Rev. Fr. John Manuel

2016 Parish Council


Maria Lerman
I am originally from Syracuse, New York and alumni of Syracuse. Most of my childhood and life between, I have spent between New York and Martha's Vineyard .I am now consider a transplant, which I guess is a good thing.  Life has been good in Virginia Beach, between work and family life.  I am a single mom with two amazing sons, Joshua and Zachary. Joshua attends George Mason and Zachary is a senior at Cox, looking forward to playing football in college. I am an avid sports fan for college sports and pro sports. My passion is traveling. 
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.
David Culler
David A. Culler, Jr., CAPT USN (ret) brings extensive leadership, experience and expertise due to his dynamic and very successful military career. Dave has been instrumental in leading large and complex organizations with exceptional results during both combat and non-combat operations. Commanding Officer of Strike Fighter Squadron 136 and the largest naval installation in the world, Naval Station Norfolk; Dave has led and managed people, missions, processes, and strategic assets at the highest levels with superlative results. Naval Station Norfolk was awarded the 2013 Installation Excellence Award for Navy under his leadership. David is the CEO and Co-Found of HAZON solutions. He is committed to leading HAZON Solutions with the same dedication, energy and focus to ensure peak performance, productivity and delivery of the highest quality service and safety to our valued customers. Dave graduated from the University of New Mexico with a BA in Political Science and earned his Master’s Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies at the Naval War College. He is a second generation Naval Aviator and is a graduate of Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN). Dave is also married to his lovely wife Ghada for 23 years. They have 2 sons, David & Stephen. David currently attends James Madison University pursuing a marketing degree. Stephen attends Kellam and Summit. They have been members of St. Nicholas for over 20 years.
Steve Kirman
Steve and Alicia have been members of St. Nicholas for two years. Steve is one of the newest church members, and has brought several years of knowledge and experience in the Greek Orthodox Church. Steve and Alicia have been married for 19 years and are both of the Greek Orthodox faith. Steve is originally from Ohio and Alicia is a former Floridian.  In the many years before moving to Virginia, Steve was a business owner in Ohio and was an instructor and administrator in a small business college in Cleveland, Ohio. Steve is now retired, but ended his working career in Florida working in the Activities Departments of two Senior Communities.  While living in Cleveland, Ohio, I received my college degrees from Cleveland State University. I have a Bachelor's Degree in English. I also have two Master's Degrees. One is in Education and the other is in Labor Relations/Human Resources.    For fun, I enjoy taking care of our granddaughter Katie, with my wife's help, of course. I enjoy my computer and reading, as well.
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

Sara Wickard – Philoptochos President
Steve Rushley, F.R.O.G. Men
Lena Thames, St. Photini Women’s Study
Flo Blankenship, Seniors Ministry/ Nursing Home
Diane Bernier, GOYA Teens

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) 422-5722
Office E-mail:

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