Aleksandra Y. Efimova
Aleksandra Efimova is CEO of RP Group International, which she founded in 1998 and grew into a premier brand of footwear, apparel, accessories and wellness products.
She is an entrepreneur and leader with extensive experience in developing collaboration among individuals and organizations throughout the business, non-profit, governmental and educational sectors. She holds an executive diploma from Harvard Business School, has appeared on the Inc. 5000 List, was an EY Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist in 2017, and has been featured in many publications including Forbes Women, Bloomberg Newsweek, NBC Chicago, and Crain’s Detroit Business.
Ms. Efimova organizes, hosts and speaks at events related to entrepreneurship, women’s leadership, international relations and the arts. She has served on the boards of multiple organizations and led delegations on overseas trips. Ms. Efimova is also a mentor, business coach and consultant to entrepreneurs, students and athletes in transition.
She is known for sharing her tremendous positive energy, passion, accountability and results orientation as a motivator and team-builder.
Leadership:VP of US-Russia Chamber of Commerce, Founding Co-Chair of Harvard Alumni Entrepreneurs, Chair of IL Senator Mark Kirk’s Eastern European Leadership Board, Co-Chair of Sister Cities International Moscow Committee, Mentor EY Women Athletes Business Network (WABN) Mentoring Program.
Membership: Economic Club of Chicago, Harvard Business Club of Chicago, International Women’s Forum, Council on Global Affairs, Union League Club, Lyric Opera Young Professionals
Awards: EY Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist 2017, Inc. 5000 List, Metro Chicago Export Challenge Finalist, Bank of America Small Business of the Month, Stevie Women in Business Award.
Speaking: Executives’ Club of Chicago, International Women’s Forum, EMU Business School Alumni Awards, Brand Activation Association, DePaul University, University of IL and many others.
Early Life and Education
Ms. Efimova attended the renowned Art School of the Hermitage State Art Museum, trained in classical dance and visual art and enjoyed rigorous academic studies from an early age. After moving from St. Petersburg to the United States in 1993, she pursued a bachelor’s degree in international business and marketing at Eastern Michigan University while becoming a competitive ballroom dancer and exploring interests in business and fashion.
Before graduating from university, Ms. Efimova had already founded RP Group International (Russian Pointe), to import and market handcrafted pointe shoes from Moscow. Her commitment to excellence in every aspect of the business – from production to marketing to customer education – helped the company grow rapidly throughout North America.
The RP product line expanded to include varied footwear, apparel and accessories, as well as educational resources. Ms. Efimova also developed the Growing Through Arts collection of books and toys that introduce children to the arts while teaching academic and social skills.
Today, the RP brand is internationally recognized for providing the highest quality in products and services, and RP products are available throughout the world.
RP’s remarkable growth reflects Ms. Efimova’s attention to detail, dedication to customers’ needs and commitment to the arts. She maintains consistent contact with those who wear and sell her products, to make sure that RP’s designs and collections remain current.
In 2010, Ms. Efimova graduated from Harvard Business School’s elite Owner/Management Program for executives.
Ms. Efimova is a high-energy creative thinker and driven entrepreneur with a unique blend of executive acumen, team-building skills and community leadership. She approaches each challenge with an inherent flair for innovation, strategic development, creative problem-solving and measured risk-taking, and the consistent ability to see a project through from visualization through execution to outstanding results. Ms. Efimova’s vision, commitment and creativity have guided her company in its long-term growth and established her as an expert in entrepreneurship and international relations.
Public Service and Philanthropy
As CEO of RP Group International, Ms. Efimova is consistently involved with philanthropic endeavors, donating funds, services and products to myriad organizations.
Alongside her professional activities, Ms. Efimova is highly dedicated to public service, especially in the areas of international relations, performing arts, business development and education. In 2010, former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley appointed her chair of the Moscow Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International. In 2011, Illinois Senator Mark Kirk appointed her chair of the Eastern European Advisory Board. In 2014, she was appointed vice president (Midwest) of the U.S.-Russia Chamber of Commerce.
Ms. Efimova’s activities – in these roles and as an independent citizen and business leader – include creating and hosting events and initiatives that promote advancement, awareness and intercultural exchange in business and the arts.
She has collaborated with Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre, Adler Planetarium, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Goodman Theatre, Joffrey Ballet, the Russian Embassy and others, and she been an invited speaker at organizations including Executives’ Club of Chicago, International Women’s Forum, EMU Business School Alumni Awards, Brand Activation Association, DePaul University, University of IL and many others.
Ms. Efimova co-founded and co-chairs Harvard Alumni Entrepreneurs, is VP of US-Russia Chamber of Commerce, and her current and past memberships and leadership posts include Economic Club of Chicago, Harvard Business Club of Chicago, International Women’s Forum, Council on Global Affairs, Chair of IL Senator Mark Kirk’s Eastern European Leadership Board, Chair of Sister Cities International Moscow Committee.