About

Founder

Jerzy Starak established his family foundation in 2008. Its mission and ambition is to support and promote young students and artists through creating stimulating conditions for growing and learning and encouraging educational and artistic engagement. Jerzy Starak has also made available his family collection of modern art to the Foundation’s Spectra Art project. It is a vast collection of Polish 20th and 21st century art, assembled over the years by him and his wife Anna.

At the same time, Jerzy Starak believes that responsible business is business, which contributes to strengthening values. The Polpharma Scientific Foundation has been operating since 2001. Through the Foundation, Jerzy Starak dedicated several dozen million zlotys to the support of science, education, knowledge about health, cultural patronage and charity projects.

 

The Polpharma Scientific Foundation, as well as the exhibition and educational program of the Starak Family Foundation are a consistent realization of Jerzy Starak’s dreams. A creative combination of a strong, socially involved corporation with care for our cultural heritage and nurturing young talents has been an important goal for the Founder. Thanks to the joint efforts of Jerzy Starak and those, who work for the Foundation, numerous, valuable works of art have been brought back to Poland after years of absence. The Foundation organizes regular exhibitions and the permanent collection is available to the public.

 

Jerzy Starak graduated from the Warsaw University of Life Sciences. After graduation and internships in the UK and Italy, he cooperated with leading Italian manufacturers of agricultural machinery. Having vast professional and business experience, he returned to Poland and founded Comindex, one of the most recognizable and resilient companies in the newly politically transformed Poland. Comindex quickly became a leader in the agri-food sector.

 

Drawing on the experience in running and managing businesses in both Europe and Poland, he participated in introducing large global concerns such as Nutricia, Colgate-Palmolive or UNICOM – BOLS, to the Polish Market in the early nineties. In the 2000s, as part of the privatization process, Jerzy Starak bought controlling stakes in Polpharma SA Pharmaceutical Works – the largest pharmaceutical company on the Polish market. Today, Polpharma is a European leader in the production of medicine and serves as a great CSR example, involved both in cultural and social projects. The company received numerous awards, such as the Economic Award of the President of Poland, the 2011 Forbes Diamond and the Caritas Silver Medal.

 

In 2011, the Polish Confederation of Private Employers “Lewiatan” granted Jerzy Starak the Andrzej Wierzbicki award, distinguishing him as an outstanding entrepreneur who shaped the style of Polish entrepreneurship. Upon receiving the award, Jerzy Starak said:

 

The Andrzej Wierzbicki award is granted annually by the PCPE Lewiatan to the owner of a sound, efficiently managed company which participates in environmental actions, supports economic and social initiatives and has a clear vision of what responsible business is. The Award Committee takes into consideration the style of management, care for the workplace and involvement in social activities. I am very proud to have a company which excels in those three categories and its name is Polpharmа. Not only is Polpharma visible on the Polish and global market, but it is also directly involved in the country's cultural and social life. In my case, the Award Committee particularly appreciated the commitment to cultural affairs. Culture is a very important part of my life, since it also means the culture of work, the culture of dialogue, simply the culture of being.

 

In 2003, Jerzy Starak was honored with the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta by President Aleksander Kwaśniewski. In 2013, he received the Officer's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta from President Bronisław Komorowski for an outstanding contribution to the development of economy, social activity and charity in Poland.

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