John Kolovos

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, has been 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.

Yiannis Is married to fellow DEREE alumna Despina Ioannidou. They have a daughter and a son.


Q.: What are three enduring values Deree has taught you?

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

Q.: Describe Deree in three words.

Disciplinary, achievement-oriented, professional.

Q.: Which is your fondest memory from your time at Deree?

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.: If you could go back in time, is there anything that would you do differently?


Q.: Where was your favorite spot on campus?

Left corner at the lobby – cafeteria, where all the “guys” we were getting together and had fun.

Q.: Who was your favorite teacher and why?

Professor Tsikalakis, who used to give us very challenging real-life projects.

Q.: After graduation, have you maintained a relationship with your school and 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.: Looking back, how did your time at Deree help you become the person you are today?

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

Q.: What advice would you give a new Deree student?

Never give up! Life is an adventure we need to appreciate. Live and enjoy in every moment.

Q.: Where do you get your inspiration from?

From my family. 

Q.: What is your motto in life?

Do every day, simple things extremely well.

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