SPECIAL FOR THE AJT //
Shai Robkin has been selected to succeed Tom Glaser as president of the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce, Southeast Region.
Robkin, an Atlanta native, will assume the position on Aug. 1. Glaser, meanwhile, will stay on in a consulting capacity through September, when he will begin his retirement after almost 22 years of service to AICC.
“Our executive committee followed a very rigorous process and made an excellent selection,” said Lorin Coles, the organization’s current board chairman.
Robkin brings a unique background and skill set to the position. A dual American and Israeli citizen, he has extensive business experience in both localities of interest to the AICCSE.
He began his career in Israel with Bank Hapoalim, and two years later with his wife Judy opened Israel’s first combination bookstore/coffee shop in downtown Jerusalem. Subsequently, the family returned to Atlanta to handle family obligations, taking the proceeds from the sale of their Israel business to purchase Vernon Library Supplies.
In 2004, Robkin established a separate division, ITG, devoted exclusively to library technology. He sold ITG to One Equity Partners in 2011 and has since served as managing director and consultant as the company was rolled up with British and Swiss companies to form Bibliotheca, a global library technology company.
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Robkin – who earned his bachelor’s degree in economics with a focus on international trade from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master’s in business administration with an emphasis in marketing from Georgia State University – has been an active community leader in both the U.S. and Israel. In Jerusalem, he was a founding member and president for two years of Conservative synagogue Moreshet Avraham; served as commissioner of the Israel Softball League; and was instrumental in getting softball included as a recognized sport in the Maccabiah Games.
In 1990, he formed a musical ensemble, PAZ, which continues to this day to perform popular Israeli music for community organizations in Atlanta and throughout the South. His passion for Israeli music led him in 2006 to become host of “Boker Tov Atlanta,” a radio show on AM1160.
Today, the family remains members of their Jerusalem synagogue and are also members of two Atlanta synagogues. Shai has served on the boards of Congregation Beth Shalom, the AICC, the Greenfield Hebrew Academy and the Weber School, the last of which honored Shai and Judy at their annual dinner in 2007.
Robkin was an active member of the IDF in 1978 and ’79 and a reservist until 1984. A fluent speaker and writer of Hebrew, he and his family visit the Jewish state yearly, own an apartment in Jerusalem and maintain close relationships with many Israeli friends and family.