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AB 135: Transforming Tragedy Into HOPE And Showing The World That LOVE Is Stronger Than Hate | #NYSTY
Jeff Parness, a nice Jewish Boy from Brooklyn, builds Methodist Churches in the cornfields of Indiana with Amish people – as a way of saying “thank you.”
Since 9/11, Jeff has founded five non-profit volunteer organizations which have engaged over 600,000 people in acts of hope and healing and inspired millions through international media coverage.
Jeff serves as Executive Director and Board Member of New York Says Thank You Foundation, a growing national and global volunteer service organization which is creating innovative and systemic change in the disaster relief community.
Over 100,000 people have volunteered in New York Says Thank You Foundation’s various programs including its signature 9/11 Anniversary “barn-raising” program; historic 50-state restoration of The National 9/11 Flag; Hurricane Sandy First Responder Rebuilding Fund; and its growing Stars of HOPE community arts program which has accelerated the healing process of millions of disaster survivors in 105 communities and 20 countries. New York Says Thank You Foundation also engaged 500,000 students in its 9/12 Generation Project citizenship initiative based on the educational version of the full-length feature film New York Says Thank You which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2011. In 2015, 9/12 Generation Project was spun out to a leading national education organization, American Public Education Foundation.
As an outgrowth of New York Says Thank You Foundation, Jeff also founded CJ’s Bus Foundation which provided emergency child care services for children in the immediate aftermath of disasters; Tony’s Room which built “clean-room” environments in the homes of children battling Leukemia; and Build For LIFE which rebuilds the homes of cancer patients in disaster areas and empowers cancer survivors as volunteers.
Supported by a $2Million, 5-year Challenge Grant from Jonathan and Lizzie Tisch, Jeff is now focused on institutionalizing New York Says Thank You Foundation around two main goals: empowering 1,000,000 people to volunteer from their homes and offices through Stars of HOPE® Box of HOPE and empowering 100,000 cancer survivors to rebuild the homes of cancer patients in disaster areas through Build For LIFE.
Prior to his work in the non-profit sector, Jeff had an extensive background in telecommunications finance and venture capital. He helped to raise over $150 million in private equity and public financing for every stage company from startup through IPO in all market cycles.
In 2001, Jeff co-founded Elematics, an optical network software company backed by Warburg Pincus and started by VenturiFX, a seed-stage venture capital fund he co-founded. Jeff also helped raise $77 million for Arbinet (Nasdaq:ARBX), the world’s leading real-time exchange for global telecommunications capacity and the highest single day performing IPO on the Nasdaq in 2004. Jeff’s decision making process in the initial venture capital financing of Arbinet is featured in a Harvard Business School case study which has been taught at leading universities nationwide. Jeff also helped to manage the initial public offering process and served as the first Director of Investor Relations for IDT Corporation (NYSE: IDT), a leading global telecommunications and energy company.
A graduate of the University of Michigan, Jeff served in The White House Office of Public Liaison for Defense and Foreign Policy under President Reagan.
Jeff has received a number of awards for his public service with The New York Says Thank You Foundation including The New York Post Liberty Medal Ambassador Award, The Melvin Jones Fellow for Humanitarian Service from the Lions Club International Foundation, The Champion of the Community Award from The New York Mets, the 1010WINS Tomorrow’s Newsmakers Award for Public Service, The Daughters of the American Revolution Founder’s Medal for Patriotism, and the National Independent Flag Dealers Association George Washington Award. Jeff was also recognized as a CNN Hero in 2011.
Jeff lives in New York City with his wife Sandra Hauser, an attorney at DENTONS, and his two sons, Evan and Josh, who were the inspiration behind the creation of The New York Says Thank You Foundation.
This episode is sponsored by Liberty Tax.
Connect With The Guest!
- Twitter Handle: @NYSTY912
- Facebook: @NYSTY912
- Website: newyorksaysthankyou.org/
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