The Importance of Leadership

032814_mishmash_businessIn 1992, Israel was emerging from a crisis of hyper-inflation and struggling with double-digit unemployment spurred by the mass immigration of Russian Jewry. The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore stepped in to help.

Two of The Associated’s lay leaders, Hanan “Bean” Sibel and Marvin Schapiro, understood that the American Jewish community could help build a strong and vibrant Jewish state by helping its economy grow and create jobs. Thus, they created the Maryland/Israel Development Center (MIDC) as an agency of The Associated. Bean Sibel became its founding chairman.

In 2006, Abba David Poliakoff took the reins of leadership at MIDC. He steered a strategic planning process that transformed the one-person agency into a statewide membership organization with a five-person staff in Maryland and Israel and more than 300 members. He led more than a dozen trade missions to Israel, two with Gov. Martin O’Malley. He also spearheaded the creation of the Maryland/Israel Trendlines Fund to invest in Israeli startup hi-tech companies.

Success stems from leadership. That’s why the MIDC is honoring Abba Poliakoff with the Hanan Y. Sibel Maryland/IsraelBusiness Leader-ship Award on Thursday, April 3 at Woodholme Country Club. For more information, visit Maryland Israel.org/2014businessaward.

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