George Psarofagis finds recipe for business success at WCSU
DANBURY, Connecticut — Just down the road from Western Connecticut State University’s Midtown campus on White Street is a Danbury fixture known as the Holiday Diner. According to the diner’s website, “The Holiday Diner has been serving the great people of Danbury since 1947. It was originally the Danbury Diner and after a few ownership and name changes, it has remained the Holiday Diner for over 60 years.”
For the past dozen years, the diner has been run by George Psarofagis, whose parents turned the business over to him in 2011. The diner’s location near the university’s Midtown campus was fortuitous for Psarofagis, who grew up in Trumbull.
“My parents are very smart people, but they did not have the opportunity to go to college,” Psarofagis said. “They came over here and opened three diners, worked very hard and were extremely successful. I always wanted to work in and ultimately run the family business, but my father insisted that I go to college. WestConn was just down the road, so I could attend classes and still work at my family’s business.”
Psarofagis enrolled as a Finance major in WCSU’s AACSB-accredited Ancell School of Business, commuted to campus for the first year and a half, and then stayed in a residence hall for the last two and a half years. He graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance-Financial Investments and Markets.
“At WCSU, I learned about business management, supply chain economics, financial forecasting and more,” Psarofagis said. “I’ve also worked as a research analyst. Getting a proper education prepared me to take over the family business. Otherwise, I’d be guessing.”
Psarofagis continued, “The education was worth it. I can have open and competent conversations with my accountant and complete understanding in my interactions with suppliers. I appreciate the way those who came before me ran the business, but you don’t have to do it the hard way. My education at WCSU allows me to take a more refined approach.”