Michael D.Wild

Managing Partner, WFP Law

Charitable involvements: 2-1-1 Broward, HANDY (Helping Abused, Neglected and Disadvantaged Youth), Arc Broward, Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County, United Way of Broward County, and more

Why it’s personal: “When my grandfather died in 2001, the family began receiving letter after letter from charities across the country thanking him for his support over the years. … My involvement in the local nonprofit community was one borne out of business. I had just started my law firm and was looking to network. Happily, my professional success over the last 10 years has put me in a position to follow in my grandfather’s footsteps and give back, not only in time and talent, but treasure as well.”

Did you know? “For the American Cancer Society, I came up with the idea to wear a loud, pink sports coat all 31 days of October and sell sponsorships on my back to both raise awareness for the cause and for the businesses that donate to it. … This year, I raised $9,000. … The front of the jacket now is signed by survivors or family members of survivors and the back is sponsors.”

Sources of pride: “I always warn the CEOs and development directors that each charity gets one big idea from me. For 2-1-1 Broward, I created the mascot Captain 2-1-1 and dress in that costume multiple times per year to raise awareness for the charity. For United Way of Broward County, I created an affinity group called Envision United, dedicated to professionals looking for the ability to donate but also to work ‘hands on’ with the charity while growing their businesses through networking and professional development. The group raised over $100,000 of new money within the first six months of existence. It was such a hit that I was asked to start a similar group for the Boys & Girls Clubs.
“What makes me most proud about these efforts is that they went viral, with chapters from across the state and country taking note and implementing versions of their own. Any time I can get Broward County nonprofits on the map, it is a huge success.”

Words to live by: “As a father of two, there is no greater fear than that of my children being sick or hurt. The nonprofits that I feel strongest about are those that assist children. … My kids are lucky. I am lucky. I think that I owe it to those kids who aren’t as lucky to do whatever I can to help them.”

Andrew Koenig

Chief Operating Officer, City Furniture

Charitable involvements: Covenant House, American Cancer Society/Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, Habitat for Humanity, American Heart Association, Junior Achievement of South Florida, and more

Why it’s personal: “Watching my mom [Doreen] fight her battle with breast cancer for two years [she died in July 2015 at age 62] was the worst thing I’ve ever seen up close in my life. Our family and City Furniture will forever participate to help find a cure for this horrible disease. Our entire company participates in fundraising activities throughout October [which is breast cancer awareness month] … our drivers and sales associates wear pink shirts to [promote early detection]. Our Pink Truck drives all over South Florida in October [with stops at more than a dozen showrooms from Vero Beach to Naples to Miami] to raise breast cancer awareness.
“We’re already seeing great [scientific] advancements in this area. We’re confident the disease will be killed in my lifetime, so my daughter and sons don’t have to worry about the risk.”

Sources of pride: “City Furniture has been a supporter of Covenant House [which provides housing and supportive services for youth facing homelessness] for more than 40 years; we host an annual golf tournament in their honor. That tournament has raised more than $1 million since its inception; that money has helped a lot of underprivileged youth get back on their feet. Fighting cancer is tough; it’s a long battle. With Covenant House, you can see the results of our [partnership] more quickly; these young kids turn their lives around. It’s one of our company’s proudest accomplishments, something that we can really see, touch and feel through the stories we’ve heard over the years.”

Words to live by: “My father [Keith] and mother have always been about giving back. I think it’s part of our family spirit and our upbringing as Catholics. We have a very precious amount of time on this Earth, and I want our family and business to be known for doing what’s right, helping others that need help and trying to make this world a little bit better than the way we found it.”

Richard Tommer

Chief Operating Hunk, College Hunks Hauling Junk & Moving

Charitable involvements: Rebuilding Together Broward, HANDY (Helping Abused, Neglected and Disadvantaged Youth), Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, American Cancer Society, Honor Flight South Florida,
and more

Why it’s personal: “As someone who was more or less raised by a World War II veteran [his grandfather], there is a special place in my heart for those who served. So, I’ve been proud to be involved with Honor Flight South Florida [which flies U.S. veterans to Washington, D.C., at no cost, to visit the memorials dedicated to their era of service]. All of the proceeds from a dinner I helped to organize, for example, went to fund an Honor Flight from South Florida. I’ve spoken to several veterans who’ve participated in the program, and their response about the Honor Flight experience is always the same. They say it was the best day of their life.”

Did you know: “HANDY has had a huge impact on my life. Its mission is to achieve positive, lasting change for youth by providing life skills, education and a supportive community [services are all free to the youth]. HANDY offers case management, youth development, economic self-sufficiency and independent living services in the most dedicated, selfless manner that I’ve ever seen. My interactions with the staff and youth have given me great appreciation for the work that is done in our community to transform lost futures into tomorrow’s leaders. If I were a lost youth, I would want HANDY on my side.”

Sources of pride: “The things we do with Rebuilding Together Broward is special because of [how it directly impacts] someone’s life. [Note: The organization seeks to eliminate unsafe living conditions for low-income homeowners who are veterans, elderly and/or disabled.] There was a soldier we helped who served his tour in the Middle East. When he returned to South Florida, he was run over by a car. He’s now a quadriplegic. So, we went in and retrofit his house to accommodate [his condition].
“There was a woman whose home, where she’d lived for 30 years, was completely destroyed in Hurricane Irma. The roof and trusses collapsed, and for several months she was living with no electric and no running water. Further, as a low-income retiree, she didn’t have insurance on her home. Rebuilding Together put a plan into place to completely rebuild her home at no cost.”

Words to live by: “I’m fortunate to be able to pay it forward and not back. I try to leave the world a better place than when the day started. You just hope you can make a difference.”

Bob Birdsong

President/CEO, OK Generators

Charitable involvements: 2-1-1 Broward, Broward Health Foundation, Junior Achievement of South Florida, and more

Why it’s personal: “My mother and my cousin were both victims of breast cancer, so that cause has become very important to me; when I aligned myself with Broward Health Foundation, I also aligned myself with Tammy Gail’s Glam-a-thon [which raises money for breast cancer initiatives]. But I will tell you, children and babies are my soft spot. The first time I walked into the neonatal intensive care unit at Broward Health, I wrote a tear-stained check. It was so touching to see these babies—which literally can fit in the palm of your hand—with tubes running in and out of them. Those doctors are giving them a real chance at life, where, four or five years ago, maybe they wouldn’t have had that chance. I actually had to rewrite that first check because my tears smeared the ink.”

Did you know: “My family was very middle-class, and not involved in the community at all. My philanthropy all came from being in business and getting to the point where I wanted to give back. … I was invited to a 2-1-1 Broward breakfast. I didn’t even know what 2-1-1 was at the time. I saw the work they were doing, and then I met with their development director at the time, who brought me onto the board. After six months, as fate would have it, the vice chair had to rotate off the board. A year after getting involved, I was chair of the board of 2-1-1. From there, I found other causes that interested me, and it’s grown from there. At one point, I was on nine different boards.”

Sources of pride: “As the foundation arm of Broward Health, we pick our causes. Two years ago, when I was chair, I was very proud that we raised $20.6 million to rename the Chris Evert Children’s Hospital as the Salah Foundation Children’s Hospital. We turned the neonatal [intensive care unit] into all private rooms with private nurses; it was a total transformation. The care always has been top notch, but to walk through and see families within arm’s distance of each other … a baby can be coding and dying three feet away from another family. It has to affect you. That doesn’t happen anymore. … I believe that’s going to be one of my legacies to the community—the total revitalization of that hospital.”

Words to live by: “There are almost 6,000 nonprofits registered in Broward County. All of these wonderful causes are fighting for the same dollars—and they all deserve the same dollars. If you’re a philanthropist, where do you give your money and your time? The answer is simple: You give to the causes that most touch your heart. … You want to help everyone, but at a certain point, you can’t. You spread yourself too thin. So, I had to do that. I had to figure out what mattered most to me and direct my efforts in those areas.”

Harry Hollub

President/CEO, Hollub Homes

Charitable involvements: Rock ’N Run under Hollub House (the charitable foundation of Hollub Homes), which also partners with other community organizations

Why it’s personal: “The value of community and altruism is something that was instilled in me from a very young age. … My family and I have participated in countless activities, such as Mitzvah Days for the Kosher Food Bank, and the preparation of meals and baskets for those in our community falling on hard times.
“Since 2013, my involvement in charity work has increased exponentially with the formation of Rock ’N Run Fight ’N Heal Pink ’N Teal, a 5K and Zumba class that raises funds for breast and ovarian cancer nonprofits. My family founded the organization in 2013 after my wife Amy’s battle with ovarian cancer as a way to give back to the community that supported us during her ordeal. The mission is to unite the community in the fight against breast and ovarian cancer and raise awareness to aid in prevention and early detection. The funds raised are directed toward research, education and assistance to women in under-resourced areas in Miami. It’s a full-fledged community effort between us, Temple Beth Am, the village of Pinecrest, and dozens of community sponsors and volunteers every fall.”

Did you know: “The most lasting impact I’ve had is meeting all the participants at the Rock ’N Run every year. One 18-year-old beautiful young lady, in particular, really touched us. [Her name was] Kim. She was so grateful that we were raising awareness for ovarian cancer, a cancer not typically garnering much attention. She was undergoing treatment at the time—bald and courageous and determined. She attended the event for three years in a row. Sadly, the cancer beat her. We will never forget her.”

Sources of pride: “My family relies on me to raise a large portion of the corporate sponsorships for the Rock ’N Run, which I happily do every year. This year, my efforts contributed to 75 percent of the final fundraising amount of more than $100,000. I’m proud to be a strong driving force behind this amazing organization.
“This year’s success surpassed prior years. It was undoubtedly due to the years of building relationships and community involvement. We had nearly 500 participants, many of whom are cancer survivors, family members and friends of cancer survivors.”

Words to live by: “We have a motto in our office that if any one of my employees has a passion for another charity, I want them to get involved and [I want to] give them time off to [pursue] that. … It’s a philosophy. It’s a different way of doing things, and it seems to work. Basically, it just makes me feel good.”

Bill Feinberg

President, Allied Kitchen & Bath

Charitable involvements: Habitat for Humanity of Broward, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (Southern Florida chapter), breast cancer awareness, and more

Why it’s personal: “I have to give credit to our parents [Feinberg is one of four boys in his family]; it started many years ago and became the core value of our company.”
• “About 25 years ago, a woman named Nancy Daly walked into our small showroom and introduced us to Habitat for Humanity of Broward; it’s been a love affair ever since. We’ve consistently donated to the ReStore [which sells new and used furniture, home supplies and building materials]—we’ve easily donated enough goods to the ReStore to build five houses.”
• “When my dad passed away from leukemia [in 2003], I thought I could raise some money in his honor. I got a little carried away, raising almost $100,000 in less than three months. That got me into another level of philanthropy, and I soon became chairman of the board for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Over a four-year period, I put together an incredible board, bringing [greater] awareness and raising millions of dollars for our community to fight this terrible disease.”

Sources of pride: “After becoming involved in the board of Habitat for Humanity, I worked my way up to chair there [a two-year tenure that ended in 2017]. We worked with community leaders to take Habitat in Broward to new heights; it’s greatly respected as one of the best builders of affordable housing in all of Florida. In 2017, Habitat was awarded a $1 million grant from the Mary N. Porter Legacy Fund of the Community Foundation of Broward. It’s not just about building houses—it’s about building a better Broward, one home at a time. It’s not just a handout; it’s a hand up for hard-working and well-deserving families who want the American Dream of home ownership.”

Words to live by: “The four years that I spent as chair of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society probably had one of the greatest impacts on my life. I felt I owed it to my dad, who was my best friend and mentor. Not only did I immerse myself as far as learning about the disease, but I also traveled the country representing the society, meeting with researchers and scientists. I’d return to the local level and rally up my board to raise money and raise awareness. … Watching someone you love suffer—and quickly go from a healthy man to death in six weeks—made me want to work toward finding a cure.”

William H. Kennedy III

Founder/Managing Member, Kennedy Legal Team
Sergeant, Florida Highway Patrol Auxiliary

Charitable involvements: Florida Highway Patrol Advisory Council and Education Advisory Board for the city of Parkland

Why it’s personal: “From the age of 11, I began working as a busboy at a seafood restaurant and was raised by my mother and three older sisters after my parents’ divorce. There were many times when we had no running water or electric, but my mother would always figure out a way to put food on the table and make certain we studied hard and stayed in school.
“But it was a trip to an orphanage in the Dominican Republic [on a trip for his wife’s job, which supports the orphanage] that opened a floodgate of emotions from my childhood. I witnessed children with no mother, no father, or no place to call home.
“My wife, Maria, and I decided that day we would try to give back to the less fortunate in any way we could. In fact, our 12-year-old daughter, Angelina, has been working for the orphanage with us since the age of 7 to provide clothing, toys, books and other necessities the children truly need.”

Did you know: “I am most proud of the Florida Highway Memorial Wall for the fallen troopers killed in the line of duty [located in Davie]. It was an honored opportunity to not only fund but put together the wall with my own hands, with the help of some really amazing troopers, including its originator, Major Robert Chandler. We now hold an annual memorial for the families of the fallen troopers so they know they’ll never be forgotten.”

Sources of pride: “What our community, including the teachers and students of Park Trails Elementary, have done to assist us with donations for the children in the orphanage is beyond belief. … There are parents who are always dropping off bags of clothes and toys. … [We’re constantly] doing everything we can to help them.
“I am also currently on the Florida Highway Patrol Advisory Council. … We’re working on trying to help the people that suffered through the hurricane up in the Panhandle. … For troopers who were severely injured in the line of duty, [we] help their families and help them while they’re in hospitals, [in an attempt to] offset some of their bills and expenses.”

Words to live by: “How [giving] has changed me is just watching my kids do it. That’s the most exciting part. Watching my daughter, how she got involved [with the orphanage] and how she’s making an impact on some of the younger kids. They don’t realize that by giving up a toy, they’re learning the ideology of what giving is all about.”

Patrick Daoud

Owner, Daoud’s Fine Jewelry

Charitable involvements: Jessica June Children’s Cancer Foundation, A Prom to Remember, Glam-a-Thon, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Crockett Foundation, and more

Why it’s personal: “Life is just so unfair sometimes. Pediatric cancer is an example. It’s just devastating. A woman like Sandra Muvdi, who lost her only daughter at age 7 from [acute myelogenous leukemia] … she’s so dedicated to her work [Muvdi is the founder of Jessica June Children’s Cancer Foundation] that you just want to be a part of what she’s doing.
“What also happened was that a dear friend of mine in the jewelry business, who was involved with Jessica June, died of cancer. When I was nominated for Man of the Year for Leukemia & Lymphoma, we raised more than $100,000, which helped to create two research grants. One of them was named for my friend.”

Did you know: Daoud’s is currently involved with more than 40 different causes, including Friends of Birch State Park, which helps to preserve and enhance Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, as well as the Royal Dames of Cancer Research. Recently, at the AutoNation Drive Pink event, a Daoud’s heart necklace was auctioned off, raising $70,000 for breast cancer research. “We have a sub-organization in our store that does only charity coordination,” Daoud says. “I just can’t say no. I realize how fortunate I am. It’s beyond a blessing to be able to help.”

Sources of pride: “At A Prom to Remember, there are 200 teens battling cancer that get to experience one night where they don’t have to think about chemo and radiation. They get to dress up and feel their best for this amazing night of prom. Seeing the faces as they dance the night away … every time I attend, I get tears in my eyes.”
• “Through my involvement with Jessica June, we have sponsored many families that have a child going through cancer. That family has to give up everything to fight the fight with their child. Each family—their story and their journey—touches my heart. We want to help in any way to let those families know they have support and a helping hand from us, so they can worry about [the most] important thing—their child.”

Words to live by: “For three generations prior to me, my family has been involved in philanthropy and in their community. Each generation wanted to continue that outreach. Being the fourth generation, I wanted to step it up a notch—so that the fifth generation can follow in our footsteps.”

 

Making a Difference

For additional information about some of the organizations supported by Lifestyle’s Men of Philanthropy, visit the following websites.

  • 2-1-1 Broward: 211-broward.org
  • Arc Broward: arcbroward.com
  • American Cancer Society: cancer.org
  • American Heart Association: heart.org
  • A Prom to Remember: apromtoremember.org
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Broward County: bgcbc.org
  • Broward Health Foundation: browardhealthfoundation.org
  • Covenant House: covenanthousefl.org
  • Crockett Foundation: crockettfoundation.org
  • Florida Highway Patrol Advisory Council (trooper memorial fund): fhpadvisorycouncil.org
  • Glam-a-thon: glam-a-thon.com
  • Habitat for Humanity of Broward: habitatbroward.org
  • HANDY (Helping Abused, Neglected and Disadvantaged Youth): handyinc.org
  • Honor Flight South Florida: honorflightsouthflorida.org
  • Jessica June Children’s Cancer Foundation: jjccf.org
  • Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital: jdch.com
  • Junior Achievement of South Florida: jasouthflorida.org
  • Leukemia & Lymphoma Society: lls.org
  • Rebuilding Together Broward: rebuildingtogetherbroward.org
  • Rock ’N Run: rocknrun.org
  • The Royal Dames of Cancer Research: royaldames.org
  • United Way of Broward County: unitedwaybroward.org