HOW THIS SIUH FOUNDATION BOARD MEMBER MANAGES TO FULFILL HIS COMMITMENTS TO FAMILY, CAREER, AND COMMUNITY
BY JESSICA JONES GORMAN • PHOTOS © AMESSÉ PHOTOGRAPH
For Stephen Thompson, a longtime Staten Island resident and local business owner, giving back to his hometown has long been a priority. He’s contributed time and energy to organizations across the borough, and has helped raise funds for St. John’s University, Eltingville Lutheran Church, and Nansen Lodge. So, nine years ago, when one of his clients told him about the work being done by the Staten Island University Hospital Foundation, Thompson inquired about helping.
“SIUH is such a major part of this community; everyone in the borough has used the hospital’s services for themselves or for a loved one at some point,” he said. “And that’s exactly why I wanted to get involved to help bring funding to an institution that’s so vital to borough residents.”
Thompson, a title insurance agent by trade, who started working in his industry at age 16, makes good use of community connections to promote the hospital and its causes.
“Staten Islanders need to know about all of the innovation that this hospital is placing in their backyard,” he said. “The key to building a successful structure is earning the trust and respect of the people who will use it.”
Thompson should know, having built his own business from the ground up.
“I started in this industry part time while I was still in high school, working with a title underwriter…learning the trade during summers and then through college,” he said. “After graduation I was hired by a major title underwriter in Manhattan, where I worked for several years before deciding to branch out and start my own agency.”
A graduate of St. Peter’s Boys High School and St. John’s University, he named that new enterprise Thompson Title Agency. It was, he admitted, a bit of a leap, but one the businessman said has paid off.
“It’s not easy to launch your own business,” Thompson said. “It’s a difficult transition from the corporate world, going from working for a large entity to starting your own small operation. You really have to be very hands on and do everything yourself be knowledgeable in all facets of the business.”
The industry has had its ups and downs forcing him to navigate both strong and weak economies and their effects on the real estate market and when he joined the Foundation Board at SIUH, Thompson made use of that same resilience.
“I really enjoy working with members of the board and those in the business development offices,” he said. “I like working on efforts to improve this hospital, because it is such an important part of people’s lives. And because of the efforts of this board and the wonderful medical staff, there are wonderful things going on at this hospital.”
An especially important project for Thompson is the construction of a new pediatric emergency unit at SIUH’s south site. “The hospital is making a major effort on the South Shore because there is a burgeoning population there and services are required,” he explained.
In the next few years, large scale projects will be completed at the north site, too, including two new centers. The first, the Gruppuso Family Women and Newborn Center, will elevate the birth experience for Staten Island mothers and families, providing a seamless experience through the integration of a new labor and delivery unit, a maternity unit, and a state of the art neonatal intensive care unit on a single floor.
The second, the Florina Cancer Center, will integrate cancer services currently located at different points on the campus, making them easier for patients to navigate while providing the highest quality care.
Thompson, whose official title is Foundation Board Secretary, gives credit to board chair, Phillip Mancuso, for his guidance and mentorship.
“Phil has been instrumental in pointing the board in a new direction, giving us a new sense of energy and life,” he said. “I am proud to serve with him.”
Thompson lives in the High Rock section of Staten Island with his wife, Ann, and three sons, Sean, Glen, and Jared. He said his role with SIUH has helped fulfill both life and career goals.
“My parents always stressed the importance of honesty and integrity in all aspects, and that advice echoes in everything I do, both personally and professionally,” he said.
Asked further about his real estate enterprise, he observed that, “My mission in the title industry is to assist consumers and real estate professionals in eliminating problems in the closing process. But my life mission is to maintain a balance between family, career, and community efforts. Serving on the board at SIUH has helped me accomplish a goal of helping others. It has been a vital facet of my life.”
Thompson Land Services, Inc.
1676 Hylan Boulevard / 718.668.2500
For more information about Staten Island University Hospital projects,
call its Development Office at 718.226.2746