Director of Youth & Young Adult Ministries - Fr. Kosmas Kallis
Born in Livonia, Michigan, Fr. Kosmas was shaped by the Church. He served as an altar boy in his home parish and participated in GOYA, Summer Camp and the CrossRoad Institute. He earned a BA in Religious Studies from Hellenic College in 2012 and an MDiv (with High Distinction) from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in 2014. Soon after graduation, Fr. Kosmas joined the Saints Peter and Paul parish as a full-time youth director, a position he held until 2018. He was ordained to the Holy Diaconate in October of 2015 and to the Holy Priesthood in March of 2016. Fr. Kosmas is married to Anna Kallis, and together, have recently welcomed their first child, Jonah.
Spiritual Life Director - Fr. Chris Avramopoulos
Fr. Chris Avramopoulos was born and raised in the city of Rockford, IL, where he attended Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church. In 1992, he graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison with a Bachelor of Science Degree in History. Upon graduation he worked for the family business until he entered Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in the Fall of 1994. He graduated from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology with a Master's of Divinity Degree in 1998. Upon graduation from Holy Cross, he began a 5 year position as the Youth Pastoral Assistant at Saints Constantine and Helen in Palos, Hills, IL. Then, at the request of then Bishop Iakovos of Chicago, he began his 15 years of ministry as the Metropolis of Chicago Youth and Young Adult Ministries Director, where he also served as Metropolitan Iakovos’ assistant and Deacon. Fr Chris married his wife Nicole in April of 2012, whom he met while on staff together at Fanari Camp in 1999, and was ordained to the Holy Diaconate at Saints Constantine and Helen, Palos Hills, IL by His Eminence Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago on November 22, 2014. Surround by over 30 of his brother clergy and many dear friends and family, he was ordained to the Holy Priesthood on December 15, 2018 by His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael of Chicago at Saints Constantine and Helen in Palos Hills, IL, where he was assigned the Associate Pastor. Having been involved with Fanari Camp as a camper, counselor, activity staff and director of counselors from the late 1980’s, he was appointed Director of Fanari Camp in 2015, as it began the transition to a four week program at their permanent home, The St. Iakovos Retreat Center. Fr. Chris is now blessed to be the Spiritual Advisor to a program he loves so much and hopes to continue to bring campers closer to Christ and His church through this beautiful camping ministry.
Program Director - Chris Chakonas
Christopher Chakonas has been involved in the Fanari Summer Camp program since 2008. He was a counselor and theater staff member for several years before joining the leadership team to help plan camp and coach counselors. Chris has also been active in many other Metropolis of Chicago youth ministries including being a GOYA advisor at Holy Apostles for nearly ten years, being active in the Metropolis YAL and Family Synaxis ministries and being a Sunday school teacher at Holy Apostles. This year Chris joins the Fanari Camp Leadership team as the Program Director primarily overseeing the daily flex activities and evening activities along with an amazing and talented program coordinator team including Katerina Rallis, Justin Glavanovits and Peter Savas. In his "spare time", Chris is a Senior Marketing Communications Manager at Navistar.
Staff Director - Maria Pentaris
Maria is a certified high school special education teacher. She attends Holy Apostles Greek Orthodox Church in Westchester, IL where she has been an active member. Maria started her camp experience as a camper and has over the years been a counselor, theater staff member, ran evening activities and is part of the leadership team as staff director. Maria has a love for sharing her years of experience with the counselors that she mentors. Maria loves helping the youth of our church grow closer to Christ. She hopes to have a small impact on everyone she interacts with at camp so they can be forever changed for having been a part of the Fanari Camp Experience. Maria has been a lifelong die-hard fan of the New Kids on the Block and the Chicago Cubs. When she is not preparing and planning for camp she can be found spending quality time with family and friends.
Assistant Staff Director - John Anton
John Anton loves to chant so much he never leaves home without his tuning fork--seriously! Growing up at St. Haralambos in Niles, IL, he developed a deep love for the faith serving in the altar and hearing the beautiful hymns each Sunday. At Hellenic College, he completed a BA in Religious Studies and received the Certificate in Byzantine Music in May 2018. Now, he wants to share the beauty of Orthodoxy with campers, counselors, and everyone around him! During the year, he chants at multiple churches across the Metropolis, leads youth groups, and spends his free time reading, biking, and watching the latest Marvel movies (Team Cap!). When it comes to summer, though, its all about Fanari Camp, one of his favorite times of the year (even with all the mosquitoes...). Now in his fourth year on staff, John is looking forward to another exciting year of friendship bracelets, cabin devotionals, and evening sing-a-longs.
Registrar - Pres. Nicole Avramopoulos
Presvytera Nicole is so happy to be back as the Registrar again this summer! She was born and raised in Joliet, IL at her home parish of All Saints Greek Orthodox Church. Presvytera Nicole feels blessed to call Fanari Camp her home as a staff member for the past 22 years and 4 years before that as a camper herself. She has the unique experience of attending Fanari Camp at all three locations: Conference Point, Green Lake Conference Center and The St. Iakovos Retreat Center and has been tasked to doing many jobs including Counselor, Theater, Evening Activities, Photographer, Blogger, Housing and Registration. Presvytera Nicole, along with her husband Fr. Chris, whom she met while they were on Fanari Theater Staff together in 1999, have a love for each other and Fanari Camp that is rooted deep in the Orthodox faith. It has been their goal, as they worked side by side for the past 20 years at Fanari, to maintain and grow the integrity and experience of this beautiful, influential program for generations to come, while continuing the traditions of those who came before us. She truly believes that Fanari Camp is not a place, but it is the people, the fellowship, the experiences, and the traditions that make us all feel like we are one family in Christ during our week together.
Program Coordinator - Katerina Rallis
Katerina is ecstatic to be working as a Program Coordinator this year at Fanari! She is actively involved at her parish, St. John the Baptist which is truly her second home. Katerina received a B.A. in Elementary Education from Elmhurst College and an M.ED. in Curriculum and Instruction and English as a Second Language from National Louis. While making 1,500 educational decisions in her first grade classroom each day, she also instructs the Aidonia dance troupe, dances with Orpheus, chants, and enjoys traveling our beautiful world. She has journeyed to Guatemala several times to work at the Hogar Rafael Ayau and has assisted in developing the English Program at the Orthodox Summer Camp in South Korea for 3 years. Katerina cannot wait to see all of your beautiful faces and souls at Fanari Camp! It’s going to be a GREAT year!
Program Coordinator - Peter Savas
Peter is pumped to be a part of this year’s Programming Team! Peter prides himself in his mastery of “programming.” From a young age, on his parents VHS player, Peter would record his favorite shows. This made Peter a “Program Recordinator.” Even to this day, he is well versed in watching, observing and learning from programs such as “the Office, Fuller House, and the Flash”. Although Program Coordinator is a new role for Peter at camp, he has been a recordinator for many years and he knows that his new position will be just a small jump and adjustment. In his spare time Peter enjoyed going to school at Loyola University Chicago (BS in Psychology and BA in Theology). He was also involved in Parish Youth Programs, Homeless ministries, and Orthodox Christian Fellowship. He worked for Loyola’s campus ministry and interned for the Metropolis of Chicago’s Youth Office his senior year. Nowadays, in-between his normal programming duties of Netflix and podcasts, he serves as a full-time Youth Director of Saints Peter & Paul Church in Glenview, IL. These other experiences may have made a small contribution to Peter’s passion for ministry and camp, but the greater contribution came from his enthusiasm for programs! Peter is excited to serve, love and grow at camp this year.
Program Coordinator - Justin Glavonivitz
HELLO! Justin is so excited to join the program team and cannot wait to get to work! His first summer as a counselor at Fanari was in 2013, where he fell in love with the camp, and could not wait to continue his journey. In 2014, he was selected to be a staff member at Ionian Village, where he was able to help campers discover their faith in the beautiful country of Greece!
Justin is a graduate of Benedictine University, and is a recent graduate of the Master of Divinity Program at Hellenic College Holy Cross. Justin cannot wait to help guide campers in learning more about our incredible faith. See you soon!
Media Coordinator - Yanni Halekakis
Hello, my name is John Halekakis. I am a student at DePaul University in Chicago and I am currently studying Environmental Studies with a Concentration in Sustainability. I am the President of DePauls Hellenic Student Association as well as an active member in the local Orthodox Christian Fellowship group and several other small organizations including the DePaul Club Tennis team. I love to play sports, rock climb, travel and take lots of pictures. I go to Saint Demetrios Libertyville, IL where I help with chanting and various programs. I am very excited to be with everyone at Fanari this year and make sure that every moment is shared as the campers create memories that will last a lifetime.
MacGyver - Christos Tryfonopoulos
Christos is excited to attend another summer of Fanari as the camp's official MacGyver! His years of experience in woodworking, electrical, and mild automotive repair have prepared him for this job. Some say he's made for the role. He is stoked to be co-workers with the same staff he was afraid of as a camper. He is looking forward to driving his personal golf cart around camp, making all the cart-less staff jealous, as well as abusing his walkie-talkie privileges. Christos is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Environmental Science at Loyola University of Chicago. He hopes to one day soon help take care of this beautiful planet God has given to us. When he isn't at school or camp, he is working a wide range of odd jobs, including but not limited to: mulching, weed-pulling, and dog treat making. Christos can't wait for camp to start, and is looking forward to another awesome summer of faith, fellowship, and friends at Fanari 2K29.