By Danielle Beurteaux
David Spungen: Their commitment and confidence in what they
were doing was very clear.
In February of last year, David Spungen visited a child care
program in Woodside, New York, and watched the children design
their own teddy bears. "The kids were cute and sweet and fun,"
says Spungen. "It looked like any other preschool, except you
think about what these kids have to deal with and what they're
going home to."
||David Spungen: Their
commitment and confidence in what they were doing was
The children were part of a program run by the Child Center
of NY, a Queens-based organization that provides an array of
social services to New York City's at-risk children and their
families, including child care, tutoring, mental health
counseling and after-school programs.
Spungen, 50, CEO and founder of Hillview Capital Advisors, a
New York- and Radnor, Pennsylvania-based investment firm, which
manages $1.3 billion, had been looking for an organization that
needed his help and dealt with an issue he cared about. The
Child Center of NY fit the bill.
Spungen, who has two young children of his own, is aware
that not all families are as fortunate as his. "It's
heartbreaking if you have kids who don't have the opportunities
and advantages that our kids do to be successful in life," he
The majority of the Child Center of NY's clients are
first-generation Americans, says Spungen. English is not their
parents' first language, and they face a multitude of
challenges, such as poverty, abuse, and mental and physical
When Spungen met the center's staff, he was impressed.
"Their commitment and confidence in what they were doing was
very clear," he says. The organization, which started as a
community group in 1953, now helps 18,000 children a year.
Spungen joined the board last March.
Knowing he could make the biggest difference by bringing in
new funders, Spungen joined the finance committee, and he holds
monthly meetings at Hillview's Manhattan office. While right
now the majority of funding comes from government sources, the
group is looking to the private sector to make up potential
shortfalls due to government cutbacks, and for more funding for
growth and demand for their programs. Accordingly, this April
the Child Center of NY is holding its first annual gala event
outside of Queens. They've chosen Guastavino's in Manhattan,
nestled under the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge - symbolic, says
Spungen, of the group's connection to New York's boroughs.
Richard Jay, president of the Child Center of NY's board,
calls Spungen a phenomenal board member. "He understands the
responsibilities of a board member, and he loves doing it,"
For Spungen, it's imperative that the organization meet the
growing demand for its programs. "The professionals at the
Child Center of NY are so committed, and they're providing
services in some of the most difficult neighborhoods," he
explains. "They say, 'Look, if we don't provide these services,
no one else will.' " AR