George W. Schaeffer
Chairman of the Board
“Every time I go to Israel and visit one of the Bnai Zion projects, I see another building going up. I don’t want to call it ‘charity.’ What we are doing is making the lives of all Israelis a lot better. That’s all you want when you give money; to see an idea that will change the lives of others in a positive way come to life.”
George W. Schaeffer’s story is a unique and inspiring example of living the American dream. As the son of Holocaust survivors, he rose to become a business innovator, an industry leader and a foremost philanthropist, particularly for humanitarian causes. Born in Hungary and immigrated to America with his family in 1956, he developed a strong work ethic and passion for business as a young boy. After receiving his degree from City College of New York in 1970, he worked in his family’s garment manufacturing business in New York City. George moved to Los Angeles in 1981 and started the business OPI Products, an innovative and very popular nail lacquer company. He also founded People’s Trust Insurance Company in Florida, for which he now serves as President and CEO.
George has always placed the highest priority on giving back to those who need it most. He established the George and Irina Schaeffer Foundation, which has donated millions of dollars to charities worldwide, and was recognized by ELTE University in Hungary with the Senate Medal, following his generous donation that made the Visual History Archive of the Shoah Foundation accessible to students, faculty, and researchers throughout the world. He has gone on to win numerous awards, including the City of Hope Cancer Center Spirit of Life Award and many others.
George is actively involved as a Former President and current Chairman of the Board of the Bnai Zion Foundation. His unending generosity, coupled with the love and support from his wife Irina, has an immeasurable effect throughout many of the organization’s past and present projects.