Andrew Miller with wife, Eryn, at this year's Dinner with Scientists event.
When Andrew Miller joined Leadership Sinai seven years ago, he saw it as an opportunity to give back to the community, as well as build a network and make connections with people as he grew his new business. What he ended up with was a whole lot more than that.
His connection with the Hospital began 39 years ago, when he was born at Mount Sinai. “Both my sister and I were born here, so it’s always been a special place for our family,” says Andrew. Two of his three children were also born at Mount Sinai (with the third so eager to enter the world that hospital location became the most critical factor!).
He became involved when his wife, Eryn, was working at the Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation and running the Leadership Sinai golf tournament. Five years later he became the Chair of Leadership Sinai - a growing community of budding philanthropists and volunteer leaders working to advance Mount Sinai’s mission.
“At the time, Eryn and I were donating smaller amounts to many different charities, which was nice, but we never really felt like we were having a significant impact on anything or anyone,” says Andrew. “We liked the idea of consolidating our efforts and giving a larger amount to one place. Once I joined Leadership Sinai and began seeing the profound impact our dollars can have on so many people and families, we knew Mount Sinai was our charity of choice.”
Under Andrew’s leadership these past two years, the group has accomplished so much. They raised $150,000 at last year’s Dinner with Scientists event, netted over $425,000 at their annual tournament, The Golf Classic, and are in the home stretch of achieving their 2008 pledge of raising $8 million in support of the Leadership Sinai All-Star Cancer Researchers as well as the highest priority needs of the Hospital. However, perhaps Andrew’s greatest legacy is his impact on the group as a whole.
“Andrew has served as a bridge between the more seasoned generation of Leadership Sinai champions – who had a lasting impact on Mount Sinai - and the newer, younger and highly motivated group that exists today,” says Hava Goldberg, Development Officer, Community Engagement at Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation. “He has recruited like-minded individuals to the membership, and under his leadership, this group is strategically positioned for success. He’s been an exceptional leader.”
With Andrew’s term as Chair drawing to a close, he reflects on his experience over the last seven years. “It became so much more than a networking opportunity,” comments Andrew. “It’s been so enlightening and has opened my eyes to a whole new world of philanthropy.” When he describes his time here, the word that keeps coming up is “passion” - both on his part, and on the part of the Mount Sinai clinicians and lay volunteers that he feels lucky to be working with. “The caliber of people is astounding,” he says. “Each and every person lives the hospital’s call to action of Putting Patients First. It’s evident in everything Mount Sinai does.”
While he will still be an active member of Leadership Sinai, Andrew looks forward to having more time with his family and three children. The Millers have also set up the Eryn and Andrew Miller Family Fund at Mount Sinai, and ask for donations from family and friends in lieu of gifts for special occasions. Those funds are directed toward the highest priority needs of the Hospital that he knows are so important.
Andrew steps down as Chair this fall, proud of what Leadership Sinai has achieved and excited for the future. While it has been a significant commitment of time and resources to lead this innovative group, he feels he’s gained so much from the experience. His friend, Shawn Mecklinger, will be stepping into Andrew’s shoes, as Leadership Sinai Chair. “There is all this new momentum that we’ve never had before, and Shawn is the perfect person to take that momentum and run with it. There are no limits to what this dedicated group of philanthropists will accomplish for our great hospital.”