The view from Liz Nachman’s boardwalk apartment in Long Beach, N.Y, is different than any at Ithaca College. It looks out on the ocean, a perfect stage for the sunrise and sunset, constant reminders that she belongs here—and that she shouldn’t take her home for granted.
Nobody in the beachfront city some 30 miles outside of New York City would accuse Nachman of such indifference. The tireless community advocate and 1984 IC grad was named Long Island Herald’s 2021 volunteer of the year.
Nachman grew up in the Cleveland suburb of Shaker Heights. After graduating IC, where she opened herself to new people and learned that different values fuel collaboration, the sociology major moved to Long Beach.
Charity had been a big part of her childhood; her parents, Muriel and David, gave back and belonged to various organizations.
“I always thought that’s what you should do in life,” she says.
Nachman credits her own son, Geoffrey Noss, with inspiring her to do more. As a boy, Geoffrey, now 28, was always community-minded. He created an anti-bullying “good buddy” program in middle school and runs a club at Long Beach High School today.
In fall 2012 Long Beach was pummeled by Hurricane Sandy. Geoffrey recommended that his mom sell T-shirts emblazoned with “Rebuild the Beach.” It was a perfect fit for the brand strategist, who now runs her own company, Brandable Marketing, Inc., with Erik HiIliker. She targeted the Long Beach City School District and sold roughly $40,000 in merchandise that first year.
Ten years later, she’s still at it; a portion of sales go to charities close to Nachman.
“I still feel like I don’t have much of a choice,” she says. “After all these years, they love the designs, they love the apparel, they love the quality.”
Nachman also gets satisfaction from selling the shirts.
“It’s engaging,” she explains. “You’re communicating with all different kinds of people and you’re hopefully opening their minds. It’s not just a T-shirt.”
Apparel is not her only charitable endeavor.
Ideas always strike, so she keeps a notepad and pen by her bed to be sure she never forgets something important. As the founder of Beach Giving, she organizes weekly donations to area soup kitchens and food pantries between several apartment buildings. She also works with the city’s Kiwanis Club and serves on the Chamber of Commerce’s Health and Wellness Committee, and organized a scholarship at Long Beach High School.
“I have a hard time saying no,” Nachman admits.
Nachman describes herself as an “instigator.” It’s a role anyone can play. Liz Nachman knows that while she cannot fix the world, she believes that every town has a need that can be addressed. It’s a matter of looking beyond your window to see what’s outside.