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
“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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
Secured $7.92 million in state funding and helped create ETCOTA, the Emerging Technologies Center of the Americas, a 40,000 square-foot facility. At it’s opening, then U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao called it the most advanced technology and workforce development center of its kind.
Brought in $15 million in grants to build state-of-the-art digital technology labs.
Created more than 20 new associate degree programs.
Lead efforts to get state approval for Miami-Dade Community College’s transition to Miami-Dade College, a four-year degree institution. The precedent snowballed into a statewide reform of the community college system.
Oversaw the REVEST program to teach immigrants English and basic technical skills to make them more employable.
“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.”
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.
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”
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:
Chairman and President, Board of Trustees
Miami Music Project
This program offers free and low-cost music conservatories and youth orchestras to reach children with no access to musical instruments or lessons.
Dr. Shomar serves as the organization’s chairman and president of its Board of Trustees. Since 2014, under Dr. Shomar’s guidance, the organization has grown from serving 220 to more than 500 children, with an operating budget that has expanded from $680,000 to $1.6 million and growing.
Chairman’s Executive Committee Member
Make-A-Wish Foundation of South Florida
Make-A-Wish helps lift the spirits of seriously ill children by granting them a special wish.
In South Florida, Dr. Shomar serves as chairman of the CEO’s executive committee and is on the capital campaign committee to build a Wish House. He personally donated $1 million to the project, and negotiated with the city of Miami to secure a free 99-year lease on a four-acre site on the bay in Coconut Grove.
Wasim Shomar was featured as the donor of the year by Make-A-Wish in its 2016 Annual Report.
Joseph and Suad Shomar Oncology Center at Holy Family Hospital
In 2009, brothers Wasim and Shadi Shomar learned that the wait times for mammograms in their hometown of Nazareth, Israel was many months, sometimes over a year. Though the Shomars had no family history of breast cancer, they saw a community need.
The brothers decided to establish an oncology center at Holy Family Hospital in Nazareth in honor of their parents with an initial cash donation of $275,000 and have continued to make significant monetary contributions since then. The Joseph and Suad Shomar Oncology Center has an 80-patient capacity and has continued to be expanded.
Mayor of Miami’s International Council
Sister Cities project – Miami, Florida and Nazareth, Israel
As a member of the Mayor of Miami’s International Council, Dr. Shomar spearheaded the formation of a Sister Cities agreement between Miami and Nazareth, Israel in May 2017.
In honor of the agreement, Nazareth’s mayor, a Muslim, donated a four-acre parcel of land to Nazareth Baptist School, an American high school in Israel. In return, Dr. Shomar helped secure a $3 million donation from an American donor — $2 million for the school, and $1 million in support of an orphanage in Nazareth.
Shomar is working on creating an investment fund for the revitalization of Nazareth, mostly with Jewish American philanthropists and businessmen as well as investors from Israel who live in the United States. Founders of Versace, Jordache and others have met with the Mayor of Nazareth with the goal of developing affordable housing, five-star hotels and community centers while creating investment opportunities.
Dr. Shomar also is laying the groundwork to open an Israeli-Arab university in Nazareth with articulation agreements with American universities.
Board member, Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Committee
A Miami resident since 1983, Dr. Shomar felt that Miami’s rich cultural makeup was not complete without a great history museum. In 2015, he began serving as board member, finance committee chairman and treasurer of HistoryMiami Museum.
Florida International University Foundation
Dr. Shomar continues his mission to improve higher education through his work as a board member of the Florida International University Foundation, where he has secured several significant donations to the university.
Other philanthropic efforts
- Worked to preserve St. Jude Melkite Catholic Church in downtown Miami as an historic site
- Helped preserve the historic city hall in the City of South Miami
- Aided efforts to help veterans and the homeless
- Works with MESTO, professional musicians who are re-recording and preserving classical music of the Middle East
- Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida
- Boy Scouts of America South Florida Council
- Nazareth Academic Institution, Israel