Public Service - Inbred In EOLIS Culture
EOLIS professionals support and participate in a variety of public service and civic initiatives led by Wendeen Eolis
Stepping Up as a Public Servant
Led by Wendeen H. Eolis, Hope's Champion Task Force (HCTF) is a post-9/11 initiative that assists the United States government and international government agencies in vetting lawyers and law firms for "special counsel" roles, principally in the aftermath of terrorist incidents, violent attacks, and natural disasters. HCTF also performs sensitive due diligence reports; vetting lawyers and law firms for high-level government appointments and other special assignments.
HCTF was conceived as a crisis counseling initiative to assist lawyers and law firms displaced by the 9/11 World Trade Center events. Wendeen set up shop in downtown Manhattan, assisted by a few similarly interested law-student interns working for the Company. Shortly thereafter, her experience as a public servant led her to return as civilian commander of HCTF with a substantial team.
Wendeen's interest in public service dates back to the sixties with a mission during President Richard Nixon's administration to assist "Vietnam Crisis" widows. In the seventies, while president of the Association of Personnel Consultants of NY, she worked with the NYS Senate on drafting and passage of an overhauled statute that addresses employment/recruiting fees.
In the mid-seventies, Wendeen met Rudy Giuliani and became a confidante and career advisor to him. In the late eighties, she was a member of Giuliani's informal kitchen cabinet during his early mayoral campaigns and then as a key outside advisor after his election,
Separately, Wendeen also was acquainted with George Pataki and served as an intermediary between Pataki and Giuliani in the lead-up to the NYS gubernatorial election in 1994. Following his election, Wendeen joined Governor Pataki's administration as First Assistant and Senior Advisor. As first assistant and senior advisor to the Governor, she developed a wide range of new business and government connections that eventually took her to Washington, a meeting with Secretary of State, Colin Powell, and the Founding of Hope's Champion Task Force.
Today, Wendeen holds "senior status" as a devoted public servant for more than fifty years.
Wendeen's Amusing Presidential Encounter
Last week, Wendeen reconnected with a remarkably relaxed and refreshed President Barack Obama, outside Washington (which is where they first met in 2008). The president was the starring attraction at the Streicker Center/Temple Emanu-El, in New York.
After sampling chef Daniel Boulud’s signature short ribs (which Wendeen highly recommends), the President made his way to a reception at the Temple. He arrived in time to warm up with the fat cats and serious VIPs.
As the event photographer approached him, the President caught Wendeen’s eye. He waved and called her to his side, using her childhood nickname that survived until she turned six.
Wendeen joined the president, noting to everyone within earshot that the only people who call her “Wendy” are stubborn family members, her longtime friend, Wayne Newton, who sings Danke Schoen, in return for the privilege, and the good president—also known as Tease-in-Chief.
The photographer clicked, catching an impish grin, not intended for the camera. The President chuckled and then signaled he was ready to rock and roll for his eager and enthusiastic audience. Wendeen dashed off to her appointed seat.
President Obama’s arrival in the main sanctuary of the Temple was greeted with thunderous applause. And so began his interview, conducted by Temple Emanu-El’s Rabbi, Joshua Davidson.
The president navigated delicately on the subject of Israeli American relations during his administrations, lightened up describing Passover Seders at the White House, and took on the issue of fake news all around us, boldly.
The nation’s first black president resonated deeply with the diverse audience. His simple and sage advice on what to tell our children, in this complicated world, was potent: “I tell my girls, “be kind and be useful.” How about that for some sanity!
Hope's Champion, Center Stage
Hope's Champion Task Force was the outcome of the example set by Wendeen's step-father, a highly placed New York State official, with more than three decades of public service. Wendeen's Dad and Governor Pataki toasted her decision to take the lead for shaping the HCTF mission--a team of professionals around the world vetting counsel needs in the aftermath of catastrophic events. EOLIS companies provide significant pro-bono manpower for HCTF mandates.
Wendeen Works Both Sides of the Aisle
Long before Wendeen joined David Axelrod and Karl Rove at a Special Event in New York in 2017, she had crossed paths with both of them on vetting projects during the Presidential administration of George W. Bush and President Barack Obama.
As of 2018, Wendeen has served six presidential administrations as a non-partisan, and enjoyed her recent encounter with president Obama; especially mindful of his words to his children: “Be kind and be useful.”