Yuri Vanetik is an entrepreneur, business strategist, political coalition builder, and philanthropist in Orange County, California. He brings over 20 years of professional experience working in a variety of roles and industries, including law, finance, real estate development, politics, and philanthropy. His diverse background and impressive work ethic have allowed Vanetik to thrive in numerous leadership positions throughout his accomplished career.
Yuri Vanetik attended the University of California, Berkeley, where he completed his Bachelor’s degree with Highest Honors in legal studies and political philosophy. He completed his Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, San Francisco, where he also served as the President of the International Law Society, and was awarded the American Jurisprudence Award.
Before beginning his career in politics and real estate development, Yuri Vanetik co-founded Iger, Koehler & Vanetik, LLP, a corporate law firm that specializes in corporate governance and public listings. After acquiring valuable legal experience in corporate combinations and finance, Vanetik shifted away from law, and dedicated focus to his work as an entrepreneur.
Using his education and professional background, Yuri Vanetik has taken on numerous roles, beginning with his work as the owner of Vanetik International LLC. The Nevada-based company is a management consulting firm that offers advisory services and strategic planning to businesses worldwide. Vanetik’s evolution as an entrepreneur continued, leading him to become the Managing Partner for Dominion Asset Management, a technology-driven opportunity real estate fund that invests in undervalued real estate throughout the country. He remains active at both Vanetik International, LLC and Managing Partner today.
In addition to his education and professional background, Yuri Vanetik is also a committed philanthropist and has been an active part of the community for many years. He continues to dedicate his time to support countless organizations that are dedicated to numerous causes. While Yuri has supported a wide variety of causes, he is most passionate about supporting organizations for education, children’s health, and community stability.
As part of his commitment to support organizations in education, children’s health, and community stability, Yuri Vanetik has served as a member of the board of directors for numerous organizations throughout recent years. In 2008, he joined the Board of Directors for the American Red Cross, as well as the Board of Directors for the Gen Next Foundation the same year. The Gen Next Foundation is dedicated to creating opportunities and confronting challenges that our future generations will have to face through active collaboration and advocacy. Yuri remains an active member of the Board of Directors for the Gen Next Foundation today.
In addition to his service to the American Red Cross and the Gen Next Foundation, Yuri Vanetik has also been appointed to the board of directors for several other charitable organizations. Some of his board positions include Miracles for Kids, the Center for Global Change, and the Orange County Performing Arts Center.
Our Interview With Yuri Vanetik
What’s the most important thing we should know about you?
Yuri Vanetik: I am on a quasi-existential search for meaning. I am a libertarian, and would often side with Objectivist analysis, but with moral component not predicated on religion but rather on a quasi Weberian ethic of accountability and self-reliance.
I love poetry and literature, as I find that looking for the deeper meanings in them to be fascinating and educational. I am influenced by Michel Foucault and one of my former professors, Bernard Williams. This is more than one thing, but it undergirds my single-minded life goal of having a positive impact in my world.
Name the most impactful lesson you learned from failure.
Yuri Vanetik: Experiencing failure marks a time where one typically learns who her real friends are. It is not uncommon to see those who are considered “fair weather” friends quickly evaporate after you are knocked off your horse or are perceived to be wounded, whether it be a professional or personal failure or a social perception of a failure. It may sound cliche, but it is completely accurate that your real friends stick by you during difficult times. I have learned that when you are down, you are often alone, but for a few people that either still depend on you or believe in you. Very few people are capable of real empathy, and even fewer can appreciate their own vulnerability in their neighbor’s grief.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Yuri Vanetik: Throughout my professional career, I have faced many challenges that I was not always prepared for. But, despite the obstacles that I had to face, I have never compromised my dignity. I continue to be quietly proud of my value system. In a world where social media and technology make it easier than ever to become numb to how one’s words affect others, I want to be an outlier.
This is why I am inspired by Frankel’s book, Man’s Search For Meaning. Frankel details his account through life experiences in a concentration camp, where he found the courage to survive with dignity, without becoming numb to the evil and suffering around him.
What did you waste the most time on when you were first starting your career?
Yuri Vanetik: The professional world can be a difficult, and sometimes ruthless world, especially when first starting one’s career.
As I was starting to come into my own as a young lawyer and entrepreneur, the biggest waste in time, emotions, and overall effort was attempting to educate tyros and idiots. It is the most daunting and thankless task. I discourage anyone from undertaking it. It is a horrible and thankless waste.
Name a tool you use for work that you can’t live without.
Yuri Vanetik: My cell phone, as it helps me stay organized and it is my ultimate communication tool. I am sadly a slave to it. Since I often travel, it becomes my office on the go.
What is your favorite hobby and why?
Yuri Vanetik: I have always been an avid fan of tactical and competition shooting for many reasons. It not only serves as a great stress relief, but it is a practical skill. Safer than skiing, it is a great way to escape into “now”. Shooting improves coordination, concentration, and overall upper and lower body strength. It helps me to feel empowered while helping to lower stress. I find it almost cathartic.
What excites you the most about your industry right now?
Yuri Vanetik: Technology. I am moved by its rapid evolution and the future impact it will have on the securities industry as a whole. People that could never afford to invest in deals will do so and will make a great deal of money, and will lead more exciting and fulfilling lives.
What concerns you most about your industry right now?
Yuri Vanetik: I believe that the real estate market is overvalued yet again, and it is due for a major correction soon. I believe that private equity is veering away from smart money, and we will see penny stock promotions giving way to fractional equity ownership platforms and crowdfunding gone berserk scenarios. Access to deals through new technology platforms and access to risky deals for small investors is great, but we will see an implosion in this nascent marketplace. I am also concerned that the securities industry is over-regulated. I always say that you cannot implement market morality solely through stricken laws or more aggressive enforcement. We need to build and accept a society that values market morality. We are not doing that.
What’s the greatest risk you’ve ever taken?
Yuri Vanetik: The greatest risk that I have taken is deciding to become an entrepreneur. I stepped away from the safety of a profession. Starting your own business is liberating, but also a huge risk. Many smart and capable people evolve into executives in large corporations, but they are not entrepreneurs.
Name one small habit that positively impacts your productivity.
Yuri Vanetik: Despite smart phones, tablets, etc., I always make plans and notes for the day and the week ahead, summarizing what I need to accomplish. This keeps me focused and increases my productivity.
What book has made the biggest impact on your life?
Yuri Vanetik: There are many books that have had a tremendous impact on me. I cannot pick out just one. Hemingway’s Sun Also Rises, Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, Orwell’s 1984, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s biography, and many other books and various poems such those of e. e. Cummings, Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson have all had an impact on me.
Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink is an outstanding book that teaches readers about how we interpret the world around us, specifically in ways that our conscious minds don’t often realize. Gladwell uses real-life examples of how people interpret their own world; how it influences their unconscious minds in their daily professional and personal lives. It gave me a deeper understanding of the complexity and importance of psychology and human behavior.