New York.- By Apostolos Zoupaniotis
Cypriot American businessman and community leader Nikos Mouyiaris passed away peacefully at his home, on Saturday, January 5, 2019, following a short battle with cancer. He was 73. He is survived by his beloved wife Carol and daughter Ariana, grandsons, his brother George, aunts, uncles, and many nephews, nieces, family and friends who will miss him deeply.
The news of his passing was received with deep sorrow in the social media. Foreign Minister of Cyprus Nikos Christodoulides, the Commissioner of Cypriots Abroad Photis Photiou, the diplomatic authorities of Greece and Cyprus in the US, former Foreign Minister of Greece Nikos Kotzias and leaders of Greek American and Cypriot American organizations have sent their condolences.
“It is with deep regret and sadness that the Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC) announces the passing of its founder, Nikos Mouyiaris, on January 5, 2019 in New York City.
A poor student from Cyprus, Nikos pursued studies in chemical engineering at Rutgers and St. John’s Universities, took a $6,000 loan, and founded Mana Products, Inc. — one of the world’s leading contract and private label cosmetics manufacturers. As a true believer in the American Dream, Nikos was particularly moved when his personal journey was marked with the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.
Nikos was certainly an example of the American Dream, but he was the example of the Greek-American Dream. He reached the pinnacle of American life — in business, in philanthropy, in civic involvement — while prioritizing Hellenism every single day. A Greek proverb holds that “A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit it.” Nikos planted entire forests. He founded HALC and gave it the mandate to quickly cultivate tomorrow’s leaders in the Greek-American Community, one of Nikos’ biggest passions. Nikos was on the board of the Coordinated Effort of Hellenes, the Pancyprian Association of America, and a strong supporter of many others, including the International Coordinating Committee Justice for Cyprus. He provided significant philanthropic support to the Elytis Chair at Rutgers, SOS Children’s Villages in Greece, and other organizations in the US, Greece and Cyprus. Nikos was a humble yet major supporter of Paradise 4 Kids, an Ebola orphanage in Sierra Leone and the Malaika Foundation, educating young girls in the Congo. Fortunately, Nikos did get to enjoy some of the shade in these forests; for the most part, however, he planted these forests for the benefit of generations to come.
Nikos believed in “the power of one” and spent a lifetime making a difference, even if he had to do so alone. He eschewed titles, and epitomized leadership by example. Nikos gave Hellenism and the world much more than his treasure — he devoted his spirit, soul, intelligence and good-will. There is simply no metric by which to measure Nikos’ contributions.
Nikos leaves behind his beloved wife Carol and daughter Ariana, grandsons, brother George, aunts, uncles, and many nephews, nieces, family and friends who will miss him deeply. He also left behind a myriad of συναγωνιστές — people who shared his passions and fought by his side for the same causes. They will honor Nikos by continuing his work.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Hellenic American Leadership Council and the Mouyiaris Foundation.
May his memory be eternal.”
In a joint statement, AHEPA’s Supreme President George E. Loucas and Chairman of the Board Nicholas A. Karacostas, said:
“As an accomplished entrepreneur who understood and appreciated the value of education and philanthropy, Nikos Mouyiaris exemplified the essence of the American Dream and demonstrated a passion for the advancement of Hellenic ideals he embodied so well. “Further, his love, support, and advocacy for Cyprus will be missed; a sentiment that will be felt across the globe. Our deepest sympathies are with the Mouyaris family. May his memory be eternal.”
Philip Christopher, President of PSEKA and the Pancyprian Association of America, shared with Nikos Mouyiaris 40 years of friendship and common struggles for Cyprus. Speaking to the Greek News, he said that “we mourn for the great benefactor an leader, not only of the Pancyprian, the Greek-American Community and Cyprus, but also of the World Hellenism.”