Raissa Frenkel serves as the Executive Director of the Finker-Frenkel Legacy Foundation, an organization dedicated to the causes ofmedical research, education, religious development, and children’s welfare. Raissa is also the Chief Executive Officer of the private equity firm Forum Capital Group.
Raissa and Lazar established the Finker-Frenkel Legacy Foundation as a multi-generational reflection of their steadfast dedication to philanthropy and community empowerment. The Foundation was created as a collective of like-minded philanthropists looking to make the world a better place. Among the many initiatives the Foundation supports, a special emphasis is placed on education, culture, and charity. Organizations that the foundation has supported over the years include the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the University of Miami, Miami Jewish Health Systems, Golf Fights Cancer, and the Mount Sinai Medical Center Foundation.
Originally from Kazan, Russia, Raissa was born in 1961. Prior to relocating to the United States, Raissa earned a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, and a Ph.D. in Economics from the Kazan Finance Institute. She spent the next seven years with the institute as a professor and served as the Chair of the Political Economy Department.
In 1991, Raissa’s husband, Lazar Finker, accepted an invitation to join the faculty at Florida Community College in Jacksonville as a visiting professor. The two, along with their young son, completed the move fully expecting that the arrangement would be short-term. However, Lazar proved to be a popular instructor, and the college repeatedly extended his welcome to stay. Soon, the family had confidently settled into their new American home.
Given her accomplishments in economics and finance, as well as her ability to deftly navigate international situations, Raissa connected with whom would prove to be an integral founding business partner in Eastern Europe. Located in a region that many Western firms were unable to properly service, Russia and similar Post-Soviet markets presented a tremendous opportunity. The Founding partner, Raissa, Lazar, & several other colleagues soon secured sufficient funding to purchase commodities and trade them with a contact in Central Asia for a shipment of natural gas. This transaction proved to be the first of many in what would become one of the largest trade networks in that area of the world.
Raissa provided leadership as the CEO of United States Operations. As the company matured, it became a vertically integrated natural gas producer. At the start of the new millennium, Raissa and Lazar were C-suite executives for the world’s third largest private natural gas company. After selling their equity in the business to the other aforementioned business partner, they chose to focus on American investments and founded Forum Capital Group, a large private equity firm with a particularly strong interest in real estate and seafood.
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