Excerpt from an upcoming feature article by Zachary Calloway:
Chicago, IL – “Wow, I never really thought about it like that,” Schnick said, “But I guess so,” when I ask him if he considers himself a philanthropist. “I mean, this is the most ambitious project I’ve ever been a part of,” he declares. “But we’re not Bill and Melinda. Yet…”
He, of course, is talking about the new charitable foundation he has co-founded with his wife Stephanie Schnick. Both turned 50 in 2019, and both see this project as the culmination of where their respective careers have taken them. And although they don’t say it, their legacy.
“If you had told me that we’d be here launching this thing,” Stephanie says, “I wouldn’t have believed you.” What does she mean by this statement? I think she means her and Todd’s life was very, very different just two years ago. They’ve done a lot of living since Fall 2017, when everything changed. More on that later.
Looking back to when Todd’s career started, he credits his mother with suggesting the shift in his college education that set him on a completely different path. Like most young men of his age, he landed at The Florida State University with plans to get a business degree, likely to follow in the path of his successful corporate father, Thomas Schnick.
But instead, he pivoted and went down the path of politics and history. And this lead to an almost twenty year run as a congressional aide and national political operative.
He still chuckles visualizing his mom and dad watching his testimony during the infamous Florida Recount in 2000, whilst they were waiting in NYC to depart on a plane to Europe. He doesn’t really like to talk about it now, “It was a weird time in all of our lives….U.S. Secret Service walking around, pouring coffee for Bob Dole in the HQ break room, and two death threats as a result of my televised courtroom appearance.”
Todd’s political career took him from the heights of BushWorld Florida in the late nineties, to Nevada, to New Jersey, to Georgia. And it was in Georgia where the political merry-go-round blessedly stopped. Helping elect the state’s first Republican Governor and also defeating an incumbent U.S. Senator, it was a good year for Republicans. But a short-lived stint as a lobbyist proved miserable, and then Todd quickly launched a national political consultancy.
The consultancy brought him all over the U.S., including managing a handful of gubernatorial bids. But after three years he got the itch to do something different. And it was here that his life and career took another unexpected turn. He largely ditched politics…
(More of the Calloway piece coming soon…)