Nick is here!
I love watching Jim's ESPY's speech. I could watch it 100 times a day and it wouldn't get old....where were you that night? Were you with him?
No, I wasn't with him. I was with him Sunday, before the show. It was the first ESPY's show. I asked him if he wanted me to go with him, and he said no, it's not going to be anything special. I was in Chicago for work.
What were you most proud of during your time as CEO?
I think the fact that we've really become a very professional organization and hopefully making a dent in this fight against cancer. Starting from scratch and raising $120 million, is something I'm very proud of.
How much did you brothers fight growing up?
We're Italians. That's what you do. You fight, argue, then you hug. As long as you don't get in the middle of us. We started as soon as Jimmy started talking.
How was the transistion from CEO to pres emeritus of the V Foundation?
I think it's going well. We hired a great CEO that's going to take us to the next level. I am very comfortable with that. It's very smooth. The donors seem to be accepting that. I'm getting ready to play some bad golf. But I'll still stay involved.
What would your brother say about the Foundation's work?
He would probably say, what is taking you guys so long? I got you started. You can do better. Jimmy always dreamed big. I think he would say that. But I know he would be so thrilled with all of the support and friends that have continued to support the foundation and help us grow. But first he'd take a shot at you.
Favorite line of his famous speech?
I only hear that speech every single day. When I want to laugh, the whole Green Bay Packers part, I must have heard that thing thousands of times and I still laugh.
Wasn't Jim's daughter diagnosed recently with cancer? How is she doing?
Jim's middle daughter was diagnosed 7 years ago. She had breast cancer. She is doing very well right now. I think, if anything, Jim's part of his speech, where he says it might not save my life, but it may save my daughter's life, etc.
What's your role now since you stepped down?
Right now, my role is primarily is in the transition, in helping Susan meet all of the right people, show her the skeletons in the closet. We are working very closely to revise our scientific mechanisms. I'm still very visible, but I just won't be getting on that plane every Monday.
as outgoing ceo, did you have any input into the new ceo hiring?
Oh, yes, very much so. We created a committee of the board. We used a recruiting firm. We had an extensive search process. It took about 9 months from the beginning to the end.
I think we started with 50 candidates and did interviews with about 10.
What are your fondest memories of Jim?
They were when we were growing up as kids. We grew up in Queens. We were in the neighborhood where we were related to everybody. Our biggest challenge was what sport to play that day. I'm 3.5 years older than him, so I was often tasked with making sure he had something to do. We had a great childhood together. My brother Bob is 15 years younger than I am, so he wasn't around during that time.
Do u ever visit NC State
All of the time. We're about 7 miles away. I had dinner with the chancellor the other night at his house. I visit State all of the time. We actually visit Duke and UNC all the time too.
Have you ever thought about writing a book?
No. My brother Bob has written a couple of books. I have never thought about it. It's painful to think about some of the stuff. Jim's been dead for 20 years and I've been running the foundation for 14. I need a break.
What's your role?
I will remain on the board. We're kind of defining my role exactly. I'll continue to be involved at the board level and do anything Susan thinks she needs me to do to keep showing how involved the family is in the foundation. Our work is not done. We'll just have to find a way to stay involved without working 7 days a week.
how many different projects is the foudnation funding at any given time?
I'll have to do some quick math, because we do 2-, 3- and 5-year grants. At any given time, we have $13-15 million that we're funding. Our goal is to get to 20 million then to 25 million. I think right now we have 15 million that we're funding.
Have you had any cancer scares or has anyone else in your family suffered from the disease?
The obvious one was Jimmy's middle daughter. My mom passed away from cancer 18 years ago. I have family members. Some of my closest friends. You don't go through a day where you find someone that's been touched by this disease.
I would just like to thank everybody for remembering Jim and keeping his memory alive. We're grateful for all of your support. We can't do everything we've been able to do alone. Hopefully we've given a vehicle to fight cancer and sooner or later we'll get it.