20-40 Visionaries — Young Turks Set the Pace
Christopher and Lisa DeSantis have three children: Christopher Jr., 10, Danielle, 8, and Gregory, 6. An avid golfer, collector of fine watches and sports enthusiast, DeSantis donates his time and support to charities such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters, AIG SunAmerica K.I.D.S. program and the Special Olympics. Foremost is his work with causes championed by his late father, Carmine, including “The Gift of Limbs,” a group that provides prosthetic limbs to children who had their limbs savagely amputated by terror squads during the war in Sierra Leone.
Trent Cunningham, 39
Group Vice President, Consolidated Graphics, Houston
Trent Cunningham learned a valuable lesson at an early age: If it is money you want, then you have to earn it. But unlike many youngsters whose desire for possessions fade under the earn-your-keep doctrine, Cunningham did two things. One, he made a list of things he wanted to buy; two, he went out and earned the money to buy them.
“I sold TVs, bicycles, lawnmowers and anything else I could scrounge up from neighbors’ curbside trash, after refurbishing them of course, starting at the early age of 4,” he explains. “By 10, I had a newspaper route and was doing any and all odd jobs to earn money—always buying and selling things. In high school I juggled two or three jobs and sports at any given time, and bought and sold over 40 cars, all for a profit.”
Cunningham hasn’t slowed down since. He took a delivery job for a small print shop right after high school. He convinced the owner to let him sell in the morning and deliver in the afternoon (he even supplemented his income by delivering pizza at night). After stints selling for Edison Press and AB Hirschfeld Press, he was offered the president position at Frederic Printing.