Doing the Right Thing
In his 60-year career in the aviation industry, Jack Hersh has traveled to six continents, 21 countries and 29 states in America.
He has seen a variety of different cultures, worked with many different crews and successfully completed numerous aircraft maintenance and repair projects. No matter where he’s been, who he has worked for and what he’s done, his mantra in life has been simple: do the right thing.
“My father was not the most educated man,” says Jack. “But he gave me words to live by. He said to me, ‘Jack, the most important thing in your life is your good name. And if you lose it once, you will never get it back.’”
All his life, Jack has worked hard to ensure that people know him for his work. An aviation consultant, he worked with United Airlines for 33 years, recovering damaged aircrafts worldwide. When he retired in 1981, his plan was to go fishing.
Instead, within a month, he was working for United Parcel Service as a contract maintenance manager. “They had a plan to start a cargo airline but had no planes, no mechanics, no tools, no hangars,” he recalls. “I told them I thought I could manage that.”
In between crashed aircraft recoveries and his job at UPS, Jack also served as an expert witness in several commercial aircraft crashes. “I would work 16-18 hours a day until the job was finished,” he says. “My father would say, ‘Why are you doing this? You’re crazy. Nobody really cares!’”
But people did. Jack shares a letter from a United Airlines pilot, dated Sept. 16, 1969, which reads: “Whatever he will fix, we will fly.” For the little boy from Brooklyn whose only dream was to fly in the clouds, this statement reaffirmed that he had earned a name for himself.
Just as he volunteered to work every time he saw a need, Jack decided to help support the most critical health care needs of the local community by naming Mills-Peninsula Hospital Foundation as a beneficiary of his trust. “I wanted to give my money to a place I could trust and that I knew would take care of those who were most in need,” he says. Indeed, this generous gift was prompted when Jack suffered an injury during the dot-com bust in Silicon Valley. He began thinking of all the young engineers working at startups who were losing their jobs – and health insurance – “for no wrongdoing on their part. It troubled me, and I thought of all these people without insurance that the hospital takes in regardless, no questions asked,” says Jack. “I wanted to be able to support that.”
Jack’s good name will be recognized far and wide through his legacy at Mills-Peninsula. “We are very grateful that Mr. Hersh has decided to entrust our foundation with the responsibility of carrying on his good name. His generosity will ensure excellent health care is received by all in our community for generations to come,” says Peter Gelniak, regional director of gift planning for Mills-Peninsula Hospital Foundation. “Jack is a true inspiration - a man with a big heart whose thoughtful estate planning ensures future generations will receive outstanding medical care."
For more information about establishing a charitable trust or including Mills-Peninsula in your estate plans, contact Peter Gelniak, regional director of gift planning, at 650-696-5349 (office) or 650-867-8538 (mobile).