Where do I begin? They say that first impressions are everything. Stathis gives true meaning to the adage. I first met him over black-eyed peas (the legume, not the band). I was with a common friend of ours who suggested that we grab lunch at a local eatery. We arrived five minutes earlier than scheduled. Stathis was already there. That’s called promptness in my book. The day before we had lunch was our common friend’s son’s birthday. Stathis greeted us, present in hand. That’s called thoughtfulness in my book. So we had our black-eyed peas, and the whole time we were having them we were conversing, exchanging ideas, brainstorming about life and things. Stathis did most of the listening, engaging in conversation only when truly necessary, uttering one solid point after another. He basically went Pareto on us, conveying 80% of the conversational essence using only 20% of the talk time available to him. That’s called being a good listener in my book. And after all was said and done and eaten, he picked up the bill. That’s called generosity in my book. Extra points for that. Ever since that first lunch of ours, Stathis and I started collaborating on various projects of mutual interest. In all instances, he exhibited professionalism, original thinking and value-added suggestions. Each sit-down with him turns into a power meeting, every single time. And to add specialization to personality, his knowledge about all things insurance is second to none. All in all, I feel fortunate that I crossed paths with Stathis, as he is one of those people that it pays off to have by your side. In every sense imaginable. That saying about first impressions is spot on. What I saw in Stathis that day at the eatery, carried itself in every aspect of all our encounters ever since.