Kenneth Stolman has energy to spare - and he uses that energy to power the organizations about which he feels passionate - from the Chicago Children’s Choir Ambassadors Board, which generates awareness and support for this musical outlet for more than 3,000 Chicago Public School students, to co-chairing the Young Professionals Committee for Sen. Mark Kirk’s campaign, to serving as the Chicago area alumni ambassador for the NYU School of Business and on the Northwestern University 10th-year Reunion Committee.
Justin Breen, a family friend, nominated Kenny. “In my opinion, Kenny is one of the top Jewish leaders in Chicagoland,” he said, noting that Kenny and his wife, Shelley Klass Stolman, organized the Young Professionals benefitting Keshet event, which began in 2007. Earlier this year, the event raised nearly $20,000 for children and young adults with special needs. Kenny is also a Chicago Executive Committee member for the Israel Association of Baseball, which is raising support for Israel’s first team eligible for the World Baseball Classic.
Pays the bills:
Strategic Account Executive, Microsoft Advertising
On the side:
Marketing and Non-Profit consultant
Describe yourself in 10 words or less:
Deeply passionate, creative, go-getter, community-minded, energetic and family-oriented
Andy Roddick and Nick Lachey
How do you Jew in Chicago?
My wife and I are dedicated to several organizations including JUF, Keshet and others, and we enjoy donating our time, resources and creativity to help the causes that speak to us.
Mentorship, volunteering, politics (staying current on Israel, international and domestic issues), sports, music, history, travel and family
How do you give back?
My philosophy on “giving back” involves much more than just time or money. I am particularly passionate about making a true difference in organizations that I support ... I know many organizations do not have the time nor resources to adequately focus on marketing or strategic partnerships, for example, and I coach and lead within these important areas.
Fill in the blank: If time and money were limitless, I would:
If time and money were limitless, I would make sure that all Jews in need, no matter where they reside, could have the resources to enjoy a better way of life. I would particularly focus on those who face anti-Semitism, poverty, sickness, or those with special needs, because helping the less fortunate is very important to my family and me. Given my passion for travel, I would go to as many places as possible, to experience firsthand how and why these issues affect Jews.
Chicago's Jewish community in 10 years:
I am confident the community will be extremely vibrant because Birthright Israel has fueled this change. We have already begun to see the positive effects and will continue to experience this change exponentially. I was fortunate to be one of the very first participants in 2000 ... With tens of thousands of Chicagoans having participated in Birthright, we will continue to see a passionate and loyal community develop that will be focused on maintaining a stronger relationship with fellow Jews, Israel and the community at large. I also expect to see new organizations emerge, Jewish networking become more sophisticated, and the continued convergence of innovation and start-ups, using a business-oriented approach to help play a stronger role in helping non-profits achieve their potential.
Me in 10 years:
I plan to live in the suburbs of Chicago with my family and friends nearby. I will strive to be the best community-minded leader I can be, and I assume that I will take on a higher-level responsibility in an official capacity with an organization that I am very passionate about. I also have political aspirations. Overall, I plan to raise a family that is focused on giving back, helping others, being grateful for all that we have access to.