George Karanikas was born in Edessa in 1956 and studied Marketing, Commerce and Advertising in Thessaloniki. He was actively involved in the field of trade with an emphasis on cosmetics and clothing. In 2003 he became a member of the Board of Directors of the Federation of Commercial Associations of Western Macedonia, which represented 6 prefectures based in Veria. At first, he assumed the position of General Secretary of the Federation and since 2006, that of President. In the same year, he was elected for the first time Vice President of the Board of Directors of the National Confederation of Greek Trade (ESEE), the leading and most representative trade organization of the country. In 2009, he takes over as General Secretary of ESEE. Today he is the president of the Hellenic Confederation of Commerce & Entrepreneurship.