David Tweed has traveled the world as a member of the International Flute Orchestra, playing in venues from Santiago, Chile, to St. Petersburg, Russia, for nearly 20 years.
An accomplished musician, he plays a variety of wind instruments including clarinet, saxophone and oboe. “But flute is the one I enjoy the most,” he says. Although he is a classical music enthusiast, Tweed often plays with pit orchestras, accompanying popular musicals, near his home in Florida.
His audiences may be surprised to know the flutist in the orchestra earned a degree in electrical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In fact, music is something of an encore career for Tweed, who worked on medical instrumentation and laser systems for many years before turning to entrepreneurship. While living in Boston, he co-founded a company based in Germany that developed laser-beam deflection hardware.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Tweed is accustomed to having to explain his work with lasers.
“There are industrial and some medical applications, such as in genome reading equipment,” he says. “This was also among the earliest commercialized ways of doing 3-D printing, in the early 1990s.”
Tweed began supporting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital only recently, but his affinity for the cause has roots in his childhood.
“I grew up watching Danny Thomas on TV in the ’50s,” he explains. “It stuck with me, and especially what he did when he founded St. Jude.”
Tweed has included a gift for St. Jude in his estate plans, and he established a generous St. Jude charitable gift annuity last year as well.
“It had been in the back of my mind over the years to do something for St. Jude, and the time was right,” he says.
Tweed chose this unique giving vehicle, which provides payments for life at a set rate.
“After I sold my remaining interests in my company, a charitable gift annuity provided a tax deduction, which I needed,” he says. “And the lifelong payments are a benefit for me, too.”
A native New Yorker, Tweed has traded Boston’s snow for Florida’s warmer climate, giving up downhill skiing in favor of sailing.
“I try to get out on my sailboat whenever I can,” he says.
A man of many interests, Tweed used to be a pilot as well—though these days he opts to sit in a passenger seat during his frequent travels.
St. Jude is on Tweed’s travel itinerary this year so he can see firsthand the pioneering work he is helping make possible. For this musician, supporting the mission of St. Jude strikes just the right chord.
Learn more about estate gifts or how a charitable gift annuity may benefit you at stjude.org/legacy.
From Promise, Autumn 2015