Tag Archives: One World Trade Center

Johanna Rossi Turns New York Purple

Johanna Rossi is a senior hedge fund trader.

She’s one of the top women on Wall Street. And she’s doing all she can to change that.

Not that she wants to lose her position. She just wants other women to join her.

In her spare time, the Westporter is a leader of Securities Traders Association of New York — Women in Finance.

Last year, Johanna asked the Durst Organization to shine a light on International Women’s Day. The real estate giant quickly agreed to light One World Trade Center purple.

One World Trade Center, on International Women’s Day 2017.

This year — thanks again to Johanna — Durst is adding purple lights to One Bryant Park and nearby 4 Times Square.

In addition, Durst is allowing STANY-WIF to use the coveted Spire app. It allows users to change the color of spires from their cellphones.

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is #PressForProgress. The goal is to “motivate and unite friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive.”

It’s something Johanna Rossi has been doing for years.

(For more on Johanna Rossi and her pioneering work with women on Wall Street, click here. For more on International Women’s Day, click here.)

On International Women’s Day 2016, Johanna Rossi helped ring the NASDAQ bell to celebrate gender equality.


David Schachne Races To Freedom

Last Sunday, plenty of Westporters went for runs. Some jogged lightly. Others put in a few hard miles. Even with hills, the terrain was fairly easy.

David Schachne’s was not.

The longtime Westport businessman — who earlier climbed the Himalayas — spent Sunday racing up the Freedom Tower (1 World Trade Center).

That’s 102 floors. 2,250 steps. Straight uphill.

Schachne’s run was part of the “Tunnel to Towers” Climb. The event paid homage to — and raised funds in honor of — 1st responders killed on 9/11. Among them: firefighters Stephen Siller (the namesake of this foundation) and Billy Burke (who gave his life to save someone in a wheelchair).

Freedom Tower Climb logo

Of the 665 racers on Sunday, Schachne was the 2nd highest individual fundraiser. With help from many Westporters, he raised nearly $6,000.

Runners were not allowed to bring or carry anything into the building: no watches, cell phones, cameras, GoPros — not even keys. All gear was deposited in a truck, prior to 3 security checks.

Schachne was in the 4th wave (of 7). The 1st group took off at 5 a.m. He got into the tower at 6 a.m., with more than 100 others.

1 World Trade Center ("Freedom Tower"): the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere, 4th tallest in the world.

1 World Trade Center (“Freedom Tower”) is the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere, 4th tallest in the world.

At the entrance to the stairwell, where badges were scanned, Schachne thought he was waiting for a final security clearance. Instead, his timing chip had been scanned. A man suddenly yelled “Go!”

Schachne planned to double-step the entire way up. Yet after standing outside for 15 minutes in cold air, his airway had constricted. He has asthma, but had forgotten his inhaler.

Fortunately, a few minutes inside the warm building acclimated his body. Just around then though, his heartbeat spiked.

Without a watch or phone, Schachne had no idea how long he’d been climbing. He did not look at floor numbers, not wanting to get discouraged.

But after a while, thinking he was halfway up, he checked. He read with dismay: 27.

He’d trained each week by climbing 4 or 5 sets of stairs in a 50-floor building. Now, he began counting steps. Most Freedom Tower floors have 23 steps. The building he’d trained in had 14 steps per flight. (The Empire State Building, which Schachne climbed a few years ago, has 18.)

He realized he would not hit his 23:30 goal. But he slogged on, step after step after step.

As he neared the top, the stairwell grew congested. He continued to 2-step, weaving to the left and right of crowds.

Finally — 2,250 steps and 26:11 after he began — Schachne reached the top. It had been much harder than he’d anticipated.

David Schachne, on the observation deck at the top the Freedom Tower.

David Schachne, on the observation deck at the top the Freedom Tower.

Considering the extra stairs, he was satisfied. When he calculated his time against his Empire State run, he figured he beat that previous pace by 20 seconds.

Schachne ended up 201st, out of all 665 finishers. (Winning time: 14:26. Slowest: 1 hour, 40 minutes.)

At the finish line — the observation deck — he was awed by the views. He gazed out at the Statue of Liberty, and much of New Jersey and Manhattan.

“It was an amazing morning,” Schachne says. “The Freedom Tower is truly a sight to behold. The event raised over $300,000 for catastrophically injured servicemen and women, and 1st responders’ families. I  am honored to have helped, and I thank all who supported me.

And how was your Sunday morning run?

(There is still time to support David Schachne. Just click here!)