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The Nicholas W. Genematas II Foundation
The Nicholas W. Genematas II Foundation
Our Mission Our History Our Leadership

Nicholas W. Genematas In 1904, Nicholas W. Genematas emigrated from Greece to the United States, determined to find work and send money back to his near-starving family. His father had died six years earlier.

Nick was fourteen years old.

His travels ultimately led him to Detroit, where he worked as a waiter in an exclusive hotel. Among his regular lunch customers was an automotive industrialist named Henry Ford, who encouraged Nick to "work hard and follow your dreams" – advice the young man took to heart, eventually opening Marathon Linen Service. Ford Motor Company would become his largest account.

Suffering from severe asthma, in 1940 Nick was encouraged to relocate with his wife Marie to the warm, dry climate of Tucson, Arizona. Nick quickly saw the growth potential of the beautiful area and, with the success of his Detroit business, began purchasing large plots of land that would bring him even greater success as a developer.

Nicholas W. Genematas

But success never dimmed the memories of his youth, and his family’s desperate need. His desire to give back to the country that provided him such opportunity led to the Nicholas W. Genematas Foundation, in 1963.

With the Founder’s passing in 1967, his son William assumed the presidency of The Foundation, and many years later his grandson and namesake Nicholas W. Genematas II filled the same role. In 2003, following Nicholas II’s untimely death, his sister Mariann Genematas Ernst became president of The Foundation – renamed in honor of her brother.

Nicholas W. Genematas

Today, three generations of the Genematas Family serve on the Board of Advisors of The Foundation. Its legacy of good works and community service – begun by a young boy who crossed an ocean to save his family – is carried forth with pride and humility.



Nicholas W. Genematas





The Nicholas W. Genematas II Foundation
The Nicholas W. Genematas II Foundation