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Rating:A Conference Put on Hold Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Monday, September 17, 2001

A Conference Put on Hold

by: Tony Pennino

It was going to be a day like any other day. Dan Sondhelm -- partner and vice president of SunStar, a public relations firm located in Alexandria, Virginia -- was in New York City to help his firm's client, Quasar Distributors, hold a media and press briefing in New York City. The briefing was for small and mid-sized fund families that may not be in the limelight as some of the bigger houses. They were to talk about volatility in the marketplace.

Sondhelm told the MutualFundWire.com that the first event was to be at the Hudson River Club, which is near ground zero. "We were staying in the Marriott near the World Trade Center, and we checked out at 8:15 AM. The people who came into the club after us were in a panic. There was chaos. They said there was a fire. That a plane had hit one of the towers. We didn't know what was going on. We went outside and saw that the first tower was on fire. At this point we thought the event would go on. I was sitting with Bob Tebeleff [senior account executive at SunStar] on a bench in a park about a block away from the towers. Then the second plane hit."

At this point, the executive knew the event would be cancelled. He also noted that he saw some people jump from windows high up in the towers. "That was the worst part of the day," he said.

Sondhelm and Tebeleff started walking uptown, trying to call family and colleagues on cellphones that were not working. A call from Sondhelm's brother got through, and he was able to reassure all that he was all right. The executives continued their walk uptown. They ate in a diner in Midtown and eventually stayed in a hotel in Time Square. The next day, they met their limo in Queens and drove back down to Alexandria.

The fund families represented at the conference were: Brandywine Funds, First American Funds, Glen Rauche Funds, Hennessy Funds, IPS Funds, Jensen Funds, and Muhlenkamp Funds. Each fund had sent a manager and a marketer. Sondhelm reported that all 18 people in the group were accounted for.

Sondhelm concluded that the conference would be rescheduled in three to four weeks time, depending on the availability of hotels. 

See the list of all the 2001 Most Influential People

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