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Leading Advocate for Veterans and Military Families to Speak at Ithaca College

ITHACA, NY — A businessman and philanthropist who is one of the nation’s leading advocates for veterans and military families will give a talk at Ithaca College on Wednesday, March 26. Kenneth Fisher, chairman and CEO of the Fisher House Foundation, will present “Our Nation’s Wounded: Leadership Challenges in a Time of Austerity” at 7 p.m. in room 111 of the Park Center for Business and Sustainable Enterprise.

Free and open to the public, his talk can also be viewed live online at www.livestream.com/icbusiness.

Fisher is a senior partner at the New York City-based Fisher Brothers real estate firm, where he oversees the leasing, management and marketing of commercial space in Midtown Manhattan and Washington, D.C. His primary philanthropic work is with the Fisher House Foundation, a nonprofit organization that constructs “comfort homes” near military hospitals and VA medical centers where families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment.

In his talk, Fisher will discuss how he uses his business background to run the foundation and keep it “agile,” how Fisher House helped veterans by providing services during last fall’s federal government shutdown, and his service on the President’s Commission on Care for America’s Returning Wounded Warriors. He will also offer some insight on the defense budget, the effects of the 2013 budget sequestration and the future challenges faced by our military.

Founded in 1990, the Fisher House Foundation has so far built 63 houses in the United States and Germany. The houses have served more than 200,000 families and saved them more than $200 million in lodging and travel costs to date. The foundation also administers the Hero Miles and Hotel for Heroes programs, which allow others to donate frequent flyer miles and hotel reward points to military families.

In 2007, Fisher was appointed by George W. Bush to the President’s Commission on Care for America’s Returning Wounded Warriors, which conducted a comprehensive review of the care provided to soldiers who return from the battlefield.

For his many humanitarian efforts, Fisher has been honored with the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service, the Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary’s Award, the U.S. Army’s George C. Marshall Medal and Decoration for Distinguished Civilian Service, and the Public Awareness Award from the Paralyzed Veterans of America. Other recognition includes receiving the Harry B. Helmsley Distinguished New Yorker Award and being named one of America’s Best Leaders by U.S. News & World Report and Harvard University’s Center for Public Leadership.

Fisher is a member of the executive committees of the Real Estate Board of New York Board of Governors, the City Investment Fund and the Washington, D.C.-based Real Estate Round Table. He has served as cochair of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City, on the board of directors of the Jackie Robinson Foundation and New York’s Finest Foundation, and on the board of trustees of the New York City Association for the Help of Retarded Children and the Command and General Staff College Foundation at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas.

Funding for Fisher’s visit is being provided by the Jahn Family Civic Leadership Fund, established by Robert Jahn Jr. for the purpose of supporting the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) programs at Ithaca College through curriculum development, a speakers program and other activities. While at the college, Fisher will also be meeting with ROTC cadets. 

For more information, contact Paul Deamer, marketing communications manager for the School of Business, at (607) 274-1279 or pdeamer@ithaca.edu.



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