On Thanksgiving, we give thanks for our blessings. In the media business we share the blessing of being a part of a community that understands the importance of giving back and contributing to the greater good. On Monday November 29, the John A. Reisenbach Foundation, chaired by industry veteran Jim Rosenfield, will hold its annual networking event that personifies our industry's communal spirit and commitment to giving back. The event honors Bill Koenigsberg, founder and CEO of Horizon Media, and Bob Liodice, Chairman of the Association of National Advertisers. Michael Kassan, chairman of MediaLink, is event chairman. The cocktail event, to be held at 6:30 PM at the Harmonie Club, hosts an industry "who's who" from media companies and agencies, many of whom have actively supported the Foundation since its inception. Honorary chairpersons for this year's event are Zenith Media Vice Chairman Peggy Green; Turner Entertainment President of Ad Sales, Marketing and Sports David Levy; Paley Center for Media President Pat Mitchell, and New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. For more information and to order tickets, visit http://www.reisenbachfoundation.org/ or call Ronny Venable at (212) 935-1840.
Nineteen years ago, the John A. Reisenbach Foundation (http://www.reisenbachfoundation.org/) was formed by media, advertising and communications executives in memory of John, the son of then Warner Bros president of worldwide marketing Sandy Reisenbach. John, a beloved TV industry executive, was shot and killed on the streets of lower Manhattan while on a pay phone to a colleague. "I find that media and communications people are the most giving and most wonderful group," Sandy says. "We work together and compete, but when push comes to shove we all come together as a small family. It is incredibly important to give back, especially in times like these," Sandy believes. "When you go home at night you've accomplished something beyond work. When I think of what has been given to the Foundation established in John's name, I feel like I may have lost a son but something very good was created. It will never replace John, but those who keep giving to the Foundation keep his memory alive and give to others in ways that would make John very happy and proud."
The Reisenbach Foundation is dedicated to supporting a better and safer New York City. The Foundation provides scholarships for students at John Jay College, supports child abuse prevention programs, assists the "Safe Horizons" violence prevention program, works with police on Crime Stoppers, and many other worthwhile programs and initiatives. Contributions, says Sandy Reisenbach, "get right down on the street. You can see what your contributions accomplish and how it directly affects New Yorkers."
The November 29 event is a celebration and reaffirmation in John Reisenbach's memory when people in the media and advertising industry come together to do good for the city and to remember John and renew the commitment of the media industry to New York. Media companies need to give thanks for our blessings and support those causes that differentiate and define us as a community. Everyone in the industry is welcome to join us in the spirit and memory of John A. Reisenbach, the All-American Television executive, friend and colleague who lives on through your support. Visit http://www.reisenbachfoundation.org/, call Ronny Venable at (212) 935-1840 and give thanks this Thanksgiving Day for being part of a community that cares and remembers.
Robert Lilley, who was among the founders of the Foundation and served as chairman for 12 years, explains the organization was created following a memorial service for John as his friends and colleagues gathered and "discussed the pattern of unsolved murders in New York. We were all in the communications and advertising industry and we felt we should try to do something about this rather than let it pass. We met for some time trying to determine what to do and how to do it and someone passed along the phrase 'ruthless focus.' Many organizations try to do many things for many people. We decided to have a mission of making New York a safer and better place to live, to help prevent what happened to John from happening to others."
"When the boys decided to create the Foundation," recalls Sandy Reisenbach, "I wondered if it was appropriate. I appreciated the thought. I was concerned that they wouldn't know what to do; they weren't fund raisers. But they were determined they were going to do something about it. I have been incredibly impressed. They have a wonderful organization and have done great things for New York City. The foundation is as relevant today as it ever has been. There are people who are dangerous and people we need to protect to the best of our ability. With an economic disaster on our hands there will be a lot of unemployment and crime is likely to increase. Programs will be squeezed by the government and private donors. Getting support and funding is more important then ever. This is when they need it the most." Although he hesitated to single out individuals since "so many have contributed so much," Sandy offered thanks to Lilley, Jim Rosenfield, Larry Schatz, Arnie Semsky, Kassan, Mike Weiden, George Karalekas, Jayne Wallace, Jim Beloyannis, Gerry Byrne, Lou Festa and Scott Kushner.