Spotlight on the UJA Federation of New York

This week, I had the pleasure of receiving the Global Marketing Leadership Award from the UJA Federation of New York.

My friend Bob Woodruff, of ABC News, and founder of The Bob Woodruff Foundation, made it home from assignment in North Korea to emcee the evening’s festivities.

A consummate professional, he kept the evening entertaining while battling some serious jetlag. Thanks, Bob.

Michael Kassan did a wonderful job in his role as event chair for the night. As always, he had us in stitches.

AT&T’s Daryl Evans was also honored at the event, and received the Maxwell (Mac) Dane Award for Humanitarian Excellence.

Daryl Evans, Michael Kassan, Bob Jeffrey and Bob Woodruff

It was quite humbling to receive this honor from an organization that has such a long and distinguished history of doing good works. For 95 years, the UJA has been caring for people in need.

Recently, I had the privilege to observe a few of the programs operated by one of the UJA-supported agencies — F.E.G.S.

F.E.G.S. is one of the largest and most diversified not-for-profit health and human services organizations in the US. It delivers a network of care that helps the jobless, the deaf, the developmentally disabled, seniors, refugees, immigrants, at-risk youth, those with substance abuse problems and many, many more.

At F.E.G.S., I saw a remarkable range of activities:

  • unemployed people learning how to do what it takes to find a job – from honing their interview skills to utilizing social media.
  • an art gallery filled with beautiful pieces made by people who are developmentally disabled
  • I listened to a female entrepreneur helping other female entrepreneurs learn how to start businesses of their own.

And then there was the dance class, where developmentally disabled people were dancing to Michael Jackson. They invited me to join in, but they were such better dancers than I am, that I politely declined.

When you see programs like this in action, you think: It’s nice that they’re honoring me. But that lasts for about a second. Because the very next thought is that the people who really deserve to be honored are the people on the ground working day in and day out with those who are struggling and need a helping hand.

I salute them all.

Here is the full write-up of the evening—AT&T, JWT Worldwide Executives Honored at Global Marketing Dinner—and for anyone interested in learning more about the UJA Federation of New York, click here.

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