, Derry, New Hampshire

September 19, 2013

Chamber names top citizen, business

Derry restaurant gets the nod as Business of the year

By Julie Huss

---- — It’s time to honor the area’s top citizen and business.

This year, the prized honor is being given posthumously to a Londonderry resident who served the community for many years.

The Greater Derry/Londonderry Chamber of Commerce hands out its annual awards Thursday, Oct. 11, for Citizen and Business of the Year.

John R. Michels will be awarded Citizen of the Year honors for 2013. He died Feb. 11.

Amphora Greek restaurant in Hood Commons in Derry takes top Business of the Year honors.

Both Michels and Amphora will be honored at the Chamber of Commerce dinner/awards event at the Atkinson Country Club.

Michels, an attorney, served the community for decades, as a state representative and in other political positions statewide, including being a campaign director for the New Hampshire primary for President Gerald Ford.

In 1976, he founded and served as president of Michels Development Company Inc. in Londonderry. He was a primary attorney and spokesman for the Woodmont Commons project proposed for the former Woodmont Orchards property prior to his death.

Michels served as Londonderry’s town moderator for many years and was serving as school district moderator at the time of his death. He died the week of the school district deliberative sesson.

He was a member and director of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce, as well as a director of the Greater Derry/Londonderry Chamber of Commerce.

It was the first time in more than two decades that Michels didn’t open the deliberative session.

At the time of Michels’ death, Town Councilor Tom Dolan said he just wanted to serve his town.

“He was a very dedicated member of the community,” Dolan said. “He was very giving and didn’t seek the spotlight; he just wanted to give.”

Amphora in Derry opened in 2011 at Hood Commons and is under the ownership of Peter Tsoupelis.

The restaurant is a family-run venture, named for the classic two-handled vases used to transport oils and wines.

Tsoupelis comes from a long line of Greek family cooks dating back generations. His chef father, Symeon, came to America from Greece and perfected many traditional Greek foods that his son now offers in his Derry restaurant.