Q&A with Stuart Chizzik, new Chief Development Officer

Stuart Chizzik joined The Arnold P. Gold Foundation in January 2019 as Chief Development Officer. He brings deep experience in philanthropy, gift planning, and nonprofit management and a passion for humanism in healthcare.  Previously, he was Director of Development and Major Gifts at the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science. He also worked at The Kraft Center at Columbia University and the Center for Jewish History. He earned an MBA from George Washington University and a BA in economics and international relations from Tufts University. Stuart lives with his wife and three children in Tenafly.

What drew you to the Gold Foundation?

Having lived in Bergen County for many years, I have long been aware of the Gold Foundation and its important and inspiring mission of fostering the human connection in healthcare. The Gold Standard in healthcare – compassionate, collaborative and scientifically excellent care – precisely aligns with my philosophy on donor-centered, personalized philanthropy. For me, it is all about relationships and the human connection.

Since I have arrived at the Gold Foundation, I’ve come to realize how many people in my life have been touched by Arnold and Sandra Gold personally or are familiar with the Foundation’s critical work. For example, I had no idea that someone special to me in my own family was treated by Arnold Gold more than 20 years ago. I am deeply inspired and look forward to helping the Gold Foundation reach new heights.

What part of your role at the Gold Foundation is most exciting to you?

There are many facets of my role at the Gold Foundation that excite me, but at the end of the day, it’s about partnering with the Foundation’s dedicated Board of Trustees, the outstanding professional staff, and committed philanthropists to assist in helping this important and worthy organization grow from strength to strength in the months and years ahead.

I am excited about building important relationships with those who have been loyal and generous in their support of the Foundation and also with a new cadre of prospective philanthropists. I look forward to growing each one of our critical funding streams, including the Gold Corporate Council, the Gold Partners Council, our Golden Thread Gala, as well as our annual and major gifts campaigns.

Finally, I am particularly eager to help re-launch our Golden Legacy Society, which recognizes those who have generously and thoughtfully included the Gold Foundation in their estate plans.

What is your favorite hobby or talent outside of your job?

My wife, Heidi, and I are blessed with three amazing children. One of the things I really enjoy is the opportunity to participate in their lives as a volunteer coach of their sports teams. Youth sports played an important part in my growing up, and the role models I looked up to as a young student-athlete were, in many respects, outstanding humanists. Having the opportunity to coach my children’s baseball, basketball and soccer teams, spend time with their friends and teammates, and play a role in instilling in them core humanistic values (teamwork, friendship, hard work, sportsmanship, patience, etc.) is extraordinarily rewarding. Youth sports is an important outlet and a great alternative to other “anti-humanistic” things clamoring for our kids’ attention.

How do you nurture your own resilience and well-being?

I make a strong effort to achieve effective balance in my life. Personal excellence at the office, of course, is a priority, as is spending quality time with Heidi and each one of the kids doing things they enjoy. However, I also make a special effort to focus on my personal resilience and well-being, including eating well and finding the time for ample exercise.

No longer commuting to Manhattan (as I did for most of the last 20 years), I find I am now often able to begin my day with a great workout and still arrive at my desk in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, long before I used to when commuting. This workout time is great both for my physical heath and for my frame of mind as well. It feels great to start the day energized in this way!

If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

The world we live in today with wireless connectivity, iPhones, etc. has a wealth of resources and real-time information all at our fingertips, which is amazing — however, what none of us has enough of is time: Time for work, time for our loved ones, time for ourselves, time to give back to our communities — simply, time!  As Steve Jobs said, “My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.”

If I could have one superpower, it would be to create more time: more hours in the day, more days in the week, and so on. This would be a game-changing superpower. In the meantime, I try to be as thoughtful and efficient with my time as possible to maximize all of the different and competing elements in my life.