How the Spirit of Liberty Foundation Honors American Heroes Through Corporate Partnerships


The Statue of Liberty – Ellis Island Foundation was formed under the leadership of trustee Richard Rovsek. The Foundation originally formed to raise funds and to assist in the restoration and maintenance of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. 

After the restoration completed, and as a result of 9/11, the Foundation’s mission changed.  Now, it enhances the importance of liberty. In 2005, the Foundation’s name officially changed to become the Spirit of Liberty Foundation. This reflects its broader mission – to support America’s armed forces and first responders, with an emphasis on honoring and supporting active duty, veterans, and their families.


Above all, the Foundation is a small operation. As a 501 (c)(3), nonprofit, the team is stretched thin and expected to accomplish miracles with minimal money and a modest staff. Though officially a Winmo client since 2020, Rovsek read Redbooks for decades.

“Above all, the world’s changed. It’s more difficult to connect with the right people. I used to pick the phone up and call the CEO of IBM’s personal assistant to schedule a meeting,” said Rovsek. “Now, when you call, they say, ‘go online.’ As much as the world’s changed if we send 100 emails to 100 CEOs, we have a 20-30% response rate.”


The Foundation’s goal is simple. They generate corporate participation and funding for projects that make a difference. Rovsek’s mission gives large companies who wish to sponsor valuable nonprofits a valuable reason to respond. Winmo provides them access to decision-makers the Foundation wouldn’t otherwise have.

“Yesterday, one of our sales employees went through 150 companies that I wanted identified. In a couple of hours, we narrowed down everyone we hope to partner with, including the contact information for their CEOs, CMOs, and PR teams,” said Rovsek. “Winmo is so critical to our success, because it gives us extraordinary, accurate access to decision-makers.” 

Rovsek and his team have forged partnerships with Ford Motor Company, Chrysler, General Motors, Texaco, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Eli Lilly, and Johnson & Johnson using Winmo. 


Today, the Foundation remains focused on gaining new sponsorship partners through 2021 and on honor healthcare heroes, especially. 

“The healthcare professionals in this country, whether they’re orderlies, nurses, or doctors, are today’s greatest generation. They’re in the trenches fighting a very evil enemy, just like our soldiers did in World War II. I don’t think we can ever say thank you enough,” said Rovsek.

Last year, Rovsek partnered with the Pilots Association and private air crafts owners in Operation Thank You, The Relay in the Sky. More than 100 pilots and private planes crisscross America landing at the FBOs, the private hangers, thanking healthcare workers as they crossed America. The last flight of 2020 was in Washington D.C and honored more than 100 veterans and VA hospital doctors, nurses, police, and firefighters on the ground. 

“We’re definitely staying on as a Winmo client. Frankly, it’s a bible,” said Rovsek. “It’s a bible that’s so needed and you’ve done a great job of keeping up with the times.”