December 24, 1936 |
New Jersey, US
|Residence||Beverly Hills, California, US|
|Education||University of California, Los Angeles (BA, JD)|
|Net worth||US$ 4.2 billion (February 2015)|
|Spouse(s)||Rona Celer (divorced)
Lynda Rae Harris (1973–present)
--Jason Sinay (stepchild)
--Jonathan Sinay (stepchild)
Stewart A. Resnick (born 1936) is an American businessman.
Early life and education
Resnick was born in 1936, and raised in a middle-class Jewish family in New Jersey and later moved to California with his family in the 1950s. In 1959, he graduated with a BS and from the University of California, Los Angeles and then a JD from the UCLA School of Law. While in law school, he founded his first business, a janitorial services company, which he sold in 1969.
With the money he made from his first company, Resnick bought the Franklin Mint Company, a subsidiary of Roll International Corporation. Franklin Mint is known for making model cars, souvenir plates, figurines, and Civil War-inspired chess sets. Resnick has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of The Wonderful Company, formerly known as Roll Global, since 1962 and CEO and Chairman of Franklin Mint Company since 1985. He owns a number of major agribusinesses in the San Joaquin Valley including Paramount Citrus, POM Wonderful, Teleflora, Fiji Water, and Suterra. He also serves as President of Paramount Farms International. He sat on the Board of Directors of LeapFrog Enterprises from 2002 to 2005.
He sits on the board of trustees of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Bard College, the J. Paul Getty Trust and Conservation International. He also sits on the Advisory Board of the UCLA Anderson School of Management.
He is divorced from his first wife, Sandra Frazier. Since 1973, he has been married to Lynda Rae Harris. He has three children from his first marriage: Jeff Resnick, Ilene Resnick, and Bill Resnick; and two stepchildren from his marriage to Harris: Jason Sinay and Jonathan Sinay. They reside in Beverly Hills, California.
Stewart Resnick and his wife Lynda have been criticized for their role in growing water-intensive nut tree crops (a single almond requires more than 1 gallon of water) in the Central Valley, mainly for export, during California's ongoing drought. According to Forbes Magazine: "Their oasis has plenty of water, the result of relentless opportunism that has given their orchards access to more water than nearly any other farm during the worst drought on record in California’s history. The Resnicks use at least 120 billion gallons a year, two-thirds on nuts, enough to supply San Francisco’s 852,000 residents for a decade. They own a majority stake in the Kern Water Bank, one of California’s largest underground water storage facilities, which they got fairly but sagely from the government 20 years ago. It is capable of storing 500 billion gallons of water. They have also spent at least $35 million in recent years buying up more water from nearby districts to replenish their supplies." 
At the same time as exporting almonds to Asia and other locations, they import Fiji bottled water from the South Pacific. Again according to Forbes: "Regarding their water business in Fiji, they have been vilified as greedy capitalists for hogging the archipelago’s precious water supply. They bought Fiji Water in 2005 and started pumping out and bottling millions of pricey water bottles from a pristine aquifer. Meanwhile island natives didn’t always have water to drink themselves, due to crumbling and insufficient infrastructure." 
In addition their claims for the POM pomegranate drink have been contested. Forbes: "The Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint in 2010 that the Resnicks’ POM Wonderful had used deceptive advertising when marketing the antioxidant-rich drink as being able to treat, prevent or reduce the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction. In 2012 a federal judge agreed that some of the ads were misleading. In 2013 FTC commissioners denied the Resnicks’ appeal. In October of this year the Resnicks asked the Supreme Court to take the case."  In May 2016 the Supreme Court declined to take the case.
- Forbes: The World's Billionaires - Stewart and Lynda Resnick February 2015
- BusinessWeek: "A Pistachio Farmer, Pom Wonderful, and the FTC" By Susan Berfield November 11, 2010
- Jewish Philanthropy: "The Top Jewish Donors and Jewish Giving: Why the Disconnect?" by Robert Evans and Avrum Lapin February 9, 2009
- Bloomberg BusinessWeek: Company Overview of Roll Global LLC - Executive Profile Stewart A. Resnick retrieved March 20, 2014
- The Getty Trust: "Board of Trustees - Stewart A. Resnick" retrieved March 21, 2014
- UCLA Anderson Alumni Bulletin: "Stewart Resnick - Inspirational 100 Alumnus"
- Bard College Board of Trustees
- Conservation International Board
- Los Angeles Times: "Muriel Harris Obituary" March 13, 2011
- Mother Jones: It Takes How Much Water to Grow an Almond?! Feb. 24, 2014
- LA Times: California farms lead the way in almond production Jan. 12, 2014
- Forbes Magazine: America's Nuttiest Billionaire Couple: Amid Drought, Stewart And Lynda Resnick Are Richer Than Ever November 23, 2015
- "LA Times: Pom Wonderful case not wonderful enough, Supreme Court says" May 4, 2016