DC passed on March 10th, and many who crossed paths with him spoke and wrote about him. DC was a citizen of the world, in the absolute sense, so I decided to share a few words about him in English, since one of his many virtues was to think and act regardless of any barriers. I also thought his countless friends and acquaintances across the World, should also deserve the chance to honor his memory.

DC was a true leader of people. He was blessed with the rare gift of attracting people through his unique competence to inspire them. And he did this without trying to impress, he was genuine and authentic. With the same simplicity he could talk to a wide audience of his employees and partners in business, he stood facing heads of states, international business leaders, renowned scientists, famous artists and dignitaries wherever he traveled.

DC was an outstanding employer. Demanding and fair, combining setting rigorous professional targets with ethos and empathy for his people. And he had a unique ability to respect and maintain that balance. Because he himself did, we all had to comply and mirror the way we led our teams. DC was furious when we deviated from the right balance, yet he knew how to forgive and was always willing to listen and receptive to changing his mind when he recognized that he was wrong. He was not dogmatic, nor was he predisposed that his views were always correct. And it was this very attitude of his that created the shell for a large crowd of successful professionals who grew up and developed next to him.

#Interamerican Group, at least as I lived it for 17 years, was a hive of fruitful and continuous effort to become better. DC kept for himself the role of being the paradigm, he lived every day, literally, with his thoughts being focused on doing better. Despite the unquestionable success he already had accomplished, he was always in the hunt of the next step and dragged us all to the same direction.

I can never forget sharing countless trips abroad with him. He would attend a conference, a seminar or a training or visit a company with the thirst to learn and he would be absolutely disciplined to keep notes of what he was listening, by automatically translating into how it could fit the business of the company. And when returned home, he would call us and distribute his handwritten notes asking to go through them and report to him our action plans.

In 1997 he returned from US and called me in his office. Some 20-30 leaflets lied on his desk from an HMO where he was treated for some problems he had in his stomach while in NYC. He asked me to study the leaflets by telling me “this is what we must do to develop our health insurance business, build our own system”. Two years later, the Group would make history by consolidating health insurance and own medical services within the first ever – and still unique in Greece – managed care network branded as Medisystem, a real breakthrough innovation which changed the market. And similar examples of paving the way to innovative and disruptive directions are many. All triggered by his passion to look forward and his ability to steer us all to new challenges.

DC loved life and lived by his capacity to overcome any hurdles and bumps on the road, never allowing them to detriment his course for growth and new accomplishments. On the contrary, he was inspired by difficulties, sensed them as temporary and addressed them as opportunities rather than threats, literally. Similarly as he made friends, he created enemies, many endeavored to bring him to his knees, his successes provoked jealousy and envy but was able to stand up to the challenges and come out stronger. And never transmitted fear to his people, I never remember him being disappointed by the problems facing him or the company, I only remember him being disappointed by people and their attitudes. Mostly of those who benefited from his trust and generosity.

Endless people acknowledge they are indebted to DC, I am one of them. Never sparing to give love and offer opportunities, never did he block individual development, because he knew it would pay back. Mistakes, of course he made, choices, of course not all were right, when he realized however he would frankly acknowledge and he would immediately take the steering wheel in how they should be corrected. Looking back was not an option, the only option was looking forward.

We mourn his loss. Those of us who were close to him and emerged through his illuminated leadership, do not only mourn his passing. We mourn the definitive closing of a circle he himself drew and embraced us as part of it. We feel lucky and blessed to have crossed paths with him, being led by his passion to enjoy life and look ahead with optimism and creativity without forgetting that doing good for ourselves can never happen unless we do good for the others.
May you rest in peace Dimitri Contominas and thank you for having been such an example.

Minos Moisis -SYNERGON Partners, Founding Partner

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