William Dessoffy Receives Highest Honor from National Kidney Foundation
New York, NY—June 23, 2017—At its June 10th Board of Directors meeting held in New York City, National Kidney Foundation (NKF) bestowed its highest honor to long-standing volunteer, Mr. William Dessoffy, who received the Martin Wagner Award for his many years of service both as a local and national board member.
The Martin Wagner Award, NKF’s most prestigious honor for volunteers, recognizes those individuals who have given countless hours on behalf of its programs and devoted themselves to helping the foundation reach its goals and serve the people who could benefit from its service. Mr. Dessoffy has served on the national board for the past 10 years where he served as Secretary of the Board. He also served on the Executive Committee and the Development Committee, which he also chaired. Locally, Mr. Dessoffy served as chair of the Greater New York board for the past 14 years, and co-chair of the Springtime in New York Gala for the past 11 years which has raised over $6 million to date. Mr. Dessoffy is a Regional Managing Director of First Republic Bank in New York City.
“While serving as our Greater New York board chair, Bill steadily moved the local office team forward to expand its reach and impact on the community. With Greater New York leading the way in program development and funds raised for special events, under Bill’s volunteer leadership it has served as a model for other local offices nationwide,” said Art Pasquarella, Chairman, NKF Board of Directors. The New York City Kidney Walk made history this past year by raising nearly $1,000,000.
While Mr. Dessoffy is retiring from the national board, he will remain a central figure on the Greater New York local board where his passion for raising awareness of kidney disease first began. After being approached by a client who had been appointed executive director of Greater New York, Mr. Dessoffy answered the call and stepped up to volunteer.
“I am truly honored to receive the Martin Wagner Award for my service to the local and national boards of NKF. When I was first approached to be part of NKF, my goal was to help build a solid and
prestigious local board,” says Mr. Dessoffy. “Over these past fourteen years, I have had the distinct pleasure to work alongside some of the most committed and passionate board volunteers ever assembled and I am so grateful that we have been on this journey together,” he added.
Elevating awareness of kidney disease is a personal passion for Mr. Dessoffy. “I feel we have a lot of work to do to gain the recognition that these kidney patients deserve and I will not stop until we make a significant impact on the visibility of kidney disease and the importance of finding a cure,” he says. Mr. Dessoffy and his wife Martin, reside in New York City along with their three children, Will, Miller and Rollins.
The sculpted award presented to Mr. Dessoffy, entitled “Gift of Life,” was conceived and developed by sculptress Dolly Perutz. The theme of the sculpture was inspired by Dr. Hume, a humanitarian, scientist, and one of the fathers of kidney transplantation in the United States, who believed in “all facets of the oneness of giving.” Two abstract figures, each with only one arm, signify the incompleteness of one human being without another and represent the human aspects of kidney transplantation, in which the organ is given posthumously or by a living donor.
Kidney Disease Facts
30 million American adults are estimated to have chronic kidney disease—and most aren’t aware of it. 1 in 3 American adults are at risk for chronic kidney disease. Risk factors for kidney disease include diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and family history. People of African American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian or Pacific Islander descent are at increased risk for developing the disease. African Americans are 3 times more likely than Whites, and Hispanics are nearly 1.5 times more likely than non-Hispanics to develop end stage renal disease (kidney failure).
The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is the largest, most comprehensive and longstanding organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease. For more information about NKF visit www.kidney.org.