By Catherine Tsounis
The 2012 Hermes Expo International was like a “shot of adrenaline in the arm”. It gave a despondent Greece and Americans of Greek descent a positive uplift in their psyche. We know Greece has problems. What about the rest of Europe, whose economic woes are being kept under wraps? In this melancholy landscape, 2012 Hermes Expo International showed us Olympic star Pyros Dimas, businesses in America and abroad and professional workshops. A young, enterprising Greek American appeared from Chicago, Illinois, the heartland of President Barack Obama’s territory.
Yanni Sianis, a son of Greek immigrants from the village of Paleo Pyrgos in Arcadia, Greece, inspired all with his smile and positive personality. One person said “there is a future for the Greek I.D.” This is Yianni’s contribution to 2012 Hermes and a beleaguered Greek-American community thirsting positivism.
“I am not here to talk about the economy,” said Sianis at the “Hermes Young Professionals Initiative” of the 2012 Hermes Expo held March 31st through April 1st at the Trump Taj Mahal Hotel and Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey. “I want to tell you how to approach in a positive manner life’s challenges. My undergraduate education was completed in America. My dream was to be a world class soccer player and make money. I went to Greece. I played soccer for three years. The career I dreamed of ended with several injuries to my knee.”
“While I was in Greece, I read two masterpieces of literature,” he continued. “The ideas changed my life. I began a spiritual journey. A soul search, attempting to find what I was going to do.” Sianis explained he went back to school to acquire an MBA (Loyola University) and M.A. (NLU), in psychology. “One must keep certain fundamentals. Commit to that search. Find your way. The biggest challenge is that youth need a change in psychology. We are the protectors of the image of our heritage in the U.S.A. Calamos is a proud supporter of the National Hellenic Museum.”
Sianis is a Business Coordinator for Calamos Investments. The executive manages relationships both domestically and internationally on the private and institutional side. He developes strategies for new business development for Calamos Wealth Management and Calamos Investments. In addition, Sianis works with chairman, CEO and Co-CIO John P. Calamos Sr., as his liaison to the Greek community. Yanni Sianis is a member of Leadership 100.
The electrifying moment of 2012 Hermes Expo International gala, on March 31st evening, was the appearance of Olympian champion Pyros Dimas. Greek-American Yanni Sianis was up there in the spotlight. “Pyros Dimas is one of the greatest athletes of our time,” he said. “I am honored to be here next to him.” We were all proud that one of our own was with Olympian Dimas.
Yanni Sianis is a member of the famous Sianis family of Chicago that includes surgeon Dr. George J. Sianis and Greek tavern owner Sam Sianis of the “curse of the Billy Goat”. According to Wikipedia, “the curse of the Billy Goat was supposedly placed on the Chicago Cubs in 1945 when Billy Goat Tavern owner Billy Sianis was asked to leave aWorld Series game against the Detroit Tigers at the Cubs' home ground of Wrigley Field because his pet goat's odor was bothering other fans.]He was outraged and declared, "Them Cubs, they aren't gonna win no more," which has been interpreted to mean that there would never be another World Series game won at Wrigley Field…. Whatever the truth, the Cubs were up two games to one in the ’45 series but ended up losing Game 4 and the best-of-seven series, four games to three. The curse was immortalized in newspaper columns over the years, particularly by syndicated columnist Mike Royko, and gained widespread attention during the 2003 postseason when Fox television commentators played it up during the Cubs-Marlins match-up in the National League Champtionship Series."
Sianis’ town of Palaiopyrgos (Old Tower) is a village in the municipal unit of Levidi, Arcadia. He is descended from the Arcadian tribe. Dr. Maria Vlassopoulou Karydi in her monumental work, “The Arcadians” writes “the arcadians retained a belief in their principles. Their historical image is one of courage, military virtue and endurance of the hardships of life. Their military strength was so great that the Spartans were unable to conquer them or expel them from their homeland …in central Peloponnese. The Arcadian character was distinguished by competiveness, frugality, an aversion to luxury, piety towards the Gods, obedience to the laws and a sense of altruism and hospitality. ..They created an ideal that has inspired the ancient and Modern world.” Yanni Sianis continues this historical legacy in 2012 America.
Photo 1- Sianis speaking at the “Hermes Young Professionals Initiative” of the 2012 Hermes Expo.
Photo 2 – L-R: Aphrodite Kotrotsios, Yanni Sianis, Pyrros Dimas, Stephanie Vlahakis and Paul Kotrotsios at the 2012 Hermes Expo International.
Photo 3 – Yanni Sianis with Despina Siolas MD/Ph.D., his cousin from the village of Palaio Pyrgo, Arcadia, Greece.