2017 Award Recipient
MPA '70

George N. Cretekos, MPA '70

George N. Cretekos grew up in Tarpon Springs, Florida and—with the exception of some years of service in Washington, D.C.— has been a lifelong resident of Pinellas County. During his junior year at Davidson College, he was selected for the Washington Semester program at American University in Washington, D.C.  He earned an AB degree in Political Science from Davidson College in 1969 and earned a Master of Public Administration degree from GSPIA in 1970.  Cretekos began his career as a legislative staff assistant for Pinellas County's newly elected congressman, C. W. Bill Young, in 1971. After several years in Washington, D.C., he was asked to assume the position as Congressman Young's district assistant in Pinellas County.  Cretekos returned to Washington, D.C. in the mid-1980s, then in 1986 moved back to Pinellas County, again to direct the congressman's local offices. Following his retirement in May 2006, Cretekos served as a missionary in Medan, Indonesia for the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. In 2007, Cretekos was elected to fill the remaining term of a vacated City Council seat in Clearwater, FL. He was re-elected to a four-year term in January 2008 and was selected to serve as Vice Mayor. He was elected Mayor of Clearwater on January 31, 2012, and reelected without opposition in 2016.  Cretekos has served as President of the Barrier Islands Government Council and of the Pinellas County Mayors’ Council. The Salvation Army awarded its “OTHERS Award” to him in recognition of his service throughout the community and the Tampa Bay Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America honored him with its "Good Scout Award." He is also a more-than-50-gallon blood donor, is on the Tampa Bay Area Board of Reference of One Blood, and a volunteer courier for the National Marrow Transplant Program.   Cretekos serves as an altar assistant and lay reader at his church, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, and has been bestowed the Archangel Michael Award by the Metropolis of Atlanta.   Cretekos and his wife Carolyn, also a Tampa Bay native, have resided in Clearwater's Sand Key since 1976.