New Board Chair Announced

George BlankFriends of Yemin Orde (FYO) announces that New Hope, PA resident, George Blank, will serve as its new Chairman of the Board, effective January 1, 2017. Blank was unanimously elected at the organization’s biannual Board of Directors meeting in New York City on Nov. 15, 2016.

Blank recently served as FYO’s National Campaign Chair. He succeeds Charlie Gwirtsman who steps down as Board Chair after serving as FYO’s national campaign chair (2011), board co-chair (2012-2013), and board chair (2014-2016).

Blank and his wife, Harriet, who also serves on the FYO board, are longtime friends and supporters of Friends of Yemin Orde and travel to Israel often. They frequently visit the Village and other educational communities that are implementing the Village Way methodology. The Blanks have developed a close working relationship with the senior staff and are knowledgeable about the programs and services provided to youth, graduates and educators.

“Friends of Yemin Orde has an outstanding group of talented men and women on our Board of Directors, and are adding more. They, and our professional staff, are driving the greatness and success of this organization. We have also benefited from the generosity and inspired leadership of Michael Frieze (Boston) and Charlie Gwirtsman (Denver), who have chaired our Board for the past six years,” George Blank said. “The miracle of Yemin Orde is that we are building the future of Israel, one student at a time. I am thrilled for the opportunity to help Yemin Orde achieve its potential going forward.”

Caring about Israel’s at-risk children

The Blanks have provided generous financial support to Friends of Yemin Orde including the funding to build the Golda Meir Children’s Home and a new modern soccer field at Yemin Orde Youth Village.

“We are extremely fortunate to have a board chair who is such an experienced fundraiser and leader with unbridled passion for Israel’s future and its at-risk immigrant youth,” said Karen Sallerson, Executive Director, Friends of Yemin Orde. “George has served as a role model and mentor for our board members and staff, and I look forward to working with him to further our important mission.”

Sallerson congratulated past chair Gwirtsman for his leadership and generosity for the past five years, which included directing a successful national emergency campaign following the devastating 2010 wildfire that struck Yemin Orde Youth Village.  (Photo: Charlie Gwirtsman (left) and George Blank)charlie-george-with-gaavel

“Many thanks to Charlie for leading the growth of Yemin Orde Youth Village and Village Way Educational Initiatives to encompass more than 11,000 at-risk youth, and create for them a bright and successful future. We look forward to his continued work on behalf of our organization,” she said.

Generosity and compassion for community

In 1979, George Blank founded The MedTech Group, a plastics technology-based company dedicated to engineering and manufacturing of disposable medical products for the healthcare industry. As its President & CEO, he led the company to expand its core plastic technologies into product design and development, mission critical components and sterile device manufacturing for the less invasive, therapeutic and interventional markets. The company is a global supplier to major customers in these markets. Prior to founding MedTech, Blank served 16 years in various leadership positions with Johnson & Johnson.

From 1993 until 2002, Blank served on the Board of Directors of United Trust Bank, and subsequently, the Advisory Board of PNC Bank, both in New Jersey. In 2004, and again in 2008, MD&DI Magazine selected him as one of the 100 most notable people in the medical device industry. Blank is a member of the National Association of Manufacturers President’s Council.

In early 2011, the MedTech Group was rebranded as Vention Medical and Blank became Chairman of the Board of Directors. Currently, Vention Medical has manufacturing and design-development facilities at eleven locations in the United States, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica and Ireland.

Blank is a corporate research sponsor of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He is a past President of the Jewish Federation of Somerset, Hunterdon, and Warren counties; Temple Sholom, Bridgewater and Congregation Shaari Tefilah, Somerville, New Jersey. He is a member of AIPAC’s National Council and has built strong relationships with Members of Congress.

In 2014-2016, the Blanks led a successful tuition affordability campaign for the Joseph Kushner Yeshiva and worked on same campaign for the RPRY Yeshiva in New Jersey. In 2015, the Blanks led a successful scholarship campaign for students at the Bronx Community College.

Click here to see a complete list of Friends of Yemin Orde’s Board of Directors.

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