[by Beverly Bromley]
JFCS Director of Development and Marketing
Jewish Family & Career Services held its Annual Meeting on Tuesday, May 22, at the Louis and Lee Roth Family Center.
The speaker at the meeting this year was Papa Gueye, a local small business owner. Originally from Senegal in West Africa, Gueye moved to Louisville from his home country in 1998. In 2006 he opened the Millennium Market, a grocery store catering to immigrants from West Africa. One of the first loan recipients of the Navigate Enterprise Center in 2007, he received training, one-on-one assistance to help write his business plan, and a loan of $15,000 to help expand his store.
In 2010, he completed his MBA from Sullivan University, and, after hiring a full-time manager and part-time employee for the store, took a position as the manager of the IT Services Desk at Brown-Forman in November 2011. He was honored at this year’s MOSAIC award dinner as the Navigate Entrepreneur of the Year. He spoke about the impact of JFCS services on him, his business and his community.
Out going president Mark Ament recognized and thanked the YUM! Ignite Team for their amazing work with JFCS’s micro-business program. Through their efforts, the Center for Enterprise Development was rebranded the Navigate Enterprise Center, and a website was created by Katie Bush Designs.
A Microbusiness Showcase was featured at the MOSAIC Awards event, and new funds were raised for micro-loans. Jennifer Heitkemper, a YUM! Employee and leader of the team, was recognized.
Ament also recognized JFCS Executive Director Judy Freundlich Tiell, who received two awards this year – a Distinguished Service Award from the Association of Jewish Family and Children’s Agencies and the Bernie Rosenthal Executive Director award from the International Association of Jewish Vocational Service agencies. (See related article, page 11.)
Tiell reported that JFCS also received a national award at the recent conference for the Theodore and Doris Meyers Shabbos Friends program. This program provides a Shabbos experience for seniors in institutions through volunteers who visit with them and celebrate Kabbalat Shabbat. Shelley Kahn, the program developer, and Carole Snyder and Sara Yamin, who endowed the program in memory of their parents and grandparents, were recognized.
Both Ament and Tiell reviewed various aspects of this year, in which JFCS served nearly 9,000 people in the community. The transportation program and Senior Concierge non-medical HomeCare service have grown, ensuring that seniors are remaining safely in their homes. New groups for caregivers of Alzheimer’s family members, new vocational training programs, new partnerships with YouthBuild, KTAP and refugee-serving agencies, and new job development services have all broadened the work done at JFCS.
The strategic planning process undertaken this year provided vital information to help the agency focus efforts and move forward in certain areas.
Begun in 1993, the Mary Gunther Award is given to the best new JFCS program of the year. Mary Gunther was the Career Services secretary at JFCS from 1959 to 1992. A cash award of $600 goes directly to the staff involved with the initiative.
This year the award was given to two programs – the Navigate Enterprise Center and the Gateway to Careers. Navigate Enterprise Center represents a significant expansion and enhancement of JFCS’ small business training and loan program. Gateway for Careers is designed to help job seekers learn how to better access and use online career and employment information and resources and to promote the new healthcare career tool.
Splitting the award were Griffin Cottle and Dan Heffernan for Navigate and Myra Campbell for Gateway to Careers.
Debbie Friedman was installed as the new president of the Board and other officers were re-elected. They include vice presidents, Sandi Friedson and Stephanie Mutchnick; treasurer, Hunt Schuster; immediate past president, Mark Ament; and at-large Executive Committee members Jay Klempner and Martin Margulis.
David Cooper was nominated for a three-year Board term, and Barbara Goldberg – along with the Jewish Community of Louisville Young Leadership interns, Elizabeth Post and Lisa Rothstein Goldberg – were thanked for their service.
Mark Ament thanked the Board members for their commitment to JFCS and their hard work on behalf of the agency. Two Board members, Stephanie Mutchnick and Lance Gilbert, received special recognition and gifts for their extra work this year on behalf of agency. Both utilized their professional expertise to assist the agency with strategic planning and business development activities.
Tiell recognized the dedicated staff at JFCS, including Jo Ann Kalb, Ray Gentry and Katherine Loyd, who are celebrating five-year anniversaries; Jeff Hicks, 10 years; and Ellen Shapira, 30 years at JFCS.
The meeting concluded with dessert and coffee.