Thru the Lens: BizDevel raises $2,200 for the Education Through Music program

November 21, 2017 - Front Section

Shown above (from left) are: Cushman & Wakefield executive vice chairman Richard Bernstein, executive public speaking coach and opera singer Victoria Baker, RFR Realty’s executive vice president Gerard Schumm; and BizDevel founder and vice president of strategy and development at Richter+Ratner AnaTracey Hawkins.

Manhattan, NY BizDevel has raised $2,200 for the Education Through Music program during its Public Speaking Masterclass and opera performance event. The event featured a public speaking master class for executives by Victoria Baker and a performance of three operatic arias, including Baker, who is a professional opera singer. Pianist and Cushman & Wakefield executive vice chairman Richard Bernstein accompanied Baker during her performance. The event was hosted by RFR Realty’s executive vice president Gerard Schumm and took place at RFR’s 285 Madison Ave.

The gathering was part of BizDevel’s ongoing Edu-Series educational, arts performance, and business development program that focuses on improving its members’ business skills, expanding professional networks, and supporting local New York charities, especially those that focus on assisting children from underserved communities. AnaTracey Hawkins, Vice President of Strategy and Development at the construction management firm Richter+Ratner, who founded BizDevel in 2015, presented the donation to Bernstein, who serves on Education Through Music’s Board of Directors. BizDevel has been supporting numerous New York-based charities since its founding, including Boys Town.

“The real estate, construction, architecture, and related industry professionals have always been among the most generous supporters of community causes in both New York City and nationwide. I am very proud to continue this tradition by donating funds raised by members and guests of the BizDevel group to Education Through Music,” said Hawkins.

“I am very grateful for the support of the BizDevel members for our programs. These funds will be used to improve the lives and quality of education of children in inner city schools by funding music as a core subject for all students,” said Bernstein. 

BizDevel was established in 2015 as a business support group for professionals in the industries related to the commercial real estate market. BizDevel’s members include real estate developers and brokers, finance and banking executives, builders and architects, suppliers, vendors, attorneys, marketing and publicity professionals, and other consultants. Through joint projects, referrals, and new business initiatives, the group has to date generated in excess of $16 million in business opportunities for its members and their firms.

BizDevel also serves as an educational, advisory, and professional development resource to its members. Its meetings frequently host presenters and guests who provide information and advice on industry trends and forecasts, and other issues relevant to the group members’ business operations.

Education Through Music (ETM) partners with inner-city schools to provide music as a core subject for all children, and utilizes music education as a catalyst to improve academic achievement, motivation for school, and self-confidence. The organization creates and sustains partnerships with inner-city elementary and middle schools in order to provide comprehensive and sequential music education as a core subject for every child at its partner schools. It also provides ongoing training and professional development for music and classroom teachers. 

ETM focuses on schools in low-income NYC neighborhoods, which have been disproportionately affected by cuts in arts funding. Students in longtime ETM partner schools earn higher English Language Arts (ELA) and math scores compared to students in non-ETM schools. Students with disabilities in longtime partner schools earn higher math scores than their peers in non-ETM schools. ETM program advances students’ social, emotional and artistic development and is highly regarded by partner school leadership and personnel.


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