Donor Spotlight: Gary Sidell
With our Campaign to Build Change renovations underway, we want to highlight some of our amazing donors, their inspirations, and what drives them to support Family Services. We spoke to Gary Sidell, Campaign Co-Chair and Board President.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?
Although I grew up in Framingham, I came to this area after college when I joined our family business which was located in Lawrence. When our business closed in 2001 I got into real estate using the buildings we owned in Lawrence and that blossomed into Bell Tower Management. I’m a long-time resident of North Andover where I raised my kids. Something people may not know about me is that I’m a piano player and musician—I perform around New England. In addition to serving on the Family Services board I am a supporter of the Lawrence History center, the Essex Art center and the Lawrence Partnership.
How did you learn about Family Services? What led you to get involved with the organization?
I first learned about Family Services from Kay Frishman, the former Executive Director, who was a good friend of my fathers. Kay was the one who asked me to join the board. One of the reasons I decided to get involved with Family Services was because it has always been super important to my family to get involved in the local community – whether that is bringing new life to our properties, furthering economic development or supporting effective non-profits.
Can you share more detail about your volunteer journey with Family Services?
I have been a mentor for 11 years. I’ve always enjoyed mentoring small businesses so it was a natural fit to mentor someone that could use a father figure. My mentee has been like part of our family. We’ve known him since he was six years old and he has been a really important part of our life. I’m really proud of how far he has come.
What inspires you about the work that Family Services does?
Our ability to impact families at every level. Being a stable force in a community that has been through a lot. Seeing the impact we’ve had on families over time. Being part of an agency that constantly re-invents itself. It’s a dedicated group of individuals that deeply care about our work.
What is the most important reason for people to support the Campaign to Build Change?
I think people should support the campaign because I am 100% confident that any gift made to this building and the campaign will be well invested with long term impact. It’s an investment that will come back to people ten-fold. I feel that the work that we are doing in a quiet, effective way will be amplified by what the campaign will allow us to do.
Why did you and your family decide to support the Campaign to Build change?
It’s an easy donation to make – I know where it is going and the impact it will have. I have confidence in how the money will be used. We feel good about being a piece of the puzzle.