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Southside Business Men’s Club elects Schott as 2012 president

Galina Schott has been elected as Southside Business Men’s Club’s second woman president since its inception in 1932. She will begin her term Jan. 4, 2012, the organization’s 80th anniversary. The induction of the 2012 officers will be held Jan. 4 at noon at the San Jose Country Club.

Galina was born and raised in Eastern Europe, growing up in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. She received her Master’s degree in civil engineering from Kiev University.

Galina and her family lived only 60 miles away from Chernobyl, where in April 1986, a power plant’s nuclear reactor exploded making news around the world. The largest civil nuclear disaster in history led to mass evacuations, long-term health issues, agricultural and economic distress, and a multitude of other events that changed many lives, including Galina’s.

In April 1991, Galina and her then 9-year-old son, Alex, immigrated to the United States. She arrived in Jacksonville at the age of 28—not knowing a single person here, unable to speak English and with just $100 in her pocket. With a steely determination to succeed, Galina started her new life, believing that America is truly the land of opportunity. She worked at night while taking English language courses at Florida Community College during the day. After mastering her English skills, she was hired by a local engineering firm, Reynolds Smith and Hills.

Galina was eager to learn the American culture and the American way of doing business. In 1996, as soon as she was eligible, she became a U.S. citizen in addition to receiving her Master in Business Administration (MBA) from Jacksonville University, where she met her husband Don Schott.

Professionally, Galina enjoys a rewarding career as a Financial Advisor with North Florida Financial Corporation.

Southside Business Men’s Club is Jacksonville’s oldest business and civic organization, founded in 1932, and comprised of business men and women interested in the betterment of the Southside, its members, business, and the Jacksonville community at large. For more information, visit

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