On January 5, 2019 philanthropist and prosperous businessman Nikos Mouyiaris passed away in New York. Like so many successful and extraordinary giving philanthropists, Nikos leaves behind a legacy that will continue to inspire and create opportunities for others.

After attending Rutgers and St. John’s University for a degree in chemical engineering, Nikos took out a loan totaling $6,000. That loan went on to fund the ultra successful MANA Products, INC., one of the world’s leading cosmetic manufacturers.

Originally from Cyprus, Nikos lived a life far from luxurious. His intelligence, determination, and success has gone on to make him a true inspiration to many Greek citizens who view him as the pinnacle of the “American Dream.” Coming from nothing, Nikos was able to surpass his humble beginnings to prosper, yet never forgetting his origins.

As a fierce believer and supporter of his fellow Greeks, Nikos founded the Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC), a “national network of Greek American community leaders who have distinguished themselves in American civic life to encourage an active form of citizenship.”

Nikos was a firm believer in honoring one’s roots and supporters. Successful in his own right, he always looked to those in his life for inspirations and never failed to thank them for their contribution to his success. When speaking to the Cyprus-U.S. Chamber of Commerce on behalf of his accomplishments he said, “I have often said that we are successful not because we are very smart; not because we worked very hard and we were lucky; but because we had the good fortune of being able to stand on the shoulders of others.”

Nikos was no stranger to awards and accolades, but was truly honored to receive the Ellis Island Medal of Honor for his philanthropy work and commitment to his people. Those commitments were evident in his role in multiple charities and organizations, including the Coordinated Effort of Hellenes, the International Coordinating Committee Justice for Cyprus, the SOS Children’s Village in Greece, and the Elytis Chair at Rutgers University.

Nikos Mouyiaris proves that caring deeply about the things that are important to you is the key to success and a truly meaningful life. He is survived by his daughter, Ariana, his wife, Carol, as well as his grandchildren.