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Stan Polovets’ Visionary Leadership In Co-Founding The Genesis Prize Foundation

Stan Polovets, Genesis Prize Foundation CEO, advances corporate and philanthropic effectiveness while championing Jewish pride.

Author:Tyreece Bauer
Reviewer:Elisa Mueller
Jun 07, 2024
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From running businesses to leading nonprofits, Stan Polovets has left an indelible mark. The diversity of his career brings a unique and multifaceted perspective to The Genesis Prize Foundation's mission. This prestigious award celebrates Jewish identity while meeting global humanitarian needs.
Stan Polovets has navigated multiple sectorswith a deft hand and an adaptive mindset. From energy to finance to biopharmaceuticals to philanthropic foundations, at the core of his success lies a consistent leadership philosophy — one that champions inclusivity and respect for diverse perspectives.
“Regardless of the industry, I have found that democratic leadership works best for me and the teams I have managed,” Stan Polovets says. “Although I made the final decisions, I did so after hearing each team member’s perspective. I believe that this inclusive and empowering style of leadership leads to better decisions and more engaged teams.
“This approach takes more time, but my colleagues were motivated to participate, knowing that I heard them and was open to their opinions.”
He grew up in an immigrant family that arrived in the United States in 1976 and learned the power of philanthropy from his father. “For as long as I can remember, money was always scarce. Nevertheless, every opportunity my father had to help others, he would do it,” Stan Polovets recalls. “I had no idea what the words ‘philanthropy’ or ‘foundation’ meant at that time, but watching my father helping and supporting members of our community who were in need taught me to be generous and philanthropic. So, as soon as I became successful professionally, I started to emulate my father, probably subconsciously. It just seemed like a natural thing to do.”

The Genesis Prize Foundation: Spreading Jewish Pride And Global Change

The Genesis Prize Foundation Has Emerged As An Innovative Leader In Philanthropy, Aiming To Strengthen Jewish Identity And Inspire The Next Generation. Often Referred To As The “Jewish Nobel Prize,” It Celebrates Jewish Individuals Who Have Attained Significant Professional Success And Contributed Meaningfully To Humanity While Proudly Acknowledging Their Jewish Identity.

“The Genesis Prize Foundation was established in 2013 to nurture Jewish pride by celebrating Jewish individuals' professional and philanthropic accomplishments,” Polovets says. “We are living in a time where assimilation and antisemitism have inhibited open expressions of Jewish identity around the globe. The Foundation saw an opportunity to use a new tool for fostering that pride — spotlighting Jewish individuals who have achieved unparalleled professional success while speaking openly and positively about their Jewish identity.”
The idea was born out of a desire to foster Jewish pride by celebrating Jewish achievement. Stan Polovets and his co-founders saw an opportunity to spotlight individuals embodying exceptional professional and philanthropic achievements.

Working With Philanthropic Partners

“After inaugural laureate Michael Bloomberg chose to forgo the $1 million prize funds, each laureate has done the same,” says Polovets. Bloomberg opted to allocate the money to a social entrepreneurship competition for young adults called the Genesis Generation Challenge.
Stan Polovetssays, “In 2015, Genesis Prize Foundation worked with the Jewish Funders Network to administer a matching grants program that had organizations throughout the U.S. and Canada secure donors and propose projects to welcome intermarried families into the Jewish community more effectively.
“The result: $3.3 million in grants went to 27 nonprofit organizations. In 2016, JFN administered a matching grants program for organizations proposing ways to better include those with disabilities in Jewish life. This resulted in $3.2 million going to 22 nonprofit organizations.”
“The funds are donated by The Genesis Prize Foundation in honor of the laureates, and, often bolstered by additional donor contributions, significant philanthropic grants have gone to a wide variety of causes, including women’s empowerment, refugee resettlement, responding to COVID, and fighting antisemitism,” explains Polovets.
Another example involves The Genesis Prize Foundation’s collaboration with Matan/United Way in Israel. Both organizations serve as hubs for funders globally, providing valuable guidance to The Genesis Prize Foundation on structuring philanthropic themes to attract additional donations.
This innovative approach has catalyzed over $50 million in grants to more than 230 nongovernmental organizations in 31 countries, impacting tens of thousands of beneficiaries.

Stan Polovets’ Philanthropic Ventures: Beyond The Genesis Prize

In 2006, Polovets Founded The Vnimanie Foundation In Response To His Personal Experiences With His Son's Learning Challenges. This Initiative Aimed To Change The Russian Educational And Healthcare Landscape Regarding Attention-deficit/hyperactivity Disorder And Similar Conditions.

"After Receiving Pharmacological Treatment And Therapy, [my Son's] Life Turned Around,” He Explains. “I Began Researching How Russian Society Deals With Children Who Have ADHD, Dyslexia, Anxiety, Obsessive-compulsive Disorder, And Other Challenges.” Polovets’ Efforts Led To Significant Reforms, Including The Acknowledgment Of ADHD As A Legitimate Disorder And The Introduction Of Modern Treatments And Support Systems In Russia.

Collaboration is key to achieving impactful goals. Polovets states, “None of us can do this work alone. Every year, we have partnered with individuals, organizations, and donors to achieve our goals. It truly is a ‘two (or more) heads are better than one’ approach.”
As The Genesis Prize Foundation continues to grow and impact new areas and communities, Polovets’ legacy as a visionary leader is destined to inspire future generations.
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Tyreece Bauer

Tyreece Bauer

Author
A trendsetter in the world of digital nomad living, Tyreece Bauer excels in Travel and Cybersecurity. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and is a certified Cybersecurity professional. As a Digital Nomad, he combines his passion for exploring new destinations with his expertise in ensuring digital security on the go. Tyreece's background includes extensive experience in travel technology, data privacy, and risk management in the travel industry. He is known for his innovative approach to securing digital systems and protecting sensitive information for travelers and travel companies alike. Tyreece's expertise in cybersecurity for mobile apps, IoT devices, and remote work environments makes him a trusted advisor in the digital nomad community. Tyreece enjoys documenting his adventures, sharing insights on staying secure while traveling and contributing to the digital nomad lifestyle community.
Elisa Mueller

Elisa Mueller

Reviewer
Elisa Mueller, a Kansas City native, grew up surrounded by the wonders of books and movies, inspired by her parents' passion for education and film. She earned bachelor's degrees in English and Journalism from the University of Kansas before moving to New York City, where she spent a decade at Entertainment Weekly, visiting film sets worldwide. With over 8 years in the entertainment industry, Elisa is a seasoned journalist and media analyst, holding a degree in Journalism from NYU. Her insightful critiques have been featured in prestigious publications, cementing her reputation for accuracy and depth. Outside of work, she enjoys attending film festivals, painting, writing fiction, and studying numerology.
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