Sam and Nada Simon, both Iraqi immigrants, are proud to give back to the country that provided them with such tremendous opportunity. They founded The Sam & Nada Simon Foundation in 2009 and enjoy getting personally involved with the organizations they support.
"WE HAVE BEEN ABUNDANTLY BLESSED. IT IS OUR HONOR AND
PRIVILEGE TO SHARE THESE BLESSINGS WITH OTHERS."
Sam and Nada Simon passionately believe in giving back and have a history of generously helping others. In 2009 they formalized their philanthropic efforts through the creation of the Sam and Nada Simon Foundation, which has a focus on the military and law enforcement, children and education. The Foundation’s mission is twofold:
– Support military and law enforcement personnel and their families
– Identify and support programs that directly improve the health, education and well being of children
Together with their Atlas Oil team, Sam and Nada built Atlas Park, complete with playground equipment, for the Taylor, Mich., community, across from its headquarters. Since 2006, they have hosted a Christmas Party aboard Selfridge Air National Guard Base for military personnel and their families and they continue to support local law enforcement through contributions for K-9 units and Secret Santa giving. The Simon’s look forward to growing the foundation and expanding their efforts.
FOUNDER, CHAIRMAN & OWNER
Sam Simon is the Founder and Chairman of Simon Group Holdings (SGH), a diversified holding company based in Birmingham, MI.
Sam arrived in Detroit when he was 9, fleeing persecution as an Armenian Catholic in Iraq with his parents and four siblings. He developed a strong work ethic at an early age assisting his father, Ramzi, pumping gas at a station on Six Mile and Hoover, in addition to delivering newspapers, cutting lawns and shoveling snow.
In 1985, he launched Atlas Oil Co. in Taylor, MI with a single delivery truck, and has built it into a 2+ billion gallon-a-year fuel wholesaler with over 500 employees. Today, Simon still owns and remains involved in the company’s day to day operations.
With the success of Atlas Oil, Simon formed Simon Group Holdings, an investment manager with multiple office locations in Birmingham, MI. The company is actively involved in numerous industries, including gas, oil and renewable energy, real estate, aerospace and defense, insurance, wine and sports entertainment.
Simon has been honored with many recognitions for his success in business, including: “Entrepreneur of the Year” from Ernst & Young (1999), “Economic Bridge Builder of the Year” from the American Arab Chamber of Commerce (2016), “Visionaries of Detroit” from Fortune Magazine (2010), “Outstanding Business Leader” from Northwood University (2018) and was previously appointed to the National Petroleum Council by Secretary of Energy, Spencer Abraham. He is also recognized annually as one of the top business leaders in Metro Detroit by DBusiness Magazine, and was featured in Crain’s Detroit’s American Dreams issue, which honors immigrant entrepreneurs who have made strides in our community (2018).
“Take your time but hurry up. Don’t wait for it to happen, make it happen.”
– Sam Simon
More importantly than his business success, Simon and his wife, Nada, are committed to paying forward their good fortune to help others. In 2009, he and Nada founded the Sam & Nada Simon Foundation. The Foundation is focused on providing direct support to their local communities, including an emphasis on active-duty military personnel, veterans, local law enforcement, immigrant families, and supporting deserving youth with academic scholarships and leadership development opportunities in the communities that the Simon family live and work in. Their signature event is an annual Christmas party at the Selfridge Air Force Base to celebrate local service families for selflessly serving our country.
Outside of work and philanthropy, Sam and Nada enjoy spending as much time possible with their twin boys, Peter and Michael, and take every opportunity to gather their extended family.
PRESIDENT - THE SAM & NADA SIMON FOUNDATION
Nada Simon has lived the American Dream. She immigrated to the United States at 13 years old. She lived with an Uncle and worked at his grocery store while studying at Grosse Pointe South High School. Upon graduation, she attended Siena Heights University, and graduated with a degree in Business Administration.
Nada began her career at Ford Motor Company, where she worked in sales. Through her work ethic, determination, and drive, Nada was promoted three times in two and a half years. In January 1986, she left Ford to join Sam Simon, whom she would eventually marry, at his newly-started Atlas Oil Company, as Director of Sales. Nada was instrumental in the growth of Atlas, a company that now delivers over 1 billion gallons of fuel annually. Nada stepped down in 2000 to focus on being a mother for her twin boys, Peter and Michael.
Even as she dialed back her career, Nada remained active in and around her community. She served as President and Vice President of the Parents Association during her 17 years volunteering with the Detroit Country Day Schools. She also served on the Harvard Kennedy School’s Women’s Leadership Board for 10 years, working with other women leaders to achieve gender equality, diversity and advancement of women.
"When you are blessed in life, it is your duty to bless others in return."
– Nada Simon
In 2009, Nada co-founded the Sam and Nada Simon Foundation and became its President, a role she still holds today. The Foundation is focused on supporting active-duty military and veterans, local law enforcement, immigrant families, academic scholarships and leadership development for deserving youth in the communities that the Simon family lives and works in.
The Foundation's annual keynote event is a holiday party for armed services members and their families, annually draws hundreds of attendees for a day of food, music, fun, and thanksgiving at Selfridge Air Force Base in Michigan. Several holiday meals are provided throughout the year for veterans staying at Fisher House in Ann Arbor, MI and Houston, TX, and Piquette Square in Detroit, MI. The Foundation currently supports enrollment for students at De La Salle Collegiate and Holy Name Catholic School.
An ardent believer in helping whenever possible, Nada feels a tremendous sense of gratitude for the freedoms we have in the United States and welcomes opportunities to assist others in pursuit of their dreams, especially young women. She believes that when you are blessed, you are called to use those gifts to bless others. Through her personal generosity and the work of the Foundation, she hopes to pay forward the same opportunities that have afforded her the American Dream.