David Ferris

Harter Secrest & Emery LLP

Involved with the Community Foundation since 2008

Hobby: Sailing

Favorite Rochester eatery: Rocco

Favorite Community Foundation event: An Evening Out At Home

Favorite Rochester event: Rochester International Jazz Festival

If I had a million dollars to give: I would support education and increased economic opportunities for persons who have not had those opportunities.

How David’s work fuels the power of community:

Often in David’s law practice, he saw his clients wrestle with what their ultimate legacy will be. In guiding these clients in charitable giving, David advises clients to look at a broader picture of impact. “Our community has many needs,” says David. “Giving allows us a way to take pride in that community and pass on our values beyond our own lifetime.”

As a lifelong resident of the Rochester area, he has a great appreciation for our region’s high focus on volunteerism and philanthropy. “For a city of our size and scale, it’s quite remarkable,” says David. As a current board member, David believes strongly in the Community Foundation’s ability to help donors connect to purpose and results with their giving dollars. “Donors need to have confidence that their gifts will help push the needle on change. The power of a group of community members acting together to strengthen our community far exceeds what any one individual can do.”

Charitable involvement in Rochester:

David finds it concerning that today’s world approaches issues with an “instant results” mindset. He believes true community change is far from instant and requires steady commitment over time. He encourages today’s professionals to stay involved through volunteering, calling it crucial to solving Rochester’s issues. “Taking pride in one’s community is something that should be passed down generation to generation,” says David.

His own efforts have led him to several leadership roles, including serving on the Community Foundation’s board of directors. Additionally, he has contributed decades’ worth of service to the Foundation’s Professional Advisors Liaison Committee, which he calls professionally rewarding. “I follow my parents’ example in how I see giving back,” says David. “It’s like a pebble tossed in a pond, the circles keep expanding. Small actions when joined with others can be like planting acorns, which grow into oak trees.”

Inspirational quote:
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” — Nelson Mandela

Published February 2021

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