A gift of over $800,000 of artwork has been made to the College of Business at Florida International University (FIU) from Albert Scaglione, CEO and founder of Park West Gallery, a commercial art gallery well known for their art auctions on cruise ships around the world for almost 25 years.
The collection given to FIU includes over 300 pieces of art including work by Mark Kanovich, Linda Le Kinff and Zamy Steynovitz.
As part of their contribution, Park West has also provided custom framing for the art work (not included in the appraised value of the art works) and will also be assisting the college with the placement of the art throughout the business school facilities including the College of Business Complex, the Ryder Business Building and MANGO.
Creative thinking makes art gift happen.
When former FIU student Charlie Cartaya came aboard as director of operations at Park West Gallery, he asked his wife, College of Business alumna Barbara Pestana (BBA ’02), if FIU would be interested in receiving a donation from Park West.
Working together, they made the donation happen, putting FIU in the company of multiple non-profit organizations who have benefitted from the generosity of Scaglione and Park West. Geography also played an assist in FIU’s good fortune. In addition to its headquarters and gallery in Southfield, Michigan, Park West has a gallery and distribution center in Miami Lakes, Florida, so Cartaya and Pestana, who first met at FIU, thought the university would be a good fit for a Park West gift.
“It certainly was a team effort,” said Pestana, who is a member of the College of Business Alumni Board, “because we also got the help of former FIU student Arnaldo Puig, who is regional director of TransGroup MIA. Arnaldo kindly agreed to transport the artwork and store it at one of his facilities free of charge. That was instrumental to making this gift happen.”
Jose Aldrich, acting dean of the College of Business, praised the gift.
“This is a great example of how our alumni continue to help the college in creative, constructive ways,” he said. “Gifts like this help change lives and contribute to the growth of future global business leaders and entrepreneurs. I am deeply grateful to Barbara Pestana and the network of alumni and friends of the college who worked together to make this generous gift a reality.”
Pestana, who also serves as a mentor to FIU students, encourages other alumni to be creative in finding ways to support the university. “Of course financial contributions from alumni are the usual way of helping and very much needed,” she said. “But think outside the box and look for other opportunities. For instance, does your company hire interns? Talk to them about FIU. Being creative is a good way of paying it forward to create opportunities for future students.”