George Schaffer grew up surrounded by business leaders, while soaking up farming, business and trading experience from his family. His grandfather worked hard eventually becoming a multi-business owner including a gold trading operation, dry goods stores, hotels and more, as well as a town mayor for nearly 20 years. One of Schaffer’s uncles was the vice president of Honduras and is a successful engineering and construction firm owner. His most valuable lessons came from both his grandfather and father, a decorated air force colonel and multinational engineer and businessman, F.C. Schaffer. In fact, the elder Schaffer made it a point to expose his son-even at a young age-to all aspects of his businesses from the design and project management of sugar factories to his steel fabrication business (SS&S Fabricators), as well as sugarcane farms worldwide. Renowned in the sugar industry and related agriculture business sectors, George’s father Colonel Francis C. Schaffer was known for his work with the Audubon Sugar Institute, where he worked alongside LSU professors, developed innovative patents, and launched a successful technology transfer company.
One of the most important exposures that laid a foundation for George’s future business skills was the development of Kenana Sugar one of the world’s largest integrated sugar factories. George lived with his family on-site at the 95,000-acre sugar estate in the Sudanese desert where his father was project design and management engineer. George watched the development, planning, construction, and start-up of the sugar factory and estate, which at one time included thousands of skilled and unskilled laborers of many nationalities and beliefs. The site created a community of over 100,000 people where there was once only a small village in the desert and faced the challenges of most cities such as transportation, education, healthcare, food supplies, housing, electricity, and more. What many claimed was “impossible,” George witnessed firsthand, made possible by will power and team management.
The core business skills George Schaffer learned were balanced by the life skills taught by his father, grandfather, and many other honest, intelligent men, as well as a strong caring mother and grandmother. He also learned about operating business ventures in the most forthright manner possible, and protecting people’s rights while also respecting and caring for the less privileged.
Today, Mr. Schaffer owns several businesses including Crompion International and Schaffer Sugar Services. He also has farming and agriculture interests in areas from South Louisiana to the Caribbean basin. His business travels and meetings span from North America to South America, Europe, and Africa, and he has experience working or trading with over 20 countries.