The world sees Gary’s life full of accomplishments: NYU Literature Award, Phi Beta Kappa, MBA Columbia University, Lazard Freres real estate affiliate, owner of Capital Hill Group (investment banking firm; FINRA member); one half billion dollars in real estate transactions; capital-raising expert.
The real accomplishments that resonate with him: two adult daughters Alexandra and Danielle; a wonderful girlfriend; a mom going on 94; a passion for ideas; a desire to find patterns and principles that repeat throughout life; a semipro baseball player; a poet and novelist; and a love for teaching others how to reach their dreams.
Growing up, Gary’s older daughter Alex suffered from a severe learning disability. She couldn’t understand abstract ideas well and had dyscalculia. Her junior high school recommended that she enter a special education school rather than high school. That idea didn’t appeal to him as a dad at all. He walked out and decided to study with his daughter.
For years, Gary had to discover ways to understand abstract ideas. The world that had been shut off from his daughter Alex suddenly came alive. It was very frustrating for them both — she had to learn how to connect the dots. Her learning disability made her appear somewhat awkward socially. She did not always know how to communicate by looking people in the eyes and listening carefully to what they were saying. She was easily distracted.
Gary devoted years to perfecting the learning models that helped his daughter get through high school and become a top student in college (Syracuse). It became his passion to help others learn and comprehend faster. When you go through this yourself — it has a deeper meaning to you.
His younger daughter Dani(ielle) excelled in school and was an outstanding athlete, competing on state level both in tennis and soccer. Dani had a bad car accident that almost cost her leg. She dropped out of Cornell and went to Gary’s own alma mater NYU to study business. Her personal struggles began after graduating from University.
The vivacious and intelligent daughter turned into a lifeless recluse who had no energy. She gave up on life. Some family members thought she was crazy and had her going to wacky “doctors” and “healers.” But Gary knew his daughter. He researched her symptoms on his own, reading every book and article he could find and concluded, contrary to leading specialists that Danielle had visited, that she had Lyme disease.
He convinced Dani to take more in-depth tests with a doctor in Connecticut who had a different approach and testing methods. The tests revealed that Dani had acute Lyme disease. Psychologically, Dani felt validated and the focus became to overcome the disease.
It was an uphill battle but Dani recovered. She is now happily married with her own business, Dideo Films.