Chairman, VIM Board of Trustees
“My involvement with VIM is very much about passion! Of course I really like what I am doing here and obviously I believe in the mission we are pursuing. But doing this and giving back as a VOLUNTEER is among the most rewarding things I have ever done.”
In early 2003, his very good friend and one of the VIM founders, Len Simon, asked Art Peisner to act as a facilitator for a group of people with whom he and his wife Marion were working to develop a free healthcare clinic. Art agreed. It took two days and they developed a mission, a vision and core values.
As a result, Art became very interested in that group of people. He felt they were remarkable, bright, energetic, highly committed to doing something to benefit the community and he just got “sucked into” the group.
Art Peisner‘s involvement at VIM has been multi-faceted. He started volunteering on the Board as Treasurer… then, during a period when there was no Office Manager, he stepped in for roughly six months. Art kept the books, ordered supplies, paid the bills and did whatever had to be done around the place. He worked in that capacity until Robert Olsen was hired to take the position of Office Manager.
Since VIM does not have an Executive Director, Art has taken on much of that role and has kept the organization together, moving it forward, setting goals. VIM operates with an active Board and members fill some of what would normally be staff jobs.
Art was elected Chairman of the Board of Trustees in 2007 a position he holds today.
Art grew up in New Jersey, went to public schools there, then to Syracuse University for his undergraduate studies, and later, to Harvard Business School. He spent 25 years working in the toy/hobby industry and eventually became part owner and CEO of the venerable Lionel Trains, Inc. After Lionel was sold, he created his own management consulting business, providing strategic planning, marketing consulting and executive coaching for CEOs and small businesses.
In 2001, Art and his wife, Susan, relocated full time to the Berkshires after living in Michigan for 20 years. They had known this area for many years, because Susan had gone to camp here, as did their four children.
Art adds: ”Not having had time to do much volunteer work during my business career and while we were raising our family, this is the first really heavy involvement I have had as a volunteer. Not only it is my first significant volunteer activity, but it is also my first involvement in healthcare. I knew virtually nothing about the field and that learning experience has made the challenge even more stimulating and satisfying.”