Our Founder’s Story
The Butterfly Foundation was created by Nancy Fitzgerald in 2009 as a purposeful way to support people who have suffered a severe loss, illness, or other hardship by empowering them emotionally, spiritually, or financially. As a former news reporter, Nancy came across hundreds of stories of tragedy and wanted to be able to do something to alleviate their suffering. Since its inception, The Butterfly Foundation has helped cancer survivors, widows, children and families who have been brought down by tragedy to rebuild their lives through acts of generosity and caring!
Sadly, tragedy struck Nancy’s family in 2014. Nancy lost her husband Patrick in an horrific bicycling accident caused by a distracted driver. The accident occurred on August 21, 2014 and Patrick peacefully passed away on August 26, 2014 surrounded by friends and family. Since his untimely death, Nancy has reached out to those in need through The Butterfly Foundation. Her goal is to help others survive life’s hardships with the help and compassion of their local community. In addition, our platform at The Butterfly Foundation is dedicated to preventing distracted driving by campaigning for “Safe Driving”. Read more about our campaign on “Safe Driving” and how you can be a part of this mission.
Patrick Fitzgerald was the founder and visionary of Fleet Financial, a national finance and insurance marketing firm, since rebranded as iLendingDIRECT. The company specializes in auto refinancing, identifying and qualifying customers for our partner banks and credit unions. Since the company’s founding in 2009, it has grown to employ over 125 individuals, who work together to deliver innovative financial solutions that improve people’s lives.
Patrick began his career holding various positions in the finance and insurance departments for dealerships throughout the Midwest and East Coast. He specialized in the areas of prime, non-prime and subprime financing, which were growing sectors of the lending market.
In 1994, Patrick founded SMI Logistics, a furniture distribution company based in Northern California. As president and CEO, he built SMI to one of the largest commercial furniture warehousing and distribution companies in the Bay area, servicing well-known companies including IKEA, Roche Bobois, Polo Ralph Lauren and Costco. His home-grown software application helped increase efficiency and cost-saving for numerous companies, and is still in use today by furniture delivery companies throughout Northern California.
Patrick was in a tragic cycling accident on August 21, 2014 and peacefully passed away on August 26, 2014 surrounded by friends and family.