Pinnacle Award winner lauded for can-do, will-do ethos


Following a two-year pandemic delay, Todd Heckman, president of Estate Planning Advisors, was honored at the 15th annual Pinnacle Awards Breakfast at the Quail Valley River Club, in front of a room filled with planned giving advisors, attorneys, bankers, CPAs and nonprofit fund development representatives.

The Pinnacle Award, presented by the Indian River Estate Planning Council and the Planned Giving Council of Indian River, recognizes excellence in charitable planning and honors professional advisors for outstanding voluntary service to local nonprofit organizations in promoting charitable giving through estate and gift planning.

After welcoming everyone and thanking the event sponsors, David Osgood, event chairman, said he had read that of the $84 trillion in generational wealth that will change hands over the next 22 years, $12 trillion will be given to philanthropy, commenting that many in the room will be among those assisting individuals and families with those legacy gifts.

“Todd joins an elite group of advisers who have received this award over the years,” said Osgood.

“My experience with Todd is he’s not one of those guys who say, ‘What do we do?’ ‘How can we help?’ He’s the kind of guy who picks up the hammer and gets things done.”

Eve Kyomya Vendryes, director of communications for Habitat for Humanity Indian River, which nominated Heckman for the award, said she was newly in town when she first met him. Shortly after making her first presentation to board members, Heckman came to see her, even before she could reach out to him.

“We sat down and, immediately, Todd presented me with a contribution. And as he presented that contribution, he quickly added, ‘I want to do more, and there’ll be more to come.’ He didn’t wait for me to follow up with him. He didn’t wait for my phone call. He instead pursued me. And so it made a lasting impression on me. And in that moment, I became a fan,” said Vendryes.

She said Heckman also played a key role in formalizing their planned giving efforts and in establishing a legacy giving society.

“He truly is such a good man with such a big heart,” said Vendryes. “You have been steadfast and consistent in your service to our community in so many different ways. And so Todd, I want to say congratulations and I want to say well done.”

Andrew Hartline said Heckman graduated cum laude from Tufts University and moved to Vero Beach in 1997 with wife Terry and their three children.

“Once part of the community, he just dove right in, and participated with the contagious passion that he has with many nonprofit organizations,” said Hartline, citing Heckman’s board experiences with the Coalition for Attainable Homes, the Treasure Coast Homeless Services Council and the Indian River Lacrosse Association.

“He’s willing to adapt, and he always brings a positive energy to every client he serves. You know that he’s serving on the side of his client,” said Hartline.

Scott Alexander, the 2019 recipient, commented on Heckman’s advocacy on behalf of the homeless of Indian River County before presenting the award.

“Todd has done incredible work in that world, in addition to being a consummate professional and a great husband and father,” said Alexander.

“Thank you very, very much. It’s very heartwarming to be in front of this professional group,” said Heckman, adding that he has enjoyed talking, laughing and learning with them over the years.

“I think it’s all about what we do as a group to help others,” said Heckman, who also acknowledged the steadfast support of Terry, his wife of 37 years.

Photos provided

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