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From Georgia with love: investors presented with passport2011-03-25 15:11
Georgian ambassador to USA Temur Yakobashvili has brought a Georgian passport to Frank Greinke, a businessman. The document is a small present in gratitude for what his family has done and keeps doing for the state. Since 2007 Greinke has been Sakartvelo's honorable ambassador to California. He was given the title after the death of his father. He takes after his father in his love for Georgia. Greinke Sr who died in 2005 was a true Georgiaphil.
A Georgian passport that Frank Greinke was awarded with yesterday, is nothing as compared with the amount of money his rich family has invested into Sakartvelo. Nonetheless, at the award ceremony the Californian was full of pride receiving the document from Temur Yakobashvili, the ambassador, who can turn any minor event into a real feast.
Generally speaking, Greinke was supposed to acquire Georgian citizenship long ago. As he confesses, he first came to this far-away republic in Caucasus with his father 19 years ago, in 1992. Both of them literally fell in love with the country that had little attraction at that time with the war going on, devastation everywhere and thieves robbing foreign tourists right at the doors of the airport of Tbilisi.
However, the Greinke men were lucky to avoid that. And they gave thanks to the country in exchange. Greinke's money source has not exhausted yet.
Good that the American has enough capital to provide money for the support of Georgia. He is an executive director of SC Fuels, the largest oil company on the Pacific Coast. This is a family business that was run by Frank's father for a long time. By the way, Greinke Sr was also California's honorable consul to Georgia. His son inherited his father's regalia. The whole family is in oil business. Frank started off in 1987, and in 1991 he acquired ownership of the company. His grown-up children, Cindy, 25 and Stephen, 23 are working in the company now. Cindy dreams of succeeding her father as the head of the company and her younger brother is now working as an ordinary truck driver in their parents' company. He is making his career from the very bottom. American classics, so to say.
SC Fuels founded in 1930 is the largest distributor of petroleum, oil and lubricants on the West Coast of the USA. The company owns a vast infrastructure for private and corporate clients, and network of gasoline stations. The services offered by SC Fuels are much wider than POL trade in post-Soviet space. For instance, corporate customers buy equipment to control quality and quantity of the fuel.
Besides, Frank Greinke carries out public activities as a member of a number of business associations.
Thus, in 1992 the father and son arrived in the airport of Tbilisi. From that day on Georgia has been their second home. The expert businessmen immediately realized that the devastated country would rise to its feet sooner or later, which is basically a Klondike for any business. Now imagine: late autumn of 1992, the war in Abkhazia is underway, streets of Tbilisi are full of tanks and people carrying submachine guns. In the meantime, two American businessmen are building the first petrol station in European style. Passers-by think these guys are nuts, but exactly then Greinke's company became the first American investor in Georgia. Now SC Fuels has much more than one petrol station. They own real estate, retail chains, and naturally gasoline stations in the republic.