After evacuating from the 68th floor of 2 World Trade Center not long before the second tower was struck, Immordino made it home later that morning to a family who had presumed he did not survive. He said the experience caused him to change his career and devote his expert financial skills to a job that would “improve the human condition.”
By Palmer Hasty
On the morning of September 11, 2001, Brooklyn native Jonathan Immordino was working as a Senior Business Analyst for Morgan Stanley on the 68th floor of 2 World Trade Center. Very fortunately, Immordino and his co-workers were able to evacuate down the stairway to safety that morning before the second terrorist jetliner crashed into that building.
Outside the building, unaware of why they were being evacuated, Immordino and his co-workers were directed across the street where they were able to see the chaos and the damage caused by the terrorist attack on the first tower. Immordino preferred to go home to his family rather than stay to witness the terrible scene. So he took the last J train out of Manhattan to his home in Woodhaven, Queens.
Cell towers were inoperable as a result of the attacks, so Immordino could not alert his wife or his family that he was indeed safe. His parents, who had been watching the scenes unfold on the news, saw the second plane crash into the vicinity of the 68th floor of Tower 2. Unaware of Immordino’s earlier evacuation, they concluded that Immordino had not survived, so they retrieved his children from school, and the children were informed that their father had passed away. It’s easy to imagine the especially warm welcome Immordino must have received when he returned home that fateful morning.
Immordino said the incident changed his life, and his career path. He decided that he would devote his profession as a financial expert to jobs “that would improve the human condition.”
In a recent interview with the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Immordino who currently lives in Orlando, Fl., and works as Chief Financial Officer for Nemours Children’s Clinic, explained: “I felt, through my financial role, I would do something that could help others in the Health Care Industry. Over the last ten years I’ve worked in Health Care, in permanent and consulting positions, and primarily within restructuring scenarios.”
Immordino was born in Bensonhurst, where he lived on West 11th Street until he was five. When asked about his memories of Brooklyn, Immordino recalled:
“It’s amazing how memories have been frozen in my mind from that time period. My parents owned a three family house. I can remember there was cement everywhere, including the tiny backyard. We shared a narrow driveway with our neighbors, and I spent a lot of time with my friends playing handball or baseball in that alleyway. And I remember we lived very close to the most popular Mafia funeral home in Brooklyn.” He laughed, adding, “That might have been part of the reason my parents moved.”
Immordino continued: “Back then everyone knew everyone else. All the kids from surrounding blocks played with each other and at times it was common to find yourself in anyone’s backyard. I remember one of my favorite things to do was going to Spumoni Gardens to have their famous Sicilian pizza and ices.”
Stickball and Family Meals
Although Immordino spent the latter part of his childhood in Woodhaven, Queens, his family often visited the relatives who still lived in Brooklyn.
“My aunt Rosemary and Aunt Bea and their families lived together in a two family home in the Gravesend area of Brooklyn. Uncle Danny and his family lived in the Canarsie area of Brooklyn. Those homes had a similar layout to ours with tight spaces and a lot of cement. They lived there until my teenage years. We played stickball in those incredibly narrow streets with all the kids from the neighborhood. I don’t remember there being as many cars on the streets back then. An occasional car coming down the road never slowed us down though.”
After pausing, Immordino continued; “My memories of my Brooklyn youth are heavily populated with family gatherings. When the family got together it was never less than 20 or 30 people. Our home was always an open house back then, and our friends were always welcome to share in mom’s Italian cooking. What can I say? Those were great times.”
He credits his father’s direct influence as a primary reason he decided to go into accounting. His father was a teacher in Brooklyn at William E. Grady High School, and became a financial counselor in his later life.
Immordino learned early that he had a natural gift for mathematics. “I was always mathematically inclined, but I can’t blame it entirely on that gift. My siblings and I did well in school, but then, our parents gave us no other choice.”
“From a very early age my father made us read and do extra homework assignments in order to be ahead of our grade. We even had to bring books and homework on every vacation. On long trips my father would drill us with math and spelling problems. I of course have many wonderful memories of those family vacations, and the drills never seemed like a terrible burden.”
After graduating from Queens College with a major in accounting and minors in economics and music, Immordino later earned a second degree in computer science from Queens College. He also received a CPA Series 7 license, and continued his studies, earning an MBA in finance from Benedictine University in Chicago.
Immordino worked for many years as a CPA supporting numerous industries, but largely the Securities Industry and the Health Care field. Beginning in the ‘90s and through 2002, Immordino worked as a Senior Business Analyst for Morgan Stanley, supporting the NASDAQ trading floor.
After his decision in 2001 to work in the Health Care industry, during the decade prior to joining Nemours, Immordino worked for Medisys Health Network, Wartburg Lutheran Services, which operated 16 nursing homes, and Kurron Healthcare Management and Consulting.
“Since 2001 I have taken jobs where my expertise would be needed in a restructuring scenario. I would implement new accounting systems, redevelop the revenue cycle, or create new work flows. I implemented new software systems, overhauled purchasing processes, restructured staffing and obtained tax free funding for those companies.”
Taking the job at Nemours
In 2011, when he found out that Nemours was opening a children’s hospital from the ground up in Orlando, Immordino became very excited. “First of all, Nemours has a reputation as an organization where the leaders believe the mission. Second, what better institution could you work for than one that serves children? I was also excited to be part of a true academic, research organization. A startup project would combine every skill that I had been executing for the last ten years. And it didn’t hurt that the opportunity was also in Florida.”
When asked if he enjoys working and living in Florida, without hesitation Immordino replied, “That’s a definite yes; I love my job, and I love where I live.”
Photo courtesy of Nemours Children’s Hospital.