Stronach’s luxurious haven for victims of Katrina

And the week wouldn’t be complete for a metal stamping blog without paying tribute to Austrian-born Frank Stronach, Chairman and founder of Magna International, the big automotive stamper, who helped out Katrina victims in a big way …

The Globe and Mail

Frank Stronach has had wild visions before — but never one quite like this.

This improbable dream involves airlifting evacuees from the devastation of New Orleans to the pampered world of Palm Beach, Fla. — a vision that involves rich American whites from gated communities opening up to desperately poor American blacks and even includes the construction of a new mobile-home community in Louisiana for more than 300 victims of hurricane Katrina.

And so far, he’s pulling it off.

But then, Frank Stronach once dreamed he could make a better life in Canada than his native Austria could give, and he made it happen to a point where the young man who arrived with $40 in his pocket now regularly pockets more than $50-million in salary as the chairman of Ontario-based Magna International, the $20-billion automobile parts giant he built from scratch.

To make a long story shorter (you can read the article if you want it all), he flew some people to West Palm beach, where he had some horse race land not being used, put them up temporarily there, got the neighbours to donate used clothing, and has plans to relocate them all to a trailer park he’s going to build north of New Orleans. The mobile homes will come from Canada (not sure why they need to come from Canada, maybe local suppliers have been wiped out near New Orleans).

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