Rev. Fr. John Manuel

Sam Williams
Pastoral Assistant

2016 Parish Council


Phyllis Battis DiTommaso
I am a first generation Greek American hailing from Pittsburg Pennsylvania. My mother was an Icarian and my father was an Andriote. My grandparents were original members of the Icarian Club that was started in Pittsburgh and is housed in my home town. Many moons ago I graduated from IUP with a BS Ed in Exceptional Children. When I lived in frigid Elkins, WV I completed a Masters in Elementary Education at West Virginia University. Currently I am a teacher for Virginia Beach City Schools. My classroom is a self-contained special ed class with autistic, delayed, and emotionally disturbed children. I love them! My husband, Anthony, and I were married in the Norfolk Church and sometime after that I started attending St. Nick’s. I am happy to serve as a Sunday School teacher, and now a Parish Council member. Being from Pittsburgh I am an avid (or crazy) Steelers fan, but I have other talents as well. I sew, crochet, paint, make jewelry and indulge in other crafts, so save me your yarn ends and broken jewelry and come join me!
Alex Divaris
Alex Divaris became a member of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church when he was 3 years old, after moving to Virginia Beach from Cape Town, South Africa in 1982. He is a graduate of the College of William and Mary, where he met the love of his life and future wife, Emily. Together they have two adorably spirited children, Gabriel and Hazel, and a really fluffy West Highland Terrier named Trot. Alex has enjoyed a 15-year career in commercial real estate as the Vice President of Investment Sales for Divaris Real Estate, as well as the Owner/Director of Creative Synergy for Town Center Office Suites. He sits on the Board of Directors for the Central Business District Association, CBDX, Generation MOCA, Hampton Roads Public Transportation Alliance and Light Rail Now. In his spare time, Alex loves skiing, golf, reading, movies and considers himself a bit of an expert at most trivia.
Dennis Economos
Dennis Economos, has been happily married to his lovely wife, Debbie, for 39 years.  They have three grown daughters and three young grandchildren; spending time with my family is a top priority.  Dennis was self-employed and retired about 4 years ago.  Dennis has always enjoyed working with his hands and always happy for the opportunity to continue this hobby at St. Nicholas where he has attended services for the past 6 years.
Goran Todorovic
Goran was born in the beautiful country of Serbia, and in 2008 he came to Virginia Beach, just to visit. :) Soon after, he met Laura and that changed his plans. They together joined St. Nicholas in February of 2008, but had to leave Virginia Beach twice. They lived in Richmond for about 9 months, and in the Czech Republic for a year. Even though they were away, St. Nicholas has always remained their home. They got married in our church, and their daughter Lea was baptized here as well. In early 2014 Goran became a "cantor in training" and few months later he was asked to be a member of the parish council. Goran does not  have a lot of free time because he works full time in a restaurant and is in the school, but he enjoys his life. In the summertime he likes biking, running and hiking and in the wintertime he loves Netflix. He loves history, coin collecting and traveling. He is currently thinking of going on a mission trip.
George Tzavaras
George is a retired Navy Captain, having served over 26 years in the Navy’s Civil Engineer Corps. Subsequent to his naval service he joined the City of Virginia Beach as its Technical Services Administrator in the Public Works Department. Retired from the City he currently volunteers as a member of the City’s Personnel Board and Resort Advisory Commission’s Transportation/Parking/Pedestrian Committee. A Registered Professional Engineer, he and his wife Elaine have been members of the St. Nicholas community since 1993. George has three sons, Nicholas the cellist with the Shanghai Quartet, Alexander a pediatrician in Northern Virginia, and Theodore an Emergency Medicine Resident at EVMS, and six grandchildren.
Chris Xystros
Chris is a native of Cyprus and immigrated to the United States in 1975 after the Turkish Invasion of Cyprus. Chris and his wife Cheryl have three children Anna 18, Emily 18 and Michael 16.  They have been members of St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church for approximately 14 years. Chris is an accountant and the Managing Partner for KPMG's Norfolk office. He is active in various community organizations including the Greater Norfolk Corporation, The United Way,  The Virginia Beach Neptune Festival, the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance and others. Chris and Cheryl enjoy spending time with their family and attending their children's activities including soccer, swimming, basketball, lacrosse, cross country, musicals and school plays. Chris is a graduate of Virginia Tech where he currently Chairs the Advisory Board for t
Danny Cook
Dan has been in the Tidewater area since 1984. He served six years in the United State Navy and left to pursue a full-time accounting career in 1990. After leaving the Navy in 1990, he began an eleven-year career as a civilian with the United States Coast Guard as Chief of Accounting for the Fifth District.  In June of 2001, he left the Coast Guard to begin his own comprehensive financial planning and advisory firm, Cook Financial Designs, which he continues to operate today along with a tax preparation business.  He has served as a board member on the Tidewater Chapter of the Virginia Society of CPA’s since 2002.  He has been an active member of St. Nicholas since 2002 and has been married to Louisa Cook who is one of the greatest blessings he has ever received.
Pete Galanides, Jr.
Pete grew up in Norfolk, in the Annunciation community; active in G.O.Y.A., in Boy Scouts, and as an altar boy. After graduating from U.N.C., Pete joined the family foodservice business. in 1979, he moved to Raleigh, N.C. to run Galanides, Inc., Raleigh branch. He attended Holy Trinity G.O.C. and served as Parish Council Treasurer and President. In 1997, Pete made a career change. He received training as a mediator, pursued post-graduate education at the Columbia College Conflict Resolution Program, and worked as a mediator, trainer and mentor at Carolina Dispute Settlement Services. Pete and Elaine married in 2006, after dating off-and-on for 37 years. Both are active in the life of the St. Nicholas community.

2016 Ministry Leaders

Elene Berwanger – Philoptochos President
Steve Rushley, F.R.O.G. Men
Lena Thames, St. Photini Women’s Study
Flo Blankenship, Seniors Ministry/ Nursing Home

2016 Parish Staff

Bill Zelms, Sexton

Michele Michaelian – Office Manager
Anna Barberis, Greek School Director
Leslie Ullom, Christian Education Director
Pete Galanides, Ministries Liaison
Sylvia Basta, Bookstore

Office Hours

Monday – Friday 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
We are closed on all Federal Holidays.

Contact Information

Office Phone: (757) 422-5600
Office Fax: (757) 227-5183
Office E-mail:

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