I was born and raised in Thessaloniki. My father was Vasilis Zervas, a civil engineer, and my mother is Lilika Zerva-Orologa, a philologist. My father was related to Napoleon Zervas and was one of the founders of the football stadium in Toumba, Thessaloniki. My mother’s roots are from Monastiri (Bitola), while my great grandfather, Petros Orologas, came from Korytsa (Korçë) of the historic region of Northern Epirus and fought in the Macedonian Struggle. My mother’s sister was Aliki Telloglou, married to Nestor Telloglou; the couple founded the Teloglion Fine Arts Foundation in 1972.
I graduated from the Experimental School of the University of Thessaloniki and from the Department of Civil Engineering of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki with honours. I completed my post-graduate studies at Brown University in the USA and graduated with honours.
Since 1990, when I completed my national service in the army, I have been living and working as a civil engineer and entrepreneur in Thessaloniki.
From 1994 to 1997 I was an elected member of the Board of P.A.O.K. Sports Club; as a technical consultant, I was in charge of the erection of the indoor sports grounds at Foinikas and responsible for the international relations of the basketball department, a major actor in Greece and Europe.
From April 2010 to March 2016 I served as a member of the Board of Attiko Metro SA.
After being elected as a City Councillor for the Municipality of Thessaloniki with the “Protovoulia-Yiannis Boutaris” political group, I was appointed Deputy Mayor for the Environment, Quality of Life and Open Spaces in January 2011. From this post I was responsible for a number of environmental projects and actions, such as the candidacy of Thessaloniki as Green Capital of Europe-2014, the foundation of the Network of Greek Green Cities, the organisation of the Green Party and so on.
From August 2011 to December 2014 I served as Chairman of the Board of the State Orchestra of Thessaloniki. Under my chairmanship, the Orchestra gave a number of performances at urban and regional venues (squares, gymnasiums, open-air theatres) and shared its musical excellence with audiences who were not familiar with classical music; it was at that time that the Orchestra began its regular performances at the Ceremony Hall of the University of Thessaloniki, which were attended free of charge by students and academic personnel.
In January 2013 I undertook my duties as Deputy Mayor for Quality of Life, served as Chairman of the Economic Committee of the Municipality of Thessaloniki and as permanent Deputy Mayor of Thessaloniki.
In November 2013 I was elected as a member to the Central Delegation of the Technical Chamber of Greece and the Regional Branch of Central Macedonia.
During the 2014 municipal elections my fellow Thessalonians once again placed their confidence in me, and I received double the number of votes than before. From September 2014 to February 2015 I served as Deputy Mayor for Citizens’ Mobilisation, Youth and Sports.
In February 2015, following a disagreement with the Mayor and head of the political group of the city council, I resigned from the post of Deputy Mayor.
In the parliamentary elections of September 2015 I ran as a candidate for the 1st electoral district of Thessaloniki with the Nea Dimokratia Party, holding an honorary-non electable place.
In 2017 I resigned from the ‘Protovoulia for Thessaloniki’ Group and served as an independent city councillor for the Municipality of Thessaloniki until October 2018, when I officially announced my candidacy for the Mayorship of Thessaloniki. In June 2019 I was elected as the 61st Mayor of Thessaloniki, winning 67% of the vote.
In addition to serving as Mayor of Thessaloniki, I am also Head of the KEDE [Central Union of Municipalities of Greece] Delegation at the Council of European Municipalities and Regions [CEMR], Deputy Chairman of the Agency for Solid Waste Management of Central Macedonia, Chairman of the Board of ‘Agios Stylianos’ Municipal Infant Orphanage of Thessaloniki. I also participate in the Board of Directors of the Organisation of Urban Transportation of Thessaloniki.
Finally, I wrote a book titled “Lefkes i chamairopes? Skepseis gia ti Thessaloniki kai tin politiki” [Poplars or Fan Palms? Reflections on Thessaloniki and Politics] in 2019.