Tony Carlisi is an outgoing, friendly, downright funny Lenbrook resident. And in addition to enjoying a loving 63-year marriage to his wife Josephine, raising a wonderful family and nurturing a remarkable career, he spent a good part of his adult life volunteering. So, when we were looking for another accomplished and interesting Lenbrook resident to profile, guess what he did? Tony Carlisi volunteered.
Originally from Waltham, Massachusetts but spending most of his life in Rochester, New York, Tony had a 33-year career climbing the ranks of the Xerox Corporation. “I started as a salesman and went up the ladder all the way to Field Operations Manager. Then after I retired, I formed my own consulting company and successfully ran it for six years.”
Although Tony enthusiastically talks about his extraordinary achievements in the corporate world, it is another type of work that really gives him the “pep” in his conversational step; his many years of public service. “More than four decades ago, while at Xerox, I founded ‘Operation Food Basket.’ It was a volunteer organization that provides food for needy families in the Rochester area during Christmas time. The first year, we collected $195. These days, we raise $50-$60,000 per year and feed more than 2,500 people. I live here now, but ‘Operation Food Basket’ in Rochester is still going strong.”
And as if that isn’t impressive enough, Tony was also highly involved in SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) which is a nationwide organization providing free advice and assistance to small businesses. For 18 years, Tony served as a high-ranking member of SCORE and to this day, participates as an emeritus—retired but an occasionally participating member.
About his abundant years of public service, Tony says, “Talk about rewarding? THAT’S rewarding.”
Also rewarding for Tony and Josephine is their current life at Lenbrook. Says Josephine, “For senior living, I think this is the top of the list. The people are wonderful. They always make you feel welcome. Living here has turned out so well.” Apparently so, as the couple has made many new friends and both enjoy the stellar amenities. Tony frequents the fitness center and Josephine uses the library and has joined the knitting club. “We make caps and blankets for little preemies in the hospital,” she proudly reports. It seems “serving” is just part of the Carlisi DNA.
The thing you are most proud of in life.
“My grandkids. They turned out so well. The boys were Eagle Scouts. Now we have one in medical school, one in law school, one getting her doctorate at Auburn. It’s amazing.” Smiling, Josephine adds, “And OUR kids, their parents, were really good kids, too.”
The thing you love about Lenbrook the most.
“I love that everything is right here. We have our choice of three-to-four restaurants. Tonight, one of them is serving my favorite rib-eye steak! And the minute I heard there was a clinic on site, we were sold.”
Have you ever met anyone famous?
“George Burns. I met him on a flight. We talked and exchanged cigars. And I found out that I smoked more expensive cigars than him!”