Nikos Mouyaris has been a very active leader in the Greek American community and yet a very private person, avoiding the limelight. This year, however, he made headlines not once, but twice. First he stunned Washington last May, when during the annual PSEKA conference, he proposed the creation of a central organization that would promote Greek-American causes and he coupled his idea with a pledge of two million dollars of his own money in order to streamline its materialization.
The second time was this past October, when he was honored with the “Justice for Cyprus Award”, the highest honor of the Cyprus Federation of America, during a testimonial dinner in which Members of US Congress Ireana Ros Lehtinen and Robert E. Andrews were also recognized “having demonstrated steadfast dedication and unparalleled commitment to the Cyprus cause,” in the words of Peter Papanikolaou, president of the Cyprus Federation of America.
Receiving the award, Mouyaris took the opportunity to remind everyone of “our responsibility to protect our heritage and the territorial integrity of Greece and Cyprus.” He also invited all the Hellenes in America to unite, despite their political or ideological differences and to help collect the necessary ten million dollars in order to start the organization-umbrella that he proposed to coordinate the community effort. “We have already 2.5 million,” he said. “Our cause is just.”
The “Justice for Cyprus Award” is presented to those who have been exemplary leaders and outspoken advocates of the just and noble cause for the liberation of Cyprus from the Turkish occupation forces and the restoration of the human rights of the Cypriot people. The trophy, which is the work of world renowned Greek-Cypriot sculptor Nikolaos Kotziamanis, depicts a winged “Nike” or “Victory” holding two wreaths to crown the victors.
“Through his involvement in PSEKA and the Coordinated Efforts of Hellenes, he (Nikos Mouyaris) has been at the forefront of efforts to inform the wider American public of the need to end the Turkish occupation of Cyprus,” declared President Tassos Papadopoulos in his message for the occasion.
Nikos Mouyaris was born in Athienou, Cyprus. After graduating from high school, he went to England, before he got a student visa to come to the US. He received his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from St. John’s University and a Master of Science form Rutgers University. He then started a cosmetic manufacturing company in New York City with $6,000 that he borrowed from his brother, Apostolos.
Today Mana Products is a very successful enterprise that employs over 600 people. In addition to this company, he has interests in real estate, as well as other businesses. He is married to Carol and they have two adult children, Alexis and Ariana.