Archbishop Demetrios Appoints
National Philoptochos President and National Board
On October 14, 2016, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, and Chairman of the Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society announced the reappointment of Maria Logus of New York to a second term as National Philoptochos President at the inaugural meeting of the 2016-2018 National Philoptochos Board.
The members of the new Executive Board are: Jeannie Ranglas, First Vice President; Evangeline Mekras Scurtis, Second Vice President; Joanne Stavrakas, Third Vice President; Barbara Pasalis, Secretary; Martha Stefanidakis, Treasurer; and Georgia Vlitas, Assistant Treasurer. In advisory positions are Deana Balahtsis, Legal Advisor; Maria Stavropoulos, Protocol Officer; and Irene Steffas, Parliamentarian.
Continuing in their role on the Executive Board are Jennifer Constantin, Direct Archdiocesan District President; Pam Argyris, Metropolis of Chicago President; Frances Levas, Metropolis of Boston President; Barbara Vittas, Metropolis of Denver President; Dee Nicolaou, Metropolis of Atlanta President; Margaret Yates, Metropolis of Detroit President; Crystal Thomas, Metropolis of Pittsburgh President; Jeannie Ranglas, Metropolis of San Francisco President and Anastasia Michals, Metropolis of New Jersey President.
Link to page for: National Philoptochos President- Maria Logus
First Vice President and Metropolis of San Francisco President- Jeannie Ranglas
Jeannie Ranglas was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. She moved to San Diego, California to marry Gerry, her husband of 40+ years. They are proud parents of two children Athan and Alexis, and are committed to maintaining a strong family life including importance of service to others.
At the age of 22, she was appointed on the first Philoptochos Board of Saints Constantine and Helen in Cardiff by the Sea, California. A few years after being on the Board, she was appointed Philoptochos President of her Chapter. She is currently Metropolis of San Francisco Philoptochos President, Executive Council of the Metropolis of San Francisco and Saint Nicholas Ranch. Jeannie has been a National Philoptochos member for over 15 years and co-chaired the National Philoptochos Convention in Phoenix, Arizona during the 2012 Clergy-Laity Congress of the Archdiocese.
Jeannie offers her time, talents and her stewardship at the Metropolis and Archdiocese on multiple levels including the Ecumenical Patriarchate. She continues to support the Monastery of the Theotokos, The Life-Giving Spring and has been given many blessings.
Second Vice President- Evangeline Mekras Scurtis
Evangeline Mekras Scurtis is a lifelong member of Saint Sophia Cathedral in Miami, Florida, and is an active member on the Parish Council. She is currently serving as Second Vice President of National Philoptochos, and has been a contributing member of the National Board for many years. She is a Past President of the Atlanta Metropolis Philoptochos, and has held other offices for the Saint Sophia Parish Chapter Philoptochos. She has chaired many events and missions for her Chapter and Metropolis.
She has been the Children’s Medical Fund Luncheon Chair, Hospitality Chair for a National Clergy-Laity as well as a Program Co-Chair, and coordinated a fundraiser for the Philoptochos Center of Philanthropy. She serves on the Board of Trustees for Saint Basil Academy and Saint Photios Shrine, and was honored with the Medal of Saint Paul. She founded the South Florida Philoptochos Medical Ministry and has volunteered for over 20 years assisting pre and post organ transplant patients primarily from Greece.
She is married to John C. Scurtis, Archon and South Florida Regional Commander, and they have three children. She is a yiayia to eight adored grandchildren.
Third Vice President- Joanne Stavrakas
Joanne Stavrakas is a member of the Annunciation Philoptochos in Chicago, Illinois, where she served as President, and is also a Past President of the Metropolis of Chicago Philoptochos Board, where she held several other offices since becoming a Member of the Board in 1995.
In 1998 she was appointed to the National Board, where she served and chaired various committees. Present service includes, member of the Board of Trustees for Saint Basil Academy, Saint Photios Shrine and the Saint Iakovos Retreat Center, the Midwest IOCC Committee since its inception in 1992, and the Metropolis of Chicago Oratorical Committee.
Joanne is a retired high school mathematics teacher in the Chicago Public School System, currently a volunteer for early educational programs in an area pre-school. She has been married to Dean for more than 45 years, and has two sons and two grandchildren.
Secretary- Barbara Pasalis
Barbara Pasalis was appointed to the National Philoptochos Board in 2006 by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Geron of America, and has served 8 years as Co-Chair of Public Relations and 2 years as Chair of Office Administration. In 2008, she was Co-Chair of the Philoptochos Banquet at the National Philoptochos Convention held in Washington, D.C. She chaired the Convention Documents committee twice, and also served on the 2013 Children’s Medical Fund Luncheon committee in Pittsburgh, PA.
Barbara has been an active member of her local Philoptochos chapter serving as President, Vice President and Treasurer. In addition, she has served on the Metropolis of Pittsburgh Philoptochos Board for over a decade, currently as Treasurer.
Professionally, Barbara founded Northcoast Educational Consulting, an educational consulting business to help high school students navigate college admissions. She is a member of many professional national organizations, including the Independent Educational Consultants Association for which she served on the Executive Board. Barbara was born in Columbus, Ohio and has lived in the Cleveland, Ohio area since 1977 when she married Thano Pasalis (deceased). Barbara has two sons and a granddaughter. She has been a member of Saint Demetrios Church, Rocky River since 1977.
Treasurer - Martha Stefanidakis
Martha Stefanidakis is a member of the Annunciation Cathedral Philoptochos in Houston, Texas where she resides with her husband, George. They are the parents of 2 daughters and 4 grandchildren. Martha grew up in Marlboro, Massachusetts. She has been a Philoptochos member for more than 30 years and has served in all offices in her chapter and as Chapter President for 12 years. She also served as President of the Metropolis of Denver Philoptochos Board for 4 years. Martha has served on the Annunciation Cathedral Parish council and currently serves on the Metropolis of Denver Council.
Martha was appointed to the National Board by His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos in 1994 and served on the Finance Committee and as Assistant Treasurer under the leadership of President Aphrodite Skeadas. Martha was the Chair of the 2005 Children’s Medical Fund Luncheon held in Dallas, Texas, and served as a Tri-Chair of the 2014 National Philoptochos Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Assistant Treasurer- Georgia Vlitas
Assistant Treasurer Georgia Vlitas is a Staten Island, New York native and a parishioner of Holy Trinity-St. Nicholas. She is a staff developer and former teacher for the New York City Department of Education. She has a B.A. in Math and Spanish and an M.S. in Education.
Georgia is currently First Vice President of her Philoptochos chapter as well as Director of the Sunday School Program at Holy Trinity-St. Nicholas. She held many positions on the Direct Archdiocesan District Philoptochos Board, including president. She has co-chaired two National Philoptochos Conventions, been Convention Secretary and also Registration Chair. Georgia is currently a member of the Board of Directors of St. Basil Academy.
Georgia has been married to Petros since college and they have one daughter, TinaMarie.
Direct Archdiocesan District President- Jennifer Constantin
Jennifer Constantin has been President of the Direct Archdiocesan District Philoptochos Board since the fall of 2013. Jennifer first joined Philoptochos at the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Manhattan in 1991. She later served as President of Philoptochos of the Church of Our Saviour in Rye, New York. Jennifer brings to the Philoptochos organization extensive experience in philanthropic and civic work including leadership roles in the Junior League of Central Westchester, Scarsdale Committee for Historic Preservation, to her Scarsdale Neighborhood Association, and helping to found the pre-school of her Church in Rye.
Jennifer’s commitment to her Church and community is also expressed through her key leadership role within Philoptochos in raising funds for the rebuilding of Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine. As well, she was instrumental in the raising of funds for the Philoptochos Center for Philanthropy. She serves on the Board of Saint Michael’s Home and the Direct Archdiocesan District Council.
She has been married to George Constantin for over 25 years. They have two sons Andrew and Alexander. Jennifer is a licensed real estate professional in Scarsdale, New York. She earned the distinction of being 2016 Five Star Real Estate Agent Award Winner by Westchester Magazine.
Metropolis of Chicago President- Pam Argyris
Pam Argyris was born and raised in Chicago and currently lives in Bartlett, Illinois with her husband of over 45 years, Spero. She has two children, Michael and Amy, who both reside in Denver and is the yiayia of Niko, who was born in June, 2016. Pam is a retired educator who spent 30 years in the classroom and has a B.A. in Elementary Education and a M.S. in Educational Curriculum/Instruction.
Pam is an active parishioner at St. Sophia Church in Elgin, Illinois and has been a Philoptochos member for over 34 years serving in positions including president of her chapter. She has been a member of the Metropolis of Chicago Philoptochos Board since 1999 and has held many positions on that board, and is currently serving as the Metropolis Philoptochos President.
She was appointed to the National Board in 2004 by Archbishop Demetrios, Geron of America, and has served on many committees during her years on the Board. She has co-chaired the Literacy Committee, co-chaired the OCF Committee, participated in the Environmental Responsibility Committee, co-chaired the Awards Committee for two National Conventions, chaired the Chapter Challenge Committee for the 2016 National Philoptochos Convention and is a member of the Philoptochos Leadership Institute.
She is an active steward of the Taxiarchae Parish in Watertown, which she has served on the Parish Council as president for 5 years and overall for 18 years while simultaneously being an active member of the Ladies Philoptochos for over 30 years. She was appointed to the Metropolis Philoptochos Board in 2003 by His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios and has served the last 2 terms as President. She was the Chair of the Children’s Medical Fund Luncheon in Boston in 2015. She has served on many Metropolis committees.
She is blessed to be the mother of Kosta and his wife, Donna and yiayia to Fotini.
Metropolis of Denver President- Barbara Vittas
Barbara Vittas has been a member of the National Philoptochos Board for the past 8 years and a Metropolis of Denver Philoptochos Board member for the past 10 years.
A native of Brooklyn, New York, she has resided in Bedford, Texas for over 35 years with her husband George where they have raised their two children and now are blessed with three grandchildren. After moving to Texas, she and her husband have had the honor of being one of the founding families of St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in Euless, Texas where she helped establish and twice served as president of the Philoptochos chapter. She has also served as a member of the parish council for 16 years, 4 of those as Parish Council President.
She is currently in her first term as Metropolis of Denver Philoptochos president and also serves on several committees for the National Philoptochos Board.
Metropolis of Atlanta President- Irene Politis
Irene Politis was born and raised in Macon, Georgia. In 1978, she married Louie Politis and moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, where they are active members of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral.
Irene is a member of Agia Elpis Philoptochos Society. She has served as President for two terms and has chaired many committees. She was appointed to the National Philoptochos Board in 2016 by His Eminence Demetrios, Geron of America and is serving on the Hellenic College Holy Cross Committee. His Eminence Alexios, Metropolitan of Atlanta awarded her the Archangel Michael Award in 2014 and appointed her President of the Atlanta Metropolis Philoptochos Board in 2017, where she has served as a board member for several terms.
Irene and Louie are the proud parents of Hope (and her husband John), Pete, and Zoe.
Metropolis of Detroit President- Margaret Yates
Margaret Yates was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan and has lived there her entire life. A lifelong member of St. Nicholas Church, she has served the Church in various capacities throughout the years. She was the first woman elected to the St. Nicholas Parish Council and member of both the building and iconography committees.
A graduate of Eastern Michigan University, Margaret earned a B.S. in Special Education and M.A. in Guidance and Counseling. Margaret retired in 1991 from York Woods Center, a residential treatment facility for emotionally impaired children and adolescents, as Director of Special Education and Director of Training and Staff Development.
A member of the St. Nicholas Philoptochos, Margaret held various offices, including three terms as President. As a member of the Metropolis Philoptochos Board, she was treasurer for 4 years and president for 4 years. Currently serving another term as President, Margaret is a member of the Metropolis Council and the National Philoptochos Board.
Margaret married Bill Yates in 1967 and they have one daughter, Katherine, and one granddaughter, Adrianna Sage.
Metropolis of Pittsburgh President- Crystal Thomas
Crystal G. Thomas is the President of Metropolis of Pittsburgh Ladies Philoptochos since 2015. She has a lifelong love and interest in the Greek Orthodox Church. Crystal grew up in Cleveland and Fairview Park Ohio, is a graduate of Cleveland State University and has lived in Rocky River, Ohio since 1982 where she has been an active member of the St. Demetrios parish.
She is happily married to her best friend George Gary Thomas for over 35 years and has three grown children Louis, Stefanie, and Joy, a daughter- in-law Megan and a beautiful granddaughter Fiona.
Crystal has been a committed member of the Philoptochos Society in her chapter at St. Demetrios in Rocky River, Ohio and has served as President twice. She has served on the Metropolis Philoptochos Board since 2000. She has had the honor to serve on the National Philoptochos Board since 2005. She had the privilege to co-chair the Philoptochos Banquet at the Clergy-Laity Congress in Washington D.C. that year. It was a celebration of literacy with over 2,000 guest in attendance. She recently was a Co-Chair of the Children’s Medical Fund Luncheon in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where more than $300,000 was raised for children’s medical causes.
Metropolis of San Francisco President and First Vice President- Jeannie Ranglas (see above)
Metropolis of New Jersey President- Anastasia Michals
Anastasia (Anne) Michals holds a M.A. in Education and Administration and a B.A. in English. She married Jeff Michals in 1977. The couple lives on the Manasquan River in a small coastal town of Monmouth County. They share their life and love of philanthropy and the Church with their son John, his wife Victoria, and their daughter Anastasia. The couple are members of Leadership 100 and through this distinction are involved in the enormous philanthropic and charitable work of the organization.
Anne has served the National Philoptochos since 2010. She has been the President of the Metropolis of New Jersey Philoptochos since 2011, a member of the Metropolitan Council of the Metropolis of New Jersey and of Saint Michael’s Home for the Aged. Anne was the Co-Chair of the 42nd Annual Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Clergy-Laity Congress in Philadelphia and of the National Philoptochos Convention.
She is currently serving as the General Chair of the 2017 Children’s Medical Fund Luncheon and as a Co-Chair of the Philoptochos initiative to raise funds for the Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine.
Legal Advisor- Deana Balahtsis Thomas
Deana Balahtsis-Thomas is a member of the Holy Trinity Archdiocesan Cathedral, in Manhattan, New York. She is married to Dr. John Thomas. They have three little boys-- Nikolaos, Alexandros and Maximos.
Deana’s service to the church began with a mission trip to Belarus, Russia in 1991 through the Orthodox Christian Mission Center, followed by a Project Mexico trip the following year. She was a counselor at the Ionian Village in 1993,1994 and1995.
She received a BA from Lemoyne College in 1991 and graduated with her JD from Washington and Lee University four years later. Deana continued her education at Hunter College School of Social Work where she earned her Masters in Social Work.
Early in her career, Deana worked at the Legal Aid Society Juveniles Rights Division, advocating for children who were in the foster care system. She then moved to the law firm of Magovern & Sclafani, representing Foster Care Agencies. In 2003, she started her own boutique law firm specializing in Matrimonial and Family law.
Deana is active in the Feed the Hungry program, with her sons Niko and Alex. She is also on the Aid the Cyprus & Greece Committee. She was appointed National Philoptochos Legal Advisor in October 2016.
Protocol Officer- Maria Stavropoulos
A lifelong resident of Michigan, Maria Stavropoulos lives in Bloomfield Hills with her husband, Gus. A few years ago the couple celebrated the major milestone of their 50th wedding anniversary with their four children and 14 grandchildren. Gus is an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the couple are faithful members of Leadership 100.
Maria began singing in the church choir at age 12 and sings in the choir to this day, at Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Westland, Michigan. She also manages the church bookstore. She is on the Board of the Metropolis of Detroit Philoptochos, where she served as Treasurer for six years.
Maria was appointed to the National Board in 1988, by His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos of blessed memory. She has served on the Executive Board in the positions of Second and Third Vice President numerous times and is currently the National Philoptochos Protocol Officer. Maria chaired the 2003 Children’s Medical Fund Luncheon in Dearborn, Michigan (with guest speaker Nia Vardalos), co-chaired the 2006 National Philoptochos Biennial Convention in Nashville and co-chaired the Thyranixia (opening) of the Philoptochos Center of Philanthropy. In addition, Maria is also on the Board of St. Basil Academy.
Parliamentarian- Irene Steffas
Irene Steffas has been a member of Philoptochos for almost forty years. In the 1970’s, Duchess Arfaras, her mother, signed her up as a member of St. Nicholas Cathedral’s Philoptochos in Tarpon Springs, Florida. Later, teaching and law school took her to Houston, Texas, where she was an active member of the Annunciation Cathedral’s Philoptochos. Upon moving to Georgia, she continued to be an active member by joining the Panagia Chapter of Holy Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church in Marietta, Georgia. Throughout the years she has held various positions and chaired many committees. This is Irene’s second term as Parliamentarian of the National Board.
Irene has practiced law for over thirty years. Her practice focuses on adoptions – domestic and intercountry, as well as immigration and nationality law. The Department of State has authorized Irene to provide adoption services for Incoming and Outgoing Adoptions. Only three attorneys in the United States have this recognition.
Irene is happily married to Steve N. Steffas; together they have two sons, Nicholas and Michael. The Greek Orthodox Church has enriched Irene’s life in many ways-- from her experience as a counselor at the Ionian Village to having wise Spiritual Fathers.