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Edie  Lutnick

Edie Lutnick

Co-Founder & Executive Director of The Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund

Biography

What would you do if you lost 70% of your workforce in one day? If you lost your brother as well? What if your building was destroyed along with all of your records? And what if you had to pay back $78 billion dollars in trades from the weekend? How would you react and move forward? For Edie Lutnick and her brother Howard, CEO of Cantor Fitzgerald, it was an obvious decision: to help the families first in the process to rebuild their business. Read More >

On September 11th, 658 men and women at Cantor Fitzgerald lost their lives in One World Trade Center. Among them was Edie's youngest brother Gary, whom she had raised when their parents died at an early age. In the aftermath of the attacks, Edie answered the call from Howard to create a fund for the firm's families who had lost loved ones and to address the short and long term needs of victims of terrorism, natural disasters and emergencies. Under Edie’s leadership, The Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund has raised and distributed over 180 million dollars to over 800 families of the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and has been instrumental in assisting them to heal. The fund has now provided more than $270 million and has also supported those affected by Hurricane Katrina, the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and last year’s superstorm Sandy.

Over the past decade, in their effort to give aid and comfort to victims and their families, Edie and Howard unexpectedly found themselves in a battle of issues from political jockeying to class biases. Edie chronicled their story in her book An Unbroken Bond, a powerful, sometimes infuriating and ultimately heart rendering story of the mission to fulfill an important legacy, and give meaning to the lives of the victims of 9/11.

Edie Lutnik has forever changed the way we look at social responsibility. She has initiated Cantor Fitzgerald’s annual Charity Day, a day in which 100% of the company’s global revenues go to hundreds of not-for-profits. This effort has earned the support of such celebrities as Eli Manning, Mark Sanchez, Edie Falco, Mickey Rourke, Michael J. Fox, Anna Sophia Robb, Carol Alt and Petra Nemcova among countless others. Together, they have raised over $89 million for charities focused on curing cancer, Parkinson's disease, diabetes, mental health issues, children's causes, veterans concerns and 9/11 education. All efforts combined, the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund has distributed over a quarter of a billion dollars.

In honor of her brother Gary, Edie has also launched IHAVENEVERHEARDOFYOU.com, which features not-for-profits that most have never heard of, but who are making a big difference in the world. IHAVENEVERHEARDOFYOU.com allows people to nominate a charity you admire by submitting their story. With 86% of charitable giving going to only 1% of the 1.6 million registered not-for-profits in the United States, this effort is shining a spotlight on the countless organizations doing phenomenal work.

Edie shares the true meaning of leadership in action, especially when the odds are stacked against you and the world watching your every move. With seemingly everything lost, Cantor Fitzgerald rose from the ashes from just a few hundred surviving employees to more than 3,000 today. The leadership lessons as to how they managed thru such a devastating crisis, and how they have become the model for financial rebirth and social responsibility, are extremely important for today’s organizations. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Our Unbroken Bonds

Help Change the World

Behind the Scenes with Edie Lutnick

Speech Topics

Aligning Social and Corporate Responsibility

After Edie Lutnick’s brother Gary was murdered in the World Trade Center on September 11th along with 658 of his friends and colleagues at Cantor Fitzgerald, her one surviving brother Howard, the CEO and Chairman, asked her to start a charity to take care of the families who lost loved ones. In a matter of days, thousands of broken hearted people became family and through Lutnick’s leadership, the company started hundreds of philanthropic organizations to take care of not only the 9/11 community, but others in crisis. In this speech, Lutnick discusses how her charitable initiatives at Cantor Fitzgerald have forever changed the way we look at social responsibility. She shares with audiences how employees can develop a sense of social responsibility by starting with the managers and their leadership strategies. Then, she explains how the leadership must be aligned with corporate responsibility in order to create a community filled with dignity and hope for future growth.

The Future of Non-Profits

In this speech, Edie Lutnick teaches audiences about the future of non-profits through her personal story of building one from the ground up in the wake of a tragedy. On September 11th, 658 men and women at Cantor Fitzgerald lost their lives in One World Trade Center. In the aftermath of the attacks, Lutnick answered the call to create a fund for the firm's families who had lost loved ones. Under her leadership, The Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund transformed into an organization that healed not only those within the company, but everyone affected by the attacks. It has since raised and distributed over 180 million dollars to over 800 families. Lutnick offers audiences an inside perspective into what the “new” non-profit looks like, using the 4 prong program she created as support. In addition, she explains what changes need to be made for non-profits to remain successful now and in the future.

Healing a Broken World: The Importance of Remembrance

The Hebrew phrase “Tikun Olam” means “repairing the world.” This is a central concept to the Jewish people. In the face of historical atrocities and everyday hardships, the Jewish religion and culture believes in a very universal idea, that one should do everything in his/her power to make the world a better place: from protesting social  injustices to recycling. Identifying herself as a Jew, Edie understands and tries to live by the concept of “Tikun Olam.” Through her personal and philanthropic work, her riveting presentations demonstrates her conviction that only through remembering the difficult times can we persevere and triumph in our present moments and future days.

An Unbroken Bond: Preserving a Legacy

When you are confronted with tragedy, and let’s face it, you will be, if you find a mission larger than yourself, it will not only help you heal, but you will accomplish spectacular things. In this speech, Edie Lutnick shares how her book, An Unbroken Bond, is everyone’s story. It sends a powerful, sometimes infuriating and ultimately heart rendering message of our own personal missions to fulfill an important legacy. An Unbroken Bond is the story of the lives of the victims of 9/11 families and so much more than that. It’s how everyone behaved as individuals, colleagues, friends, communities, companies, philanthropic organizations, religions, societies and governments. She shares how even during the most unfathomable obstacles, we all keep fighting for what is important. Our unbroken bond is to those we loved, what we can learn from their loss and how we create and honor their legacy as we move forward with our shared humanity intact.

Road to Resilience: Care for the Caregiver

Edie Lutnick’s caregiving experiences range from raising her two brothers at a young age after the passing of her parents to caring for thousands of employees at Cantor Fitzgerald after the 9/11 attacks. In this presentation, she shares not only what it is like to be the caregiver, but the one cared for as well. Through personal stories during some of her most heartbreaking moments, she helps audiences feel motivated and inspired to move forward after tragedy. With an unwavering resilience, Lutnick was able to help Cantor Fitzgerald and most importantly, herself, rise from the ashes even when everything was seemingly lost. Discussing common caregiving issues and providing strategies to persevere as a caregiver, Lutnick believes that crisis can bring out unimaginable strength in both parties involved.

Books & Media

Books

An Unbroken Bond

Connect with Edie Lutnick