Journeys: An American Story, Compiled by Andrew Tisch and Mary Skafidas

NEW YORK – Journeys: An American Story is a compilation of essays by immigrants and their descendants from a variety of fields. In association with the New-York Historical Society, Andrew Tisch and Mary Skafidas reached out to a variety of notable figures to contribute an enlightening and unique account of their family’s immigration story. All profits will be donated to the New-York Historical Society and the Statue of Liberty Ellis Island Foundation.

Andrew H. Tisch is Co-Chairman of the Board and Chairman of the Executive Committee of Loews Corporation. Mary Skafidas is Vice President of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications for Loews, responsible for leading all investor and public relations, and communications strategies and activities. Her parents immigrated to the United States in 1970 from Greece and she “didn’t speak English until she was 6,” the New York Times reported, adding that “her aunt was undocumented.”

Both Tisch and Skafidas contributed an essay each to the book which contains 72 essays about immigration and American greatness by a diverse group including beloved actor Alan Alda, best known for his role on MASH, and his wife Arlene Alda, Astoria-born singer Tony Bennet, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Senator Cory Booker, retired Senator Barbara Boxer, Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, U.S. Representative Stephanie Murphy, TV journalist Deborah Norville, and Dr. Mehmet Oz, among many others.

As noted in the book’s description, “This is a collection of family lore, some that has been passed down through generations, and some that is being created right now.

“Journeys captures the quintessential idea of the American dream. The individuals in this book are only a part of the brilliant mosaic of people who came to this country and made it what it is today. Read about the governor’s grandfathers who dug ditches and cleaned sewers, laying the groundwork for a budding nation; how a future cabinet secretary crossed the ocean at age eleven on a cargo ship; about a young boy who fled violence in Budapest to become one of the most celebrated American football players; the girl who escaped persecution to become the first Vietnamese American woman ever elected to the US congress; or the limo driver whose family took a seventy-year detour before finally arriving at their original destination, along with many other fascinating tales of extraordinary and everyday Americans.”

John Zaccaro Jr., son of the late U.S. Representative Geraldine Ferraro, the first female vice presidential candidate representing a major American political party, noted that his grandmother though unable to write her own name, “understood the value of education, especially for a daughter,” the Times reported, adding that she would say, “If you educate a boy, you educate a boy alone; if you educate a girl, you educate a family.”

The book which celebrates the United States is due out on July 3, just in time for the Fourth of July, and is available for pre-order online.

Skafidas joined Loews in January 2012 as the head of investor relations. Prior to Loews, she was vice president of corporate communications and marketing for McGraw-Hill. Previously, she held media and investor relations positions at Toyota Motor North America. Skafidas has more than 20 years of experience in financial communications, corporate marketing and positioning for public companies as well as employee engagement and communications.

Loews Corporation is one of the largest diversified companies in the United States, with businesses in the insurance, energy, hospitality and packaging industries. Three of its subsidiaries are publicly traded: CNA Financial Corporation, Diamond Offshore Drilling, and Boardwalk Pipeline Partners and two non-public operating subsidiaries – Loews Hotels & Co and Consolidated Container Company LLC. Loews is focused on long-term value creation for its shareholders, and conservative financial management.