MEET YOUR PANELISTS

Career Corner is designed to provide an interactive experience for both the young attorney/law student and the Hellenic Bar Association of Illinois (HBA) member. During the event, small group sessions will be led by distinguished members of the HBA from various fields of the law, including: large, medium and small firms, corporation counsel, government (local and federal), solo practitioners and members of the judiciary. Among the many topics that will be covered are networking strategies, resume writing, preparing for an interview, and more!
 

LARGE FIRM PANELISTS

Eleni Kouimelis

Eleni Kouimelis is chair of the Winston & Strawn’s nationally ranked Environmental Law Practice. She focuses her practice on environmental issues that arise in a variety of contexts, including transactions, compliance counseling, and litigation. She provides compliance counseling to diverse industrial and manufacturing clients in all the environmental media, including designing and implementing audit and sustainability programs, strategic planning, and permitting and siting approval. In addition, Eleni advises clients in the remediation and redevelopment of contaminated properties under both voluntary and government-mandated cleanups. She represents clients in environmental enforcement actions brought by federal, state, and local authorities in jurisdictions throughout the United States, and in private party litigation involving contaminated property.

Eleni also advises clients in corporate and real estate transactions, including acquisitions, divestitures, financings, and securities offerings. Prior to joining Winston & Strawn in 1989, Eleni served as assistant regional counsel with USEPA Region 5, where she brought actions to enforce the air, water, and toxic statutes in judicial and administrative forums, and provided legal counseling and policy assistance to program clients in these areas.

Elpitha Lambros

Elpitha Lambros is a senior litigation associate at Akerman LLP, where she focuses her practice on a wide range of complex matters, including high-stakes commercial disputes and white collar investigations. Elpitha represents clients in both federal and state courts through all phases of litigation and across various industries in matters involving breach of contract, defamation, insurance coverage, employment disputes, and more. She also has experience in government investigations, where she has led investigative teams in response to government inquiries and participated in an international monitorship of a global financial institution. In addition to her litigation work, Elpitha counsels clients on a variety of employment matters and conducts investigations into claims of workplace misconduct, including claims of sex discrimination, hostile work environment, and retaliation. Elpitha also maintains an active pro bono practice, representing individuals seeking asylum and prisoners in federal civil rights actions.

Elpitha received her J.D. in 2015 from The University of Chicago Law School and her B.A. in Sociology from DePaul University in 2012. Elpitha currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Hellenic Bar Association of Illinois and the Associate Board of Directors for Chicago Scholars.

Vasiliki Mitrakos

Vasiliki is an associate in Winston & Strawn’s Chicago office and represents clients in a variety of real estate matters. Prior to joining Winston, Vasiliki served as a judicial extern for the Honorable Anthony Kyriakopoulos in the Circuit Court of Cook County.

Vasiliki was a U.S. Fulbright Scholar in Athens, Greece in 2013-2014.

John Secaras

John Secaras is an associate attorney in Winston & Strawn’s Chicago office. He concentrates his practice primarily on mergers and acquisitions and private equity matters. John regularly works with both privately held companies and public company clients on buy- and sell-side transactions. He also has experience representing lenders as well as obtaining financing for corporate borrowers in various finance transactions. Prior to joining Winston, John spent time as an extern at the Securities and Exchange Commission in the Office of Derivatives Policy and as a law clerk at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois.
John received his undergraduate degree from Northwestern University in 2014 and his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in 2017. He currently serves on the Hellenic Bar Association Board of Directors and on various HBA committees, including as Co-Chair of the HBA’s Law Day Program.

MID-SIZED FIRM PANELISTS

Constantine “Dino” Koutsoubas

Constantine “Dino” Koutsoubas works with generic pharmaceutical manufacturers in their efforts to bring their products to market. In this role, he helps clients in every aspect of Hatch-Waxman Act litigation, from drafting the initial Paragraph IV notice letter to trial.

Dino is appreciated for his advocacy abilities, both in and out of court. Dino’s even-tempered communication style and consistently solid judgment is enhanced by his dedication to achieving the right result for every client he serves. Dino consistently delivers the acute skill of analyzing each case and identifying arguments that have the best chance of succeeding. An avid team player, Dino strives to maximize his client’s time and resources at every turn.

Prior to law school, Dino held a process engineering/research pharmacist role at a major pharmaceutical company, where he was responsible for scaling-up solid dosage form formulations from the clinical scale to the commercial scale validation batches. In that role, he learned each unit operation involved in making tablets, capsules and soft gels. For his products, he was ultimately responsible for preparing the process development reports for the New Drug Application.

Prior to joining Kelley Drye, Dino was an associate in the patent litigation group of a major Chicago-based firm, where he represented both plaintiffs and defendants at both the trial and appellate level.

Thomas Thanasouras

Tom assists with the development, financing, leasing, acquisition and sale of commercial real estate. With a keen eye for detail, Tom analyzes and drafts a variety of key documents including purchase and sale agreements and leasing and loan documents. He ensures that clients have their business goals and objectives protected in all transactions.

Tom earned a J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law and a bachelor’s degree in finance from Indiana University Kelley School of Business.

SMALL & SOLO FIRM PANELISTS

Dimitra Anderson

Dimitra Anderson earned her J.D. from Chicago Kent College of Law, her B.S. in accounting from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and is also a CPA. She advises families in wealth preservation and succession planning and all aspects of gift, estate and income taxation. She represents fiduciaries and beneficiaries in probate and trust administration. She advises parents and guardians of minors and disabled adults, including special needs planning. She also serves as court-appointed Guardian ad Litem in guardianship proceedings.

James Faklis

James a member of law firm of Faklis, Tallis & Mead. James concentrates his practice in personal injury arising from motor vehicle collisions, premises liability, product liability, as well as criminal defense matters. James has tried multiple cases to verdict with the partners of the firm, including winning his first trial shortly after joining the firm in May of 2015.

James is a 2010 graduate of the University of Illinois and received his Juris Doctorate degree from DePaul University College of Law in 2014. While in law school, James accepted an opportunity to study for a semester at the University College Dublin in Ireland, where he studied comparative law subjects in the area of Torts, Constitutional Law, and Alternative Dispute Resolution.

James is licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and most recently in the State of Florida.

James is a current member of the Chicago Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association, and Illinois Trial Lawyers Association. As part of the Chicago Bar Association, James volunteers with the Chicago Bar Association’s Wills for Heroes, which assists Illinois State Police Officers, Firefighters, EMTs, and their families to prepare wills for the future. James also co-authored a journal article featured in the Spring 2017 Illinois Trial Lawyers Association Trial Journal with partner, Michael Mead, titled Establishing Proximate Cause in a Medical Negligence Case: More Recent Cases Seem to Limit the Reach of Seef v. Ingalls Memorial Hospital.

Athena Farmakis

Athena currently represents Plaintiffs in all areas of personal and catastrophic injury including: medical malpractice, motor vehicle accidents, premises liability, constructions accidents, nursing home abuse and wrongful death. She is known for her zealous advocacy and ability to handle complex cases and is skilled in preparing, presenting and cross-examining factual, medical and expert witnesses in both deposition and trial settings.
Athena is a former prosecutor of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office where she held supervisory positions and advocated for the rights of victims and their families of homicide, sexual assault, child abuse and other violent crimes. Athena has tried 68 jury trials to verdict and hundreds of bench trials affording her with vast, wide-ranging trial expertise and knowledge of the litigation process.

Athena graduated with a B.A. from Northwestern University and received her law degree from DePaul University College of Law.

Athena J Frentzas

Athena J. Frentzas is a solo practitioner/principal at Frentzas Law, LLC. She focuses her practice on criminal defense, DUI’s,Secretary of State reinstatement hearings, CDL traffic issues and personal injury cases. She has been in private practice for 28 years. Prior to this she was an Assistant Attorney General where she litigated workers compensation cases. She is on the Board of the Hellenic Bar Association, co-chair of the mentorship committee and a member of various bar associations.

Athena is a 1991 graduate of the John Marshall Law School in Chicago and received a Bachelor of Business Administration at Loyola University of Chicago. She is currently in the process of writing her first book, “Everything you Need to Know to Save your CDL.”

Christos Kiosses

Christos Kiosses is a Greek Lawyer (licensed to practice in Illinois, Greece and the EU) based in Chicago, with over 20 years of experience practicing law in Greece prior to his move to the US. He has been a member of the Thessaloniki Bar Association (ΔΣΘ) since 1996 with extensive experience in litigation, counseling, legal practice, and negotiations. He is a member of the Chicago Bar Association (CBA) and the Hellenic Bar Association of Illinois (HBA). He has Chaired the CBA’s International and Foreign Law Committee for two years.

He hosts a radio show every second Thursday at 9am Central (10am EST) on The Chicago Greek Hours Radio (ChicagoGreekHours) where he talks about Greek legal issues.
He has created and writes for the Greek American Legal Topics (kiossesblog.com), a blog that features interesting legal topics, that all Greek Americans will find useful. As an Attorney within the Law Offices of George C. Xamplas, he caters to the needs of Greek people living in the larger Chicago area and beyond with any legal issues they might have in Greece.

E. Angelo Spyratos

E. Angelo Spyratos is a Founding Member of SpyratosDavis LLC. For 25 years he has concentrated his practice in civil litigation defense, with over 40 civil jury trials to verdict for his clients. Angelo’s passion for his client’s interest allows him to serve as a trusted advisor and counselor in championing their cause before courts throughout the state. He has published numerous articles on trial practice and often serves as an author and presenter for continuing legal education.

Outside the practice, Angelo enjoys traveling, cooking, photography and tournament poker. He shares 3 of these 4 hobbies with his wife and two children.

IN-HOUSE PANELISTS

Allena Maria Barbato

Allena Barbato is the Director of Title IX Compliance and Equity at Rosalind Franklin University. She is also an adjunct professor at the College of Lake County teaching Crisis Intervention Training for police officers; has taught alongside the State’s Attorney on drug prevention, and in her local schools on suicide prevention.

She is a Lake Villa Trustee, is involved in Lakes Community High School with their boosters club and participating on Bias panels. Allena is also very involved at St. Demetrios church in Libertyville, teaching Sunday School, Greek Dance, and leading youth groups. Furthermore, through the Philoptochos, she and her family have been devoted to Operation Classroom, which gathers food, clothing and financial donations to 500 homeless students in Lake County.

She lives in Lake Villa with her husband of twenty years and her teen daughters. Allena received her Bachelors in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, her Juris Doctorate from Southern Illinois University School of Law, and her Masters in Counseling Psychology from Sophia University in San Mateo, California.

Christopher Kantas

Christopher Kantas serves as General Counsel, Chief Administrative Officer, Vice President, and Secretary of the Board of Directors at Saint Anthony Hospital in Chicago. In addition to his role as General Counsel, Christopher oversees Hospital clinical service lines and administrative department operations. Saint Anthony Hospital is an independent, nonprofit, faith-based, acute care, community hospital dedicated to improving the health and wellness of the families on the West Side and Southwest Side of Chicago. Saint Anthony employs 1,500 staff and operates clinics throughout Chicago.

Prior to Saint Anthony, Christopher served as Associate Director at the University of Illinois Office of Medicaid and Medicare Innovation providing legal, operations, and health policy guidance to the U of I Health System and the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. He previously served as Special Counsel and Senior Healthcare Advisor to the Office of the Governor of the State of Illinois. Christopher earned his bachelor’s and law degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Eleni Katsoulis

Eleni Katsoulis is a senior Counsel with Northwestern Memorial Healthcare, where she manages and oversees the defense of professional and general negligence claims, and directs litigation and trial strategy. She also provides legal counsel to various Northwestern departments on litigation related issues. Eleni graduated from Chicago Kent College of Law in 2010 and received her undergraduate degree with honors from the University of Illinois.

Eleni is also founding member and Secretary of Hellenic Legal Assistance Services, a pro Bono clinic designed to serve the Greek American community of Chicago, which has assisted over 400 families to date. She serves on the Board of Chicago Volunteer Legal Services, where she has been honored for her pro bono work. Additionally, Eleni is President of the Hellenic Bar Association, and has served the organization in numerous capacities over the last decade.

George Vinihakis

George Vinihakis serves as Corporate Counsel at CMN, a concert touring and artist management company, representing acts like Bad Bunny, J Balvin, Marc Anthony, and Nicky Jam. His responsibilities have a great deal of breadth; from drafting and negotiating touring, venue, and production agreements to advising internal stakeholders on all business/legal affairs. Prior to joining CMN, George was Counsel for Wilson Sporting Goods. He is a graduate of Wabash College and DePaul Law.

JUDICIARY PANELISTS

Hon. Frank J. Andreou

Hon. Frank J. Andreou is currently an Associate Judge in the Circuit Court of Cook County and in the Second Municipal District. Prior to being sworn in, Frank was a principal at Andreou & Casson, Ltd. in 2002. Frank was licensed to practice law in 1995 and is a former Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney. He has tried more than 50 jury trials to verdict; has written more than 70 appellate briefs and has argued before the Illinois Appellate Court and 7th Circuit Appellate Court. Frank’s areas of practice include personal injury; employment; and, commercial litigation in both federal and state court in both the trial and appellate courts. Frank is licensed to practice in the State of Illinois, the United States District Court, Northern District, the Seventh Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court.

Hon. Peggy Chiampas

Hon. Peggy Chiampas is an associate judge for the Cook County Circuit Court in Illinois. She was elected to the Circuit Court by the Cook County Circuit judges in 2007. While on the bench, Chiampas has held an assignment in the Criminal Division of the First Municipal District. Before her judgeship, she had served with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office since 1990. During her tenure there, she worked as an assistant state’s attorney in the Complex Drug Prosecutions Unit. Chiampas also taught trial advocacy as an instructor at the John Marshall Law School.

Hon. Anna H. Demacopoulos

In 2008, Hon. Anna H. Demacopoulos was elected as a Circuit Court Judge in Cook County in the Fifteenth Subcircuit. She currently serves in the prestigious General Chancery Division presiding over complex high profile cases involving requests for temporary restraining orders, preliminary injunctions, release of information under FOIA, mandamus, declaratory judgments, class actions, corporate derivative actions, the constitutionality of statues, and other cases seeking equitable relief. Prior to that she presided over a high volume felony courtroom in the Sixth Municipal District, Markham. She has also presided over domestic violence, misdemeanor and major traffic cases.

Hon. Demacopoulos is admired for her fairness, knowledge of the law, impartiality and strong work ethic. Many of her opinions have received local and national news coverage. She has served on the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Education and served as a faculty member for the Continuing Education Conference. She was also a topic writer for the Illinois Judicial Bench book on DUI/Traffic and serves as a mentor judge for newly elected judges.

Hon. Anthony C. “Tony” Kyriakopoulos

Hon. Anthony C. “Tony” Kyriakopoulos is a graduate of John Marshall Law School. After a brief stint in private practice in 1990, he joined the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. The Supreme Court of Illinois appointed Judge Kyriakopoulos to the bench in February of 2010. He was elected to the bench in 2016. Since September of 2011, Judge Kyriakopoulos has been assigned to the Mortgage / Mechanic’s Lien Section of the Chancery Division. He is also a board member of the Hellenic Foundation and Hellenic Bar Association of Illinois, as well as an officer and founding member of Hel.LAS.

Hon. Athanasios “Tom” Sianis

Judge Tom Sianis was elected to serve as a Cook County Circuit Court Judge on December 3rd, 2018. Currently, Judge Sianis is the Supervising Judge in the First Municipal District Traffic Division. He also presided over small claims non-jury cases and Forcible Entry and Detainer eviction hearings.

Before becoming a judge, Judge Sianis was the Enforcement Division Chief of the Illinois Securities Department. He supervised twelve attorneys, five special agents and six investigators in Chicago and Springfield. He devised investigative plans and strategies to determine what actions to take on violations of securities laws and regulations. He worked hand in hand with prosecutors, the Securities and Exchange Commission and FINRA on securities criminal cases. While at the Illinois Securities Department, Judge Sianis was appointed as a Special Assistant Attorney General with the Illinois Attorney General’s Office where he assisted in the prosecution of securities fraud cases.

Judge Sianis started his career at the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. As an assistant state’s attorney, he tried hundreds of bench trials and numerous jury trials in the Criminal Division and the Domestic Violence Division. He indicted defendants at the Grand Jury for cases involving murder, criminal sexual assault, and financial crimes. Judge Sianis was the lead prosecutor for the Cook County Environmental Protection Agency where he investigated and prosecuted asbestos abatement cases and noise pollution cases.

GOVERNMENT PANELISTS

Katerina Alexopoulos

Katerina Alexopoulos is an Officer with the Hellenic Bar Association. She is currently working for the Department of Homeland Security as an Assistant Chief Counsel. Prior to that, she worked as an Assistant State’s Attorney in Cook County for six years, where she was assigned to the appeals, narcotics, felony review, and preliminary hearing divisions. She graduated from Chicago-Kent in 2013 with a Criminal Litigation Certificate. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Northwestern University in Political Science in 2010.

Kyriakoula (Koula) A. Fournier

Koula has been an Assistant State’s Attorney for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office for the past 22 years. Koula is currently assigned to the Criminal Appeals Division where she has successfully argued several cases before the First District Appellate Court of Illinois. Prior to her current assignment, Koula was a Sex Crimes Trial Specialist where she handled high-profile sexual assault and domestic violence cases. Koula has also worked in other divisions of the State’s Attorney’s Office, including, the Felony Trial Division, the Internet Crimes against Children (ICAC) Sex Crimes Unit, the Juvenile Justice Bureau and the Narcotics Bureau where she has litigated hundreds of trials and motions involving various felony offenses.

Koula is passionate about advancing the legal profession. She has been actively involved for many years in the Hellenic Bar Association (HBA), where Koula has worked tirelessly to support the advancement of Greek-American attorneys in the legal profession. Koula served as President of the HBA from 2020-2021 and Chairperson of its Board of Directors from 2021-2022. She currently serves as a board member on the Hellenic Bar Association Foundation, the HBA’s charitable arm. She is a mentor leader on the WISE (Women’s Insight and Support Through Education) Employee Resource Group and has served on the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office Hiring and Recruitment Committee, as well as, being a mentor to young attorneys and law students.

Additionally, Koula believes in giving back to her community and has been actively involved in various community initiatives. She has served on the School Board for Pythagoras Children’s Academy in Elmhurst, Illinois and is also actively involved in her church, St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Elmhurst where she serves on the Board of the Philoptohos (friend of the poor) Society, which helps those in need in the community.

Koula was born and raised on the north side of Chicago. She attended Good Counsel High School, an all-girls Catholic school, DePaul University where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and obtained her Juris Doctor degree from John Marshall Law School.

Cathy Hareas

Catherine S. Hareas is a Cook County Assistant Public Defender. Over the years, she has worked in several courtrooms throughout the county handling felonies & misdemeanors.

An active member of the Hellenic Bar Association since Law School, Ms. Hareas is a Past President of the HBA. It was through her efforts that the HBA Became A Member of the Alliance of Bar Associations.

Ms. Hareas teaches CLE Courses and is involved in several philanthropic organizations.

Thomas Massouras

Thomas Massouras is currently a trial attorney with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in its Midwest Regional Counsel’s Office, and a Special Assistant United States Attorney (SAUSA) with the United States Attorney’s office of the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago. Prior to joining HUD, Tom was an Assistant Public Defender at the DuPage County, Illinois Public Defender’s Office; a Trial Attorney with the Illinois Attorney General’s Office; and a litigator with Chicago Housing Authority (CHA). He is also one of the co-founders of Hel.las, which provides pro bono legal services to those in need in the Greek community. He is also a past president of the HBA.

Konstantina J. Tsatsoulis

Konstantina J. Tsatsoulis joined the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) in 2009 as Legal Counsel to the Illinois Liquor Control Commission. Since 2016, she has been an attorney with the Sales Tax Litigation Unit of IDOR. Previously, Ms. Tsatsoulis was in private practice with a boutique firm in Chicago’s Loop that specialized in liquor law and civil litigation matters. She received her Juris Doctor degree from Tulane University Law School, where she was a member of the Moot Court Board, and her Bachelor of Arts degree from Tulane University. For several years, Ms. Tsatsoulis has served on the Board of Directors of the Hellenic Bar Association, in addition to having served as a Sub-Committee Chair of the State of Illinois Administrative Hearings Review Committee.