While the Federal Law Enforcement Foundation and its founder and chairman, Anthony Bergamo, don’t spend much time figuring out ways to attract the limelight, they clearly deserve recognition for their outstanding contributions to law enforcement officers and their families over the past 25 years.
The FLEF as it is known, was originally founded by Bergamo in 1988 to provide financial support to the families of FBI agents killed in the line of duty. Over the years, the foundation evolved, and now provides economic assistance to members of all federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, and also to officers and their families suffering from a serious illness or recovering from a natural disaster.
“We are entering our 27th year of service to America,” Bergamo said. “Since our inception, we have funded over 4,000 grants and over 3,000 scholarships in 200 communities and 12 foreign countries.”
Bergamo’s deep commitment to the cause has attracted an incredible number of American luminaries, including former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, United State Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, General Colin Powell, Admiral William McRaven, Los Angeles Dodgers Vice President and Hall of Fame Manager Tommy LaSorda, New York State Governors Pataki, Spitzer and Patterson and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
“I am deeply grateful as well for this opportunity to express my personal appreciation to the men and women in law enforcement who are on duty day and night,” Kissinger said. “Not only protecting us from crime and terrorism but working in their local communities to safeguard and aid their fellow citizens.”
New York-based financier, real estate developer, and noted philanthropist Howard Milstein, owner of Emigrant Savings Bank has been a major supporter of law enforcement and the foundation.
Milstein underwrote the expense of creating the only 9/11 memorial in midtown Manhattan by building a permanent memorial in front of the bank’s headquarters at 6 East 43rd Street. The “Fallen Fireman” is a 12 foot high bronze statue cast in Parma, Italy which serves as a tribute and reminder of all who perished in the terrorist attack on America on September 11, 2001.
As a result of Milstein’s philanthropy, unlike charities which often deliver less than 50 percent of the money raised to those in need, the Foundation is able to return 99 percent of the money it collects to the people who are truly in need.
Since its inception in 1988., the foundation has raised more than $15 million and funded more than 2,500 requests and more than 1,500 scholarships.
Bergamo’s background makes him uniquely suited for directing the job of directing the Federal Law Enforcement Foundation. He serves as Vice Chairman of MB Real Estate, which is owned by the Milstein family.
In addition, he serves as the Audit Chairman of Steel Partners, LLP, a NYSE listed company with over $1.5 billion in assets ,and Dime Community Bancshares, a NASDAQ listed company with over $4 billion in deposits. He also serves on the board of Boylans Beverage , a privately held company.
Previously he served as Audit Chairman of Lonestar Steakhouse a restaurant company with over $650 million in sales. He negotiated the sale of the company to a private investor.
Bergamo has broad experience in the hotel, retail, real estate investment, banking, defense and trade show industries. He also served as an Independent Fiduciary for the Federal District Court.
He serves on the New York State Judicial Screening Committee, First Department and as the Audit Chairman of the State of New York Mortgage Agency. He previously served on the New York State Commission for Sentencing Reform, and the board of Off-Track-Betting.
Bergamo has been honored by the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, the New York Office of Labor Racketeering, U.S. Department of Labor, District Attorneys of New York State , the New York Police Department, New York ASIS Chapter, New Jersey Police Chiefs Foundation, among other law enforcement organizations.
He has completed international assignments in England, France, Italy Scotland, Greece, Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, Dominican Republic and Trinidad.
Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes is another big fan and supporter of Bergamo and the foundation.
“During these perilous times of terrorism, violent crime and the constant need for excellent security, the Federal Law Enforcement Foundation has been a noble ally to the nation’s police departments in dealing with these critical issues,” Ailes said. “You have improved the American way of life and are one of the most important civic and charitable foundations in New York and in our nation.”