Now an entrepreneur, engineer, scientist, educator and philanthropist, Shomar models those lessons for his family and loved ones, and in particular his sons, Joseph and Alfred.

Over the years, Dr. Shomar’s philanthropic efforts and his work with IBM, in higher education and as founder of The Lynx Companies, have helped him foster an environment of inclusion and opportunity.

  • Mid 1980s to Early 1990s
  • An accomplished scientist with a Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering and post doctorate in Applied Marine Physics, Dr. Shomar developed projects for the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, National Science Foundation and the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.

  • As an engineer at IBM, he created scientific concepts still relevant in modern society. Dr. Shomar holds several U.S. and European patents in telecommunication.

  • Mid 1990s
  • Dr. Shomar began a distinguished career in higher education as an associate professor of engineering at Miami-Dade College.

  • Director of the School of Design Technology

    In 1998, he was named college-wide director of the School of Design Technology, overseeing architecture, construction, computer science, fashion, graphics and interior design programs on five campuses.

  • Early 2000s
  • At 34, Dr. Shomar was named interim president of Miami-Dade College’s Wolfson campus, the youngest president of a nationally-accredited college in the U.S.

  • In 2003, he was named president of the college’s Kendall campus, which served 70,000 students and 8,000 employees.

  • 2006

Dr. Shomar founded The Lynx Companies, currently a portfolio of 25 companies in the technology, real estate, financial services, and higher education fields with collective annual revenues of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Technology, Communication, and Education

Real Estate and Construction

Financial Services

“At the Lynx Companies, we focus on a world that is a composite of the best practices I had observed throughout my career. We are creating a model that would be replicated by others and have a significant positive impact on our world.”

  • Present

Dr. Shomar has a private equity firm, is a community leader and philanthropist. His current philanthropic work includes establishing an oncology center, helping children with life threatening diseases, making music education more accessible and fighting for historic preservation, among many other efforts.

Inventor

Always looking for the way things connect. Always searching for solutions to problems others had not yet seen.

It was an innate curiosity and an ability to view problems from fresh angles that led Dr. Wasim Shomar to some of his biggest discoveries.

wasim_camera.jpg

A Better Alarm System

The year was 1986 and Shomar was a senior in college, working on a degree in electrical and computer engineering. When he was looking for a senior project, he noticed the simplicity of car alarms. They made noise, but did nothing else, and Shomar recognized an opportunity. He created an alarm with two sensors - one to a compass, and one to the speedometer. If a car was stolen, the location and speed of the car was transmitted to a central monitoring station. Shomar sold the concept to a friend for a few hundred dollars, and the idea eventually became the base for the LoJack Car Recovery system.

An Accomplished Engineer

Dr. Shomar went on to become an accomplished engineer. He holds a bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida, where he specialized in neural networks, Digital Image Processing, Pattern Recognition, and computational and robotic vision using Artificial Intelligence Systems. He also holds a post-doctorate in physics specializing in underwater acoustical imaging from the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science where he conducted research and designed underwater mine detection systems for the Office of Naval Research to be placed on U.S. warships.

A better way to talk

In 1993, Dr. Shomar began working as an engineer at IBM. The Berlin Wall had fallen, but East Germans and West Germans still couldn’t pick up a phone and talk to each other. East Germany had an aging copper wire system, West Germany had advanced digital equipment, and the two didn’t work together. IBM landed a contract to fix that. Dr. Shomar helped create a system that could convert the data from the old and new systems to a common platform, then convert it back to analog or digital, so a person on either type of system could speak. Finally, the East Germans and West Germans could communicate by phone. Because the system could also read phone numbers, users with an additional inexpensive box had Caller I.D., could tie in another call to get Call Conferencing or use Call Waiting. He and his team hold four U.S. patents and two European patents for the scientific theory.

Educator

When Dr. Wasim Shomar left the engineering field to teach at Miami-Dade College in Miami, Florida in 1995, he wanted to make an impact beyond the classroom.

He knew the education system could be better: Students needed more training. Employers wanted a better-prepared workforce.

He set out to do both.

classroom_icon.png

Classroom lessons

Dr. Shomar taught engineering classes, but he learned something, too. “The college really opened my eyes to the rest of the world,” he said. “I saw firsthand the reality of people, where they come from and the struggles they faced to make a living and get a higher education.”

money_icon.png

Making things better

In 1998, Dr. Shomar took on the job of Dean of Design Technology for all Miami-Dade College campuses. He brought in tens of millions of dollars and dozens of new grants to improve the institution.

milestone_icon.png

Achieving milestones

In 2001, at age 34, Dr. Wasim Shomar became the youngest president of a nationally accredited college in the United States. He served first at Miami-Dade College’s Wolfson campus in downtown Miami. In 2003, he was named president of the college’s Kendall campus, overseeing 70,000 students and 8,000 employees.

Major accomplishments

“Bringing new degree programs to the college really sparked my desire to focus on the human condition,” Dr. Shomar said. “After that, my entire life experience started to fit into this context, about why we should exert our best efforts to create a better world.”

Entrepreneur

Wasim Shomar needed a challenge.

He had broken new ground in the engineering and higher education fields, and was ready to take on something new.

In 2006, he struck out on his own.

timeline_pre_loader

Helping struggling small businesses

With money in his pocket courtesy of funds from family and friends, Dr. Shomar began investing in real estate. He looked for mom-and-pop businesses run by people with a lot of heart, but not much business experience.

Through his real estate work, he came across two small property management companies, each struggling to stay afloat. He counseled them, eventually helping them to merge operations and become profitable.

It was the start of something big.

Growing The Lynx Companies

Dr. Shomar founded The Lynx Companies with a backbone in real estate and property management.

But he saw a potential for growth.

Dr. Shomar branched out to affiliated fields, creating companies to handle construction, technology, real estate development, engineering and financing. His brother, Shadi Shomar, a certified public accountant, was instrumental in working with him to create and implement this business model as his partner and took a leadership role.

Over time, the portfolio of companies grew to more than 20, including Lynx Construction Management, Lynx Property Services, Johnstek Inc., Incite Innovation Labs Academy (the i2 Labs), Sunnyside Retreats, Seven Lynx, Lynx Business Solutions, Lynx Equity Group and Lynx Development Group. The Lynx Companies and its affiliates employ hundreds of people. The team of Lynx Construction Management alone has completed over a Billion dollars in projects.

Smarter workforce development

Over his career, Dr. Shomar has been an engineer and an educator. He has worked in both the public and private sectors. When he founded his own company, he wanted to take the lessons he had learned and build The Lynx Companies based on the best business practices he had seen.

Smarter workforce development was high on the list. Dr. Shomar wanted to create more productive connections between higher education and the workforce, and bridge the gap between the public and private sectors.

As an immigrant, he sought to create harmony between different cultures, and form a work environment that would serve as a global model for success.

The Lynx culture

Dr. Shomar grew a family of companies, and his people became like a family to him. Bent on bridging ethnic and gender divides, and breaking stereotypes, Dr. Shomar believes in leading through empowerment.

In an industry traditionally dominated by men, Lynx Construction Management is paving new pathways for women. Half of the Coral Gables-based company’s administrative team are female, and 25 percent of its field operations crew are women.

Nationally, in 2015 only 6.7 percent of construction managers were women, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

An award-winning enterprise

In 2017, Lynx Construction Management was named Business of the Year by the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, and a Top General Contractor by the South Florida Business Journal.

In 2016 and 2017, the company received Diamond Awards from the ABC, Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc.

In 2016, Lynx Construction Management was named the No. 1 Fastest Growing Company Over $25 million by South Florida Business Journal.

It also has been recognized by American City Business Journals as one of the Top 100 Private Companies in Florida by revenue.

The concept was to create companies that set the standards of excellence in each industry,” Dr. Shomar said “I always look for ways to improve the quality of our environment, including the workplace”

Philanthropist

Growing up in Israel brought the vulnerabilities of society to Dr. Shomar’s doorstep. It became a life lesson, as he saw firsthand how his own parents worked to improve society. Dr. Shomar’s father, Joseph Shomar, as Rotary Club president in Nazareth, helped create a state-of-the-art hospital dialysis center that not only saved lives, but turned the facility around financially.

The lessons continued, in the classrooms where Dr. Shomar taught and in the workplace, where he learned about the inequities, the vulnerabilities and the despair of being told “No” at every turn.

And it shaped Dr. Wasim Shomar’s philosophy of giving back.

“My focus is the weaker parts of society and vulnerable populations, whether it’s children, the ill, oppressed women and minorities, the abused or the elderly,” he said. “We need to create a society that lifts all of us up, and integrates every individual to be part of a prosperous future.”

Dr. Shomar’s philanthropic work includes:

We’re put on this earth for a short time. Let’s make a difference beyond our immediate inner circle. Let’s make it count in a way that leaves the world a better place for every member of our community and every human being on earth,” Dr. Wasim Shomar

Personal Life

timeline_pre_loader

Family

In Dr. Wasim Shomar’s life, nothing is more important than family.

Dr. Shomar is proud of his two children Joseph, born in 1997, and Alfred, born in 2000.

Both sons are following in their father’s footsteps.

Joseph

Joseph is majoring in physics and math and minoring in chemistry at the University of Miami. He has a 4.0 grade-point average, and is expected to graduate in May 2019. He is a Stamps Scholar, the university’s most selective and prestigious academic scholarship.

Joseph also is a budding entrepreneur and philanthropist. He founded a non-profit, Tutoring for Tomorrow, an on-demand tutoring service, and is developing an app for it.

Alfred

Alfred, currently a high school senior, is planning to major in chemistry and physics. He ranked in the top 100 in a national competition for chemistry and also works with Tutoring for Tomorrow.

Legacy

Dr. Wasim Shomar hopes that his efforts to improve society will live on for generations.

“I want a world where a child is born with access to good education, food, shelter and the power of choice”, he said. “We need to better reconcile differences between ethnic groups and bridge the gaps between genders, nationalities and religions to create a more harmonious world.”