The Dynamic Duo
Robert Iger's real heft in the philanthropy world is with the business he leads. The Disney president and CEO, 60, says the company focuses on "guaranteeing and promoting the well-being of kids and families. That's a sweet spot for Disney." But corporate donations, which run about $200 million annually in cash, products and in-kind support, are only part of the equation. "It's not just about Disney's money; it's our time and talent," he says. "We can send Imagineers into a children's hospital to help design an experience for kids that makes it better for them and their parents."
Where there's an intersect between his and wife Willow Bay's personal philanthropic interests and Disney's is with the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. But, says Iger, "the overlap is only coincidental. We've tried to separate personal from corporate." Bay, 47, a senior editor at the Huffington Post, was already involved with EGPAF in the early 1990s before she met her husband; the company was one of the early corporate sponsors. She joined the board eight years ago, just as the foundation was meeting its initial goal, at least in the U.S., of eradicating pediatric AIDS. "We looked around and thought, 'We're done,' " she says. "But we're not when children around the world don't have access to the same preventive measures our own do."
Together they've visited AIDS hospitals in South Africa. She's gone on to other facilities in Uganda and Tanzania. "You have to learn what this disease is like in a completely different culture and what the fight against it looks like," Bay says. "It's both an emotional and intellectual challenge."