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From Finance to Philanthropy

In the business section of The Huffington Post, Epaminondas Farmakis noted of his past jobs in finance, “Having worked in such a high demand environment where everything was geared for profit got me thinking what a waste of time it was; instead, we should be working to give resources to people who need them the most.”

A 1993 graduate of Washington and Lee University, Epaminondas started his career in New York City at IFC, Nasdaq and then Merrill Lynch in the asset management division before returning to Greece and serving his mandatory military service. “There’s a social role in the service; it brings you in contact with people from all ages and social groups with different problems. This changes your priorities and puts everything into perspective.”

He then turned to philanthropic work, working first for the Stavros Niarchos Foundation before starting his own consulting group. He’s now working for SolidarityNow as its managing director. Based in Greece, the nonprofit funds teams of NGOs that offer specialized services free of charge, ranging from targeted medical aid to legal counseling, child and family support to job-searching support. Epaminondas says housing NGOs under one roof is a more efficient way to help people. He said, “I believe that collaborative spaces are the key to impacting the future instead of everybody trying to do their own thing.”

He wishes he could change the situations that impact his clients, but said he can only alter the effects of those situations. “I think that if you keep the individual that you’re trying to help in focus, then everything else falls into place.”