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Spotlight on 25 Years of Grantmaking: Notes from SNF Co-Deputy Chief Investment Officer John C. Czvekus

What’s a grant that’s stuck with you over time?
The grant that will stick with me for the remainder of my life is the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center. Given the scale of the project’s total cost, the investment team was involved at an early stage of the planning and implementation process. This gave me a unique perch from which to observe the complexities and myriad of challenges required to orchestrate this colossal construction project. I feel privileged and more than a twinge of pride to have contributed what little I could to the building of such a civic, cultural, and educational landmark.

What led you to join SNF?
I half-jokingly say that my 20-year career prior to joining SNF in 2009 was an apprenticeship preparing me for my current role. My previous professional career gave me exposure to virtually all aspects of international banking and capital markets thanks to some fantastic mentors and a lot of good fortune. Knowing “how the sausage is made” helps me get things done, whether it’s navigating market risks, identifying investment opportunities or even finding the right person with the right information. The only thing I love more than essentially being a professional problem solver, is being a problem solver for an organization that is doing so much, in so many areas to help make this world a better place. Where else could I do this?

What’s your favorite part of working at SNF?
Without a doubt, it is the people! Whether it’s my colleagues across the three offices of SNF or the external experts with whom the investment team collaborates, I’m humbled by the caliber of people I am exposed to every day. In my role, it’s easy to follow the wisdom of Seneca: “Associate with those who will make a better person of you.”

John C. Czvekus, Co-Deputy Chief Investment Officer
A recovering banker and proud graduate of the School of Hard Knocks, South Bronx campus.