Michael Savvides was born in Lapithos, Kyrenia, Cyprus. He graduated from the Gymnasium of Kyrenia and completed his undergraduate studies at the Norfolk Division of the College of William and Mary. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas in 1958. He is a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society of Old Dominion University.
Michael has been a successful restaurant and hotel owner for over 55 years in the Hampton Roads area. In addition to the award winning Black Angus Restaurant and Catering Company, he has operated Sir Richard’s Restaurant, the Shipmate’s Restaurant, and the Ramada Inn Oceanfront in Virginia Beach. The Black Angus Catering Company catered 20,000 guests at the commissioning ceremony of the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) and the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Aircraft Carriers.
As a member of the Ramada System, Michael was elected to the Ramada International Association Executive Committee in 1979 and re-elected to another term in 1981 by an overwhelming vote of support from the membership. A graduate and strong advocate of the Ramada Management Institute, in 1984 he was named Chairman of the RINA Executive Sub-Committee for Education and Training and served for eight years.
In 1981 Michael was elected to the Board of Directors of the National Restaurant Association. In 1991 he was made an Honorary Board Member for Life, an honor given to all board members who successfully served their full term on the boards. In 1983 and 1984 he served on the board of the American Hotel & Motel Association. He served on the Board of Directors of the Virginia Restaurant Association from 1963 to 1981 and as President in 1972. He was a member of the board of the Virginia Hospitality Association from 1983 until 1989. In 1975 and 1980 he was named Virginia Restauranteur of the Year by the VRA. In 1975 he received the “Weilman Award” from the Commonwealth of Virginia for outstanding achievement in the food service industry and the President’s Citation in 1981 for his work as Government Relations Committee Chairman. He served as chairman of that committee and the Virginia Mixed Beverage Licensees Council for twelve years. In 1989 he was elected to charter membership on the Board of the Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association. He served for three years as chairman of the VH&TA-PAC and, in 1989, was elected Chairman of the Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association in which he served for two terms.
An active participant in business and civic affairs, he was named to The Board of Visitors of Old Dominion University by Commonwealth of Virginia Governor John Dalton and reappointed to another four year in 1982 by Governor Charles Robb. He served on the Advisory Councils of Tidewater Community College, Virginia Beach Vocational School, and the Virginia Beach Arts and Conference Center. He served on the Mayor’s Clean Community Commission and the City Advertising Committee. He was a member of the City of Virginia Beach Personnel Board, serving as the Chairman, and the Mayor’s Committee for Economic Development Education. He has worked in fund drives for the United Way campaign and served as Chairman for the Virginia Beach Keel Club in 1985, for the Heart Fund, and the American Cancer Society. He served on the boards of the Virginia Marine Science, The Virginia Beach Wetlands, the Neptune Festival, the Virginia Beach Events Unlimited, and the advisory board the Virginia Beach Christian Outreach Group.
Michael served on the Board of Directors (1979-1981) and the Executive Committee (1981-1983) of the Virginia Beach Chamber of Commerce, was Vice-President for Legislative Affairs in 1982, and in 1983 was President-Elect. In 1984 the five city area chambers merged to create the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, and he served as first Chairman of the Virginia Beach Council of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce. He was a member of HRCC and Hampton Roads Forward Committee and in 1985 received the Chamber’s Leadership Award and reigned as King Neptune XII at the annual Virginia Beach Neptune Festival.
From 1977-1991, Michael was a member of the Board and Executive Committee of Commerce Bank and formerly served on the board of Bank of Virginia. He served on the founding board of Humana Bayside Hospital and served as chairman in his second term (1977-1984). From its beginning in 1999, Michael has served as a founding member of the board of Towne Bank in Virginia Beach
As a life member of the Virginia Jaycees, he received the Virginia Beach Jaycees Distinguished Service Award in 1965 and was named to the 100 Outstanding Young Men of America by the U.S. Jaycees in 1967. In May 1982, he received the First Citizen of Virginia Beach Award from the Virginia Beach Jaycees for his outstanding achievements in business and civic affairs as well as his untiring efforts on behalf of his community. On January 30, 1983, the Adam Thoroughgood Chapter of the National Society-Daughters of the American Revolution presented the Americanism Medal for his outstanding contributions to his community and country in the areas of leadership, trustworthiness, patriotism, and service. This medal is only presented to foreign born naturalized citizens of the United States. In 1987 he was presented with the Brotherhood Citation of the National Conference of Christians and Jews for his devotion and service to religious institutions and causes as well as his humanitarian service as an energetic leader and worker on behalf of various civic, cultural, educational, and welfare organizations that enrich the life of the community.
Michael is also an active Mason and member of the Khedive Shrine Temple of Norfolk, Virginia. He is a member and past-president (1972) of the Virginia Beach Shrine Club. In 1977 he was awarded the Richard B. Absalom Award as outstanding Shriner of the Year. In 1996 he was elected to the Royal Order of Jesters.
Michael is an active church member and served as President of the Parish Council of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Norfolk (1975). He is a member of the founding board of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Virginia Beach and served three terms as President of the Parish Council. He was a member of the Diocesan Council of the Greek Orthodox Diocese of New Jersey and a member of the League of Greek Orthodox Stewards. On March 23, 1986 he was inducted into the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle as Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
In addition to his leadership involvement through the Greek Orthodox church, Michael has been an advocate for the Hellenic community in both the United States and his homeland of Cyprus. He was a member of the American Hellenic Institute. He also served as President of the Cyprus Benevolent Society from 1973 -1976. During his tenure in office, he spearheaded a fundraiser that filled the cargo ship, Tourkia, with clothing and other necessities to aid the 400,000 displaced Greek Cypriots who became refugees in their own country after the Turkish invasion in 1974. In 2010 the Cyprus Benevolent Society honored him with the Outstanding American of Cypriot Decent award. In addition, Michael was active with the AHEPA Robert E. Lee Chapter #122. He served as President of the chapter twice (1979-1980 and 1989-1990) and was on the AHEPA Board of Governors. He served as co-chairman for three Capital District 3 conventions that the Robert E. Lee chapter hosted in June 1985, 1990, and 1994. Michael also was a member of the Cyprus and Hellenic Affairs Committee and from 1987 -1990 served as the National Chairman. In 2014 the Hellenic Charities of Virginia honored him with the “Living the Life” award for his contributions to the community.
Michael is married to the former Gypsy Janet March. They reside in Virginia Beach, VA, and have three children, Anastasia Nelson and her husband Chris Nelson and children, Angela, Rebecca, Michael, and Sarah; Christopher Savvides and his wife Kelson; and Alexandra Stalcup and her husband Brett Stalcup and children, Alexandra and Anastasia Dylan. Michael Savvides is a dedicated citizen, responsible and successful businessman, and active humanitarian. He gives of his time and resourcesgenerously. His invaluable contributions to the community, the Commonwealth, and the Nation represent a lifelong effort to make a difference in Virginia Beach.