Supporting Miami's Social Contract
Editors note: From Catalyst Miami's archives, we are re-publishing a blog post written in 2012 about one of our former Chairs of the Board of Directors, Ed Soto, and why he supports Catalyst Miami. Ed Soto continues to generously support the organization many years later. Weil Gotshal & Manges is a Champion sponsor of Catalyst Miami's 2021 signature fundraiser, Imagine Miami.
As the son of a father who worked for Eastern Airlines, Edward "Ed" Soto spent many of his childhood years shuttling between Miami and New York. But when he became a teenager, he told his parents he wanted to stay in Miami for good. "It was much smaller then, of course," he recalls. "But Miami still has that appealing, open quality that made me want to live here."
So, after he received a bachelor's degree from Florida State University and his law degree from Columbia University, Soto made Miami his home--and the home base of his distinguished career as an attorney. The senior trial partner and head of the litigation department in the Miami office of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, Soto has effectively represented an array of powerhouse clients in complex, high-stakes cases for more than three decades.
Active over the years in many pubic service organizations in the Miami area, Soto first met Catalyst Miami CEO and President Daniella Levine when he reached out to fellow Columbia law graduates in the Miami area. "I was fascinated by her amazing dedication to using hher time and talents to give back to our community," he recalls. "So I asked how I could help."
Through his volunteer efforts with Catalyst, Soto says, "I've become involved not only with Catalyst programms such as the Prosperity Campaign, but with community organizations such as Roots in the City, Camillus House, and Casa Valentina. Catalyst gave me a new perspective on Miami."
Soto was particularly intrigued by Catalyst's work with Public Allies, an Americorps program that helps young people build professional and advocacy skills through nonprofit apprenticeships. Two of his own four sons completed yearlong Public Allies apprenticeships, and their experiences have inspired their brothers, in turn, to get involved in the public sector.
"Community is a social contract: a series of ideas that we believe benefit the whole," Soto continues. "Part of that means looking at how, as a community, we can serve each other's needs." Toward that end, Soto considers Catalyst's approach to building community through a multifaceted commitment to direct service, civic engagement, and assistance to fellow community groups uniquely powerful.
So when someone asks Soto why, among hundreds of community organizations, they should support Catalyst, he has a ready answer: "There may be hundreds of rock groups, but there's only one Beatles."
Catalyst Miami is celebrating its 25th Anniversary in 2021. If you have the means, please consider making a donation to keep us going strong for the next 25 years. Donate here. Or consider supporting us at our signature annual fundraising event, Imagine Miami, on September 29, 2021 at Casa Florida.