Philanthropist and seafood industry leader Harry Frisch shared Thursday what he considers, after 60 years in business in Jacksonville, to be the secrets to success.
“Don’t lie. Don’t steal. Don’t cheat. Put in an honest day’s work,” said Frisch. “That’s about it.”
Frisch, 88, accepted the Thompson S. Baker “Solid As A Rock” Award Thursday from Junior Achievement of North Florida in recognition of his leadership at Beaver Street Fisheries Inc., an international seafood and meat distributor based along West Beaver Street, not far from Downtown.
As a teenager, Frisch and his brother escaped Austria in 1938 to avoid the invading Nazis. In a Daily Record interview last year, he said he lost most of his family in the Holocaust. He and his brother escaped to Czechoslovakia and then to what is now Israel and served in the Israeli army.
Rabbi Joshua Lief reminded the audience that Thursday was Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Frisch married his wife, Lilo, in 1948 and they immigrated to the United States from Israel with their two young sons to join his mother and step-father, who ran Beaver Street Fisheries.
Junior Achievement remarked in its award information that Frisch has worked with four generations to develop Beaver Street Fisheries into a company with a half-billion dollars in sales as a distributor of frozen seafood, meats and other food products internationally. It also operates the largest food distributor and seafood processor in the Bahamas.
Beaver Street Fisheries employs more than 400 people and is based at 1741 W. Beaver St., developing the site into a modern warehouse facility covering more than two city blocks and housing a seafood processing plant.
Frisch also leads the Beaver Street Foundation, a charitable organization that supports many nonprofits. “Harry has generously supported countless community nonprofits with his time, talent and resources,” Junior Achievement wrote.
Frisch thanked his wife and family, employees and supporters.
“I am overcome with the amount of people sitting here,” he said. “Really and truly, what did I do?”
Thursday’s event, presented by Wells Fargo, marked the 14th year of presenting the “Solid As A Rock” Award named for Thompson S. Baker, the founder of Jacksonville-based Florida Rock Industries Inc.
Junior Achievement also presented the Corporate Volunteer Award to Chase Bank, Vistakon and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
The JA Hall of Fame Award was given to Fred McGinnis.
The Richard Maxwell Volunteer Pioneer Award was given to Coleen Logan,with Citi.