Wednesday, May 6, 2015

How the Rich Folks Live

If you don't peruse the real estate or lifestyle section of the Washington Post, you probably missed the elegant Potomac estate of Joe and Cynthia Bruno.

Enter through a custom gate, past an Italian-style fountain. When you step into the home you'll stand on a diamond-inlaid marble floor under "a colorful two-story crystal chandelier hand-carried home from Venice."

It took seven years to create the 20,000 square for estate, complete with seven fireplaces, four kitchens, and more chandeliers than the owners can keep track of. And, you know, it's still a warm, homey place. "Gathering the sculptures, sconces and swag for the dozens of rooms in the Bruno home generated years of happy memories and laughter."

They even dug out space for a grotto underneath the estate, accessible through a secret door in the media room. Fountains, statuary, and a totally swell juxtaposition of modern and classical-- the game room is furnished with a16th-century liturgical cabinet from an Italian cathedral. Wine cellars, tasting room, grand living rooms, libraries, signed Steinway piano, Swedish grandfather clock from 1823, lanterns from London, and a portrait of Joe Bruno as the Godfather. Professionally finished basketball court.

The Bruno's are actually planning on downsizing now that their twenty-something daughters have grown. Don't fret for them-- "they have a near-replica of the property, although about half the size, in a condominium in Florida."

The article helps put the "scene" in "obscene." You can see plenty of pictures with the article.

Why am I sharing all this? Would you like to know what business Joe Bruno is in?

Joe Bruno has "since 2004 has served as president of Building Hope, a nonprofit that provides business, technical and financial assistance to public charter schools." So bookmark the article, and the next time somebody is talking about the charter school industry as champions of the underclass in America, just click on over to this profile so you can remember just how well the champions of the underclass, paid with our tax dollars, manage to live.


  1. Ugh. Thanks for the diet assistance. I'm too nauseous for breakfast now.

  2. S Joseph Bruno might have made some money in the 32 years between becoming a CPA and 2004. He seems to have worked in a number of accounting positions, and perhaps explain his wealth:

    Mr. Bruno served as Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of BCE Emergis Corporation. (formerly, United Payors & United Providers Inc.) since September 1995.
    He served as Senior Vice President and Corporate Secretary of BCE Emergis Corporation. (formerly, United Payors & United Providers Inc.), from 1995 to 2000.

    Mr. Bruno served as Director of International Operations at Carey International from 2000 to 2002.

    He served as Senior Consultant-eHealth Division at BCE Emergis Corporation from 2001 to 2004, where he focused on financial reporting, mergers and acquisitions, and tax auditing.

    From 1989 to 1995, he served as Partner at Coopers & Lybrand LLP, an international public accounting firm and the predecessor entity to PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

    From 1986 to 1989, Mr. Bruno served as Senior Vice President of Operations and Chief Financial Officer of Jurgovan & Blair Inc.

    From 1971 to 1986, he was employed by KPMG Peat, Marwick LLP, and served as its Partner.