A lifelong Detroiter and a community builder at large, Matt Lester will step up as the next President to serve Federation when his term begins in September 2020. An attorney with 25 years in real estate development and management, Matt is Founder and CEO of Princeton Enterprises, a company that has become a well-known name in Greater Detroit, while expanding property operations in fifteen states across the Midwest and Southeast.
Beyond the realm of business, Matt has turned his focus towards community development for nearly 20 years - as Federation’s Annual Campaign Chair and an Executive Board Member, as well as in service to numerous boards including the American Joint Distribution Committee, Jewish Senior Life, Kadima, The Jewish Fund, BBYO, Yad Ezra, Forgotten Harvest, Tamarack Camps, United Jewish Foundation, Project Healthy Community, Detroit Institute of Arts and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Spare time? Matt manages to find it and cherish it with his family, Michigan football, traveling and the simple pleasures of farming on his property in northern Michigan.
An advocate for kids, an ambassador for reducing the stigma still associated with mental illness . . . that’s how Lilly Jacobson sees her role in the community these days. And her days are full. A clinical psychologist, formerly affiliated with Children’s Hospital of Michigan and currently in private practice, as well as the Chair of Federation’s Youth Mental Health Initiative, Lilly has made it her goal to educate the community about current mental health issues and to reach young people (and those who love and influence them) with positive messages of self-worth. “We need to talk about depression and anxiety as major health problems among our youth,” she affirms. “Too many of our children are struggling in silence. We Need to Talk – a Federation initiative in partnership with the community – has become our call to action.”
All in: That’s Scott Kaufman. Absolutely, positively, whole-heartedly, Scott has been all in at the helm of the Detroit Federation. It’s been 10 years, a long time in a challenging job. And now? He’s stepping away from his day-to-day role in an astonishing, bold move. Call it a mid-career reboot – a self-imposed opportunity to reset his focus on community initiatives in development and see them to fruition. “Jewish communal work is in my blood,” Scott says. “I was the right leader for the times, but the time is right for me to step aside and share the lessons I’ve learned. Federation is in a great place for others to step in and lead in new directions. I’m not walking away from our community. I remain here for our community. And all in.”
Mother and father. Sister and brother. She. He. They are a family: Richard and Roz Keith – husband and wife, partners in business and proud parents of two young adults, Danielle, an MSU grad and holistic health coach in Boca Raton, FL, and Hunter, now a junior at Eastern Michigan, majoring in psychology. Each in his, her, their way has embraced change in their family roles to become wiser, gentler and smarter about gender identity.
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.”