by Michael Walsh
Farmington accountant Dave Federman was honored by the Arthritis Foundation, for his 21 years of involvement with the foundation.
Federman, a longtime resident of West Hartford and current resident of Bloomfield, opened his Farmington accounting firm Federman, Lally, and Remis in 1991.
The full-service accounting firm offers services like tax returns, financial statement audits, and business consulting. It’s a business Federman has been in since the 1960s.
The work, he says, goes well beyond finances.
“It’s as much about the relationships with our clients,” Federman said. “As much as it is to do about taxes and accounting, it has to do with other issues these owners have. You find out that people, as much as their taxes are bothering them, there is always something more important.”
The other part of Federman’s life is made up by his charitable work. He grew up in Hartford and his parents were involved in the Jewish community. He followed suit, becoming president of the Mandell JCC and became involved in the Jewish Federation.
“My involvement for the most part of my career has been in the Jewish community,” Federman said. “That part of my community involvement comes with the territory. I was born with that. It’s in my DNA. I’m part of the Jewish community.”
The arthritis community, though, was something Federman had no affiliation with. But that didn’t stop him from organizing a fundraiser as a favor when Bradley Hoffman, of Hoffman Auto Group, asked.
“He was the chairman of the board of what was a local arthritis chapter,” Federman said. “He asked me to be involved. I got involved, not because I had a passion for arthritis, it was because a person asked me to help.”
That became 21 years of helping raise funds for research and health care in the arthritis community. He was chairman of the New England chapter of the Arthritis Foundation and on the board of the national chapter of the Arthritis Foundation.
It was through meeting people suffering from arthritis that truly captured Federman’s attention.
“I got to meet, firsthand, people suffering from arthritis,” Federman said. “Arthritis is not one of those diseases… that carries the same meaning as when you say cancer. Arthritis is viewed as a disease that primarily affects older people and is kind of unavoidable. But it is a very serious disease.”
Among those people, it was visiting with children suffering from juvenile arthritis that really impacted Federman.
“I went to a regional juvenile arthritis conference and I got to meet hundreds of young people, eight years old, 10 years old, with arthritis,” Federman said. “It was terrible. What you saw was heartbreaking. It just shook me. You don’t start with passion for the disease, it was more of doing a friend a favor. Meeting the young people, hearing their stories, that created a passion.”
Federman has been part of a group who has organized numerous fundraisers over the last 20 years to help benefit people with arthritis. They include evenings with various University of Connecticut athletic coaches, like women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma, football coach Randy Edsall, and men’s hockey coach Mike Cavanaugh.
Federman said that in those years, they’ve probably raised between $2.5 million and $3 million. Both he and his firm were honored at the recent Commitment to a Cure award dinner, on Sept. 8.
Federman was honored with the Champion of Yes lifetime achievement award and the partners of the firm, which include Robert Lally and Jim Remis, were honored with the Champion of Yes community partner award.