After Donald Trump rolled out his economic advisory council
last month, Democratic rival Hillary Clinton mocked the
then-presumptive GOP candidate for picking an all-male
23-member team stacked with billionaires and hedge fund
tycoons, noting that it included six guys named
Three days later the
Trump campaign added nine names to the list, among them
eight women plus hedge fund manager Anthony Scaramucci. Of
those female advisers, perhaps the most curious and least well
known, at least outside of certain Bel Air social circles, is
Dr. Carla Sands.
Sands, 55, earned her doctorate in chiropractic medicine
from Life Chiropractic College, now Life University, in the
Atlanta suburb of Marietta and worked as a private chiropractor
from 1990 to 1999. In 1990 she married Fred Sands, who was
already established throughout much of tony Los Angeles as a
high-profile real estate broker. By the time Sands sold his
company in 2000, to a group backed by private equity firm
Apollo Management, Fred Sands Realtors had 23 offices and 1,200
agents across Los Angeles and Ventura counties.
After the sale Sands started Vintage Capital Group, an
investment management firm whose strategies included acquiring
and redeveloping distressed shopping malls. For her part, Carla
Sands was active on the LA social scene, serving on the board
of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, among other appointments.
When Fred Sands passed away in 2015 after suffering a
stroke, his wife replaced him as chair and CEO of Vintage
Capital, which has $150 million in assets. In a statement on
its website, the firm said that Carla Sands was mentored
by Fred over the many years of their partnership and is
extremely active in the business.
Although Fred Sands might have thought his wife a suitable
successor as chair of an asset management firm, he had no such
confidence in Trump as U.S. president. Hes a
joke, Sands told The Jewish Journal in a July
2015 interview when asked about the real estate moguls
unlikely bid for Americas highest political office.
He likes the publicity because thats how he lives.
Hes not really a real estate guy. He licenses his name
and surrounds himself with publicity. And he might show up in
the polls right now, but thats going to go
Trump, of course, has not gone away, and now Carla Sands is
serving on his economic advisory committee. Sands has
credibility as a Trump supporter, if not as an economics
expert. In July she hosted a fundraiser for the presidential
contender at her Bel Air mansion, where some 200 donors were
asked to contribute between $2,700 and $449,400 each to attend.
Those who gave at least $25,000 or raised a minimum of $27,000
got to dine on a meal of pan-seared salmon and
fresh-fig salad along with Trump.
As of late August, Federal Election Commission records
showed that Sands herself hadnt given money to Trump,
though she and her late husband contributed to the campaigns of
some of his GOP presidential primary rivals, including, in her
case, Ted Cruz. The Texas Republican senator has been steadfast
in his refusal to endorse his partys presidential