Never forgetting where he comes from: Yale-educated marketing leader preserves Albanian culture as Chair of the Albanian Festival.
On the day Simon Vukel graduated from Yale University, as his family was heading home, his father pulled the car over and asked him to get out of the car with him. Vukel found himself looking at a small apartment building that he knew very well, having spent many hours working there alongside his father. “Remember this building, and all the hours we spent there, cleaning and doing repairs, shoveling snow, and taking out the trash?” his father Sokol said. “That hard work got us to where we are today. You are the first in our family to go to school, but I’m also very proud that you’ve never forgotten where you came from.” That observation—a lesson as valuable as four years of an Ivy League education—has informed Vukel’s actions ever since. He has a successful career in marketing and communications, working for highimpact organizations such as Pepsi, Random House, the American Heart Association, and the Children’s Tumor Foundation. He has served as a speechwriter to CEOs, but also developed innercity initiatives to help those in need. Vukel believes that the power of words translated into action can do more than just sell items—it can have lasting impact on our communities.
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