Sereno Group was fortunate this past week to have Edie Lutnick, Executive Director of the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund, speak to the entire company.
Ms. Lutnick is the Executive Director of The Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund, a 501(c)3 non-profit charity established days after the 9/11 World Trade Center tragedy. Cantor Fitzgerald lost 658 employees when the towers collapsed, including Ms. Lutnick’s brother Gary, and the fund was established to assist the surviving Cantor Fitzgerald families.
Ms. Lutnick, a labor lawyer at the time, had an office on the 101st floor of one of the towers but was out of the office when the attacks occurred. Her other brother, Howard, Cantor Fitzgerald’s CEO, was fortunately taking his son to his first day of kindergarten when the planes hit the towers. At Howard’s urging, Ms. Lutnick formed and directed The Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund and over the next 5 years, Cantor Fitzgerald gave 25% of its revenues to surviving families and, for 10 years, provided each family with health insurance coverage.
Ms. Lutnick has written a book about the tragedy and the aftermath’s journey, Unbroken Bond: The Untold Story of How 658 Cantor Fitzgerald Families Faced the Tragedy of 9/11 and Beyond. It is a remarkable story of Cantor Fitzgerald’s corporate responsibility to the surviving families.
The Foundation has expanded to include assistance to those affected by terrorism, natural disasters and emergencies. Ms. Lutnick is presently overseeing the fund’s $10,000,000 disaster relief program for victims of Superstorm Sandy.
For over an hour, Ms. Lutnick shared her personal experience from that time, the challenges of creating the foundation, and the moving and inspiring stories of giving and triumph. Everyone in attendance was rapt in silence and listened intently for the entire presentation.
Both inspiring and humbling, having the opportunity to have Ms. Lutnick speak to our group allowed us to better understand how we, as a socially conscious company, can make a positive difference in the world.
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