Professional Advisor Spotlight: David Luzon
David Luzon did not take a traditional route into the legal profession. Starting out in college as a performance major in music and French horn, he pivoted to pursuing his undergraduate degree from Medaille before starting his MBA at Canisius and then transferring into the JD MBA dual degree program at UB. “The MBA was important to be able to speak the language of clients who have businesses, especially in the trust and estate and succession planning areas,” David explained.
Today, David, an attorney and partner at Barclay Damon, has been practicing trust and estate law exclusively for the last 25 years. “What I enjoy most about my job is talking with people every day who have a wide range of needs and wants and working to help them.”
In 2017, David was introduced to the Community Foundation through his former law firm and was invited to join its Professional Advisor Council, a group of local attorneys, certified public accountants and financial professionals who work toward gaining a deeper understanding of the Community Foundation’s services and its role in Western New York, and provide feedback to enhance its ability to be a preeminent resource on charitable giving for the professional advisor field.
“I joined as a way of doing some community service, something with a charitable organization,” he said. As David became more familiar with the Community Foundation and the extensive partnerships it has with professional advisors, he accepted the opportunity to chair the Council in 2019, a position he has held since.
“Being the Council Chair was a wonderful thing for the Community Foundation to ask me to do,” David noted. “I was very honored to be able to do it, and I’ve said all along that the people at the Community Foundation have made it so easy.”
Today, David would recommend to his colleagues that they join the Council and stay on it as long as possible. “Not only will you learn about the Community Foundation, but you’re going to be able to network with other professionals, which is, in my mind, definitely a benefit of being on the Council,” he said.
As David’s term on the Professional Advisor Council comes to an end in December, he looks forward to continuing to partner with the Community Foundation to help achieve his clients’ charitable goals.
“For client solutions or when I need a tax solution, I always think of the Community Foundation. Or with general charitable intent legacies, I ask ‘do you have any charitable intention?’ If they say yes, then we start going down the road of, ‘okay, what would you want to benefit?’ And if it’s really kind of amorphous, something like ‘I’d like to benefit the community,’ then that’s a great introduction to the Community Foundation.”
David has also recommended the Community Foundation to clients considering a private foundation. “I tell them that the Community Foundation can handle this beautifully, help the community, make it permanent over time, and your impact will last forever.”
He appreciates the responsiveness of the Community Foundation and the commitment to finding solutions together. “Working with the Community Foundation is very easy, collaborative, helpful, educational and impactful for my clients,” David said.