Special note to our readers: At three+one® we have always believed in our mission to give back to the communities we serve. In that spirit, we want to recognize the life of our dear friend, David Flaum, and pay tribute to the numerous ways he supported so many communities.
A devoted husband, father, leader in faith and community, on both a local and national level, describes a person whose influence reached from Main Street to the streets of Washington and Jerusalem. Such a person describes an icon that only occurs once in a generation. That person is David Flaum, an incredible individual, with a strong faith in his family, religion, community—and a loyalty to those he knew and support to those he did not.
To understand David as a generational icon requires some background. What David personified was the same roots that defined him: the belief in family, and a desire to make a difference both at home and in his community. As the son of holocaust survivors, David never took life for granted. He believed one must define and create his or her own path of success, while helping others along the way who were not so fortunate.
Having grown up in New Jersey and then making his way to Syracuse to attend Syracuse University, he developed roots in Upstate New York which only blossomed by meeting and marrying his first love, Ilene Birnbaum. Together they came to Rochester to build a family, an extensive real estate company, and a community presence of philanthropy and caring.
Getting to know David personally was truly a gift. A gift of learning, dreaming, receiving, and developing a better life for the Rochester community. His reach was literally worldwide, which was actual muted by his humility, and soft-spoken approach. David’s level of kindness was the same to a strange voice on the other side of the phone seeking help for a referral into the Flaum Eye Institute, or to the President of the United States asking for guidance on matters dealing with Israel.
David Flaum had a sense of people, what they needed, and when they needed it. His community involvement was never reactive but rather proactive, intuitive, and pacesetting. David had a keen sense of taking action without being asked, while garnering support from others to make community dreams become a reality.
If it were not for the Flaums, many crown jewels in communities throughout the Northeast United States would still be encrusted in dirt, decaying with hopes of being recognized for the value underneath. David saw what something could be, while others would simply pass by.
Over the years, David helped me buy a business, sell a business, and then start up another business that now has a national presence. In each case, he used these opportunities to teach me the value to my family, the community, and those we serve. At the same time, he reminded me of the community we need to nurture and build for all of us to work, live, and play, no matter what political influence.
Perhaps David’s greatest success was his life with Ilene and the incredible family they developed, who instill the very ethic, values, and beliefs that embodied them. This was recognized by the Rochester Rotary in 2017, when David and Ilene were awarded the Rochester Civil Award, and again in the same year, being awarded the Rochester Philanthropy Multi-Generational Award which recognized the entire Flaum family for their commitment to the Rochester community.
Whether it was the RPO, WXXI, Foodlink, Geva Theatre, School of The Holy Childhood, Syracuse University, University of Rochester and its Flaum Eye Institute, the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., Temple Beth El, Rochester Rotary Sunshine Camp, or Camp Good Days and Special Times, David’s generous support was universal in helping those who needed the help, whether it was requested or not.
David’s level of leadership was vast and deep. While Rochester is rich in having incredible individual talent with deep roots and strong influence, David was one who loved to enjoy his moments of success and recognition with others, with little desire to have the spotlight on himself. Rather, he loved to share his moments of success with his family, his friends and the community.
The stories of David’s generosity, leadership, steadfastness to religious and community causes, coupled with family involvement make him an icon that only happens once in a generation. His legacy will live on and get stronger as time goes on as his family will carry on his works.
It was a true gift to have personally known David Flaum and to have learned how to live, do business, and make a difference through family, faith, and community. It has been a true honor having been one of his friends. He will be truly missed.
It’s confusing…will schools reopen for in-person learning, be online, or opt for a hybrid model? No matter how much planning can or has been done over the summer, the outcome of “what’s around the corner?” has everyone wondering. This is when the patience of Job is going to really be tested. In addition, the impact of enrollment for higher Ed institutions is yet to be determined so late in the registration cycle. What all institutions are experiencing is unprecedented, and the impact will not only influence the 2020/2021 school year but many years in the future.
As students and parents determine the value of on-campus/in-person learning vs. online classes, the financial implications have rippling effects. While most think online learning provides institutions with a higher profit margin, the loss of room and board, facility rental, and bookstore revenue is significant, becoming major challenges now and in the future. This does not just apply to four-year institutions and graduate schools, but also to community colleges.
It’s interesting that the percentage of students that prefer in-person learning has not changed as a result of COVID-19; it remains steady at over 70%. While most students are open to some level of online learning, there is naturally a strong desire to socially interact with others. They see that as a key component of campus life. This is why most higher Ed institutions are pressing for a hybrid model, combining both in-person and online classes (if not prohibited by state guidelines). It should also be noted that once a decision is made, unsafe student behavior and other events may cause institutions to alter their plans. Over the past week alone, we’ve already seen a number of schools close their campuses due to a spike in positive coronavirus cases.
As higher Ed administrators look to understand all the implications, three+one®’s MC forecast model® is becoming a very valuable tool for them in determining short-term liquidity levels and needs. While historical data is used to determine future patterns, potential implications of the “unexpected or anomalies” can be incorporated to determine possible scenarios over the coming months. This information can be found to be extremely useful in evaluating the impact on cash reserve funds or the need to tap into lending facilities or potential emergency endowment funds.
COVID-19 poses challenges for every single public entity and higher Ed institution. Just know that three+one® is by your side to help you answer the question “What now?”