The Renaissance Man Resource Center at Yeshiva University will be the first such “resource” ever where any outstandingly versatile, well-rounded person who performs brilliantly in many different fields will be able to turn for assistance. A willing and able staff will stand ready to do whatever they are able to do to assist a Renaissance Man type person in moving his or her projects forward. It is anticipated that the news of this endeavor will encourage other institutions to replicate the “Center” in order to make such important services more easily available in their locales as well. Part of the “Center’s” mission will be to assist in the establishment of what will amount to branches of the “Center” at other interested institutions.”
The success of the Renaissance Man Resource Center will always depend on having dedicated and talented staff persons who are able to establish positive working relationships with clients and to determine viable and effective solutions to what might be termed “roadblocks” that are somehow inhibiting the clients from moving forward with their various creations and activities. Though one might think that with the amazing powers of the Internet at our disposal solutions to almost any problem are just a “click” away. But, problems, “roadblocks,” deterrents, static, interruptions and “wrong turns” come in all shapes and sizes to where calm levelheaded guidance with a connection to a wide range of caring and professional authorities in an even wider range of disciplines can be just what is needed to break the “logjam” and get things moving again. The Renaissance Man Resource Center will be the very essence of securing needed answers to difficult questions from just the right person for creative people who need help to get “unstuck.”
The Renaissance Man Resource Center will benefit from being located on or very near by the Main Campus of Yeshiva University in Washington Heights in New York City and, by the same token, the University will benefit from being in close proximity to the “Center” for much the same reasons. The “Center” will always depend on having bright, energetic and self-driven staff members, who, often times, could be members of the Yeshiva College student body; albeit usually on a part-time basis. Similarly, the high level sources of guidance and direction needed from time-to-time to advise or counsel clients of the “Center” might well come from or through the faculty and staff of the University itself. The Yeshiva students working at the “Center” will have opportunities to work with “Center” clients, who, one might guess, will be very interesting people.
Satellite “Centers” could end up being located on college campuses everywhere and in similar highly intellectual organizations, which could, eventually, result in interactions and relationships that benefit all concerned in all corners of the network.
The Gard-Rite Window Guard Company and its owner had solved the problem of screws ruining window frames by inventing a window guard that did not need any screws. But, as brilliant as the idea of the Gard-Rite Window Guard was and as well as it was selling in stores like Bloomingdales in New York City in the early 1950’s when it won the Lewis and Conger Safety Award, its inventor was not knowledgeable in the ways of running a company. He only had relatives as advisors and, one of them helped a little too much and drove the company out of business. The real sadness was the thousands of kids who died needlessly by falling out of windows all over the country because the Gard-Rite Window Guard was no longer available to prevent them from falling. If there had been a Renaissance Man Resource Center available to the young inventor of the Gard-Rite Window Guard, he might have been able to connect with more capable business advisors who would, most probably, have helped him save the business, which would have saved tens of thousands of children even until today, now, nearly seventy years later. With that kind of impetus, the Renaissance Man Resource Center would best be launched as soon as humanly possible.
But, even in a world of “Crowd Funded” ideas, a “Renaissance Man” is still out there on his or her own. Funding is nice, but is not everything. With the advent of the Renaissance Man Resource Center such driven and creative people will finally be able to get whatever guidance or assistance they might need to the benefit, eventually, of us all. To allow another grand idea or a life-saving solution, such as the Gard-Rite Window Guard, to languish or be kept from realizing its full and important potential, would be a “shanda” of the highest magnitude.
The Renaissance Man Resource Center will burst onto the scene from, what might be termed, a standing start. Nothing like this has ever been created before. So, there is no template or model on which to base our goals. But, at the same time, what we do create will, hopefully, become the model for similar such centers everywhere; all with the mission of helping to advance the works of each and every “Renaissance Man, “which, again, hopefully, will be to the benefit of us all.
We envision an office or a suite of offices that can grow to support ten or twelve full or part-time staff persons following an initial ramping up period of between one and two years. The tools needed to function effectively will include various computer software programs that will be selected to be able to be used in each of the remote center locations so that staff can move seamlessly from location to location as projects, training, support and other demands require.
The “Center” will be able to make use of local talent with regard to its staff sourcing, which would, hopefully, include undergraduate and graduate students attending Yeshiva University or other such institutions in the remote locations. The experience working in a Renaissance Man Resource Center would expose students to the very unusual personalities who are what we term a “Renaissance Man,” and, through such exposure, would provide them with very special situations that in and of themselves will become learning experiences that, the effects of which, may last a lifetime.
The development of a “stable” of professionals and experts who can be called upon to assist, guide, direct, encourage, educate and, somehow, provide support for the very unique “clients” or “visitors” to the Renaissance Man Resource Centers will be a prime directive and a constantly task. Each “stable” in each Renaissance Man Resource Center can be available in each local center, but can also be part of the ever-developing network of “Centers,” which would make the entire system that much sharper and more able to respond to the needs of the Renaissance Man Resource Center “requesters” or “visitors” or “clients” who approach a “Center” for some kind of aid.
The scope of the services will be determined by the requests made by the “Renaissance Man” “individuals” needing it, which will be a constantly changing. Nothing will be taken for granted. No project will be deemed to be too small or insignificant. But, always, our support is to be more in terms of “information” and “guidance” rather than in terms of “execution” or actually “doing” the work. The “Center” is always there to help but not to do.
How much will all this Renaissance Man Resource Center idea cost and who will be paying for it?
The budget for the Renaissance Man Resource Center will start at about $60,000.00 a year including hardware and software items that will be used on an ongoing basis and which will require professional maintenance. There will be a website that will have to be developed and, similarly, monitored and updated. The operation will require office space, which will need to be rented or might be provided as “in-kind-services” for the property owner to deduct as a donation to a “not-for-profit” institution.
The funds to support the Renaissance Man Resource Center are to come from a foundation, which will be established for that purpose. Its funds will come, in part, from “charitable remainder trusts” set up by the owners of companies that will be identified through our efforts in the “National Protégé Enterprise,” which is designed to help older business owners who have no durable succession plans in place to locate protégés, who will learn their businesses and pay the owners for them according to agreements set up by the parties involved for those purposes. Certain businesses, which, for various reasons, do not lend themselves to be passed on in that way, but which might be able to fit the mold for inclusion in the foundation, will be donated by the owners to the foundation according to the guidelines in the US Tax Code for structuring a “charitable remainder trust.” In short, these companies will be run by their current owners while the owners teach various students in the undergraduate and graduate levels of the University to take over the responsibilities for doing so until they can actually run the companies on their own, or with the assistance of a hired executive, who will be put in place until such time as that position is no longer required. While the owners are still “around” they and their spouses will receive certain agreed upon revenues from their “companies” with certain other monies going to the foundation. When the “owners and their spouses” are no longer around, the monies that had been going to them will be directed to the foundation, which will be able to redirect them to fund the Renaissance Man Resource Center as well as other aspects of the good works done by Yeshiva University and other such institutions.
It is our hope and plan to identify companies owned now by “Baby Boomers” that fit the requirements for inclusion in the foundation plan where each company would eventually generate about $100,000.00 per year to the foundation and, with ten such companies in place, the foundation would be receiving about one million dollars annually and in perpetuity to accomplish its mission.