Former Florida First Lady Carole Crist is an impact investor whose motto is “Capital with a Conscience.”
Her focus is impact investing, in particular furthering opportunities for women in leadership positions and entrepreneurship, and philanthropy. Crist lends her time, energy, and resources to invest in projects or ventures that have social impact or benefit society. “It has to resonate with me. It has to be something that I want to be a part of and help to grow like a garden – but a garden of good,” she says.
What she does is for profit, but basically philanthropy and public service for profit. “That’s what impact investing by definition is.”
Crist was married to U.S. Representative and former Florida Governor Charlie Crist from December 2008 to February 2017. During her husband’s 2016 campaign for Congress, Crist served as transition manager and played a significant role in fundraising.
Over the years in politics, public service, and business, Crist has built up an extensive network of influential people she is able to call on to lend their expertise to worthy projects. She is comfortable with public speaking and is a natural for television and radio appearances.
Crist is a mother of two, and the daughter of Robert Oumano, the former president of the Franco-American Novelty Company, a family-owned Halloween and party business. The company was founded in 1910 and was based in Glendale, New York. After her father’s death in 2000, Crist ran Franco-American Novelty and became the first female in the family to lead the firm, and she reinvented it, growing it to the next level during her tenure. Carole Crist sold the business in 2017.
Crist devotes her estimable energy to philanthropic causes she is passionate about. Among the charities for which she has hosted galas and dedicated resources are the American Red Cross, the Angel Foundation for Cancer Research, the South Fork Natural History Museum and Nature Center in the Hamptons, and CASA women’s shelter in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Born and raised in Roslyn, New York, Crist graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University with a degree in accounting.