Born in Turkey in 1972, Hamdi Ulukaya, was born into a dairy farming community before coming to the United States in 1994.

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Upon moving to the United States Hamdi Ulukaya, studied English on Long Island before transferring to the University at Albany where he took business courses before opening a wholesale feta cheese company.

In 2005, Hamdi Ulukaya purchased a yogurt factory once owned by Kraft foods. Instead of producing traditional yogurt, Ulukaya decided to make yogurt the way he grew up with it in Turkey and so was born the multi-billion dollar Chobani.

Forbes Magazine estimates that Ulukaya’s worth is $2 billion dollars as his company is headquartered in Norwich while the yogurt plant has two locations, one in South Edmeston and the other in Twin Falls, Idaho.

Today, Ulukaya is the owner of the number one selling strained yogurt company in the United States but he hasn’t forgotten his roots.

On Monday, February 6, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Turkey and parts of Syria killing thousands of people and toppling buildings. As of February 11, there were more than 25,000 confirmed deaths and the number continues to climb.

Ulukaya has earmarked $2 million dollars for Turkey’s earthquake relief efforts through an organization called Turkish Philanthropy Funds.

Turkish Philanthropy Funds has a goal to raise $10 million dollars to aid in a variety of areas including search and rescue efforts, distribution of hygiene kits, emergency supplies, generators, and more.

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