On Friday, Oct. 20, 2023, the Nicholas J. Bouras Award for Extraordinary Archon Stewardship was bestowed upon George M. Marcus, Archon Exarchos, for his outstanding service to the Orthodox Church as an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. The Award was presented by His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco and Dr. Anthony J. Limberakis, National Commander of the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, at the Bouras Award Dinner during the Order's annual Archon Weekend at the New York Hilton Hotel in New York City.
In a written statement, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew said: “As Archon Exarchos of the Holy, Great Church of Christ, Archon George has shown himself to be genuinely worthy of that title, which historically was only given to individuals with proven leadership abilities who were trusted to exercise authority by the Patriarch. Anything we can write concerning this particular Archon’s achievements and leadership will inevitably fall short….His stewardship has been especially evident through his actions, which have left an indelible mark on our Church and communities. Aside from the self-sacrifice required to serve our fellow humanity, he has passed on his expertise and example through his various acts of charity and philanthropy….”
His All-Holiness added: “Archon George’s talent can be seen through his extraordinary life, which saw him rise from humble origins in Euboea, Greece, growing up in an immigrant family, eventually achieving success in business through the Marcus & Millichap Company, which he co-founded and where he still serves as Chairman, and the Essex Property Trust. Consequently, we thank Archon George for using his God-given talents to support the Church and its mission, build our cultural heritage worldwide, and offer much to numerous admirable philanthropic causes.”
In his own written statement, His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros remarked that Archon George Marcus was an “honoree of such distinction that it nearly defies elucidation. Archon George is well known throughout the Archdiocese and the American Nation from coast to coast. His philanthropy, stewardship, initiatives, commitments to Hellenism, Ecumenism, and his devotion to the Mother Church of Constantinople are extraordinary to an ultimate degree. His success in business is legendary and his dedication to civic affairs and the good health of the body politic of the United States is worthy of every admiration. Beyond these involvements, his devotion to his Church and its good health, well-being, and success within our culture and society is indefatigable.”
Dr. Anthony J. Limberakis, National Commander of the Order, stated: “It was particularly fitting that His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos was present, representing His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. For His Eminence is Metropolitan of San Francisco, where Archon George M. Marcus’ devotion to God and His Church has had such an impact upon the life of the Church and the community. Virtually everywhere the Greek Orthodox Church in America is, there is Archon George Marcus, but this is nowhere more fully and profoundly true than in the Metropolis of San Francisco, where Archon George is involved in an extraordinary range of foundations, organizations, and institutions in the Church and Greek community.”
Introducing Archon Marcus was his lifelong friend and business partner, Dr. Kenneth Frangadakis. He and Archon Marcus are the proprietors of two of the most outstanding Greek restaurants in California, Evvia in Palo Alto and Kokkari in San Francisco. Dr. Frangadakis and Archon Marcus met as altar boys when they were twelve years old, and have been friends ever since.
Archon Marcus’ wide range of commitments to God’s Church and the Hellenic community include memberships on the Board of Directors at the Modern Greek Studies Foundation, the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute, the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco, International Orthodox Christian Charities, and Elios Society of Northern California. He is committed to Leadership 100.
Archon Marcus also founded and serves as the Chairman of the National Hellenic Society, which brings together distinguished Greek Americans on a national level to preserve their heritage. He also spearheaded efforts to rebuild the Church of Panagia of Pera, the Cathedral Church of His All-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch as Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome. In 1978, a catastrophic fire broke out in this historic church, severely damaging the building. Since then, there was no renovation or restoration work, until Archon Marcus donated $500,000 for the renovation of the church, which was originally built in 1804.
Archon George M. Marcus is a Trustee Emeritus of California State University and a Regent Emeritus of the University of California. In 2018, The George and Judy Marcus Funds for Excellence in the Liberal Arts was established at San Francisco State University, which includes the George and Judy Marcus Awards for Faculty and Student Research. He also served on the Board of Directors for the Millennium Challenge Corporation and the Board of Directors of the Presidio Trust.
Born George Mathew Moutsanas in 1941 in Limni, Evia, Greece on the island of Euboea, he emigrated to the United States in 1945. He graduated as George M. Marcus from San Francisco State University with a B.A. degree in Economics, was honored as Alumnus of the Millennium in 1999 and received an honorary doctorate in 2011. He made his mark in business, founding G.M. Marcus & Company that evolved into Marcus & Millichap Company, where he still serves as Chairman. Archon Marcus is the majority owner of two renowned Greek restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area; Kokkari in San Francisco and Evvia in Palo Alto. In 2014 Mr. Marcus participated in the White House Greek Independence Day celebration, where the authentic cuisine of his restaurants was served, both President Obama and Vice President Biden were in attendance.
George M. Marcus was invested as an Archon on February 24, 1991, and conferred with the offikion Exarchos. He is a fulfilled FOUNDER of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Foundation.
The National Council of the Order of Saint Andrew unanimously voted in 2010 to establish the Nicholas J. Bouras Award. The Award is presented annually to an individual who has demonstrated extraordinary and incomparable stewardship to the Order, empowering Archons to vigorously pursue securing religious freedom for the Mother Church of Constantinople. The Award is named after the late National Vice Commander Nicholas J. Bouras, Archon Depoutatos, who demonstrated remarkable leadership as a faithful son of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and exemplary steward of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Churchman, World War II hero, devoted husband of his beloved late wife Anna, Philanthropist, sincere Christian, Archon par excellence and Industrialist are terms that have all described the life of Nicholas J. Bouras.
Past recipients of the Award have included George D. Behrakis (2011), James C. Fountas and John Halecky, Jr. (2012), Stephen J. Yallourakis, M.D., D.D.S. (2013), Christopher Stratakis, Esq. (2014), the Hon. Nicholas Tsoucalas (2015), Theofanis V. Economidis (2016), John A. Catsimatidis (2017), George E. Safiol (2018), John S. Zavitsanos (2019) and Michael G. Psaros (2022).