NEAHP Sponsor spotlight:
an interview with john modzelewski
NEAHP interview with John Modzelewski, Vice President at Ghiorsi & Sorrenti, Inc. GSI is a full-service philanthropic consulting firm that specializes in planning and conducting comprehensive campaigns and major gift efforts. GSI has partnered with hundreds of non-profit organizations, helping them raise billions of dollars in philanthropic support, and uniformly reaching and exceeding goals. GSI has been the Signature Sponsor of the NEAHP Annual Educational Conference for the past nine years.
What are the Firm’s origins?
Dan Sorrenti and Peter Ghiorsi worked together at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in New York City before founding the Firm in 1989. Peter and Dan wanted an organization that worked collaboratively and seamlessly with clients, teaming with them to raise donor sights, to think big and not be satisfied with current standards.
To what do you attribute the Firm’s success?
I believe the longevity and tremendous talent of our team has played a major role in the Firm’s success. If it’s a good fit, they stay for life. I’ve worked at the Firm for 24 years and there are six others who have 20+ years. Now, with Matthew Ghiorsi and Robert Sorrenti, we have the next generation involved.
What’s the best thing about being a consultant?
It is a thrill when a client secures a gift after we’ve done the research, laid out a solid strategy and made the ask – and seeing their case come to fruition. I also love the fact that every couple of years I, essentially, get to change jobs; that keeps it new and interesting. I have the stability of working with the same great GSI colleagues, yet I get to continually meet new people and take on new challenges with my clients.
Tell us about GSI’s involvement with NEAHP.
Peter Ghiorsi has been involved with AHP throughout most of his career. He was AHP’s Board Chairman and later Chairman of the AHP Foundation. He is an AHP Fellow and won the Si Seymour award, AHP’s highest honor. Plus, he hails from Massachusetts. Dan Sorrenti has been a career-long member of AHP and served as AHP Board Chair of Public Affairs and Marketing. The Firm always found New England to be a special region of AHP and felt tremendous value and connection there. As a result, the Firm has stepped up to be Signature Sponsor of the NEAHP conference.
And what about you, John, what is your relationship with NEAHP?
I love NEAHP and the collegiality, especially working with the other members of the Board of Directors. I feel I’ve gotten more than I’ve given. The NEAHP conference is a great way to keep my network strong and keep in touch with colleagues and former clients. There is a great value in sharing with them.
Finally, what is the best piece of advice you can give a development professional?
ASK! Don’t pre-judge prospects; the decision is theirs; your job is to be sure they are asked.