Robert Kennedy famously said “some men see things as they are, and ask why. I dream of things that never were, and ask why not.” The 15 finalists for the 2019 Invest in Others Awards live by those words. They are dreamers and doers. While many people only look inward, these men and women do not. They roll up their sleeves and get to work making the world a better place, whether feeding food-insecure families, providing educational opportunities to children in underserved communities or supporting people affected by suicide.
We hope you’ll take a moment to meet the men and women in our five award categories actively working to make a difference in their communities and beyond.
With the Catalyst Award, we honor the men and women who aspire to create change. In the words of Gandhi: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” The finalists in this category have demonstrated great leadership over the past three years, whether by launching a new nonprofit or turning around an organization from failing to thriving.
In 2004, Mike Berry dropped his daughter off at school and came upon a little girl on the playground who was crying because she was tired from sleeping in the family’s car and hungry from missing meals. Mike learned that children like the little girl often go without food over the weekend. To help those families in need, he founded Kids Aid, a hunger prevention program that connects food-insecure children with backpacks of food for the weekend. Thanks to Mike’s leadership, Kids Aid has provided much-needed food to 2,000 children and their families.
When Dan Hintz saw a TV news story about food-insecure individuals and families, he knew that it would take a movement to tackle this growing problem. He started in his own hometown in Indiana, founding Million Meal Movement. Since 2006, the organization has provided nearly 30 million meals to hungry families in the Indianapolis area. Dan has been a key driver of the nonprofit’s growth, providing strategy, building corporate relationships and creating its signature event—Million Meal Marathon—which brings together roughly 4,000 volunteers, including hometown heroes like Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts, to participate in packing one million meals in a single day.
David A. Pickler
A longtime supporter of public education, David Pickler founded a national nonprofit—the American Public Education Foundation—to prepare K-12thgrade students for college and life—focusing on the twin pillars of financial literacy and workforce development. Among his many accomplishments, David was a major advocate for new rules in Tennessee that mandate financial education as a high school requirement. He has also worked closely with Tennessee educators and business leaders to create innovative partnerships to prepare students for the changing workforce.
Community Service Award
Smart managers and leaders are indispensable to any organization, whether for-profit or nonprofit. Our Community Service Award recognizes a financial advisor who has made a difference in the community over the past three years by serving with distinction as a fundraiser, board member or in an executive role.
Michael Deutsch knows that athletics can lift young people living in troubled communities, providing pathways to higher education and opportunity. In Michael’s own community, Memphis Inner City Rugby (MICR), an organization serving some of the poorest student-athletes in the southeast, was struggling from a lack of leadership, anemic fundraising and poor community engagement. Student-athletes didn’t even have practice fields to play on. Michael was key to helping turn around the organization, securing a $750,000 donation from a major foundation and successfully negotiating a contract with the school board to provide access to a closed inner-city football field for practice use. Thanks in large part to Michael’s tireless efforts, MICR has become a model nonprofit, with some of its female athletes recently featured in a Nike ad campaign. What’s more, one of its students even received a full scholarship to Dartmouth College.
Rachel Schwarz isn’t just giving back to the community; she’s honoring her mother through her work with the Greater Newark Conservancy. A native of Newark, Rachel decided to become involved with the organization after her mother’s death—her mother had supported the Greater Newark Conservancy decades ago. Rachel joined the nonprofit’s board and has served on various committees, including finance, nominating and board development. Through her efforts, Rachel has helped to secure a $1.5 million challenge grant from a major funder to support the renovation of a historic former synagogue.
Lawrence D. Sprung
When Lawrence Sprung’s brother in law, Keith, took his own life, the financial advisor was determined to turn his personal grief into meaningful action. He began volunteering at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), whose mission is to help those who are suffering or affected by suicide. Over the past 15 years, he has played a critical role during two rounds of strategic planning and has served as a prolific fundraiser for AFSP, raising more than $1 million.
Global Impact Award
Giving is personal. For some, that means looking beyond their own communities. Our Global Impact Award honors financial advisors who have helped vulnerable populations living in some of the worst conditions in the world over the past three or more years.
Richard S. Brown
Richard Brown knows how isolating hearing loss can be. He watched his sister lose her hearing in her early 30s. Determined to help others struggling to connect with the world, he made it his mission to give the gift of hearing to people from all over the world, from Mexico to Honduras to India. For the past eight years, Richard has supported the Starkey Hearing Foundation, serving as a major fundraiser, strategic partner and on-the-ground volunteer. As current president and board chair, Richard was instrumental in creating 64 worldwide AfterCare programs where patients can receive services such as re-counseling, batteries and repair services.
When Matt MacLean traveled to Nepal for a “vision trip,” he came home with a new purpose: providing clean water to the people of Nepal and India. In 2015, he founded the nonprofit Quenched, with the mission of bringing safe water to people living in extreme poverty. Every year, Matt travels to Nepal and India, visiting with programmatic partners and seeing the work firsthand. Since its founding, Quenched has built more than 300 new water well resources in remote communities.
Ten years ago, Mike and his wife traveled to Uganda to bring home their adopted daughter JosieLove. The 3 ½-year old weighed only 15 pounds and suffered from TB and malaria and was HIV positive. Sadly, she wasn’t alone in her predicament. It wasn’t enough for Mike Mayernick to help one child in need; he wanted to help more like her. Mike and his wife founded a new nonprofit, Love One International, to provide a place where kids could get needed care—love, food and medicine in a country where resources are extremely scarce. Over the past four years, thanks to Mike’s commitment, more than 24,000 children and families in the Masindi District of Uganda have received comprehensive services, including food, water, medicine.
Volunteer of the Year Award
Time, not money, is our most precious resource. Invest in Others’ Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes financial advisors who have gone above and beyond over the past three or more years giving their time, talent, and energy to make a lasting impact on the organization, those it serves, and the community at large.
Wayne F. Holly
Wayne Holly has spent much of his life helping children in need. For 20 years, as a foster parent, he has taken care of more than 54 foster children. But Wayne wanted to do even more to make an impact in the lives of children and help prevent the cycle of devastation that physical and sexual abuse can do to both children and families. Six years ago, he began volunteering with Bivona Child Advocacy Center, which provides a safe, welcoming space where children can begin to heal from childhood trauma. As current board chair, Wayne is an active fundraiser, securing significant, multi-year pledges. He is also a hands-on volunteer, greeting families as they come in and talking with children as they arrive for services.
Brock Moseley is a living example of what happens when people invest in their communities. As a child, Brock was mentored by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles (BBBSLA). Now, as an adult, he’s paying it forward. Over the past 24 years, he has mentored four young people at BBBSLA and watched with pride as they graduate from high school and attend college. As current board chairman, he launched the organization’s first Small Business Workplace Mentoring Program—in partnership with his firm, Miracle Mile Advisors—which is designed to connect young people with college and workforce readiness skills. Since 2015, all the participants in the program have graduated from high school and 97% have continued to higher education.
Kevin M. Nast
Like many people in the Detroit area, Kevin Nast was heartsick to see the city he loves struggle with crime, poverty and a history of broken promises. But instead of looking from afar, Kevin decided to roll up his sleeves and help revitalize the city he so loves. He began volunteering with Life Remodeled, which aims to invest $5 million in cash, labor and materials into one Detroit neighborhood annually. For five years, Kevin and his wife have volunteered together on Fridays, working on various service projects. In addition to being a top financial donor, fundraiser and committee member, Kevin has served as the lead volunteer bus driver during the annual Six Day Project, coordinating the movement of thousands of volunteers from registration sites to work sites daily. During Kevin’s tenure, Life Remodeled has beautified and repaired four-square miles of Detroit.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Between work and family, many people have little time for anything else. Our Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes financial advisors who have made giving back a key part of their lives. Nominees in this category have helped to grow and evolve a nonprofit over a period of 20 or more years.
For 40 years, Eric has been a tireless supporter and advocate to the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, which provides scholarships for the children of Marines and Navy Corpsmen in-need. During his long tenure, Eric—who wanted to honor his late father’s legacy—has served in a variety of roles, including fundraiser, treasurer, vice chair and acting president. Unlike other scholarship programs, the Marine Corp Scholarship Foundation is the only military scholarship provider to make an award to every single eligible student who applies. In the four decades since Eric has been lending his time and talents to the organization, the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation has grown from a small, informal organization awarding a few scholarships a year to a vibrant fund awarding more than 2,500 scholarships worth more than $8 million annually.
Andy Schwartz believes that all students should have the same opportunities, regardless of zip code. For more than two decades, Andy has been a supporter of New Jersey SEEDS, an educational nonprofit designed to confront the lack of opportunities for high-achieving, low-income students in struggling school districts. As an early supporter and board member, Andy has served in various roles, including speaker and student mentor, golf chair and as an employer of multiple SEEDS’ alumni during summer internships. In 2016, Andy helped SEEDS launch its College Scholars Program, which assists in placing high-performing students with very selective colleges. Two years later, 100% of students have earned spots in colleges, with 85% of them going on to highly competitive schools.
Fred Taylor’s connection to the Children’s Hospital Colorado runs personal and deep—the hospital saved his son’s life after he suffered a near-fatal brain aneurism. Moved by the care and comfort he received; Fred committed to giving back to other families coping with similar circumstances. He joined the hospital foundation’s investment committee and has worked to ensure that Children’s Hospital Colorado can continue to serve as a strong, viable health provider for years to come. Throughout the past 18 years, Fred has served as secretary, treasurer, investment chair and, most recently, chair of the board of trustees—and continues to build relationships on behalf of the hospital foundation. He is reminded of how grateful he is for the care his family received every time he looks at his son, who is now grown with a happy, healthy baby girl of his own.
We congratulate all our remarkable nominees. Invest in Others will announce the winners at our gala on Thursday, September 26 at the Westin Boston Waterfront.