Nancy Haberman Gacioch ’62 and her husband Bill.
Nancy Haberman Gacioch ’62 and her husband Bill.
Nancy Haberman Gacioch ’62 and her husband Bill.

Throughout their adult lives, Nancy Haberman Gacioch (’62) and her husband Bill have followed that bit of life’s wisdom that says “It’s better to give than to receive.”

Widely known for their generous philanthropy in Western New York, the successful couple says there is a great satisfaction in their commitment to supporting worthwhile causes in the community.

“We have had such success in creating a business of our own, one that employs 300 people and provides housing for over 20 thousand tenants around the country,” says Bill Gacioch. “So it’s great to be able to provide some assistance to our community.”

The Gaciochs’ financial success stems from Bill’s founding of National Property Management Associates (NPMA) more than 45 years ago, now headquartered in Orchard Park, New York.

“I began with nothing but the encouragement of very poor parents, who insisted that going to the right schools and taking the right approach to having a better life would pay off,” Bill says. “They were right.”

Last semester Bill served as the inaugural speaker in the Nancy Haberman Gacioch Entrepreneurship Lecture Series, which continues this year at Daemen College. Daemen’s Entrepreneurship Program was jump-started by a generous gift from Nancy, who studied social studies and economics at the former Rosary Hill College.

“There ought to be a significant incentive for women in the area of business entrepreneurship,” she says.  “It is something I strongly believe in.” Her endowment of the series is now helping women in the program with tuition and other program financing needs.

“My husband fits in perfectly,” she notes. “He has much to offer, having lived an entrepreneurial life.”

Bill Gacioch started his business in his 20s and drew on his own personal experiences in residential income property management, learning to apply principles of leverage “that allow someone to become successful in a business they start.”

During his lecture, Bill emphasized the importance of leveraging financial strength to build a business; how to obtain capital and loans; and how to use, in his words, “OPM” – other people’s money” that allows investors to see a good return, while at the same time building the business. Bill’s practical message, delivered in an informal “fireside chat” manner, was followed by lively discussion and questions from an audience of both Daemen College staff, students, and faculty, and the community at large.

It is their community in which the Gaciochs have made an important difference in, over the years. Their philanthropy has been especially evident in the areas of children’s advocacy; education; and preventing animal cruelty (walking the walk, they even have a rescue dog in their home).

Nancy has invested the couple’s money – and her time – into work at Niagara University, Bill Gacioch’s alma mater, where he spent eight years serving as a trustee. She was also co-chair of a major capital campaign for the Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart, and serves on the Board of Trustees at Daemen College. Nancy also served on the Board of St. Francis High School in Athol Springs, which her two sons attended, and has provided assistance to Hilbert College as well.

“Maybe you can’t be there and totally involved physically, but you’re still giving them the things they need to keep it going.”– Nancy Haberman Gacioch ’62

In addition, the Gaciochs’ philanthropic spirit has been felt at the Buffalo City Mission and the Salvation Army. Nancy is getting involved in two new entities – Cradle Beach and the Wounded Warrior Project – and has been an ardent supporter of the Child Advocacy Center, now under the umbrella of Child and Adolescent Treatment Services.

“There’s more pleasure in giving than getting,” Nancy acknowledges. “We’ve always felt that way – it is vital to help those in need. Maybe you can’t be there and totally involved physically, but you’re still giving them the things they need to keep it going.”

Even Bill’s passionate hobby – collecting antique automobiles, of which he has some 80 models housed in a private museum in Eden – steers parallel with the couple’s charitable ways.

Determined to be in the driver’s seat, he decided sometime after graduating from college to begin collecting the cars he had once only dreamed about. It was a passion that continued to gain traction over the years, and now he periodically holds charitable events that feature special viewings of the impressive automotive fleet.

“We’re thrilled that we’re in a position to be able to do this,” says Nancy, who earned her bachelor’s degree in social studies from Rosary Hill in 1962 and then taught first and second grades for two years after graduation.

Both Bill and Nancy say they’ll continue with the same financial and heartfelt strength, thanks to their children – who work in the family business – and, eventually, their 13 grandchildren. They will pass along the family tradition of giving back, and making a difference in the lives of those less fortunate.