John A. Payiavlas, former Chairman of Leadership 100 and current National Membership Committee Co-Chairman, was designated the first Chairman Emeritus to serve as a Life-Time Member of the Executive Committee and Board of Trustees, along with Life-Time Founding Members.
Payiavlas, who assumes the role with the passing of Founding Member George P. Kokalis on June 24, 2008, in accordance with the Leadership 100 Regulations,
served as Chairman of Leadership 100 from 2004 to 2006. He presided over major changes in the organization, namely the move from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese to the Olympic Tower in New York City and the hiring of Paulette Poulos as Development Director, later to become Executive Director (Interim).
Born and raised in Warren, Ohio, Payiavlas founded AVI FOODSYSTEMS, Inc. in 1962, building a small entrepreneurial endeavor into the largest family-owned, food contract service company in the United States.
Currently serving as Chairman of the Warren, Ohio-based Company, he spent four decades managing and crafting AVI into one of America’s most highly regarded corporations. AVI FOODSYSTEMS provides dining, automated dining, catering and office coffee systems for corporate headquarter facilities, universities, hospitals, manufacturing plants and community institutions, serving over four thousand customers throughout seven Midwestern and Eastern states.
In 2001, he was named Chairman of the Company and his son, Anthony, and daughter, Patrice Kouvas, were appointed Presidents. Payiavlas was enshrined in The Northeastern Ohio Business Hall of Fame in 2000. He is also an Archon Depoutatos of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the highest honor in all Christendom, dating back to the fourth century, as well as a member of AHEPA and other community, business and civic organizations. He is married to the former Marisa Tsagaris. They have two children and six grandchildren, all of whom reside in Warren, Ohio.