George W. Schaeffer’s story is a unique and inspiring example of living the American Dream, filled with adventure, philanthropy and entrepreneurial spirit. As the son of Holocaust survivors he rose to become a business innovator, an industry leader and a foremost philanthropist, particularly for humanitarian causes.
Schaeffer was born in Hungary and immigrated to America with his family in 1956. As a young boy, he developed a strong work ethic and passion for business. After receiving his degree from City College of New York in 1970, he honed his business skills working in his family’s garment manufacturing business in New York City. Seeking new opportunities and challenges, Schaeffer moved to Los Angeles in 1981 and started the business that would ultimately become a dominant global consumer brand, OPI Products, which introduced nail lacquers preferred by professionals and loved by customers.
With an eye for detail and a unique name for every color, Schaeffer shaped and infused OPI’s brand with his passion for excellence and innovation. His generous spirt was reflected in the work environment he created that treated everyone like family, regularly providing new computers and school scholarships to children of OPI employees. He applied the same approach when he founded People’s Trust Insurance Company. He now serves as President and CEO of the company, which grew in a short time to be one of Florida’s top home insurance providers, with a culture that puts the needs of its employees and policyholders first.
Schaeffer placed the highest priority on giving back to the community. He established the George and Irina Schaeffer Foundation, which has donated millions of dollars to charities worldwide, including the American Heart Association, the Leukemia Research Foundation and the University of Southern California, as well as many others.
He was recognized by ELTE University in Hungary with its most prestigious award, the Senate Medal, following his generous donation that made the Visual History Archive of the Shoah Foundation accessible to students, faculty, and researchers throughout all of Hungary. In 2012, the City of Hope Cancer Center presented Schaeffer with the hospital and research center’s most prestigious honor, the Spirit of Life Award, in recognition of his compassion, dedication and for the Endowment for Innovation in Diabetes Research at the COH.
Schaeffer is also actively involved as a Former President and as current Chairman of the Board of the Bnai Zion Foundation, whose projects support critical health and education projects in Israel. These Social projects have received significant financial support from Schaeffer’s Foundation. He is the benefactor of the George and Irina Schaeffer Cultural Center which includes the George W. Schaeffer Music Conservatory in Ma’aleh Adumim near Jerusalem, which is home of the internationally renowned Ma’aleh Adumim Youth Orchestra.
In France, the year-old George and Irina Schaeffer Center for the Study of Genocide, Human Rights and Conflict Prevention at the American University of Paris conducts numerous activities toward understanding the causes and consequences of genocide and mass violence.
His philanthropic nature isn’t limited to major projects on a global scale. A 2015 overseas vacation to Australia that was interrupted by a hospital stay was made much more bearable by the exceptional care and attitudes of the staff. Schaeffer said “thank you” with a donation that enabled the medical center to purchase and install new televisions for patients to watch during their own stays at the hospital.
George is married to Irina Schaeffer and they have three grown children. George and Irina reside in Boca Raton, Florida.