John Chachas is a third generation Nevadan who has specialized in providing financial advice to companies in the media and digital industries. On June 8, 2010 he lost a race as a Republican in the primary for the Nevada U.S. Senate seat currently held by Majority Leader Harry Reid, but was acknowledged by Nevada's political reporters as the clear intellectual force in the Nevada Senate race. Chachas has been supporting the Nevada gubernatorial campaign of Brian Sandoval and has declared his intention to return to the political field in 2012.
John and his two brothers were raised near their family’s cattle ranch in Ely, Nevada. His grandfather, a Greek immigrant, acquired a cattle ranch in 1942, which the family owned for 40 years. He attended public school where he was the editor of his high school newspapers and an avid skier and horseman. During college he developed an interest in public policy and served as a Washington intern for former Nevada Senator Paul Laxalt.
Chachas received his undergraduate degree from Columbia University and an MBA from Harvard Business School, after which he returned to a career in investment banking giving financial advice to managements and boards of leading American companies. In his 24 year business career, he has earned a reputation as a smart, creative problem solver and Chachas is regarded as a leading banker to newspaper and broadcasting companies. As a Managing Director at First Boston (now Credit Suisse) and Lazard Freres & Co., John and his partners ran those firms' media and digital content practices. His work has included giving advice to leading content companies such as The Walt Disney Company, Hearst Corporation, and Clear Channel Communications, among others. He is a published author on changes affecting the American newspaper industry and advised eight such companies in 2009 at the depth of the media recession, including The Tribune Company, The Journal Register Company, the McClatchy Company, and the Minneapolis Star Tribune, among others.
As a private investor, Chachas acquired (in conjunction with other investors) a leading San Francisco-based luxury retailer, Gump’s San Francisco, where he continues to serve on the Board. John and his family have active Nevada business interests in gold, silver and water in northern Nevada. He met his wife, Diane, at Columbia University in 1984. They have been married for 20 years and have three children and reside in New York City and Ely, Nevada.