NEW CANAAN, Conn. -- It's said that no one is fully appreciated until his or her life is over, and the life of Nate Kantor showed the truth of that aphorism one hundredfold. "I had people that I never knew about tell me how much he'd helped them," says his wife, Etta.
After graduating from West Point and serving in the Army, Nate entered civilian life and the private sector, working in the telecommunications industry. He was the founder, president and CEO of the ITC Group, Inc., a firm specializing in the development and restructuring of competitive telecommunications service providers and enterprise clients. Nate was part of the original team that built Winstar Communications into the fixed wireless broadband industry leader. He later became president and COO of Winstar as well as a member of its board of directors. Nate and the ITC Group led the project that made Unitel the first competitive long-distance company in Canada and negotiated the AT&T strategic partnership that eventually led to the creation of AT&T Canada.
Before that, he served on the management team responsible for growing MCI Communications Corporation into the nation's second-largest domestic long-distance carrier. During his 18-year tenure, Nate headed two of the company's largest divisions.
But it was his work in private life that created his strongest legacy. He was on the corporate council of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund and on the board of the USO of Metropolitan NY.
He was also a board member of a charter school in Bridgeport and became personally involved by mentoring dozens of students, helping them attain a high school degree and go on to college.
At first glance, Nate, the captain of industry, and Etta, a dedicated environmentalist, seemed an odd couple, but he became her biggest supporter, bragging to others about her environmental efforts, which culminated in the construction of perhaps the "greenest" house in the state.
While Nate Kantor has left the world, his legacy, through the lives of the people he helped and influenced, has not. Says Etta, "It was really amazing how many lives he touched."