassiliadis machine works with the intention of opening a shipyard. His social involvement and contributions were also multifaceted, including significant donations and projects on his home island of Andros and elsewhere. In recognition of this, in 1918 the government gave him the title of Commander of the Second Order of the Saviour.

In 1916, at the age of 47, he was elected president of the then newly-founded Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS). He kept this position over the course of four of the Union's elections, until 1920.

After the dissolution of the National Steam Navigation Co. of Greece, he managed freighters until losing them in the course of the War. He lived the final years of his life in Paris, where he died in 1948.

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STAMATIOS G. EMBIRICOS

1924 - 1934

Stamatios Embiricos was born in 1868, in Andros. He studied initially in Romania and subsequently at the Commercial School of Halki. He later continued his education in London. He then worked at the merchant shipping office of his uncles, Alcibiades and Leonidas C. Embiricos, in Braila, Romania…

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STAMATIOS G. EMBIRICOS

1924 - 1934

Stamatios Embiricos was born in 1868, in Andros. He studied initially in Romania and subsequently at the Commercial School of Halki. He later continued his education in London. He then worked at the merchant shipping office of his uncles, Alcibiades and Leonidas C. Embiricos, in Braila, Romania.

In 1896, in Cardiff, he founded the company S. G. Embiricos Ltd., which later moved to an office in London, with a branch in Athens. He entered into shipping in 1899, with the purchase of two second-hand steam ships, and in 1904 he acquired his first new-build vessel.

His company soon developed into a multifaceted shipping business of global standing, while he lent significant assistance to the development of many Greek shipowners, mainly Andriots, whom he frequently helped with loans provided by his office, particularly during the inter-war years.

Apart from being a major shipowner, Stamatis Embiricos made significant investments in on-shore enterprises. With his brother Aristides, he founded a major coal import company in Andros, while he also invested considerable capital, and participated actively, in many commercial, industrial and banking enterprises.

In addition to being a paragon of honesty, he was a great benefactor, mainly of his birthplace, providing large sums for charitable projects. He was decorated by the Greek state with the Cross of George I for his services to the nation. In 1929 he was elected Senator according to merit, representing shipowners and retaining this office until his death.

He served as president of the Union of Greek Shipowner (UGS) from February 1924 to April 1934, elected to the position by his colleagues in ten consecutive UGS elections. When he stepped down, he was declared honorary president of the UGS. He died in Hamburg a few months later, on 6 September 1934.

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NICOLAOS G. KYRIAKIDES

1934 - 1935

Nicolaos Kyriakides was born in 1860, on Marmara Island. With the assistance of his uncle, the Metropolitan of Marmara Island, he studied at Robert College, in Istanbul, and at the Phanar Greek Orthodox College (Great School of the Nation). After finishing his studies, he moved to Romania, where, through hard work…

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NICOLAOS G. KYRIAKIDES

1934 - 1935

Nicolaos Kyriakides was born in 1860, on Marmara Island. With the assistance of his uncle, the Metropolitan of Marmara Island, he studied at Robert College, in Istanbul, and at the Phanar Greek Orthodox College (Great School of the Nation). After finishing his studies, he moved to Romania, where, through hard work, he rose to become a major shipping agent. He developed very good relations with English shipping agents, entities which resulted in their awarding him the duties of representative of well-known P&I Clubs in Romania. In 1904 he acquired his first vessel, gradually acquiring three more until the outbreak of World War I, during which he lost them. In 1914 he moved to Athens.

Apart from his shipping activities, he was the founder of the "Propontida" insurance company. But Nicolaos Kyriakides was mainly distinguished for his participation in public life. He was a close personal friend of Eleftherios Venizelos,and one of the key financial supporters of his struggle. He was a leading founder, in Athens, of the "Committee for those in Bondage," the aim of which was to liberate Greeks, and in July 1918 he undertook to chair a committee whose purpose was to inform global public opinion with regard to the suffering of Greeks under foreign yoke. At his own expense, and having abandoned professional interests and activities, he travelled in England and America from July 1918 to April 1919 in his effort to keep prominent public figures apprised of Greece's national issues.

He participated in many charitable projects, culminating in the building of the Kyriakidia Schools on Marmara Island and the school in the new home town of his fellow Greeks from Marmara Island, Neos Marmaras Sithonia, in Halkidiki.

Among the founders and pioneers of the Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS), he served as vice president continuously from 1917 to 1934. In April 1934, he was elected president of the UGS. He was re-elected in May 1935, but his sudden death in July of the same year ended his creative course.

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BASIL J. GOULANDRIS

1935 - 1936

Basil Goulandris was born in Andros in 1886, one of five sons of the Andriot shipmaster/shipowner John P. Goulandris. At the age of 23 he obtained the captain's license, having already served as seaman, lieutenant and lieutenant commander on the family’s first steam ships…

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BASIL J. GOULANDRIS

1935 - 1936

Basil Goulandris was born in Andros in 1886, one of five sons of the Andriot shipmaster/shipowner John P. Goulandris. At the age of 23 he obtained the captain's license, having already served as seaman, lieutenant and lieutenant commander on the family’s first steam ships, which he later captained during the First World War. After the war, together with his brothers Peter, Michael, Nikolaos and Leonidas, he founded Goulandris Bros. Ltd., with offices in London and Piraeus, developing extensive activities with privately-owned vessels and managing other ships owned mainly by Andriots.

Following the Second World War and the loss of the greatest part of their fleet, and with his brother Peter's sons having created the company Orion, he continued the group's activities with Nikolaos and Leonidas, concurrently developing considerable activity in Canada, in collaboration with his son John, who had established himself there. In 1952, the group's passenger vessel division was taken over by Leonidas Goulandris, and shortly afterwards Nikolaos founded the N. J. Goulandris company. From then on, Basil Goulandris continued running Goulandris Bros. in collaboration with his sons John and Constantine.

Apart from shipping, he was actively involved in politics and was elected Member of Parliament (MP) for the Cyclades, with the People's Party, in March 1936, serving until the '4th of August' regime came to power later that year. He was again elected MP for the Cyclades on 31 May 1946.

He was particularly distinguished for his social work, carrying out several charity projects and making many donations, mainly on his home island of Andros. He was honoured and decorated by the state for his multifaceted contributions.

He served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS) from 1926 to May 1935, when he was elected vice president. After the sudden death of Nicolaos Kyriakides in July of the same year, he was elected president of the UGS. In the elections of March 1936, he did not pursue re-election to the office of president, remaining a member of the board. After the war, he continued to serve the UGS in the capacity of board member until 1972. He died in London, in 1976.

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MICHAEL J. PNEUMATICOS

1936 - 1938

Michael Pneumaticos was born in the village of Panagia, Kassos, in 1883. He was the son of the merchant marine captain and shipowner John Pneumaticos, who distinguished himself in sail shipping and, later, steam shipping, in collaboration with his relative Basil Rethymnis. After his junior high school studies…

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MICHAEL J. PNEUMATICOS

1936 - 1938

Michael Pneumaticos was born in the village of Panagia, Kassos, in 1883. He was the son of the merchant marine captain and shipowner John Pneumaticos, who distinguished himself in sail shipping and, later, steam shipping, in collaboration with his relative Basil Rethymnis. After his junior high school studies, he attended Robert College in Istanbul. There he met Leonidas Arvanitidi, scion of the family owning the J. Arvanitidi Fils company, which traded in kerosene from Batumi, on the Black Sea.

Working on his father's ships, he obtained the captain's license at the age of 23 and a few years later his friendship with Leonidas Arvanitidi led to their collaboration, which culminated in the acquisition of two ships before the outbreak of the First World War; ships captained by Michael Pneumaticos himself before he returned to Istanbul to take up a higher position in the Arvanitidi company.

Following the Catastrophe of Smyrna in 1922, he left his family in Istanbul and moved to Syros. There, with his cousins Nicolaos and Minas Rethymnis, and his brother-in-law Stathes Yannagas, he founded the "Pneumaticos, Rethymnis and Yannagas" shipping company, which acquired and managed a number of ships. In 1927, they founded Kassos Steam Navigation S.A., which grew significantly in the following years.

He was a mild-mannered person, very quiet but effective in his work. For these attributes and his contribution to society he enjoyed the great admiration of his colleagues and the people of Kassos.

He was elected to the board of the Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS) for the first time in 1928, serving in this position until 1935, when he was elected vice president. He was elected president of the UGS in March 1936 and was re-elected a year later. From April 1938 on, he chose to participate as a member of the board of directors, until March 1946, when his colleagues re-elected him to the presidency. However, his constant presence abroad, due to the conditions prevailing at the time, did not allow him to assume the presidency, which was taken on, in the end, by Loucas Nomicos in June 1946.

He continued to serve the UGS continuously as a member of the BoD until his death, in Monte Carlo, in 1969.

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CONSTANTINOS N. MICHALOS

1938 - 1946

Costas Michalos was born in Chios in 1870. On completing his studies, he focused on his family's commercial activities in lumber, flour milling and brick and tile manufacturing. Later, he worked with his brother Leonidas…

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CONSTANTINOS N. MICHALOS

1938 - 1946

Costas Michalos was born in Chios in 1870. On completing his studies, he focused on his family's commercial activities in lumber, flour milling and brick and tile manufacturing. Later, he worked with his brother Leonidas, when the latter became active in shipping, and, following his brother's death in 1926, he was put in charge of the family's enterprises.

His shipping activity was significant in London and, later, in New York, as he acquired ownership and management of a considerable number of vessels. Also considerable were the activities of the Michalinos Maritime & Commercial Company, which Leonidas and Costas Michalos purchased from Zorzis Michalinos – an uncle of Costas Michalos's wife – following the First World War. The company's focus was on importing coal from England but expanded its activities and had a significant presence in the shipping sector for a number of decades, directed by Emmanuel T. Michalinos.

Costas Michalos was particularly distinguished for his social contribution, donating large sums, while still alive, for the realisation of charitable projects. In his will he left a large portion of his fortune to charitable foundations and associations in his birthplace.

The Michalinos Company was among the founding members of the Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS) and was represented initially by Emmanuel Michalinos, from 1916 to 1926. In 1927 and 1928, Costas Michalos was elected to the UGS Board of Directors, with Emmanuel Michalinos serving from 1929 to 1936, including two terms as vice president. In 1937, Costas Michalos was again elected to the Board, taking over the position of president in 1938. He was re-elected president in 1939 and 1940, remaining in the position until March of 1946, when he did not pursue re-election. He continued to participate in the Board of Directors as a member until his death, in New York, in December 1949.

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LOUCAS N. NOMICOS

1946 - 1950

Loucas Nomicos was born in Oia, Santorini, in 1886, the son of Nicolaos Nomicos, an owner and captain of sailing vessels. After graduating from the junior high school in his birthplace, he attended the French school in Fira, Santorini, and, at the age of 14, embarked upon a seafaring career…

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LOUCAS N. NOMICOS

1946 - 1950

Loucas Nomicos was born in Oia, Santorini, in 1886, the son of Nicolaos Nomicos, an owner and captain of sailing vessels. After graduating from the junior high school in his birthplace, he attended the French school in Fira, Santorini, and, at the age of 14, embarked upon a seafaring career, rising in a few years to captain and, in 1910, captaining the first steam ship acquired by his family.

After the First World War, he established himself in Piraeus, developing significant activity in Mediterranean shipping and at the same time becoming involved in shipping politics, initially as president of sailing ships, later of diesel-powered ships and finally of Mediterranean steam freighters.

He was elected to the board of the Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS) in April 1933 and served continuously until the country's entry into the Second World War. During the German occupation, he remained in Greece, essentially representing the Union. He courageously and successfully resisted pressure from the Germans, who made every attempt to gain ownership of the ocean-going Greek vessels serving the allied cause.

When the war ended, and at a time when virtually all Greek shipowners were abroad, seeking a way to regroup, Loucas Nomicos stayed close to the Union, assuming the presidency in June 1946. Despite the great difficulties deriving from the unstable political situation, he managed to keep the UGS running and handed the presidency on in 1950, when the conditions had been created for a fresh course.

He continued to serve the UGS as a member of the Board of Directors for the next 20 years, until 1970, when he left the Board, receiving the title of honorary President. He was also honoured and decorated by the State for his services to the Homeland. He passed away in December 1973.

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NICOLAOS D. LYKIARDOPULO

1950 - 1960

Nicolaos Lykiardopulo was born in 1866, in Keramies, Kefalonia. After completing his basic education in his birthplace, he travelled, at the age of 14, to Istanbul, and from there signed on as an apprentice and, later, seaman on sailing ships. He was soon promoted to officer cadet …

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NICOLAOS D. LYKIARDOPULO

1950 - 1960

Nicolaos Lykiardopulo was born in 1866, in Keramies, Kefalonia. After completing his basic education in his birthplace, he travelled, at the age of 14, to Istanbul, and from there signed on as an apprentice and, later, seaman on sailing ships. He was soon promoted to officer cadet and, at a very young age, obtained the captain's license. He captained steamships of the grain merchant and shipowner Panagis Vaglianos, who helped him acquire his first vessel in 1897.

He subsequently managed to create a considerable fleet and, in 1910, open an office in London, expanding his activities through orders for new-build ships. After the First World War, in which he lost a number of vessels, he renewed his fleet with new orders for new-build ships, while concurrently becoming active in other sectors of the economy as well. Heading a group of businessmen, in 1916 he founded Piraeus Bank (Bank of Trade, Industry and Shipping), of which he was the main shareholder, chairing its board of directors for many years. In 1917, together with George Dracoulis and Andreas and Konstantinos Mazarakis, he founded the major insurance company "Geniki Insurance of Greece".

He continued his activities throughout the inter-war years, sitting continuously on the BoD of the Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS), and in 1934 he was elected senator, representing shipping.

He also made a significant social contribution, carrying out major charity projects, mainly in Kefalonia, both before and after the disastrous earthquakes of 1953. He was repeatedly honoured by the state for his contribution in general.

In the elections of June 1950, at a decisive time for the future of Greek shipping, he was elected president of the UGS, at the age of 84. He was re-elected in the UGS's next four elections, serving ten productive years in the presidency, during which time the foundations were laid for the reorganization of Greek shipping. In 1954 he installed the UGS, which he had so faithfully served, in privately owned premises on Mitropoleos Str., in Athens. The construction of the building was personally overseen by the UGS vice president at the time, Stratis G. Adreadis. On his departure from the UGS Board of Directors, he was made honorary president of the organization. He died in 1963, at the age of 97.

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STRATIS G. ANDREADIS

1960 - 1974

Stratis Andreadis was born in Chios in 1905. He was the son of Chios shipowner and benefactor George Hadjifrangoulis Andreadis. He studied at Athens University Law School and, subsequently, at the university school of Law and Political Sciences in Paris, from which he earned his doctorate in 1932…

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STRATIS G. ANDREADIS

1960 - 1974

Stratis Andreadis was born in Chios in 1905. He was the son of Chios shipowner and benefactor George Hadjifrangoulis Andreadis. He studied at Athens University Law School and, subsequently, at the university school of Law and Political Sciences in Paris, from which he earned his doctorate in 1932. In 1934 he was appointed lawyer with the right to appear before the Supreme Court. In 1935 he was elected professor of Administrative Law at the University of Thessaloniki and in 1939 to the same chair at the Athens University of Economic and Business Sciences, where he also served as rector at seven different times. He was also elected proxy for Chios in the National Assembly of 1935.

In parallel with his intellectual activities, he undertook initiatives to develop the family shipping group following the Second World War. At the same time, he developed unprecedentedly varied, for Greece, business activities in on-shore enterprises, anchored by the Commercial Bank of Greece, in which he acquired a majority stake in 1952. He also served as president of the BoD of the "Phoenix" insurance company, vice president of Hellenic Electric Railways and president and governor of the Ionian and Laiki Banks. Enterprises he founded included the fertilizer plant in Nea Karvali, Kavala, and the Hellenic Juice and Canned Food Industry in Corinthia.

Piraeus Bank and Attiki Bank also came under the control of his group. His banking activities also included the founding of the Investment Bank, with the participation of major foreign banks, in 1936. Finally, his group also acquired control of the Commercial Bank of the Near East, in London. Adding to his on-shore investments, Andreadis founded the Elefsis Shipyards in 1962 and built the Hilton Hotel, a milestone for Greek tourism. Stratis Andreadis's business career came to an end in the mid-1970s with the loss of control of the Commercial Bank of Greece, which resulted in the nationalisation of all of his on-shore enterprises.

He was elected vice president of the Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS) in June 1950 and he held this position until March 1960, when he was elected president. He retained this position in the following seven USG elections, serving as president for 14 consecutive years, until the end of November 1974, when he resigned. After he stepped down from the UGS presidency, he was awarded the title of honorary president in 1975.

During his time as president of the UGS, repatriation of a significant portion of the Greek-owned fleet was achieved, the first Shipping Conference was held, in 1964, and the foundations were laid for Piraeus's emergence as a major shipping centre, through the establishment there of many Greek shipping businesses that had had their headquarters abroad.

He died in Paris in 1989, at the age of 84.

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ANTHONY J. CHANDRIS

1975 - 1981

With family origins in Chios, Anthony Chandris was born in Piraeus in 1924, the second son of shipowner John Chandris. He graduated from Athens College in 1942 and studied naval engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, from which he graduated in 1947…

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ANTHONY J. CHANDRIS

1975 - 1981

With family origins in Chios, Anthony Chandris was born in Piraeus in 1924, the second son of shipowner John Chandris. He graduated from Athens College in 1942 and studied naval engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, from which he graduated in 1947.

He then focused, in collaboration with his older brother Dimitri, on rebuilding the family shipping business, which had been decimated during the war. He worked as technical supervisor, while, in addition to building up the fleet of ocean-going freighters, starting in 1959 he developed impressive activities in ocean-going passenger shipping, running the emigrant vessel "Patris" between Greece and Australia and creating – in the space of a decade – a fleet of ten ocean-going passenger ships that were gradually converted to work as cruise ships.

The Chandris group also made significant investments in the on-shore economy, including establishment of a chain of high-end hotels, creation and development of a ship repair yard at Ampelaki, Salamina, and founding of a wire manufacturing factory, a beer brewery and a meat processing plant, among other activities.

Without receiving much publicity, he carried out significant charity projects with a focus on his home town and participated creatively in a large number of activities. Among other things, he served as a member of the Boards of the Bank of Greece and the National Bank of Greece. A permanent representative of the Cypriot government at the IMO and the United Nations, he was awarded decorations and titles for his multidimensional contribution.

He served for a number of years on the Greek Shipping Cooperation Committee in London, as member and vice president of the Board of Directors. He was among the founders of Intercargo and served as its first president. In 1975, he was elected president of the Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS), taking on responsibility for the reorganization of shipping forces in the critical period following the dictatorship. He was re-elected in December 1976 and January 1979. His presidency saw the modernisation of the UGS charter, the renewal and strengthening of the institutional framework for shipping, the completion of the repatriation of vessels to the national registry and the further strengthening of Piraeus as a shipping centre of international standing.

In 1980, shortly after the sudden death of his brother Mimis Chandris, he was forced to resign for health reasons. His colleagues bestowed the title of honorary president on him and he did not cease to assist them in their efforts, during an extremely difficult time for shipping, until his death in December 1984, at the age of 60.

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ARISTOMENIS M. KARAGEORGIS

1981 - 1984

With family roots in Messinia, Aristomenis Karageorgis was born in Piraeus in 1933.

Following his graduation from high school, he worked as a cadet on the ships of his father, Michael Karageorgis, and subsequently moved…

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ARISTOMENIS M. KARAGEORGIS

1981 - 1984

With family roots in Messinia, Aristomenis Karageorgis was born in Piraeus in 1933.

Following his graduation from high school, he worked as a cadet on the ships of his father, Michael Karageorgis, and subsequently moved to England, where he studied at the University of Southampton Ship Science School. He remained in London for three years, completing his shipping education through practical and theoretical training.

In 1956, he moved to the offices of the family business, which at that time dealt mostly with Mediterranean freight shipping, taking over as director in 1962. Assisted by his experienced father, he expanded the business into ocean-going shipping, implementing at an unusually fast pace an ambitious fleet-development programme that included the construction of a large number of vessels, freighters and, mainly, tankers. During the same period, he also created a passenger- and cruise-ship business, with these vessels being refitted in Greece under the supervision of his group.

Apart from his shipping activities, he was very active in the tourism/travel sector and in the insurance sector, founding the "Elliniki Pistis" insurance company.

He was among the close collaborators of the late Anthony Chandris, when the latter took over the presidency of the Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS), participating in its board of directors as vice president from January 1975 to January 1981, when he was elected president at the age of 48, following Chandris's resignation. He was re-elected president in the 1982 elections, completing his term in December 1984.

In January 1985, he was named honorary president of the UGS. For a number of years, he served on the board of directors of the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping (NEE), including as vice president during the years 1980 and 1981. He also served as president of Intercargo.

He passed away in 2014, in Cyprus, where he spent the final years of his life, having long ceased his economic activities in the wake of the crisis in the 1980s.

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STATHIS G. GOURDOMICHALIS

1984 - 1991

Stathis Gourdomichalis was born in 1923, in Athens, with family origins in Mani. He graduated from the Lycée Léonin and then studied economic sciences at the Athens University of Economics and Business. Before graduating…

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STATHIS G. GOURDOMICHALIS

1984 - 1991

Stathis Gourdomichalis was born in 1923, in Athens, with family origins in Mani. He graduated from the Lycée Léonin and then studied economic sciences at the Athens University of Economics and Business. Before graduating, and while Greece was under German occupation, he took part in the resistance, for which he was later decorated by the state. In 1943 he managed to escape to the Middle East and served with the Royal Navy until 1947, when he moved to London and completed his studies at the London School of Economics.

In 1948 he went to work as an accountant at the London shipping office of Angelos Lusis, and in 1953 he was promoted to Director of the company and became a member of the Baltic Exchange.

In 1959 he went to work with his close friend and relative Nicos S. Vlassopulos in the latter's company, until 1968, when he struck out on his own as head of Gourdomichalis Maritime, based in London.

At the end of 1974, he moved his company's headquarters to Greece and successfully continued his shipping activities from a new and imposing privately owned building in Piraeus. Concurrently, he showed interest in the tourism sector, founding Gourdomichalis Touristiki S.A., and in the broader investment and banking sector. He was a founding member and member of the Board of Directors of Ergasias Bank, vice president of the Ergasias Investments company, and also participated in other investment activities. He served as a member of the Boards of the National Bank of Greece and Olympic Airlines.

In 1975 he served as treasurer of the Board of Directors of the Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS), vice president from 1981 to 1982, and president from December 1984 to January 1991. In 1987 he was elected president of the Comité des Associations d'Armateurs de la Communauté Européenne (CAACE), later the European Community Shipowners' Associations (ECSA).

During his presidency, and following intense pressure from shipping, the system of 'sandwich courses' – training through alternating periods of formal instruction and practical experience – was adopted by the Greek state for the first time, in line with the standards of other maritime training traditions.

He died in 2006, in Athens.

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JOHN G. GOUMAS

1991 - 1997

John G. Goumas was born in Athens, in 1933, the son of a traditional shipping family originally hailing from Spetses and Andros. John Goumas's grandfather, born in 1869, captained sailing vessels before entering into steam shipping in 1905, in collaboration…

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JOHN G. GOUMAS

1991 - 1997

John G. Goumas was born in Athens, in 1933, the son of a traditional shipping family originally hailing from Spetses and Andros. John Goumas's grandfather, born in 1869, captained sailing vessels before entering into steam shipping in 1905, in collaboration with the family of his father-in-law, Vassilios A. Polemis, a captain from Andros.

His father, Gikas Goumas, a graduate of the HMS Worcester Nautical Training College, also worked in shipping, but lost his only vessel during the war. His sudden death, in 1951, forced his son John Goumas to work as a cadet on a Liberty ship immediately following completion of his studies, also at the HMS Worcester. He discontinued his maritime service in 1961, hoping to re-establish the family shipping tradition. He worked closely with his uncle, Nikolaos Goumas, and managed to acquire his first ship in 1964. He developed his fleet at a fast pace and in 1976 his group took delivery of the first of a series of new-build vessels.

His involvement with shipping politics began with the Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS) elections of 1979. He served as vice president of the Union from 1988 to 1991, when he was elected president, a position he served in until February 1997. Apart from his participation in the UGS, John Goumas served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping (NEE) from 1980 to 1984 and was a founding member of HELMEPA, serving as its vice president from 1982 to 1983.

During his term as president, the 75th anniversary of the founding of the UGS was celebrated in an event at the Athens Concert Hall in December 1991. Moreover, the offices rented by the UGS when it moved to Pireaus were purchased and renovated, while the Union's premises on Mitropoleos Str., in Athens, were sold. Finally, he and his wife Eni undertook an initiative that led to the creation of a remarkable shipping library on the premises of the UGS offices.

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JOHN C. LYRAS

1997 - 2003

John Lyras was born in London in 1951, into traditional seafaring families from Oinousses on the side of both his father, Costas J. Lyras, and his mother, Marika D. Pateras. He studied social sciences at the University of East Anglia, later obtaining a master's degree…

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JOHN C. LYRAS

1997 - 2003

John Lyras was born in London in 1951, into traditional seafaring families from Oinousses on the side of both his father, Costas J. Lyras, and his mother, Marika D. Pateras. He studied social sciences at the University of East Anglia, later obtaining a master's degree in Transport.

He worked at Chase Manhattan Bank with the aim of gaining knowledge of operations in the banking sector. In 1975 he became active in the family business and in 1979 he moved to the company's office in Piraeus. The same year, at the age of 28, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS), when the president at the time, Anthony Chandris, was trying to expand the BoD with a number of representatives of the younger generation.

He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the International Chamber of Shipping since 1985, serving as vice president from 1989 to 1991. In 1991 he was elected vice president of the UGS. The same year he undertook the representation of the UGS in the Board of Directors of the European Community Shipowners' Associations (ECSA), serving as president from January 1995 to December 1996.

In February 1997, John Lyras was elected president of the UGS, becoming the youngest president in the history of the organization. He served as president until 2003. Following his term, he chose to remain active in the UGS from the position of member of the Board of Directors. Apart from his many years of involvement in the UGS, he is a founding member of the Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association (HELMEPA), on the Board of Directors of which he served for many years. He is also a member of the Greek Committee of the American Bureau of Shipping and the Hellenic Shipping Committee of Det Norske Veritas.

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NICOS D. EFTHYMIOU

2003 - 2009

Nicos Efthymiou was born in 1946, in Piraeus, where he spent the first years of his life.

Completing his secondary school studies at the Moraitis School in Palaio Psychiko, he moved to London in 1965 to study…

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NICOS D. EFTHYMIOU

2003 - 2009

Nicos Efthymiou was born in 1946, in Piraeus, where he spent the first years of his life.

Completing his secondary school studies at the Moraitis School in Palaio Psychiko, he moved to London in 1965 to study at City of London University. In parallel with his studies, and until returning to Greece, he worked at the offices of Pegasus Ocean Services, with which his father, Dimitrios Efthymiou, and Antonis Angelikoussis had entered into collaboration. Following the creation of the independent D. Efthymiou Shipping office in Piraeus, in 1971, and having completed his national service, serving as a reserve ensign in the Coast Guard, he took the initiative of founding a representative office in London, in 1973, with the creation of Liberty Maritime Agency Ltd., in collaboration with Marcos I. Frangos.

Having already been elected a member of the Board of Directors of the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping (NEE) in 1980, in January 1982 he was elected to membership in the Board of Directors of the Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS). In December 1984, he took on the position of treasurer of the Board of Directors, during Stathis Gourdomichalis's first term, and following the elections in January 1991 he took on the duties of Secretary of the board under John G. Goumas. He served in this position, concurrently with his term as president of the Seafarers' Affairs Committee, until February 1997, when he was elected vice president of the new UGS board under John C. Lyras. In February 2003, he was elected president of the UGS Board of Directors, serving in this position until 2009, when he passed the baton on to Theodore E. Veniamis, who had been vice president until that time.

Apart from his term with the UGS and the NEE, Nicos Efthymiou was a founding member and Board member of HELMEPA. From 2004 to 2009 he was also a member of the Board of Directors of the National Bank of Greece. He was involved with professional football, participating from 1980 to 1986 in the Board of Directors of Olympiacos F.C. as a member, vice president and, later, president, while he also sat on the Olympiacos F.C. board between 1990 and 1992.

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THEODORE E. VENIAMIS

2009 -

Theodore Veniamis was born in Vrontados, Chios, and heads the Golden Union group, which embodies the shipping tradition of three families, dating to the inter-war period. He is a graduate of Athens University of Economics and Business (ASOEE)…

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THEODORE E. VENIAMIS

2009 -

Theodore Veniamis was born in Vrontados, Chios, and heads the Golden Union group, which embodies the shipping tradition of three families, dating to the inter-war period. He is a graduate of Athens University of Economics and Business (ASOEE).

The current business configuration was created in 1977, through the collaboration of members of the families of Eleftherios Veniamis, Evangelos Andreadis and Alexandros Gavriel, with the participation of Isidoros Sarantis. The new group took the name Golden Union and was headed by Theodore E. Veniamis.

The development of the group, which focused on transporting cement, continued in the following years with successive purchases of freighters and bulk carriers, also expanding into the car carriers sector. The company saw significant growth with successive sales and purchases of second-hand vessels through the end of the 20th century, when its activities focused on the creation of a fleet of new-build bulk carriers.

Theodore Veniamis is the president of the Board of Directors of Otesat Maritel, a subsidiary of OTE, president of the Hellenic Advisory Committee of Lloyd's Register, and Honorary Chairman of the Norwegian-German DNV-GL Hellenic Committee. He is also a member of the Greek National Committee of the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) and the Hellenic Committee of the Italian classification society RINA.

At the end of 1987, he was elected for the first time to the board of the Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS), participating in its Bureau after February 1991. In February 2003, he was elected vice president and in 2009 he took over the presidency, to which he was re-elected in February 2012. The amendment to the UGS Charter necessary for his being able to serve a third term was approved by the UGS General Assembly, leading to his unanimous re-election in February 2015.

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