Philanthropist, collector, and fifth generation business owner Todd Simon details the efforts of some of his foundations and the various means by which they offer support to the broader arts community, including fellowships and highly successful crowd funding. Simon also talks about his perspective as a collector, how he looks for new work, and whether work can stand the test of time.
“I spend my days running my business, Omaha Steaks, so I can’t really make art, but I can facilitate the process by being involved with organizations that are very friendly to artists. And I think over the years what I’ve grown to love are artists, and really the sacrifices they’ve made and the choices they’ve made to become an artist. Nobody in their right minds would become an artist. That’s not exactly true, but I think it’s a very heroic choice. I think it’s a great choice, one that I wasn’t able to make, and I’d like to celebrate it.”
After graduating from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, Todd Simon joined the family business, Omaha Steaks, where he currently serves as Senior Vice President of Omaha Steaks International, Inc., President of OS SalesCo, Inc. and Vice-Chairman of Omahasteaks.com, Inc. As a philanthropist, Simon serves as Vice President of the Board for the Bemis Center of Contemporary Arts, and a as a board member for United States Artists, the United Way of the Midlands, The Omaha Community Foundation, and the Nebraska Chapter of Young President’s Organization. Along with his wife, Simon runs their own organization, the Todd and Betiana Simon Foundation. The Simon’s collect contemporary art and maintain a private gallery space in their home.