Alex Pissios Chicago’s Philanthropic Film Fellow


Alex Pissios’s first act is set on Chicago’s Northwest side. Pissios, two brothers, lived upper floor of the house, with his grandparents on the second and an aunt and uncle on the first. “We were your typical Greek American household,” he says. “My earliest communication was Greek, and nevertheless, I study, write, and communicate fluently.” Pissios’ father is a dedicated special educator. Alex Pissios was designed to follow his dad’s legacy. After qualifying from the Chicago public school organization, Pissios managed Northeastern Illinois institute, where he was concerned with special tuition, concentrating on high school. He’d just acquired her foot on introducing the class structure as a student-tutor.

Alex Pissios is loved dearly by his parents
Alex Pissios is loved dearly by his parents

Pissios’ maternal uncle, John Mirkopoulos, holds a leather and pelage firm in Indianapolis intending to extend to Chicago. He needed someone on whom he could rely, like a family member, to manage his new Michigan Avenue store. Pissios’ first reaction was one of skepticism. “First and foremost, I do not like fur; I’m not into leathers,” he told his uncle, refusing to give up teaching. Pissios paused after Uncle John responded with a sum that doubled his teaching salary. Alex Pissios worked in the fur and leather sector for the next decade, putting in 12-hour shifts seven days a week, excluding vacations. That grueling ritual has been going on for ten years. In quest of fresh challenges, he turned to real estate development.

A terrifying plunge followed a breathtaking rise. When the economy bottomed out in 2009 and 2010, Pissios was on the verge of bankruptcy. His house was under foreclosure. His wife returned to work after giving birth to their third kid. Alex Pissios, a self-described “movers and shakers,” unwillingly accepted the role of full-time househusband. He considered death, much like Jimmy Stewart’s character in It’s a Great Life, but he, too, was protected by a guardian angel. Alex Pissios’ angel, unlike George Bailey’s Clarence, was tangible — and, by chance, he was an investor. An unpredicted experience at a household marriage ceremony was conducted to a life-altering talk.

Nick Mirkopoulos, Alex Pissios’ maternal great-uncle, holds Cinespace, a flourishing Toronto-based manufacturing center. Mirkopoulos expanded an unexpected lifeline to Pissios after understanding his financial woes.