How Fran Drescher, Veronika Scott, Alissa Pollack, Tammi D’Antoni and Monica Smith are Making An Impact

Social entrepreneurship draws upon business techniques to find solutions to social problems. The concept is applied to a variety of organizations with different sizes, aims, and beliefs. Conventional entrepreneurs typically measure performance in profit and return, but social entrepreneurs also take into account a positive return to society. In this issue, we highlight five women who are influencing people’s lives and the business world, one good deed at a time.

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ALISSA POLLACK | Musicians On Call – City of Hope

Alissa Pollack is the EVP at Premiere Music and Partner Integrations. Specifically, Pollack leads music initiatives for the Premiere Networks and iHeartRadio content teams to connect artists with audiences, brands, and worthy causes. Pollack started The Musicians On Call Jason Pollack Bedside Performance Program at City of Hope in honor of her father who passed away from cancer last year. The program brings in-room performances to patients undergoing treatment or unable to leave their hospital beds. As with all Musicians On Call programs, the performances are meant to bring the healing power of music to those patients who need it most.


MONICA C. SMITH | One More Smith and One Simple Wish

A proven entrepreneur and celebrated disrupter, Monica C. Smith has a deep and proven track record of success in scaling a direct marketing service’s business from “start-up” positions. In 1999, Smith founded Marketsmith Inc., which specializes in data science to drive business growth for Fortune 500 and other leading enterprises. Marketsmith’s philanthropic activities include support for One More Smith, an animal sanctuary in New Jersey, One Simple Wish, a national organization that connects foster children with families, and the Camden Street School in Newark, NJ.

FRAN DRESCHER | Cancer Schmancer

You may remember her as “The Nanny,” but Fran Drescher is a comedian, philanthropist, and celebrity spokesperson and face of the Finishing Touch brands. A uterine cancer survivor, Drescher was misdiagnosed and mistreated for a peri-menopausal condition she didn’t have. It took her two years and eight doctors before finally being told she had gynecologic cancer. She wrote the book “Cancer Schmancer” to tell her story of survival; after going on her book tour, she realized that what had happened to her had happened to many other women. It was then she determined her book was not the end but rather the beginning of her life mission to improve women’s healthcare in America.


VERONIKA SCOTT | The Empowerment Plan

The Empowerment Plan was established as a nonprofit organization in 2011 by Veronika Scott, then a student at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. It all began as a school project with Scott initially designing an innovative sleeping bag coat to address the one in 42 Detroit residents who are homeless. With support from the community and key organizations, Scott was able to turn her school project into a fully viable nonprofit business model. The company now educates and employs homeless women to create coats that transform into sleeping bags, which are then given to the homeless.

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TAMMI D’ANTONI | Gianna Nicole’s Heart of Hope Foundation

In 2005 at the age 2, Gianna Nicole LaBarbera was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia. She fought bravely for two and a half years, and in her memory, her parents, Jennifer and Michael LaBarbera founded Gianna Nicole’s Heart of Hope Foundation to support other families dealing with the financial burdens of battling pediatric cancer.

Tammi D’Antoni has been an avid supporter of Gianna’s legacy as well as the families the organization has supported every step of the way. “There are many organizations and charities that raise money to assist in the battle against pediatric cancer, but there are very few, nationwide, that focus on the financial burdens for families battling pediatric cancer,” D’Antoni explains.

The Foundation’s ability to provide such extensive help to families that apply for assistance would not be possible without the individuals, families, businesses and communities that have come together to support the cause. One hundred percent of the funds raised through Gianna Nicole’s Heart of Hope Foundation are used to assist other families in paying their monthly bills, which include mortgage, rent, food and transportation, medical care, prescription costs, etc.

Are you or someone you know Making An Impact? Let us know! Tweet us @BellaNYCMag and use #MakeAnImpact!

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