Each month we take one of our board members and let you know a few things that are not in their profiles. Don is Assistant Treasurer and assists in the care and custody of all funds of GNL.
Summary of Don’s background
I grew up in Great Neck, Long Island, and was lucky enough to have as good an education as this country can offer in attending Andover, Harvard College, and Harvard Business School before embarking on a career in real estate investment and development. My wife, Arlene, and I came to Naples in 2002 because we did not care for the east coast of Florida and friends had told us how much we might like the west coast better. Once here, we were reconnected with Jack Richards whom we had known while he was Dean of the Faculty at Andover and I was a Trustee in the eighties. Jack insisted that we both join GNL, so I entered Class VIII and Arlene followed in Class IX.
What exactly does an Assistant Treasurer Do?
As Assistant Treasurer, I’m there to assist the Treasurer. It is a training position to familiarize the person expected to be the next year’s treasurer with how the budget is put together and how the reporting system works. It has also enabled me to work closely with Treasurer Rick Emler, Ed Boyer and Jackie Pierce, both on the Finance Committee, and I’m now a member of a task force formed to look at the GNL operating model and its sustainability.
Tell us one thing our members do not know about you.
That I am a lover of classical music and regularly attend Classic Chamber concerts at the Sugden, Naples Philharmonic classical concerts, and, as an Overseer of the Boston Symphony, attend all their concerts at Tanglewood while living in our summer home in the Berkshire Mountains in western Mass.
What Hobbies Do you Have?
I love the beach, the New York Mets and the football Giants, having been a season ticket holder to both when living in New York or Long Island.
The Last Book you read? Your last trip? Something else?
Arlene and I spent three weeks in Europe last summer first in London, Salzburg and Vienna while traveling with the Boston Symphony and then on our own in Amsterdam and Lac D’Annecy in the French Alps before spending the last eight days in Paris and Avignon as a result of a raffle we won which was donated by Mad Travel to Arts Naples Worldfest, another local arts organization we support.
How has GNL influenced your life?
With us, GNL worked as it was meant to work. We both had been volunteers elsewhere and GNL introduced us to various Naples needs. I joined the boards of Classic Chamber Concerts and Immokalee Housing and Family Services, later becoming chair of both. Arlene became active with The Pace School for Girls, later becoming Treasurer and The Shelter for Abused Women and Children, later becoming Chair of the Board of Directors. Along the way, I was President of the Harvard Club of Naples, having previously held that job in New York, and President of Temple Shalom. Arlene is now Treasurer of the League of Women Voters.
What is your view of the future of GNL, or how might we make it a better organization?
GNL will survive because we have so many committed and proven leaders who will step in to sustain and improve it year after year. We graduate new talent every year, many of whom make their way into leadership. This is one Naples nonprofit that won’t suffer from a talent drain or burn out.