Margo Catsimatidis Biography

Margo Catsimatidis biography and updates. Margo Catsimatidis is the wife of John Catsimatidis, New York City

Toasts for mogul John Catsimatidis’ wife

New York Post December 5, 2012

(l-r) Ed and Trishia Cox, parents of Chris Cox, husband of daughter Andrea Catsimatidis-Cox, son John Jr., and Margo and John Catsimatidis.

(l-r) Ed and Trishia Cox, parents of Chris Cox, husband of daughter Andrea Catsimatidis-Cox, son John Jr., and Margo and John Catsimatidis.

Supermarket mogul John Catsimatidis this week declared he will open an exploratory committee to pursue a potential bid for the GOP mayoral nomination. But at a lavish 60th birthday party for his wife Margo at the Mandarin Oriental on Sunday, it was clear who holds the real power in their marriage.Sen. Chuck Schumer said, “Margo represents so much that is so good in our country, our state and our city. One of the things I love about New York is we attract the best and the brightest from the rest of the world and the rest of the country and Margo is an example.” Bill Clinton delivered a video message: “I want to thank you and John for being great friends toHillary and me for so long . . . You work harder than just about anybody I know.” Guests toasting Margo and dancing to music by Bobby Vinton included top cop Ray Kel lySomers FarkasDolly LenzMark SimoneRobert Morgenthau and Curtis Sliwa.

Margo Catsimatidis Giving Back to Help Protect Children in N.Y. – WSJ.com

Margo Catsimatidis

Margo Catsimatidis helped her husband, John Catsimatidis, turn Gristedes into a supermarket empire before starting her own businesses in print advertising and publishing. But the philanthropist said what drives her is knowing what it is like to have less.

“My philosophy is never forget where you came from. I grew up in a poor family, but even though we were poor, I knew there were people with less than we had,” said Mrs. Catsimatidis, 59 years old, who first came to New York as a teenager to dance with the Bolshoi Ballet. “And I always told myself if I got into the position where I could help, I would.”

At the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children’s annual gala Tuesday night, Margo and John Catsimatidis, 64, will be honored with the nonprofit organization’s Strength of Our Society award.

The couple have committed a donation of $50,000 for the evening.

The Strength of Our Society award “honors those who are helping us make a better New York,” said the president of the organization, David R. Stack. The award is customarily given to individuals new to NYSPCC.

“We knew of their generosity and their involvement in a number of charities, which is just the kind of thing we’re looking to recognize and honor,” Mr. Stack said. The hope is that honorees then continue a relationship with the organization. “It’s been pleasing to us, that those we’ve honored who hadn’t had connections to the society before have stayed involved.”

Mrs. Catsimatidis said she actually wasn’t aware of the organization before she and her husband were asked to get involved. “I said to them, ‘I’m involved in so many things and I haven’t heard of you,’” said Mrs. Catsimatidis. “My husband and I said yes immediately. We try to do everything to help kids in every way that we can.”

That the society, though it’s been around since 1875, remains under the radar is “one of our great anomalies,” said Mr. Stack.

“Though we’re not a huge organization, we are the first and oldest [of this kind] and certainly within the universe of child protective services, I think we’re well-known nationally,” he said. “In the City of New York, when you’re competing with museums and artistic organizations and high-profile charities, it’s not a name that comes to mind right off the bat. But we’ve always been pleased people like the honorees that have come along have stayed committed.”

Now that she has this connection to the society, Mrs. Catsimatidis said, she’s “certainly trying” to bring attention to it.

“I’m going to bring a lot of people [to the organization] that are in the position to help,” she said. “I did go down and see their operation and I met everyone on the board. My heart is very happy to be able to at least help a little bit, bringing it to the front.”

Giving Back to Help Protect Children in N.Y. – WSJ.com.

credit: Kimberly Chou

Prospect Park

Honoree Matilda Cuomo, wife of former Governor Mario Cuomo and mother of current New York Governor Andrew with John Catsimatidis and Margo.  Prospect Park Brooklyn Gala November 10, 2012

Margo Catsimatidis

Margo Catsimatidis (nee Vondersaar), born in Indiana, bade farewell to her family of six brothers and sisters and set out for New York City in 1971 with a goal for a career in dance. While in Indianapolis at age 12, Margo was the youngest person ever invited to dance with the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet. In New York, Margo studied ballet with a renowned Russian instructor and appeared in numerous theatrical productions. A dance related injury directed Margo to channel her creative talent and energy into other career choices, while keeping her ballet contacts close, serving for a time on the board of the legendary Martha Graham Dance Company.

In 1973 Margo became the first secretary to the owner of a young company named Red Apple Supermarkets. This job would subsequently guide her career and life, eventu- ally marrying owner John Catsimatidis. That small supermarket chain grew into Gristedes, the largest supermarket chain in New York City. Now known as Red Apple Group, the company has holdings in supermarkets, real estate, oil refining and distribution, aviation and a newspaper. Along with her husband, this dynamic couple has guided the growth of Red Apple Group to a thriving business concern with over $5 billion dollars in annual sales.

In 1984 Margo founded MCV Advertising Associates, an advertising agency spe- cializing in retail print advertising. MCV Advertising grew into one of the premier print agencies in the New York metropolitan area.

In addition to her professional advertising career, Margo heads a wide variety of civic and charitable concerns.

Margo, along with husband John, are co-publishers of the Hellenic Times newspa- per, the largest English language, Greek American newspaper in the United States. Margo is a member of the Greek Orthodox Church of America’s Leadership 100, a group of church leaders who guide Orthodoxy in the Americas. Margo and John are the recip- ients of numerous awards and honors in the Greek American community.

A highlight of Margo’s contributions is the Hellenic Times Scholarship Fund. Founded in 1989, Margo has been a driving force behind this fund, which caps its annual fund-raising drive with the largest Greek American dinner gala in the country, with an av- erage attendance in excess of 1200. Presented annually every May in New York City, it draws many of the top entertainment, political, and religious figures in the country. To date, the Hellenic Times Scholarship fund has distributed over $2 million in scholarships to over 800 students of Greek American heritage.

While devoted to the Greek American community, Margo pays tribute to her own heritage as well, having served as Chairman of the annual Russian Heritage Foundation dinner in St. Petersburg, Florida, and a Board member of the Tolstoy Foundation. Margo’s work in heritage preservation brought her national recognition, and in 2000 she was awarded the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

Margo also serves on the steering committee of the Alzheimer’s Association and the Board of the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation. Along with her husband John, they are patrons of the National Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and serve on the Executive committee of New York Hospital and as Chairpersons for the Police Athletic League’s (PAL) Annual Holiday Party for over 1000 needy New York City children. Margo also serves on the committee for the PAL women’s luncheon.

As a member of the West Side Chamber of Commerce, Margo’s direction turned a small block party into one of the City’s largest annual public events – the Columbus Avenue Festival attended by millions of New Yorkers over the years.

The Catsimatidis’ political involvement is legendary in New York. They have hosted dinners in their home for Presidents, Vice Presidents, Governors, and politicians from all levels of government, as well as being instrumental in the building of the chapel at the Presidential retreat at Camp David.

The cornerstone of Margo’s life is her family. Their daughter, Andrea Catsimatidis Cox, 22, is a graduate of New York University’s Stern Business School, and their son, John Jr.,20, is a sophmore at NYU.

The Catsimatidis’ maintain homes on Fifth Ave. in Manhattan, and East Quogue LI.

Awards/Honors

Alzheimer’s Association Honoree OTTY Philanthropist Award
Parkinson’s Disease Foundation Honoree AHI- American Hellenic Institute Honoree
National Osteoporosis Foundation Honoree PAL – Police Athletic League “Women of the Year”
New York City Comptroller Greek Heritage Award World Wide Children’s Foundation Honoree
GMR – “Uncommon Women” Honoree Bowery Mission Annual Valentine Gala Honoree
Ellis Island Medal of Honor Children’s Tumor Foundation Honoree
Phidippides Award Soldiers and Sailors Honoree
Greek Orthodox Church of American, Leadership 100 DeWitt Clinton Masonic Award
EAWC- European American Women’s Council NY Society for prevention of Cruelty to Children
   

Affiliations

Vice Chairman – Hellenic Times Scholarship Fund Board Member – Russian Heritage Foundation
Board Member – Parkinson’s Disease Foundation Steering Committee– Alzheimer’s Association
Board Member – Tolstoy Foundation Executive Committee– New York Hospital
Executive Committee– Police Athletic League