What’s it Like Being an Online Charity Auction Lot? Past Matrix Winner Esther Dyson, Enthusiastic Third-Time Charitybuzz Volunteer, Shares Highlights of Her Experience
By lunching with generous online bidders, Dyson and the bidders support the NYWICI student scholarship fund—all of us are winners
If you Google first name “Esther” and hesitate before typing her last name, Dyson is among the first few that pop up. She’s chairman of EDventure Holdings, a one-person band that invests in and nurtures start-ups, currently focused on health and human capital and aerospace. Fascinated by new business models, technologies and markets, she also wrote Release 2.0: A Design for Living in the Digital Age, [Broadway Books], and is a trained backup cosmonaut and a 1999 New York Women in Communications Matrix Award winner.
In addition, for the last three years, she has enthusiastically volunteered to support the organization’s student scholarship fundraising efforts by agreeing to donate her time and share her experience at lunch with a winning bidder for our online Charitybuzz auction. Finding the time is a daunting exercise but doesn’t stop her. Dyson see-saws from coast to coast, often several times in a week, to meet her commitments in California and NYC.
Her first two Charitybuzz-found luncheon companions were film and TV producer Loretha Jones, based in LA, and investment executive Eric Becker in Chicago. They met in NYC. She hasn’t yet met the third as her lot closed only recently.
We asked Dyson if, under the circumstances, conversation with these strangers came easily. “Yes. They selected me; we share similar interests. I am not someone of interest to the average person, but we had plenty to talk about.” In fact, she has become friends with Loretha Jones, and stays in touch with Eric Becker.
Like Dyson, neither Jones nor Becker are average people. Jones, formerly president of original programming at BET Networks, was exec VP of MTV Films/Paramount Pictures. Becker is founder of Caretta Partners, a family investment firm. He was formerly a partner and co-founder of Sterling Partners.
"My daughter, who passed away from leukemia at 21, was passionate about service to others, so I applaud the New York Women in Communications scholarship fundraisers for their work, and Esther for serving others by donating her time to raise much needed funds for the program," said Becker. "I was so excited to have an opportunity to support a wonderful organization doing important work AND to have a fun, spirited, engaging lunch with the legendary Esther, ( who showed up despite an injury while traveling)...and leaving lunch having made a new friend....phenomenal."
It came as a happy surprise to Dyson that, while she gave of her time to help a good cause, she got something in return. Meeting these individuals was not only an enriching experience; it widened her circle as well.
NOTE: If you have an idea for a great lot, or want to share your experience with us, please contact Emily Brochstein: EBrochstein@kellencompany.com