The number of charities Rich Daly, CEO of Broadridge Financial Solutions, supports is extraordinary –Juvenile Diabetes, the Make-a-Wish Foundation, MV Foundation’s Residential School for Girls in India and, more recently, SIFMA Foundation’s Stock Market Game, which provides free financial literacy to 24,000 at-risk kids at Title 1 schools. But it is his involvement with Fountain House that he refers to as a wise business decision that makes running a billion dollar company - during the more challenging moments - worthwhile.
Raised in Cambria Heights, a working class neighborhood in Queens, Rich exudes gratitude and a fierce commitment to giving back – a commitment he has passed on to his daughter, Kristen. Kristen is in HR at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton where she is carrying on her father’s legacy of employing Fountain House members.
Kristen Siebert with her father Rich Daly
Today, Broadridge is Fountain House’s largest and longest-standing employment partner. “It all started with a phone call from Carl Hagberg – a member of Fountain House’s Board - almost 20 years ago. At the time, I considered Carl an adversary who happened to be a pretty decent guy,” Rich laughs. “He published an industry newsletter that didn’t always talk about Broadridge in a favorable light. So when he called to ask a favor, I thought, if it’s to burn your printing press, I’m in.”
As it turns out, it was to ask Rich to hire Fountain House members.
After decades of doing just that, Rich says, “I can tell you stories about Fountain House workers you wouldn’t believe. One of the members found $2,000 and change in the proxy vote envelope. He went to his supervisor with every cent. Another guy feared he hadn’t removed everything from the envelope and dove into the recycling bin to retrieve it! That’s how important it was to him to do his job and do it well.”
Bruce Weissman, Broadridge’s VP of Investor Communication Services, has his own favorite Fountain House story. “Broadridge is all the way out in Long Island. During one of the big blizzards last winter, we got a call from the Fountain House folks saying they were on their way, but that they would be ‘a little late.’ When they arrived, they worked all day until the job was done. I bet it took them three times as long to get home that night, but it was all in a day’s work,” Bruce marvels.
After years of working with Fountain House members, Bruce thought it would be nice to hear what they had to say about their jobs. “I asked them to write down their impressions. We created plaques with their quotes and put them in the room where they sit.”
For the past several months, one of those members has been Maricel. Her quote reads, “I began working at Broadridge eight months ago. I work alongside my peers from Fountain House and this has made my transition to employment easier. I thank Broadridge for all they do to help us be part of the working community.”
Fountain House member Marciel with Rich Daly
Maricel’s time at Broadridge is almost over. Transitional Employment jobs usually last around six months. “I wish I could stay longer.” Until coming to Fountain House at 28, Maricel couldn’t imagine herself saying that about any job. “I didn’t even know what it was to have a job.” Today, she has completed five Transitional Employment assignments and is determined to obtain a permanent position.
Despite growing up in Manhattan with loving and devoted parents, Maricel started hanging out with the wrong crowd. “I dropped out of school and moved out at 18. I was in and out of drug treatment programs for years. And that was before I got sick.” In her 20’s she began hearing voices. After a year-long hospitalization, her psychiatrist recommended Fountain House.
“I liked Fountain House from the minute I went on my first tour. It had so much to offer. Whatever it is you want to do, this is the place to do it. You don’t have to look anymore. Fountain House is here to help you.”
Growing up, Kristen remembers her father’s favorite saying being “choose happiness.” “Choosing happiness isn’t easy,” Rich interjects. “But, I look at the Fountain House members, like Maricel, and I’m inspired. One of the most compelling things about them is how many challenges they face and how they still manage to be happy and grateful.”
When it comes to gratitude, the Fountain House community has a lot to be grateful for… from Rich and Broadridge to his daughter Kristen who is keeping his legacy alive at Cleary Gottlieb. We hope Fountain House remains a Daly family tradition for years to come.