Margo Catsimatidis (nee Vondersaar), born in Indiana, bade farewell to her family of six brothers and sisters and set out for New York City in 1971 with a goal for a career in dance. While in Indianapolis at age 12, Margo Catsimatidis was the youngest person ever invited to dance with the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet. In New York, Margo studied ballet with a renowned Russian instructor and appeared in numerous theatrical productions.A dance related injury directed Margo to channel her creative talent and energy into other career choices, while keeping her ballet contacts close, serving for a time on the board of the legendary Martha Graham Dance Company..
In 1973 Margo Catsimatidis became the first secretary to the owner of a young company named Red Apple Supermarkets. This job would subsequently guide her career and life, eventu- ally marrying owner John Catsimatidis. That small supermarket chain grew into Gristedes, the largest supermarket chain in New York City. Now known as Red Apple Group, the company has holdings in supermarkets, real estate, oil refining and distribution, aviation and a newspaper. Along with her husband, this dynamic couple has guided the growth of Red Apple Group to a thriving business concern with over $5 billion dollars in annual sales.
In 1984 Margo founded MCV Advertising Associates, an advertising agency spe- cializing in retail print advertising. MCV Advertising grew into one of the premier print agencies in the New York metropolitan area. In addition to her professional advertising career, Margo heads a wide variety of civic and charitable concerns. Margo, along with husband John, are co-publishers of the Hellenic Times newspa- per, the largest English language, Greek American newspaper in the United States. Margo is a member of the Greek Orthodox Church of America’s Leadership 100, a group of church leaders who guide Orthodoxy in the Americas. Margo and John are the recip- ients of numerous awards and honors in the Greek American community.
The Catsimatidis’ political involvement is legendary in New York. They have hosted dinners in their home for Presidents, Vice Presidents, Governors, and politicians from all levels of government, as well as being instrumental in the building of the chapel at the Presidential retreat at Camp David. The cornerstone of Margo’s life is her family. Their daughter and son Andrea Catsimatidis and John Catsimatidis, Jr. are graduates of NYU.