#CelebrateOthers - Bob McCarthy
I interviewed Bob McCarthy while we were in NYC Mother’s Day weekend. Bob is the husband of a childhood friend of mine, Maryjean. A Wall Street attorney by day, and a Deacon in his “free time,” Bob is the most humble and sincere guy around. He “lets” his strong faith be his beacon in dealing with a tough finance transaction with a multi-billion dollar company, to his four children (Ellen, 28; Bridget, 27; Katherine, 25; and Robert, 22), to officiating a weddings, baptisms or funerals. I wanted to celebrate Bob because he inspires me (and I believe many others) to have meaningful moments in our lives on a daily basis.
Bob was born and raised on Long Island, NY (Lynbrook) and attended Chaminade High School, graduating in 1979. He has one sister who also lives in New York, along with both parents! He graduated from UVA, both as an undergraduate and law school graduate, and that is the place where he met his future wife, and my friend, MJ. (She needed to borrow a car from a nice guy, and he had both criteria: nice guy and a car.) After law school and passing the bar in 1986, he moved back to New York to begin his career at Thatcher&Profitt in (The World Trade Center TWC#2). He and MJ married on 7/11/87, and had four children in eight years. In fact, Bob was only one stop away on the subway when the first building was hit on 9/11. Thankfully, no one from his office was injured that day, and all got out without incident. Bob explained to me that that was one super crazy day in his life, and that he was (and still is) very grateful to get home before his kids got home from school on the one day everyone’s world changed.
Bob loves his work as an attorney, and he especially loves his clients and helping them grow their businesses. Interestingly enough, Bob’s stellar work performance parlayed him becoming a partner in 1998 which came after many long and laborious hours of hustle. After a few years, and with his gentle demeanor and articulate way in handling his clients, he was asked to serve on the executive committee and then chaired the governance committee (due to 9/11 issues). However, Bob also had a front row seat with the 2008 financial meltdown that effected many; including his own firm that could not survive on its own. Bob moved to a larger international firm called Dentons where he is currently a managing partner in their NYC office.
I must interject here that Bob’s gentle ways and the treatment of his clients with utmost respect, definitely got noticed, though not always “good” according to one partner… Believe me, anyone could see that Bob is the consummate professional day in and day out, which is not easy in his line of business, to say the least. But Bob’s attitude of gratitude catapults him beyond his peers. While Bob was rising through the ranks, one colleague/partner told him in a review that he needed to “salt his language” to “show more strength”. Apparently this man thought that the way to “more” success was to swear and pound the table with oomph. Bob, understated as he is, never followed that advice and has gotten along very well without crusty language…
At this stage of Bob and MJ’s journey, one could say they could “rest on their laurels” with grown and college educated children, but that’s not how this couple operates. For one thing, Bob has always been fascinated with ministry including the Church's teachings and the life of Jesus and its earliest followers. So much so, that he became a Deacon in 2012 after a four year grueling process.
I believe, that what Bob went through on 9/11 has always stayed with him, even foreshadowing his energies and interest in his faith to continually help others as a Deacon, which I can say with great pride, he finds very fulfilling on a daily basis. (He even flirted with becoming a priest while in high school/college until he met Mary Jean.) An important part of being a Deacon allows Bob to be more involved in the social and political issues of our times, even more so as a lay minister than a priest.
So what inspires this Attorney/Deacon? On a day to day basis, it’s definitely his family and their daily activities; plus his engagement with people from all walks of life. More broadly, Bob’s inspiration on a faith level is the writings of Thomas Merton, because of his depth and reflection on faith and life and how these two intersect in our world, and in turn, in all of our lives. In addition to Merton, Bob also loves the great minds of Martin Luther King and Gandhi who both really understood that we need to have a strong faith foundation in our own lives to combine with social action for justice. Bob mentioned he tries to live by these words daily, and it’s not always easy, stating that he’s had more ‘failure’ than successes, but that he still tries!
I want to be more like this Mets-fan-teal-green-loving family man who desires to run a soup and salad restaurant someday and has a deep love for humankind. That’s Bob McCarthy!
BSoleille! The bright side of celebrating others, today with Bob!
|For a Mets fan, Bob graciously went along with the gang to a Yankees game!|
|L-R: Bridget, MJ, Ryan, Ellen, Katherine, me, Bill and Bob!|