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Mountain States Spotlight with Clyde and Dan McKenzie

  • December 30, 2013

Father and son board members Clyde and Dan McKenzie share their passion about the Anti-Defamation League and for the University of Michigan (Go Blue!)

How did you first become involved in the Anti-Defamation League?

Clyde:  [National Chairman] Barry Curtiss-Lusher invited me to attend some board meetings to see what I thought about it.  I did that for about a year and was subsequently asked to consider joining. I was sponsored by Harry Sterling. Who would turn away from anything that Harry thinks you ought to do?!

Dan:  At Bruce DeBoskey’s invitation, I joined the Glass Partners Leadership Program [now Sturm Fellows] in 2010. I was excited to work for the organization after becoming familiar with ADL’s mission and good work thanks to my dad’s involvement. 

What’s your favorite holiday?

Clyde and Dan:  Thanksgiving.

Dan:  Guilt-free eating without any other obligations. . . what could compete with that?

What’s a special place you have visited?

Clyde:  My wife and I were privileged to join with Barry and Gay Curtiss-Lusher, Peter and Sally Nadel, Peggy Goldman and ADL leaders from across the country on ADL’s Centennial Mission to Israel.  The entire trip was fantastic, but I found our visit to Jerusalem to be particularly special.

Dan: My wife and I spent a week on the Great Barrier Reef shortly after our wedding.  It is something I will never forget.

If you had to teach something, what would it be?

Dan:  I’m in the process of developing materials to help parents of young kids understand what their estate planning obligations are for their kids and how to properly address that responsibility.

Clyde:  With the proper degrees, American history.

What are you passionate about personally?

Dan:  I am passionate about national politics and University of Michigan sports teams.

Clyde: My children, grandchildren, my wife and the University of Michigan.

How do you envision ADL’s Centennial Theme “Imagine A World Without Hate?”

Dan:  There will always be individuals who hold problematic beliefs. I am not sure it is possible, but if we could get to a world where government-sanctioned hate is eliminated, it would be a huge accomplishment.

Clyde:  I have narrowed that theme to “A World Without Bullies.”  There are ways that people who have been bullied never get over the experience.  For me, at its core, ADL is a source of strength for those who aren’t in a position to fully take care of themselves, and it’s also a source of the kind of education against hate that should be effective. ADL identifies hate, intervenes with intelligence, vigor and purpose, and makes a difference that we can be very proud of.