VIDEO: Clients, Volunteers, and Champions of GOSO’s mission celebrate at the annual gala fundraiser

On Wednesday, April 25, 2018, the GOSO family, joined by special guest and host CNN’s John Berman, gathered at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers for our annual fundraising gala. This year, we broke fundraising records, celebrated the achievements of our clients and honored our hardworking volunteers. Our theme, “Reshaping Futures,” reflects not only the mission of GOSO staff but the commitment of GOSO Guys to put their lives on a path towards personal success.


(click here for gala video part 2 of 2)


About the Honorees:

Jim St. Germainauthor of the memoir, A Stone of Hope: A Memoir, and co-founder of P.L.O.T. (Preparing the Leaders of Tomorrow), works with juvenile justice-involved youth and their families in NYC. He is on the Board of the National Juvenile Defender Center (NJDC) and was appointed by President Barack Obama to the Coordinator Council on Juvenile and Justice Delinquency Prevention (CCJJ). Previously, St. Germain was a youth care worker at a juvenile facility, where he was once a resident. Additionally, he was a youth advocate for people living with mental illness at the Mental Health Association, Inc. and a member of New York State’s Division of Criminal Justice Services Youth Advisory Council. Watch Jim St. Germain’s acceptance speech, as introduced by 2017 gala honoree Rudy Valdez.

Matthew GalliganPresident of Real Estate Finance for CIT Group, has consistently been named one of Commercial Observer’s “Power 50” in real estate finance. He sits on the Commercial Real Estate Board of Governors for the Mortgage Bankers Association. Previously Galligan erved as managing director and Head of U.S. Property Finance for Bank of Ireland, and he has been named to the Commercial Observer’s “Power 50” list of the most important figures in real estate finance. Galligan is committed to criminal justice reforms and serves on the Board of Directors of Habitat for Humanity New York City. Watch Matthew Galligan’s acceptance speech.

Gabriel Hamani, CEO of BHI, the U.S. activity of Bank Hapoalim, has over 25 years of experience across banking, finance and management. He is instrumental in establishing and growing the commercial banking platform for BHI. Gabriel began his career at Bank Hapoalim in Israel and held many positions throughout the U.S. organization before his current role as CEO. He currently serves on BHI’s Advisory Board, the Board of Hapoalim Securities and the Board of Directors of the American Friends of Tel Aviv University. Gabriel is a champion of giving back to the local community, and has been influential in promoting community service among his employees at BHI. Watch Gabriel Hamani’s acceptance speech.

The Horticultural Society of New York (Employer Partner of the Year)founded in 1900, works towards the goal of developing a holistic understanding that plants are inexorably linked to the health of people, wildlife and our environment—from helping New Yorkers grow gardens to supporting urban farming, rooftop gardening, container vegetable production, bioremediation, storm water abatement, landscape design, vocational training, horticultural therapy and environmental literacy. Watch Sara Hobel of The Horticultural Society of New York’s acceptance speech, as introduced by GOSOWorks participant Davon.

Debevoise & Plimpton (Corporate Partner of the Year) is a premier law firm with market-leading practices, a global perspective and strong New York roots. Watch Sean Hecker of Debevoise & Plimpton’s acceptance speech, as introduced by GOSO board chair Reginald Andre.

Volunteers of the Year: Sam Fremont-Smith, Kwame Fynn, Robert Harwood-Matthews, Julia Milch, Cindee Rifkin and Ari Shapell. Watch GOSO staff members Julia Friedman and Emily Barnard introduce our volunteers.