Current Rough Rider President

 
2013 - 2014
 
JLiras2

 

 LT COL JOHN LIRAS

 

Born in Tampa, the son of Evangelos Liras of Evia, Greece and the former Helen Kontodiakos of Kalymnos, Greece, Lt. Col. Liras was raised on Davis Islands where he gained an early and lasting appreciation of local history, including the Rough Riders encampment on the Tampa Bay Hotel grounds during the Spanish American War.

During most of his life, Lt. Col. Liras refused to stray far from his birth place, attending Grady Elementary School, St John’s Greek Orthodox School, Yates Academy and H.B. Plant High School. He returned to his ancestral homeland after high school to study at the University of Cambridge, Athens and lived abroad with his parents where he learned to appreciate the merits of a classical education, but yearned for a life back in Tampa.

Lt. Col. Liras continued his studies at Hillsborough Community College as he began a career in banking at First Florida Bank, where he was responsible for auditing and investigating the transfers of large sums of currency. While Lt. Col. Liras excelled in his banking career, he turned his back on “life in the fast lane” in 1992, to join the family business; the Grecian Island Restaurant on Davis Islands where he continues to this day. The “Grecian”, as it is called by locals, continues to be the meeting place for the Davis Islands set, especially for breakfast on weekend mornings.

Lt. Col. Liras is very proud of his association with the Masons. He joined in 1987 and became a 32nd Degree Master Mason in 1988. He recently was awarded his 25 year pin recognizing his service.

His strong sense of community also led to Lt. Col. Liras serving as Plant High’s Junior Varsity Defensive Coordinator later moving up to coach Plant’s Varsity Defensive Line. That same sense of community coupled with Lt. Col. Liras' fascination with history and Teddy Roosevelt prompted his membership with the Rough Riders in 1999. Lt. Col. Liras has moved quickly through the Rough Rider ranks, serving most recently as Treasurer, as well as key positions on the Historical, Historical Events and Speakers Bureau committees.

Lt. Col. Liras married the love of his life, the former Vula Liakakos in 1994. They continue to raise their two daughters; Eleni, a student at the University of South Florida and Ekaterini, a sophomore at Plant High. Aside from celebrating Lt. Col Liras' taking the reins of the Rough Rider organization, the Liras’ are doubly blessed with celebrating the evening they first met, twenty years ago today. The Liras’ continue to live in the Liras family home on Davis Islands.


 

Past Presidents and Advisors

                                                 

BG   Charlie "The Godfather" Spicola***

1978-79

COL Blaine "First Lady" Conte** 

1997-98

COL Sam "Red Eye" Leto (Deceased) 

1980-81

COL Webb "Sneaky Petie" Pierce** 

1998-99

COL Mike Spoor

1981-82

COL Jim "Money Bags" Butler** 

1999-00

COL Bill "Wild Bill" Rose (Deceased

1982-83

COL Manuel "The Pipeman" Busciglio**

2000-01

COL Bob "Phone Man" Jolley***

1983-84

COL Bill "No Show" Iler** 

2001-02

COL Joe Sierra (Deceased

1984-85

COL Bob "Oye Me" Alorda 

2002-03

COL Bill "Peacemaker" Bunkley*** 

1985-86

COL Bert "Little King" Rodriguez

2003-04

COL Bill "Lion Heart" Loto***  

1986-87

COL Randy "Toga" Rumore 

2004-05

COL Tom "Flex" Fox

1987-88

COL Bill "Gung Ho" Hogan 

2005-06

COL Todd Bray

1988-89

COL K.R. "Discretionary Fund" Lombardia

2006-07

COL Rex "Sexy Rexy" Barbas** 

1989-90

COL Phil "Mumbles" Saladino

2007-08

COL Randy "Bambeleo" Conte** 

1990-91

COL Richard "Music Man" Pazos (Deceased)

2008

COL Bill "Big Bird" Adams***  

1991-92

COL John "Spreadsheet" Santoro

2008-09

COL Neil "Penny Pincher" Bartley** 

1992-93

COL Scott Carroll

2009-10

COL Frank "Nickel & Dime" Gassler** 

1993-94

COL David Tintle

2010-11

COL Norm "Teddy Bear" Palumbo** 

1994-95

COL Jim Mangione

2011-12

COL Bob "Wet Willy" Densmore**

1995-96 COL Jeff Patterson

2012-13

COL David "Moocher" Klassen** 

1996-97

 

 ***  Senior Board Emeritus Member       **  Board Emeritus Member
Emeritus Members Not Listed Above:  Tom Daschke, Sr., Angelo Spicola, Ron Dominguez, and Carlos Estrada.
Honorary Members:  Richard Bokr and Paul Marino
http://pingsigloo.org/?dxd=96 cover photos for facebook