On June 4th, over 160 guests – including board members, business partners, staff members, leadership and friends of Fedcap – attended Fedcap’s third annual Spring Cocktail Party at Landmark on the Park at 160 Central Park West.
The event honored Carl Weisbrod, Chair of the New York City Planning Commission and former Executive Director and board member of Wildcat Service Corp. Mr. Weisbrod was presented with the Amalia Betanzos Distinguished Service Award both for his service to Wildcat and in recognition of a 35 year career improving the lives of New Yorkers – as president of the 42nd Street Development Project and Economic Development Corporation, among other leadership positions.
“Amalia Betanzos was a friend of Fedcap and a remarkable, beloved member of our community,” said Fedcap President and CEO Christine McMahon. “I can think of no more deserving honoree of this prestigious award than Carl Weisbrod.”
The award, named for the late Executive Director of Wildcat and distinguished public servant to the City of New York, had a special significance; Ms. Betanzos recruited Mr. Weisbrod, then a young Legal Services lawyer, to work for her during the administration of former New York City Mayor John V. Lindsay.
“I learned from Amy Betanzos the pleasure of the potential for social change and helping people,” Mr. Weisbrod said. “Amy would be very proud that Wildcat is now part of the Fedcap family, where it continues to grow and serves over 10,000 people per year.”
The individuals who helped in presenting the award to Mr. Weisbrod are distinguished in their own right; Peter Samuels, Bill Grinker and Herb Sturz. Mr. Samuels, who joined Fedcap’s Board of Directors in 2011, is also Chair of the Wildcat board. Herb Sturz, a legendary social innovator in New York City, founded Wildcat and is a co-founder of ReServe. Bill Grinker is a former Commissioner of both HRA and the Planning Commission.
The Spring Cocktail Party also served as the fundraising kickoff for a new kitchen for the Culinary Arts program, part of Fedcap’s Career Design School. The planned kitchen – to be located at Fedcap’s new 210 East 43rd Street location – will more than double the size of current cooking and prep areas. The new kitchen will serve as an incubator for food innovators and entrepreneurs. It will host food craft programs to prepare students for careers as butchers, cheese mongers, bakers and product developers, or become part of the fast-growing farm-to-table movement or join the $9 billion U.S. catering industry.
“Our new, state of the art training kitchen will not only meet today’s food training requirements, but will also have the capacity to triple the number of people that we serve through our Culinary Arts program,” said Fedcap Chief Operating Officer Joseph Giannetto.
Mr. Giannetto acknowledged the ongoing help and support of Dick Cattani, CEO of Restaurant Associates and Robin Cerrati, VP, Human Resources. Restaurant Associates and parent company Compass Group employ many graduates of Fedcap training programs, Mr. Giannetto said.