I Believe The Children Are Our Future - NFTE Awards Dinner and Samsung's 4 Seasons of Hope 3rd Annual Dinner
By Al Berrios (contact Al Berrios)
Sidney Weinberg always considered himself the entrepreneur and as long as he was around, Goldman, Sachs wouldn't need any of its bankers sullying their white gloves developing relationships with clients. Even as a young man, he exhibited entrepreneurial skills - during the 1907 banking panic, depositors would stand in long lines for hours to withdraw their money from banks; Sidney made $10 standing in line for 2 people per day.
So it was with extreme courage that John Whitehead stood up to this grand leader and suggested that other Goldman, Sachs leaders participate in bringing in new business for the firm in preparation for a time without Sidney.
When Mr. Whitehead shared this story with me at the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurs Awards dinner (and fundraiser) at the Marriott Marquis recently, I recognized that not all entrepreneurs start their own companies. Sometimes, they lead initiatives within organizations.
John Whitehead, former CEO of Goldman, Sachs is a friendly old-timer. You'd never know he was one of the most powerful men on Wall Street. And this was indicative of the sort of attendees at this ceremony. Along with financial giants, Connie Chung was hanging around interviewing; U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao greeted the (very rude) audience - Secretary Chao, already unpopular because of a "jobless recovery", also pitched Bush, clearly not a friend of entrepreneurs; and a host of other interesting characters.
Most important, this event continued to reinforce not just an entrepreneurial spirit, but a supportive community in which the leaders of tomorrow can get guidance and support.
Another organization, Samsung's 4 Seasons of Hope, also strives to support the leaders of tomorrow with the healthcare, safety, and services they need to see a bright future. Their recent annual dinner at the always-magnificent Cipriani's at Grand Central in New York City, attracted such luminaries as Mayor Bloomberg, former mayor Giuliani, Steve Forbes, NFL coach Bill Belichick, and NBA great Willis Reed, not to mention foundation partners Magic Johnson, Boomer Esiahson, Joe Torre, and Jon Bon Jovi, who also performed. (Incidentally, there's no personally sadder sight than what age does to a rock band). Corporate big-wigs were also aplenty, including Samsung, Circuit City, and Sears. And for masters of ceremony, Regis and Joy Philbin.
And what does all this money and power get you? An organization that is providing opportunities to children of the communities they serve, so that these children will never face the same obstacles their parents faced.
Overall, both events merit 5 pluses (+ + + + +).
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