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Giving Thanks by Giving Back

Every year, the team at Knopman Marks spends a day volunteering in the communities where we live and work to support a worthy cause. This year we gathered at the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen in New York City to pack food for families in need. 

“Giving back is central to our culture,” says CEO Liza Streiff. “Classic KM-style, we got the job done, and broke some bag-packing records while doing it.”

Knopman Marks also donated $20,000 to the Mission Santa Maria, a non-profit organization that delivers high-quality education to children living in extreme poverty in Ecuador. “We wholeheartedly support their goal of helping to change lives through education,” Streiff says.

To personalize the spirit of giving this season, the firm offered each employee $500 to gift to a charity of their choosing. The team welcomed this opportunity to support causes close to their hearts, such as research into diseases that so far have no cure and help for those in Kentucky impacted by the recent tornadoes.

If you’re looking for worthy causes that would benefit from your support, consider the organizations listed below that the KM team has selected. Above all, from the Knopman Marks team to yours, well wishes for a healthy holiday!

KM Employees Support These Charities  

Isaac Ajao – St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital – “They share scientific discoveries and cover the costs so families don’t receive a bill for treatment, travel, housing or food.” 

James Chotiyanonta –  American Parkinson Disease Association – “They support, educate, and research to help people impacted by Parkinson’s disease.” 

Aniella Doherty – The Cody Barrasse Foundation – “The foundation provides financial assistance to those in need who are awaiting a transplant. This donation will change someone’s life really soon.” 

Kris Dudchak – Doctors Without Borders and The Conservation Fund  – “I’m happy to support the global first responders to emergencies, epidemics, and natural disasters, and the Conservation Fund’s work to protect more than 8 million acres of at-risk lands and waters.” 

Catherine Fosina – Project Pearls – “Their mission is to help the poorest of the poor children in the Philippines.” 

Ian Franklin – Breast Cancer Research Foundation – “They are dedicated to ending breast cancer by advancing the world’s most promising research.” 

Howard Kaplan – Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation – “My brother suffered with this disease most of his life. I’m truly grateful for the opportunity to generously support an organization doing critical work.” 

Tom Kelly – Make a Wish Foundation (NJ Chapter) – “They help children facing critical illnesses see a wish come true.” 

Marcia Larson  Alzheimer’s Foundation of America – “I’m happy to support an organization that helps so many deal with a dire and life-changing circumstance.” 

Elsa Leistokow – National Domestic Workers Alliance – “They work to protect millions of in-home care workers, nannies and house cleaners across the country.” 

Dagan Lin – New York Public Library – “I am glad to help support their collections, job search resources, literacy classes, children’s story hours, and more.” 

Brian Marks – Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund  – “They are assisting those impacted by the recent tornadoes and severe weather.” 

Bailey McCaffrey – Street Youth Ministry – “They help homeless youth in downtown Austin.” 

Dave Meshkov – Parkinson’s Foundation – “My dad has Parkinson’s and this organization improves care and advances research toward a cure.” 

Adwoa Nicol  Girls Education Initiative of Ghana – “They provide academic and financial support for girls. Poverty affects girls the most in Ghana and I love that they are helping them out of bad situations through education.” 

Don Parker – Habitat for Humanity – “They help build better lives through construction and innovation.” 

Jane Riccardi – Feeding America – Kentucky – “This donation will go directly to the food banks in the counties of Kentucky affected by the tornadoes. They are providing food, water and personal-care items to families.” 

Suzanne Riss – MEND Hunger Relief of Essex County, NJ – “I volunteer for MEND and love their work helping people in my community meet essential needs with dignity.”  

Liza Streiff – Project Renewal – “My aunt Betty helped build this organization over her entire career and it’s doing important work across New York City every day. Project Renewal’s mission is to end the cycle of homelessness by empowering individuals and families to renew their lives with health, homes, and jobs.” 

Michael Verdi – St. James School – “I volunteer here often. They work with inner-city students from low-income families, who are on average two grade levels behind in their education. They provide them with a tuition-free private education and help them get placed in high schools.” 

Leigh Yanocha – CASA of Morris & Sussex Counties – “I’m a big supporter of CASA’s work to find permanent homes for foster children.” 


Suzanne Riss is an author and Director of Communications at Knopman Marks Financial Training. Previously the award-winning Editor-in-Chief of Working Mother magazine, she is a fierce advocate for issues facing working moms and an authority on work/life trends. Her expertise has been tapped in interviews by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Good Morning America, the Today Show, and CNN. Suzanne's third book, Work Disrupted, published by Wiley, was released in January 2021.