BY AL SHAMS / AJT //
Tom Glaser, president of the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce Southeast Region, was recently honored with the organization’s Founder’s Award during the group’s 12th-annual Eagle Star Awards program. The prestigious recognition was made even more memorable by the presence of Glaser’s wife and two grown sons.
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During his acceptance remarks, Glaser talked about the early days of the chamber and why he became involved with the organization. He said that when he turned 40, he wanted to do “something special,” and he decided it was the right time to take his community development skills and use them to promote economic development between the two countries he loved the most: the United States and Israel.
It’s worth noting that, in the early 1990s, Israel was undergoing major economic problems, including high inflation, a socialist government, unproductive state industries and very little foreign investment.
It was during those troubling times that Glaser and the Chamber began the hard work of helping fix all that was broken. The AICCSE eventually prospered – and so, too, Israel. Over the years, the organization has been instrumental in creating many jobs while serving both the American and Israeli business communities.
In fact, as a result of Glaser’s vision and hard work, the AICCSE is widely regarded today as the most successful and productive chamber in the country. Here are a few of the Chamber’s major accomplishments:
- The Bell South-Israeli cell phone transaction
- Givens Imaging locating its U.S. operations in Duluth, Ga.
- Gulfstream’s partnership with Israel Aircraft Industries
- The formation of the South Carolina Collaboration
- The generous contributions of the Zucker family
At the Gala, Glaser took a few moments during his brief remarks to talk about all the wonderful people he has met and worked with during his tenure and the contributions of the AICC staff. Having recently announced his retirement, he also thanked the chamber’s board and membership for the privilege of having served the organization for the past 21 years.
Al Shams is a Sandy Springs resident a former CPA and an investment professional with more than 35 years industry experience. For more on the 12th-annual Eagle Star Awards Gala, see the feature in the June 7 edition of the AJT.