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While the nation and world were shocked by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the staff and friends who make up the Alta Communications family mourned the loss of their own members David Retik and Christopher Mello.

From these tragic deaths, an idea was born to preserve Dave and Chris’ passion for life by creating an organization of charitable giving and to secure in perpetuity a foundation’s future of helping others.

The Alta family joined with the Retik and Mello families to share in a single vision: remembrance through giving. We resolved to carry on the passion and dedication Dave and Chris had for humanity by supporting non-profit organizations in our communities.

Ten years later, thanks to the loyal leadership of Jacalyn Egan, Eileen McCarthy Toti, Brian McNeil, and Tim Dibble, the Retik Mello Foundation has generously awarded over 1.4 million dollars in grants. I had the honor to be there early on when the Foundation was created. At the table when the Foundation was founded were Retik, Mello and Alta family members ready to acquire the necessary knowledge to assume stewardship of this philanthropic endeavor. We are amazed and humbled by the strength, commitment and charity the Board of Directors, volunteers, and donors have provided to the Retik Mello Foundation.

Since our inception we all have endured great sorrow and loss followed by regrowth and renewed strength. The support and commitment from our community has enabled us to build a legacy in testament to the good that comes when communities pull together.

Edward Gatta, Jr.