Barry Sattell has been giving to the Zoological Society of Milwaukee (ZSM) and the Milwaukee County Zoo for three decades. As a member of the Simba Circle, the ZSM's planned giving society, he knows his financial resources will continue to support the ZSM even after he's gone. In fact, Sattell, managing shareholder of accounting firm Sattell, Johnson, Appel & Co., S.C., helped start the Simba Circle two decades ago and is chairman of the ZSM's Endowment Trust. Here, he explains why he gives to the ZSM and why it's important to include the organization in a will or estate plan.
Q: What led you to help start what would become the Simba Circle?
A: In the mid-1990s, the captains of industry in the Milwaukee area were moving or passing away, and we had no assurance the next generation would be willing to step up and continue to help the Zoo and ZSM. Because of my understanding of financial planning, I was selected to help with the Planned Giving Committee. This committee later became the Simba Circle and led to the ZSM Endowment Trust.
Q: Why do you want to support the Zoological Society after you're gone?
A: My earliest memories and some of my happiest are going to the old Washington Park Zoo with my parents, just whistling and singing as we walked the grounds. The Zoo is one place to find happy people, young and old. The Society is a major champion of support for the Zoo, and I want to help by providing money after I'm gone (hopefully many years from now).
Q: How does giving through the Simba Circle work?
A: There are a number of ways someone can leave money and property through planned giving. It could be as simple as naming the ZSM in a will to receive a specific amount or a percentage of the estate. The ZSM can be named as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy, or a member can buy a gift annuity, which provides him or her with a tax deduction and an income stream to the Zoo. These are just a few of the more common bequests.
Q: When did you start giving to the ZSM and the Zoo?
My financial relationship with the Milwaukee County Zoo began when my son Ben was stung by a bee during a visit. Not knowing if he was allergic, I searched high and low for a first-aid station. I was told that money was being raised to create one and was asked if I wanted to help. I said "yes," and now it's 30 years later.
Q: What's your favorite animal at the Zoo?
A: The hippos.