Arbor’s Leah Fisher Honored for Long Island Philanthropic Work
SVP Shares Her Experience, Insight, and Vision at Local Charity Event
Arbor Senior Vice President, Special Projects, Governance and Risk, Leah Fisher was the 2023 sole honoree at the second annual Family & Children’s Association (FCA) Long Island Women in Philanthropy breakfast and fashion show on March 30 at The Mansion at Oyster Bay in Woodbury, New York.
Ms. Fisher gave a keynote speech at the event that encouraged attendees to get involved in their communities. As someone who consistently demonstrates a commitment to charitable work, Ms. Fisher invoked the poet, Maya Angelou: “I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.” This sentiment defined Ms. Fisher’s childhood and continues to shape her life as an adult.
Family & Children’s Association: A Long Island Lifeline
A local nonprofit agency, FCA is one of Long Island’s largest human services agencies, serving more than 30,000 Long Islanders each year. For nearly 140 years, the organization has worked to protect and strengthen vulnerable children, seniors, families, and communities.
“[FCA’s] critical initiatives and programs are successfully executed through brilliant and passionate staff who hold close to their hearts the concept of really doing the work,” said Ms. Fisher. “The hard work. The work that is sometimes backbreaking and occasionally unappreciated and often unacknowledged. Not by the incredible folks who run and work at FCA or the people who benefit from their unbelievable services, but by a community that often forgets that it takes all of us, not just one, not a few, but all of us.”
FCA’s six predominantly women-led divisions provide a wide range of services to Long Islanders of all ages, including addiction prevention, treatment and recovery, children’s mental health and wellness, prevention and community engagement, family support, residential care, and senior and adult services.
Ms. Fisher’s volunteer work with children began many years ago with the Nassau County Department of Social Services, where she assisted with fundraisers for children in foster and transitional care. Ms. Fisher then became involved with the Mary Brennan Interfaith Nutrition Network (INN) Soup Kitchen in Hempstead, where she helped organize events like back-to-school supply and holiday toy drives. Recently, Ms. Fisher collaborated with CRE Finance Council’s Women’s Network to help organize a back-to-school fair for FCA to provide local children with school supplies.
Leah Fisher’s Philanthropic Roots
Growing up in a philanthropic household, Ms. Fisher’s parents encouraged her to respect the planet, revere different cultures, be compassionate and generous, and always be friendly and understanding.
“I sought out spaces where I discovered the kind of connective tissue that encourages you to come back for more and more again and again,” she said. “The Family and Children’s Association is one such place.”
Noting the hardships brought by the pandemic in recent years, Ms. Fisher said that FCA’s work is more meaningful than ever. “And for me, it’s through that work that I’ve done with FCA where I’ve been able to bear witness to the best that humanity has to offer,” she said. “Patience and generosity. Loyalty and faith. Hope.”
Inspiring the Next Generation of Women
The event also highlighted how regional charitable organizations like FCA are increasingly working together over the last few years. Ms. Fisher said this renewed focus on collaboration should help everyone, especially women, to understand that if they come together with a common goal, they can have a real impact.
At Arbor, Ms. Fisher is also the Environment, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) task force lead and is heavily involved with Arbor’s Project Destined internship program, which connects young people interested in real estate careers to mentorship opportunities and helps them develop the skills they need to succeed in their careers and lives.
Forever altruistic, Ms. Fisher will also speak at a CRE Finance Council panel in June in New York City about making business connections in a hybrid work environment. Details and registration information can be found here.
Listen to the full audio recording of Ms. Fisher’s speech:
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