Nick Renzi stands in his backyard in Cortland
Nick and Agnes Renzi stand together atop Mount Marcy

Nick Renzi

When Nick and Agnes Renzi moved to Cortland they fell in love with the community and the nonprofit organizations within it. Now their legacies and wishes for supporting those nonprofits will be stewarded for generations.

As he looked back on his childhood in the Bronx, Nick Renzi was impressed with his parents’ acts of giving.

“It was the moments I spent with them that influenced my charitable engagement throughout my life,” he said. “My late wife Agnes was also a very active partner in my giving journey.”

Nick explained that he would often visit the organizations he and Agnes supported locally and made they made their giving decisions together. It had always been important for them to offer their support in more ways than one.

“That is why we decided that we want our giving to continue into perpetuity after we are gone,” said said.

Agnes was a certified braille transcriber who worked primarily on elementary school literature books. She donated thousands of hours over a twenty-year period improving the quality of the lives of hundreds of blind children. It is fair to say that often times giving of time can be just as significant as dollars.

In 1969, Nick began a career with Pall Corporation in Glen Cove, NY as a project manager and oversaw the production of filtration systems that were used to protect jet engines on helicopters. In 1971, he was promoted to Chief Engineer at the Cortland New York facility. In the ensuing years he became the president of the Cortland plant along with responsibilities for two plants in Puerto Rico. At the time of his retirement in 1994, he was serving as senior vice president of Pall Corporation. Nick explained that Agnes’ support of his professional career enabled him to be as successful as he was.

“With guidance from staff at the Community Foundation, I used the stock I accumulated to set-up a donor-advised fund that will transition to a permanent designated fund when I pass away supporting the charities and causes I care about,” said said. “I found that the Community Foundation had all of the infrastructure and experience necessary to support my giving now and carry it on for generations while honoring our legacies.”

The Nicholas and Agnes Renzi Charitable Fund allows Nick to easily facilitate his yearly and future giving to the causes that are important to both he and Agnes.

“When we moved to Cortland, we fell in love with the community,” he said. “The fund supports many charitable causes primarily in Central New York with a focus in Cortland County to ensure their success for the years to come.”

One of the noteworthy activities that Nick has used the fund for is to support the Community Foundation’s Cortland County Bright Ideas program, which invites nonprofit organizations to present their best and brightest idea to better serve their community. The annual awardees receive $5,000 each to bring their idea to life. Nick explained that this has been a great opportunity to support local organizations while learning more about them in the process.

“Setting up my fund at the Community Foundation was a seamless experience,” he said. “This entire journey has been personally rewarding and, more importantly, many well deserving nonprofit organizations have been helped. I feel secure that our legacies and wishes for future contributions will be stewarded through our fund for generations.”

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