Family Tradition Drives Michele and Todd Von Deak’s Young Alumni Philanthropy
For Michele and Todd Von Deak, both LeBow College of Business MBA ’08, supporting Drexel goes hand-in-hand with the family traditions of philanthropy they share. “The importance of giving is just something both of us were raised to believe in,” Michele says. “It’s an opportunity to make things just a little bit better than you found them, and that is always a good thing.”
A dedication to serving others is evident in their work for non-profit organizations. Todd oversees multiple functions at the Society of Hospital Medicine, committed to enhancing the practice of hospital medicine by promoting education, research, and advocacy. “Working at SHM is a real treat,” Todd says. “I’m proud of my accomplishments, but the most significant have been working with staff and interns, including Drexel co-op students.”
As director of development for Historic Philadelphia, Inc., Michele is responsible for fundraising for the diverse programming of Historic Philadelphia, Inc., which combines arts and culture, heritage tourism, event planning, museums, community development, and education. “I think my business background and education have allowed me to bring a different perspective to this extremely creative environment,” she says.
Michele hails from Turnersville, N.J. Todd grew up in Syracuse, N.Y. They met as undergrads at American University, where Michele majored in Business Administration; Todd, in Political Science. They graduated in 1997 and married in 2001. Each worked for several years before deciding to enter LeBow’s MBA program. “Drexel’s offerings combined academic strength with a flexibility that would allow us to continue our daily lives and full-time jobs with minimal disruption,” says Michele.
In addition to financial support, the Von Deaks contribute their time and energy to Drexel. Michele is on the Alumni Council of LeBow College of Business, and Todd is an adjunct instructor in the UNIV 101 program. He also will join the Career Center Advisory Board, as well as the Advisory Board of the Center for Corporate Reputation Management.
“Drexel has invested in us as alumni, giving us opportunities to engage, give back, and grow,” says Michele. “That means a lot.”
“Giving to Drexel is important not only because of what it will mean to the value of our degrees over the years to come,” adds Todd, “but because a good number of people have invested in both of us as we’ve grown over the years–both personally and professionally. We both see value in doing that for someone else.”