Birthplace: I was born in Athens, Greece, but automatically an American citizen as my parents were both US citizens. I grew up in Southeast Michigan and I graduated from Wyandotte Roosevelt High School. I was fortunate growing up to be exposed to different cultures and the immigrant experience, all of which shaped my view of America as the land of opportunity, where through hard work and perseverance we can build a good life for ourselves and for our families.
Residence: I currently live in Oak Park, Michigan, where my children can be close to both sets of grandparents.
Family: I’m married since 2007. My wife is Taylor and we have one son and one daughter; it feels complete!
Education: After Wyandotte Roosevelt High School, I went to University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and graduated with a four-year BA in Psychology. I went to Detroit Mercy School of Law for my law degree and graduated with my Juris Doctorate in 2003. I took and passed the Michigan Bar exam that same summer.
What Kind of Law do you practice? I only practice estate planning; no slip-and-falls, no divorces, no litigation. The field of estate planning is plenty vast to constantly challenge and increase my expertise. Our aim is to keep people out of court when there is a death or disability, and to reduce their tax liabilities. Also, one of our specialty areas is in protecting people’s estates from the potentially catastrophic costs associated with nursing home care.
We also do estate planning for those with special needs – cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome, birth defects. A lot of people think the way to protect the child’s government benefits is to disinherit them. But there are special needs trusts, so they get all their needs met without losing their benefits. People have to take the time to find out about their options. We handle living trusts, Medicaid, and special needs trusts, as well as educating people about how they can best meet the needs of their loved ones.
What was your first job? Around junior high age, I worked as a golf caddy at Grosse Isle Country Club.
Music? I’m a great lover of music, so much so that I still find the time to work occasionally as a semi-professional musician. I’ve performed swing rhythm guitar with Detroit jazz master Wendell Harrison for over ten years, and I also perform on electric guitar with pianist/vocalist Jarrod Champion’s 1950’s-style ensembles. Performing music is a great way to keep the mind sharp.
Magazines? I like “The Week” for getting divergent perspectives on current events; one of the worthwhile skills I learned in law school was the importance of being able to look at an issue from all the different angles.
Books? Herman Hesse is a favorite author. I’m fascinated by American History; Ron Chernow’s “Alexander Hamilton” biography is a great read that I highly recommend. I’m currently reading Cervantes’ “Don Quixote” as a nightly before-bed ritual to relax my mind; my father used to read it to me and my brother as a bed-time story.
Food? I’m tempted to say “all food” is my favorite, but if forced to make a choice I’d have to say Mediterranean food is my favorite. I wouldn’t want to imagine a world without olive oil.
If you were independently wealthy, what would you do with your time & your money? I’ve been blessed in my life to be born healthy to a loving family, and to now have a healthy and loving family of my own. I try to practice gratitude daily. If had extra time and money, I would like to be able to take my family on more vacations; I believe it’s healthy for the children to realize that we live in a big world full of abundant possibilities.