By: Cass Almendral
Upon attending a party to raise money for the arts, we uncovered a revelation that truly
represents the best of NYC. One of the hosts, Gene Fisch, Jr., stood in the corner of a hotel
rooftop sipping a glass of wine and eating a crabcake as several worlds from his life in finance
and Broadway came together to help an artist from his project, The New York New Works
Theatre Festival, reach her dream of Broadway.
This was nothing new for Gene Fisch, Jr. as the NYNW website (www.nynwtheatrefestival.com)
depicts Broadway’s power brokers touting Fisch’s efforts; artists express their gratitude by the
dozens as hundreds of participants have benefited from his selfless contributions to the arts.
We learned that he fronts 100% of his own money for these playwrights and attendees at this
party concurred that he has done the same for them as investors came with their checkbooks
to meet with several artists at this evening’s rooftop soiree’. When asked why he partakes in a
project that requires so much work his reply made complete sense, ‘Give someone a shot at
their dream and the world changes for the better. For that one moment when the room is full
of applause and the artist is in their glory, you know that you made that happen. Risking a
capital loss by fronting the money for making someone’s wish to come true is much better than
using that same capital to directly pay taxes on other gains.’
Research uncovered that Fisch has spent a lifetime along this path; for years he was a Thursday
volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House helping desperately ill children escape their ordeal for
a few hours, allowing them to laugh over ice cream. As we continued to peel the onion of this
story, Fisch has been a member of the Achilles Club helping brain trauma victims run the NYC
Marathon, has produced at Carnegie Hall donating proceeds to instill music programs in NYC
schools, and was instrumental in the success of a Charter School; at every turn, he helps.
Ask what he does and he’ll relay that he’s a teacher (he has been an adjunct professor winning
the “Best Instructor” award at Stevens institute of Technology as well as having lectured at his
alma mater, M.I.T., where he is one of few to study 90 credits in one semester.) His daily work is
as the CFO for the international investment platform, Alpha Innovations, this subsequent to
being recognized as a young star on Wall Street. Fisch recently returned from deployment,
serving with the U.S. Coast Guard where he is a Flotilla Commander in the Auxiliary (certified as
a Rescue Diver in 2009) and is training for his third Ironman.
He won’t tell you any of this, however. He doesn’t have an Instagram account and doesn’t seek
the spotlight. Maybe, if you look in the corner at your next charity event you’ll see Gene Fisch,
Jr. sitting there, quietly, with a glass of wine and a crabcake, likely contemplating how he can
change the world for the better.