Walter Solomon Elected Chair of BBYO International Board of Directors
August 20, 2014
BBYO is proud to announce that Walter Solomon of Lexington, KY has been elected Chair of BBYO’s International Board of Directors. Vice President and Chief Growth Officer for Ashland Inc., a Fortune 500 global specialty chemicals company, Solomon succeeds Estee Portnoy of Bethesda, MD.
“Walter is not only an innovative and visionary leader with proven dedication and passion for our movement, but also a phenomenal role model for our teens: a BBYO alum who embodies the skills and values learned as a teen in the organization,” said Portnoy. “It has been an honor to serve as Chair of the Board of BBYO for the past four years, and now I look forward to continuing to work with Walter to further BBYO’s impact.”
Solomon, who was deeply involved in BBYO as a teenager in Charleston, SC and as a Chapter Advisor in Cincinnati, OH has been primarily responsible for Corporate Strategy and Business Transformation at Ashland Inc., for much of the last decade. This is after spending 20 years in Cincinnati, OH – the first 10 years with Procter & Gamble in Marketing/Brand Management and the second 10 years running privately-held start-up companies in health care and software, including an Inc. 500 company and a nationally recognized not-for-profit start-up accelerator. He has served on the Boards of Trustees for 10 not-for-profit and primarily Jewish organizations, having served as Chairman or President for four. He is also the author of the book Cubicle Tales, published in 2014, and a guest blogger for Forbes.com.
“BBYO was a formative experience that prepared me to be the person I am today,” said Solomon. “Many of my community, business and personal relationships were fostered while in BBYO and continue decades later.”
“I’m excited that BBYO has grown so dramatically in the last decade, evolving from a youth organization to a movement that serves over 40,000 teens worldwide,” Solomon continued. “Yet while BBYO has evolved and grown, its commitment to developing strong Jewish connections through teen-driven leadership continues to be its hallmark, even after 90 years. I am honored to be part of building the global Jewish future.”
Solomon, who became a member of the BBYO International Board of Directors in 2008 and has served as its Treasurer and Vice-Chair, began his term on July 1, 2014. He joins Vice Chairs, Ruth Suzman (Scarsdale, NY) and Rob Ruby (Piedmont, CA), along with Treasurer Marc Saperstein (Naples, FL) and Secretary Judith Finer-Freedman (Toronto, ON).
Also joining the Board this year are: • Amanda Freedman (Toronto, ON), International Teen President of the B’nai B’rith Girls, BBYO; • Susan Goldsmith (Naples, FL), Community Volunteer; • Alan Jaffe (New York, NY), Partner and Past Chairman of Proskauer Rose LLP • Randall Kaplan (Greensboro, NC), Chief Executive Officer of Capsule Group, LLC • Sam Perlen (Nashville, TN), International Teen President of the Aleph Zadik Aleph (AZA), BBYO; and • Steven Price (Scarsdale, NY), Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Town Square Media.
“Walter knows BBYO inside and out, and his enthusiasm for the organization and the Jewish community at large will help us reach new heights,” said Matthew Grossman, BBYO’s Chief Executive Officer. “I am elated to have Walter as a partner as BBYO continues to grow and reach even more Jewish teens with more meaningful Jewish experiences.”
BBYO is the leading pluralistic Jewish teen movement aspiring to involve more Jewish teens in more meaningful Jewish experiences. For 90 years, BBYO‘s leadership programs the Aleph Zadik Aleph (AZA, high school fraternity) and the B’nai B’rith Girls (BBG, high school sorority) have been providing exceptional leadership programs and identity enrichment experiences, shaping the confidence and character of more than 400,000 alumni who are among the most prominent figures in business, politics, academia, the arts and Jewish communal life. Now, BBYO’s network of Jewish teens, alumni, parents, volunteers and philanthropists serves as the Jewish community’s most valuable platform for delivering to the post Bar/Bat Mitzvah audience fun, meaningful and affordable experiences. With year-round activities in hundreds of local communities and inspiring world-wide travel experiences, BBYO’s broad program menu enables teens to explore areas of leadership, service, civic engagement, Israel education and Jewish values.
Please note that BBYO should not be referred to as the B’nai B’rith Youth Organization, but rather as “BBYO.”
For more information on BBYO, please visit www.bbyo.org