Steve Nadel used to think he was special.
“I went my whole life thinking there was just one Steve Nadel,” says the 50-year-old hedge fund lawyer and father of two from Springfield, NJ.
Then, about two years ago, his wife found herself sitting next to a different Steve Nadel at a baseball game. Not long after, another namesake randomly showed up at his son’s book signing downtown. And then came the Google alerts: “I started getting all these e-mails about another Steve Nadel in the energy space.”
And so he went on LinkedIn and began reaching out to every Steve Nadel he could find. They hailed from as far and wide as London, Boston and San Francisco. They also showed an affinity for legal and dental work: He found three lawyers like himself, as well as a trio of dentists.
‘I went my whole life thinking there was just one Steve Nadel.’
Earlier this month, the Steve Nadel club held its first-ever meeting at Shun Lee Palace in Midtown East. It was a group of mild-mannered men in their 40s, 50s and 60s — the lawyer, the software guy, the real estate guy and the financial adviser.
The club, which currently boasts 20 members, has ground rules for entry. Steves, Stephens or Stevens make the cut, but alternate surname spellings do not. Pronunciation is also key. Currently, one would-be member’s initiation hangs in the balance: while spelled Nadel, he pronounces it NAY-dle, not the preferred Nay-DEL.
“While I don’t think I ever consciously thought that I was the only one, it was still quite a surprise to discover that there are a number of other Steve Nadels out there,” says the 63-year-old Forest Hills-based Steve Nadel, who attended the lunch.
A photo of the group’s meeting has since gotten more than 38,000 views on LinkedIn.
Of course, it’s not just the Steve Nadels of the world who are having all the fun. Namesake groups have sprung up on popular social-media sites, including Facebook’s 11-member-strong “The Michael Hurwitz Group.”
“It’s great having our own group,” says member Michael Hurwitz, 39, of Delray Beach, Fla. “It’s amazing how many of us there are … interestingly enough, I think two or three of us are married to Dianes.”
Members of such groups say discovering — and bonding over — these surprising similarities is part of the thrill.
All the Steve Nadels, for example, share Eastern European roots.
“We all share the same…