Demetri Patitsas is the Founder and Managing Director of Exela Ventures LLC, a social enterprise that organizes and leads educational programs and expeditions to Guatemala for social change. Participants including students, young professionals, and educators work alongside of and assist "real people doing real things" for a country plagued by corruption, mal nutrition, poverty, and discrimination.
Originally, a resident of Central, PA; Demetri Patitsas made the transition to entrepreneurship upon introduction to the Juniata College Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. While in undergrad, Patitsas’ entrepreneurial and leadership activity gained him the notoriety as the recipient of the “Small Business Development Center’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award,” for the state of Pennsylvania.
In 2005, Demetri founded his first company called Absolute Creo LLC Ice Cream Truck Service that serviced 15 communities for 5 years throughout Central Pennsylvania and was sold in 2009. Later in 2006, Patitsas and his twin brother founded their first nonprofit organization called St. Paul’s Fellowship of Labor that organizes religious service trips to Orthodox Christian monasteries and convents in 6 countries throughout the world. Meanwhile, after studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain as a junior in college; Patitsas returned after learning Salsa dance only to start “The Bungalo,” a dance company with expertise in Latin, Middle Eastern, and contemporary dance instruction. He has taught several thousand students “Salsa 101” while sharing the message of “culture and global citizenship.” His network and trusted relationships also have led him to modest success in property development and consulting as well.
Mustering together all of his entrepreneurial experience, after graduating from Juniata College in 2007, Demetri moved to Athens, Greece to work for an international shipping start‐up, Atlas Maritime Ltd. While Demetri worked there, he headed numerous initiatives and projects which took him to represent the company in London and other parts of Greece. He remained with Atlas until the spring of 2008; whereupon he accepted a position in Xela, Guatemala working to start businesses to put disadvantaged children in school. His experience there led him to the founding of his latest business venture, Exela Venture LLC.
Patitsas has travelled extensively throughout North America, the Middle East, Northern and Western Africa, and in Central, America. He has personally led over 70 expeditions globally between his SPFL and Exela Ventures trips. He has been an instructor, guest lecturer and mentor on subjects related to leadership, social entrepreneurship, and venture startup. He has appeared as a guest with Iron Chef, Natalie Millar on the morning show “Sunrise Chef” in the Lehigh Valley and continues to share his experiences and insight with students, youth, and adults throughout the North America. He carries the distinction of being “One of Four Under Forty” successful entrepreneurs under the age of forty in Pennsylvania by PaBusinessCentral newspaper and was awarded Huntingdon, Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce’s “Entrepreneurial Success Award.” All the while, Patitsas announced his running for the US Presidency with the creation of the “Longest Campaign in US History,” called the Votey2020.com campaign.