Outgoing and genuinely interested in people . . . a true friend and mentor. A trusted advisor, compassionate listener and astute observer of all who seek his counsel. A strategic planner and innovator in business and wealth management. A fundraiser, inspiring others to follow his lead in philanthropy; a creative thinker, problem solver and ready volunteer through more than four decades of service to the community, in partnership with his wife, Susie. An engaging storyteller who loves to make people laugh. Seriously. This is Norm Pappas - joining the ranks of Federation’s legendary leaders: the 2019 recipient of the Fred M. Butzel Award.
A born leader: Matt Ran is Past President (and an EPIC fundraiser) for Federation’s NEXTGen Detroit. Now Co-chair of the National Young Leadership Cabinet, Matt is also V.P. of Michigan ORT and a member of the boards of Federation, Yad Ezra and the JCC of Metro Detroit. On the path to career volunteerism at 33, Matt also has a “day job” – spearheading business growth and development at Telemus– a financial life management company co-founded by his father and two uncles. Influenced by the many role models for active community engagement in his family, Matt often refers to the legacy of his great grandfather, Phillip Stollman (z”l), a guiding light in Detroit philanthropy, and a founding patron of Young Israel in Oak Park and Bar-Ilan University in Israel. “I never forget that I am the son, the grandson and great-grandson of outstanding community leaders and I am forever grateful for those connections.”
The very definition of a natural born entrepreneur: a fearless self-starter, enterprising and creative, a problem-solver with a natural ability to communicate and connect with people. This is Vladimir Gendelman. Born and raised in the former Soviet Union, Vladimir immigrated to the U.S. with his parents when he was 16 years old. With less than $500 to their name, his family made their way to Detroit and, with the help of Hebrew Free Loan, purchased their first car. From humble starts and stumbles, with hard work at every turn, Vladimir continues to grow at the helm of a company considered to be the standard bearer in the e-commerce sphere of the print industry. Among his many contributions to Jewish Detroit and beyond, he serves on the board of Hebrew Free Loan. (Naturally.)
They finish each other’s sentences. They describe their life as Perfect. Chaos. Typical. Jewish. Blessed. Two busy professionals, never too busy for their leading roles as parents and Jewish community volunteers. This is Ilana Liss, Managing Director at Schechter Wealth . . . and Zachary Liss, MD, Pediatric Urologist, Michigan Institute of Urology . . . a NEXTGen Detroit couple, committed to building community and leading by example.
As long as he can remember, Scott Wasserman has been a techie. “I have always been into computers, gadgets, gizmos—anything with an on button.” At 17, Scott turned pro as the videographer for Tamarack Camps, and there he fell in love with the magic of storytelling. Honing his skills in Media Arts and Technology at MSU, Scott launched his own company while still in college. Today he runs Flow Video (formerly Visioned Media), a video marketing and production company he co-founded three years ago with his fraternity brother, Alex Scharg. With a growth spurt into the New York area and a recent project in Geneva, Switzerland, Scott’s company has gone global. On the move and “always on,” yet firmly rooted in Jewish Detroit, Scott indeed is an emerging young leader to watch, friend and follow.
Could she have been a rabbi? Sherrie Singer’s lifelong love of Jewish learning certainly points in that direction. “I’ve been mentored and molded by rabbis my entire life,” she notes, “but I’ve chosen a different path.” From Federation’s executive track in Women’s Philanthropy to the boards of Temple Israel, BBYO, ORT and Hillel of Metro Detroit, from her weekly study circle of Melton grads to her present cohort of Wexner Fellows, from Thread (the nonprofit she created with friends to connect and inspire Jewish women), now to her seat at the Hebrew Union College Board of Overseers, Sherrie has indeed found her voice - not at a pulpit, but on the platform of an outstanding community leader in Jewish Detroit.