John Kolovos



Alumnus Profiled: John Kolovos
Graduated: DEREE ‘85
Lives in: Athens, Greece
Current Position: CEO, Edenred Greece

"Do simple things exceptionally well, every day. And never give up!"

JOHN KOLOVOS, was born in Athens, Greece and graduated from DEREE in 1985. He has also studied Mechanical Engineering. From 1987 until 1996 he worked in sales and business development, for various companies in Greece and abroad (Netherlands, Southern Europe, Middle East, Russia). In September 1996 he was appointed sales manager at Edenred Greece (formerly: Accor Services Greece) and since 1998 he is the company’s CEO. Yannis is an active member of the Association of Chief Executive Officers, the Hellenic Management Association, the Greek People Management Association and the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises. He was a volunteer at the 2011 Special Olympics in Athens. Is married to fellow DEREE alumna Despina Ioannidou. They have a daughter, 21, and a son, 18.


Q.: What are three enduring lessons you learned during your studies at DEREE?

  • No pain no gain
  • Never give up
  • The sky is the limit

Q.: Describe DEREE in three words.

Disciplinary, achievement-oriented, professional

Q.: One of your favorite DEREE memories?

The day I was accepted to study at the College

Q.: What do you miss most from your days at DEREE?

The fantastic and unspoiled feeling of discovery and dreaming

Q.: What was your favorite spot on campus?

Left corner at the lobby – cafeteria, where all the “guys” we were getting together, before class or during the breaks.

Q.: Who was your favorite professor and why?

Professor Tsikalakis, who used to give us very challenging real-life projects and used to call us “Young and aggressive marketers.”

Q.: Have you kept in touch with any of your classmates?

With quite a few; to this day we share strong friendships in our personal and professional lives.

But also with one very special classmate, with whom we have created a wonderful family

Q.: How did DEREE help prepare you for your professional life?

In showing me new ways to analyze, think differently, learn how to look for, believe in myself and be competitive.

Q.: What's the greatest piece of advice you've ever received?

Never give up! Life is an adventure we need to appreciate, love, live and enjoy in every moment, because nothing comes for nothing.

Q.: What (or who) inspires you most?

I find inspiration in every little thing I do every day, at work or at home, with my colleagues or my family.

Q.: Your motto in life?

Do simple things exceptionally well, every day.

And never give up!

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