Renee Moldovansky '00: Paying It Forward
By Lisa Murtha
Renee Moldovansky '00 was "switching jobs and thinking about beneficiaries" when she first entertained the idea of including HB in her will. She was looking to do something "meaningful" with her estate planning, she says, and thought that giving to HB—a place that had given her so much—"seemed like a great way to pay it forward."
When Renee came to HB she was a self-described painfully shy fifth-grader who devoured schoolwork the moment it was assigned. "But by eighth grade," she says, "HB really got me out of my shell—I played on the tennis team, I was into art. It was a really unique environment." She also treasured the "multigenerational environment" that HB's single pre-K-through-twelve campus afforded. "My niece, Michelle, was in pre-K during my senior year of high school," says Renee. "I would pick her up from her classroom and bring her to my 10th period Spanish class, then drive her home. That connection was very important to us."
By the time she made it to the Rhode Island School of Design ("I thank Jamie Morse for introducing me to the world of art and design schools," says Renee), she saw firsthand the distinct advantages of her HB education; not only was she capable of managing a workload that other students found daunting, "Socially," Renee explains, "I had a great deal of confidence that many other women seemed to lack."
Four years later, armed with dual bachelor's degrees in Fine Arts and Architecture (plus a minor in English), Renee made her way into the professional world and ended up back in Cleveland, working first for an architecture firm and now for a construction and real estate development company, in marketing and business development. "A lot of my professional success came from the intangibles at HB that I didn't even realize at the time," says Renee—things like the ability to communicate effectively through writing and graphics, or make presentations in front of large groups.
Those realizations, coupled with her "continued involvement" with the school (via two nieces who are now also HB graduates), led Renee to realize that including HB in her will was something she wanted to do— and something that was easily accomplished. Moreover, by sharing with HB that the school is in her estate plan, Renee has given HB the important opportunity to say thank you to her during her lifetime.
Her advice to others considering doing the same? Recognize the ability you possess to make an impact on the students of HB with an estate gift that suits your personal situation. "There is an outdated stigma and preconception that has been associated with people who give legacy gifts," says Renee. "But really, it's something anyone can do."
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