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Greek American Nick Vailas Honored with New Hampshire’s Granite State Award

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Nick Vailas, the founder and chairperson of Compass Health Advisors and the Bedford and Nashua Ambulatory Surgical Centers, was honored with the Granite State Award on May 14th at Plymouth State University's 145th Commencement ceremony for his contributions to the citizens of New Hampshire as a healthcare businessman, as well as a philanthropist.

Written by Eleftheria Lisa Mavroukas

The Granite State Award is a prestigious mark of recognition that is presented to either an individual, agency, corporation, or foundation, that has made an exceptional contribution to the state of New Hampshire. Past awards have been given to New Hampshire Hospital, Compaq, Anheiser-Busch, New Hampshire's Department of Transportation, The New Hampshire Army National Guard, as well as other medical, corporate, and educational institutions.

Nick Vailas hails from immigrant parents from the mountainous Greek Northwestern region of Epirus, who came to the U.S. during the turbulent years of the Greek Civil War. His father, Christos Vailas, came over first in order to work as a carpenter. His mother, Panagiota Darilis Vailas, stayed behind in her native village of Kastanea, but heroically escaped during the Communist Army's occupation and made her way to the United States. Christos and Panagiota Vailas settled in Manchester, New Hampshire, where they worked hard and raised five sons, Athanasios (Arthur), Demetrios (James), Nick, John, and Alex, all of whom will come to be well known throughout the state. Nick is married to Maryanne Vailas, and is now passing on his parents' traditional values, to his five children, Nicole, Andy, Jimmy, Tommy, and Mike.

Nick Vailas graduated as a cum laude from Plymouth State University in 1976 with a major in Physical Education. He also played outstanding football there and was inducted into the Plymouth State University's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011. He is founder and CEO of the Bedford, Ambulatory Surgical Center, president of Fitness Network, and founded and manages the Apple Therapy Centers, rehabilitation centers for sports injuries. Nick Vailas is a wellness and healthcare consultant, and was the former director of New Hampshire's Department of Health and Human Services. His philanthropic work lies in helping sick and injured children and underprivileged student athletes. He founded the Safe Sports Network, a group of New Hampshire physicians who provide them with necessary services. In addition, he launched the first intrastate high school football all-star contest as a fundraising event for the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock.

Plymouth State University clearly made the right choice in this year's Granite State Award honoree. Nick Vailas has a lifetime of successful, positive, and influential achievements, all of which have benefitted and made a memorable impact in the state of New Hampshire.