Downtown Visionary: Edie Lutnick, President of the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund

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Photo: Courtesy of thejdc.convio.net

Edie Lutnick

Edie Lutnick is the President of the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund. The charity, which she and her younger brother Howard Lutnick, the CEO and Chairman of Cantor Fitzgerald LP, founded together, has raised more than $280 million since its inception in the days following 9/11.

ACCOLADES: The Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund first gained national recognition when it donated 25% of revenue funneled by Cantor Fitzgerald to the families of the 9/11 victims’ families. “It was not the norm to give direct financial aid, and in fact it really still isn’t, but it’s something that we felt would be the best way to address the needs of the families, because ultimately I am not the person who is going to decide what’s best for you and what’s best for your family. When we expanded our mission, we found that what means more to people than receiving financial aid is the fact that virtual strangers were concerned for their well-being and ready to support and care for them in whatever way they needed.  That’s the real value of what we are able to provide and the merit of our model.”

Photo: Courtesy of thejdc.convio.net
Photo: Courtesy of thejdc.convio.net

INFLUENCE: The Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund is dedicated to the continuation of its efforts. “I would like the public to understand that the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund has grown beyond just caring for the 9/11 families. We have a mission to give 100% of everything we take in to those in need, whether it’s a natural disaster, an emergency, or an act of terrorism. It is also our honor to support the 200+ charities that we give money to through our annual Charity Day. If the public looks at us as a resource in the face of disaster, if the public starts to realize that we are an organization that can respond quickly, effectively, creatively, with direct financial assistance…they will start looking to us as a charity to which they can donate, and then we will be even more effective than we are now. Because we may have started in the wake of 9/11, but we’re not going anywhere except to do more good in the world.”

ADVICE: “If you find a mission larger than yourself in the face of tragedy, it will not only help you heal, but you will accomplish spectacular things.”