Million Dollar Moments: And the Amazing Professionals Who Helped Make Them Possible

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University of Toledo Press, Nov 21, 2018 - Gifts - 252 pages
"The book features chapters by 18 different resource development professionals and non-profit executives in which they describe the circumstances behind their first, or most meaningful, million or multi-million dollar gift."--Publisher website.

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Book Review by Les Morris, Director of Public Relations, Simon
"Million-Dollar Moments” is a terrific book but I’ve identified one big problem – how to categorize it? It’s a guide for development
professionals sure, but it is also a marvelous and necessary read for anyone aspiring to succeed in the business world or the business of life.
The winning qualities demonstrated by the men and women whose stories make up this compelling volume by Rick Markoff – preparation, listening skills, teamwork, knowing your audience – apply whether you are big-game hunting for an educational institution or applying for the next job in your career!
At its heart, the book is about making connections. As Karen Burns, the Executive Vice President of the Indianapolis Zoological Society and Executive Director of the Indianapolis Prize points out in her chapter, “I think of myself as a connector. I put people together with ideas, needs, and solutions. In other words, I am a fundraiser.”
Who better to chronicle this journey than Rick Markoff? To attend a civic or philanthropic function with Rick is to witness first hand a master class in connecting people with people and organizations to organizations for the benefit of all involved.
Rick’s skill is subtle but as effective as an accomplished athlete who makes daunting physical tasks look easy. He invites you to an event, you have a nice time, and when you fish your car fob out of your coat for the drive back to the office, you pull out three business cards from professionals to whom Rick has introduced you and who he feels can help you in some capacity. It’s happened to me. More than once.
Rick has anthologized these stories so you are there as these crucial connections are being made. The reader feels part of the process as well, perhaps the ultimate ‘connection.’
Not surprisingly, I discovered a personal connection while reading the chapter titled, “Body, Mind, and Spirit,” by Dr. Ken Gladish. Ken’s chapter is about the visionaries who founded the North Suburban YMCA in sleepy Northbrook, Illinois which culminated in the new facility opening in March 1969. I grew up in the subdivision across the street from the North Suburban YMCA and arrived in Northbrook just a few short months after the YMCA opened. I observed firsthand the village’s momentum thanks to new businesses, new religious congregations, and new civic organizations as Ken so aptly described.
I was also struck by one of the ‘lessons’ Ken learned from his own million-dollar moment in the development campaign for the North Suburban YMCA: “Philanthropy is a team sport, and depends upon collective vision, collaborative work, and shared integrity. The ideal of trust lies very close to the heart of philanthropy.”
“Million-Dollar Moments” will bring you into the locker room and with Rick Markoff as your guide, I guarantee you won’t want to leave anytime soon.

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These insider stories are simply fantastic! How cool to learn the background behind so many incredible organizations, philanthropists, and activists throughout this community and beyond.

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About the author (2018)

Leadership is the operative word throughout Dr. Rick Markoff's career. Rick was elected President of Western Michigan University's Class of 1968. He was awarded the Bronze Star and Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm in the U.S. Army. After settling in northwest Ohio, Rick served as President of the St. Vincent Medical Center Foundation. He was founding President of the Greater Toledo Chapter of the National Society of Fund Raising Executives, President of the Sylvania, Ohio, City Schools Board of Education, and President of the Congregation Etz Chayim Board of Directors. His community service continued in Indianapolis where he was President of Congregation Shaarey Tefilla, and Chair of the Indiana University School of Nursing Advisory Board.Dr. Markoff served as Executive Vice President of the Simon Property Group's Simon Youth Foundation (SYF), from 2002 to 2010. A nationally recognized leader in alternative education, SYF was the 2008 recipient of the Education Commission of the States' Corporate Award (previous winners included Hewlett Packard, Intel, MBNA, PBS, and Washington Mutual). The National Dropout Prevention Center/Network presented SYF with its Crystal Star Award in 2008 and named SYF an Exemplary Program in 2009. SYF also received the U.S. Community Support Award from the International Council of Shopping Centers Foundation and the prestigious Albert Sussman International Community Support Award. In 2010 SYF received a Community Partnership Award from the Mutual of America Foundation.Rick was recognized by The University of Toledo College of Education in 2008 with its Distinguished Achievement Award. He has spoken at more than 50 high school graduations from Massachusetts to Washington and Florida to Texas. Dr. Markoff taught graduate courses in Interpersonal Skills for Leaders, Management Training and Development, and Major Topics in Human Resources at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis while serving as Visiting Senior Advisor to the Chancellor. Rick was Founding President of the Damar Services Foundation.

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