The Elaine D. Papas Story
After surviving a horrific kidnapping, Elaine Papas became a psychologist, an entrepreneur, a lawyer, and an international business advisor
Elaine Papas has been a New Yorker since September 10, 2001. She moved from South Florida to establish her Manhattan legal practice the day before the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. It did not deter her. Today, her multi-dimensional law firm is just a block from Times Square.
Elaine delivers creative and effective business solutions to a wide range of domestic and international businesses through a practice that makes use of her unique background as a successful entrepreneur, a licensed psychologist, a human resource manager, a FINRA-certified arbitrator, and an attorney. She also is a director of Fourth Right Communications, a public relations and communications firm aimed at the affluent consumer market.
Counsel in the Truest Sense
Elaine provides counsel in the truest sense of the word, giving her clients a deep and supportive level of advice in both the corporate and transactional areas, providing companies with compliance-business advisement as well as corporate legal services. She also brings to the table savvy and confidential psychological support for executives who may not wish to share a sensitive issue with staff or other officers. Her success as an entrepreneur provides an added level of credibility to her counsel.
“It can get lonely at the top,” Elaine says. “There are many different dilemmas in which an executive can use a third eye and may not be comfortable doing that with the team. I can listen to the situation and offer a solution or options that would make good business sense and also fit with the psychological profile of the parties involved.”
Elaine has built a reputation as an international business developer with important ties to Europe, South America and the Middle East. She structured and arranged the issuance of more than $175 million of debt and equity for nine international deals, mostly in the area of hotel and resort development. She also has worked on projects as wide-ranging as high-speed rail and microloans.
Elaine has established a national and international network to structure and negotiate deals in bio-medical development, fashion, consumer products, and commercial real estate (hotels/resorts, gaming, energy and mixed use projects).
Adventurer, Entrepreneur, Student
Growing up in Chicago, Elaine enrolled at Southern Illinois University but decided at 19 to embark on a cross-country camping adventure with a friend. They bought tents and drove from Chicago to the Florida Keys, then on to Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Texas, Mexico, Oregon, and back to Florida, where she stayed.
She started selling retail clothing in Fort Lauderdale and then became an entrepreneur, creating an import-export business for British goods that attracted such major clients as Disney and Continental Airlines. She was honored for her work by the British Consulate, sold the business at a profit, and returned to college. She eventually earned an A.B. in Liberal Studies, an M.S. in Psychology, a Masters in Human Resource Management, and ultimately a Juris Doctorate from Nova Southeastern University’s Shepard Broad Law School.
The fact that Elaine is a successful attorney in the heart of New York City may have come as a surprise to the people who did not expect her to live after a terrifying kidnapping ordeal in Miami in 1988.
Elaine was abducted from a service station and was only able to escape by leaping from the moving car after it exited I-95. She landed on the pavement and sustained a severe brain injury. Doctors said she would not live.
She proved them wrong. When she came out of a coma, doctors prescribed heavy psychotropic drugs to prevent a lifetime of seizures. The doctors also said she would lose the senses of smell and taste. As Elaine recovered, she refused the heavy drugs yet never experienced the predicted seizures. She did lose the sense of smell, but regained the sense of taste by working with a patient psychologist-physician who had been her professor.
“Because of what happened, I believe a person can get through anything,” Elaine says today. “I was given a second chance to appreciate my life.”
She has expressed that appreciation by becoming a completely unique, trusted, and valuable counselor to executives who face decisions that could affect thousands of people with millions of dollars at stake.
“In my own life, I survived a terrifying and potentially fatal experience and went on to pursue my dreams in business, psychology, and law,” Elaine says. “As a result, I share what I’ve learned along the way. I’ve been fortunate enough to help business executives make difficult decisions in a world that grows more tumultuous by the day. I relish the opportunity to work with new clients and face new challenges.”