Don't let the richest Greek-Americans list fool you. Bread Man Paterakis is still rolling in dough

Baltimore baker and developer wanted off the list

March 02, 2011|By Laura Vozzella, The Baltimore Sun

Each year, when The National Herald issues its ranking of the 50 Wealthiest Greeks in America, two Baltimoreans usually make the list: Peter Angelos and John Paterakis.

Angelos, a trial lawyer and majority owner of the Orioles, appears on this year's list at No. 21, with an estimated net worth of $450 million.

But McDonald's bun magnate and Harbor East developer Paterakis is nowhere to be found. Last year he came in 39th, with $240 million. Could he possibly have fallen from that height to below this year's No. 50, Chartwell Hotels founder George Tsunis, who has a measly $72.5 million in the bank?

Is the Bread Man suddenly short of dough?

Turns out Paterakis asked to be taken off the list. That's according to his assistant at Northeast Foods, whose first name is Jeri and whose last name is apparently a secret. ("Just put Jeri," she told me.)

"He just didn't want to be on it anymore," she said. "I know he spoke directly with them."

Jeri also said: a.) she didn't know why he wanted off the list; and b.) Paterakis would not be interested in talking with me.

I called The National Herald, a Greek-American newspaper, and an editor there confirmed that Paterakis asked to be removed from the list after last year's came out. He said he wasn't sure why.

I'm guessing it had something to do with the short bio that the Herald runs on all 50 people.

Last year's bit on Paterakis was mostly flattering. ("The story of H&S Bakery reads like a classic American success story.") Much of the wording was identical to what ran in previous years.

But last year, in the part that notes Paterakis' longtime role as "a behind-the-scenes political heavyweight," there was a new sentence woven into the bio: "In July [2009], however, Mr. Paterakis was indicted on two counts of campaign contribution violations regarding a $6,000 donation he gave to a councilwoman that ended up cost[ing] him $26,000 in fines and a ban on any city contributions till 2012."

Must have sucked the fun out of making the list.

Beauty and ugliness

Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs, who makes short films when he's not playing football, shot a scene for his newest project at Pazo last weekend.

The movie, titled "When Beautiful People Do Ugly Things," tells the story of "the 24 hours surrounding a wedding," Tarik Dickens, managing director for Suggs' Team Sizzle Worldwide, told me via e-mail. "12 beautiful hours BEFORE and 12 ugly hours AFTER."

"It's going to be big, beautiful and flashy," Dickens assured me. He noted that the script was "co-written by Terrell and he's extremely excited about bringing it to life."

This is Suggs' fourth short film. His first, "sisters." — yes, the title is lowercase, with period — won best short in last year's International Black Film Festival of Nashville. His second and third movies, "Marco Polo" and "Commitment," are in the process of being submitted "to all the major film festivals," Dickens said.

Sheila's back

City Council President Jack Young, running in his first citywide race, will try to get his name out there this weekend with a little help from — wait for it — Sheila Dixon.

Dixon will host a "Meet & Tweet" with Young at Eden's Lounge on Saturday night. The event is free, but organizers will be soliciting checks and volunteers for Young4Baltimore.

The gathering is not technically a fundraiser, claimed blogger and political consultant Hassan Giordano, but a public candidates forum. It's just that Young is the only declared candidate in the president's race, said Giordano, whose Independent Movement Political Action Committee is organizing the event.

(Giordano, incidentally, has done consulting work for Young, which he said consisted of creating and maintaining his social media websites. He said the Meet & Tweet will be "an objective forum." Same goes for the event he's organizing for mayoral candidates next month. Giordano has more than one client in that race. He expects to do technical Web-based work for them, not strategy or messaging, so he said working for rival candidates is not a conflict. He compared himself to a printer making signs for rivals.)

Whatever the Young event is, is it helpful to the council president to be associated with the ousted mayor?

Young, through a spokesman, declined to comment.

"To be quite honest, I think it would help Jack more than hurt him," Giordano said. "Some people are a little worried about what she did in office, but … I've never seen a candidate whose base loves her as much as her."

Dixon told me her appearance should not be construed as an endorsement.

"I'm just helping IMPAC out with people who want to get to know Bernard 'Jack' Young," she said. "There are people who do not know Council President Young since he just represented one area. I'm not endorsing anybody at this point."

Connect the dots …

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake got a mention on the most recent episode of "Portlandia," a show on IFC TV. The show's fictional mayor, who wants to bring a baseball team to his city, said he went to a game in Baltimore with Rawlings-Blake. "Thanks for the shout-out on Portlandia @ifctv," Rawlings-Blake tweeted. "The Mayor's welcome back anytime." … Speaking of Mayor SRB, she was scheduled to celebrate her birthday Wednesday night with a party atop Pat Turner's Silo Point. Tickets for "The Mayor's Birthday Under The Stars" ranged from $125 a head to $1,000. It's nice to know that Turner, who testified at then-Mayor Dixon's trial about buying charity gift cards that Dixon wound up pocketing, still has pals in City Hall.

laura.vozzella@baltsun.com


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