Portrait of a quiet benefactor: Jim Pedranti

By Marilyn Rosenthal

| 08 Nov 2023 | 01:43

Jim Pedranti is not a household name. In fact, many people in Pike County have never heard of him. And yet, he has contributed more to Pike County than anyone you’ve never heard of.

“Not only does Jim give of his time, talents, and money, but he motivates others to give, as well. He truly cares about our community and the people that live here. – A class act,” remarked Eileen Smith.

If you look at Pedranti, you will see a man of substance, who has a perpetual twinkle in his eye and a warm smile for everyone, and he can think outside the box. For a man whose experience in sales and marketing is legendary, ironically he does not promote himself as many do with countless Facebook posts. His brand of philanthropy is quiet, compassionate, and consistent. In fact, he almost always shares credit for his successes with others.

Pedranti began his career with Firestone Tire and Rubber Company in 1963, and as a graduate of NYU’s graduate school of retailing he became a member of Firestone’s select management class. Seven years later, he moved to Milford and began his sales and marketing career with Sparkomatic Corporation and then transitioned to Altec Lansing where he was senior VP of sales and marketing. Before his retirement, he was instrumental in bringing sales to over $200,000. After that, he began his consulting company, Pedranti Consulting, where he helped small companies bring their products to market.

In addition to his graduate degree from NYU, Pedranti holds a B.S. in business administration from Portland State University.

Pedranti moved to Milford in1970 where he raised two children who are now successful adults with their own careers. He and Dick Snyder were early members of the Milford Enhancement Committee (MEC). Pedranti has been involved in providing donations and numerous volunteer hours to many organizations in the county. He has provided support for GAIT, Milford Readers and Writers, and along with Roseann Kalish, has invested hundreds of volunteer hours for the Milford Public Library.

One of Pedranti’s most significant contributions was the spearheading of the Greater Pike Community Foundation (GPCF). He led the development of its bylaws and operating procedures and assembled its first Board of Directors in May 2013. Pedranti was honored by the Pike County Commissioners in 2021 in a resolution for his years of service as chair of GPCF, his leadership role in establishing the foundation, his legacy of philanthropy, and his countless volunteer hours. Pedranti has said of his volunteer position at the foundation, “even though it was one of the lowest paying jobs, it was the most gratifying.” Gail Shuttleworth, current chair of GPCF, praised Pedranti: “Jim has had the vision to see what Milford and Pike County could become, and the dedication to work hard and bring people together to make it happen.”

Pedranti can’t seem to retire. “I have to give back to the community,” he says. His latest passion is Opera! Pike! Park! Always a music lover, he has been making a significant contribution along with Javier Morales (its founder) in turning this event into a full-fledged entity as a 501c3 called Pike Opera Inc. Needless to say, with Jim Pedranti as chair of the new board, there are high hopes for opera in the future in Milford and exciting things will be coming.

Mayor Sean Strub sings high praises of him as well. ”Jim’s leadership and generosity will have a positive impact on Pike County for generations. He’s not just a donor, but a doer, bringing people together to think strategically and work collectively. With many of our events, Jim will make the fundraising calls, set up the chairs, as well as be there for the cleanup after the event, all while celebrating the artists who performed. He supports and encourages all the non-profits working to better our community, and we are all better for his effort.”

Asked what were the most important characteristics that define himself, Pedranti responded, “Honesty and being honest to yourself as well, compassion, and being a family person. I have to be there. I’m old fashioned. If I’m going to do something, I’ve got to do it right.”

One thing is clear – Jim Pedranti is the real deal!