Community LeadershipVolunteerism June 10, 2021

Professional Partner

If ever you need a post-pandemic boost of positive energy, practical advice or a good story wrapped in the embrace of Jewish wisdom and humor, call Zalenko. That’s Neal Zalenko – a name well-known throughout Detroit for upstanding public accounting, community leadership and longtime service to dozens of organizations and charitable causes. “Put it this way,” he says, “I think of myself as a ‘professional partner.’ I’m the guy you call if you have a challenge, be it organizational, financial or goal-oriented.” To those Neal has served as financial counsel over the years, to those who have partnered with Neal in the work of community-building and philanthropic giving, and to those who know Neal as the kindest and most steadfast of friends for life, it comes as no surprise that Neal recently received Federation’s 2021 William Davidson (z”l) Lifetime Achievement Award. The award honors those who have devoted a lifetime of service to the Jewish community of Detroit and the Jewish people. At a Zoom presentation in May, Neal accepted the award for all volunteers giving their time, talents and resources for the betterment of the community. “This one is for you,” he said. “Detroit has allowed me to do better, be better, help more . . . find a place. And for those of you who feel this requires a lifetime effort, sorry you are wrong. As I always say, it only requires the word, ‘Yes.’ Yes to every opportunity thrown your way. Yes to every challenge. Yes to every request. Yes opens the door to all possibilities and all things you dream.”

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