Certificate of Master Mariner for Unlimited tonnage ships.
BBA, class 1978, Pace University, NY
My roots are embedded deep into the marble bearing hills of Ysternia, Tinos. My grandfather, following the centuries old tradition of his ancestors, upon completing his primary and secondary education was ordained into the priesthood at the Patriarchate of Alexandria from where was sent to Vassileonoiko, Chios to minister and serve the spiritual needs of his parishioners. That was the place where my father was born destined to become a servant of Themis – a Judge.
My maternal grandfather, George Garyfallakis, was a Custom’s officer at Smyrna when was taken away, by the Turks, in 1915, forced into the work battalions and taken to the interior to work in the construction of roads, never to be seen again.
My grandmother, a graduate of Evaggeliki School of Smyrna, left the City on September 9, 1922, together with her four young children, finding refuge in Podarades, presently Néa Ionia, becoming a teacher at the First Elementary School, built especially by the Greek Government to help continue the education of refugee children. That was the place I was born in 1936 among the Smyrna refugees.
Due to my father’s profession, was raised in 6 different cities. (Athens, Petromagoula, Kiato, Plomari, Mégara, Corinth). From the age of 6 I joined the Sea-Scouts and passed through all the ranks to end up in 1960 Asst. Commissioner to Admiral Zepos, General Sea–Scout Commissioner at the Geniki Eforia Proskopon. Among other duties, I was responsible for the training of Sea Scout Leaders on a national basis.
I served the Greek Royal Navy as an office for 36 months (1958-1961)
At age 18, I became a seaman sailing on dry cargo, tanker and passenger ships, traveling the world over for the next 15 years. My sea career began as a Sea Scout, deck boy, ending up to becoming a Master Mariner of Unlimited size ships.
In 1969 I immigrated to the US and after a short period in NY, I joined the chartering department of Standard Oil of Indiana (Amoco) headquartered in Chicago. During this time, I chartered tankers on account of Amoco moving millions of tons of crude oil from the Persian Gulf, Mediterranean, and Venezuela to the US. In 1974 I joined a brokerage firm in Manhattan, and in 1979 I founded my own company Rigos Chartering Inc. at 25 Tudor City, Manhattan, NY. Our job was to find the right tankers for the needs of leading oil companies like Exxon, Mobil, Texaco, Amoco, etc.
Due to my personal background, the specialty of RCI was the Greek Market. During my stay in New York, I completed my studies at Pace University (class 1978 ), and I acted as a Maritime Arbitrator. Finally, in 2001 it was time to return to my “Ithaki,” Sousaki Korinthias, where I dropped anchor to devote the rest of my days for Hellenism via HEC and IHA.
COMPUTER and INTERNET EXPERIENCE
My personal experience with computers and the Internet started in 1979 when I purchased one Apple computer with 2 K memory expandable to maximum 64 k ram. Today in 2017, and after 38 years, the present I-Pads are coming out with 256 GB memory. I followed the whole technology from the Apple all the way to the IPad. The same time, I was lucky to get involved with the internet at an early stage. The internet began in 1971 by a US agency named ARPA. Initially, they connected computers with a cable at four different military installations and exchanged information. Very soon the universities picked up this service and the email was born. In 1980 I got a call from an Officer of ARPA asking me to visit them in Washington. The next day I was at their office, and they requested me to join all the oil companies the way the universities were communicating. I accepted the task, and they provided me with technical assistance and education. I started with Mobil which turned down my request with a statement “we do not allow outsiders into our confidential data.” Eventually, I succeeded with the rest of the oil companies, and until the year 2,000 Rigos Chartering Inc. had the upper hand in our industry sending them daily market reports. In 1982, I started two forums – Marine and Greek with a BBS a pioneer of the internet the way we know it today.
HEC and IHA
In 1994 appeared the web technology the way we know it today. By November 1994 I had one of the first, if not the first, professional Greek sites at http://www.rigos.com. In 2014 I was involved with the HEC strangle of power to run elections, and I forgot to renew it. Someone else picked up my domain name selling it for $10/20.000.
The same time, 1994, I got the idea to place on the net HELLAS & The SEA. I Invited Thanos Voudouris to join me and POSEIDON http://www.greece.org/POSEIDON/. Was born. We moved into uncharted waters, and before we knew it, our ship went aground. But on time zero we incorporated HEC AT DELAWARE, and we kept helping Hellenism. In the year 2000, with the help of some people, we started a project by the name THEMIS http://www.greece.org/THEMIS/ dealing with petitions against the Annan Plan, about Macedonia and Halki. Thanos Voudouris, for reasons only he knows, and the rest of us can guess, was against this project threatening that he will dissolve the EC asking us to take THEMIS and move away.
In 2014 Thanos Voudouris moved out of HEC all the patriots including myself, refused to comply with the resolution of the Elections Committee, removed from the HEC bylaws the common procedure of elections and run HEC the way everyone knows.
November 4, 2015, IHA was incorporated in the State of Delaware, and on July 15, 2016, IHA was recognized by IRS as a nonprofit organization. The IHA performance the first 12 months of its operation is recorded at
The rest is history well known to the members of IHA.