Everyone wants and needs connections – indeed Aristotle defined human beings as the ‘social animal’ – but it’s not easy…
Christina Moniodis, born and raised in the Greek-American community in Michigan and with family from Chios and Lesvos, has blended her life with Hellenes and Orthodox Christians in America with her career in corporate law and digital media to create Thekord.com. She says “it stands for ‘kordoni’, that is, the ‘string’ –a perfect image for tying our communities together, which is her aim.
Christina attended the University of Michigan and Yale Law School. After Yale, she flew across the country to work for a top Los Angeles law firm. “I was a fourth year associate and decided I wanted to be in the driver’s seat. I didn’t just want to paper deals, I wanted to do the deals,” and she found that innovation energized her.
Moving to New York, Christina became Chief of staff at The Huffington Post, and then Head of Strategy and Innovation for Verizon’s news division. “Launching their innovation lab, I fell in love with building new products, instead of optimizing existing business lines. I made the jump into the startup world. In 2019, I moved to Greece, working at VentureFriends, which is the largest VC fund in Greece. As an executive in residence, I learned through Greek startups, and confirmed, ‘yes I love the startup space.”
When she returned to the U.S. Christina saw an opportunity for a start-up of her own, a company that would connect Greek-Americans locally and across cities, especially faith communities. “There’s an app called Nextdoor that has spread like wildfire globally and it connects neighborhoods – I am doing that for faith communities, starting with the Greek Orthodox community.”
Her thinking is that Greek-Americans have a deep understanding of the ‘horio’, their family’s village in Greece. “I am building a digital horio –one that leads to an in-person community. It’s a digital way to help us get together in-person and support each other.”
Thekord.com concept is based on research. “I am looking at what are the ways that people want to connect with their faith communities…what are their needs.”
Thekord.com app is in beta and has a waitlist. You can search by city, so you can connect locally and even when you are travelling – to New York, Miami, Chicago, or Philadelphia – you can tap into that community. “You know how Greeks can be here … you walk into a church and no one greets you.” On Kord, “you can search for people to connect to. It helps you form a ‘parea’. Perhaps one may even find his or her soulmate,” she added. The app can also be helpful to converts, non-Greek in-laws, and anyone who wants to connect to a Greek parish community.
Christina is delighted to be able to help parishes by featuring their events on the app – Greek festivals, community service, etc. – and other initiatives can be boosted too. The platform is not limited to churches, however – groups like THI or AHEPA can have a presence and post their fundraisers.
“When there were stronger in-person church communities, there was more visibility and awareness of such things, but the Greek-American community’s church habits have changed,” Christina says, noting, “I am the number one church hopper. I’m always going to a new church.”
When Christina moved to New York, she was delighted to find The Hellenic Initiative. “What I like about THI is that it has a presence both in Greece and the States – it really felt like those two elements worked hand-in-hand, and I was looking to get closer to Greece too. I reached out, went to one of their galas, and eventually got more and more involved.”
Today, Christina is an active member of THI’s New Leaders. She participates in THI’s Connect the Dots virtual mentoring program, and in March, was one of the hosts of THI’s Miami New Leaders launch.