On the first business day in January 1995, Governor George Pataki invited Wendeen to lunch at his new digs on the 57th floor of World Trade Center 2.
He showed her around the offices and upon opening the door to a luxurious space with a drop dead view of the New York Harbor, proposed that she accept a position in the administration as First Assistant and Senior Advisor to the Governor.
It was an offer she could not refuse and a job to which she devoted herself as an independent thinker rather than a political appointee.
Mindful of the 1993 bombing below Tower One, Wendeen took the position of fire marshal seriously and began to educate herself on evacuation planning.
As the rebuilt World Trade Center now rises to become the tallest building in Manhattan, Wendeen recalls the idea for Hope’s Champion Task Force was inspired by her days in the Governor’s office – before their move uptown.