Michael wants you to think of him as a brother. A fraternity brother, that is. He is the Alpha Epsilon Pi president of the Chicago Alumni Club, which he helped found ... and then went on to help 25 other cities do so. He also is AEPi Regional Governor Midwest, helping ensure that 17 chapters across the region remain committed to their Jewish mission and ideals, and mentoring tomorrow’s Jewish leaders.
He also serves on the B'nai Brith Midwest Regional Board, and is on the BBYO Chicago Alumni Board. While he has many interests, his main passion remains energizing and connecting as many Jewish people and organizations as he can, channeling “the genius of the ‘and,’ not the tyranny of the ‘or.’”
Michael works at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, starting as an intern, and working his way up to a Financial Advisor, after recently getting his CFA. Speaking of financial advice, he just helped his old Northwestern U. swimming and diving program raise $50,000 to create an endowment. Yes, not surprisingly, he likes to dive right in literally as well.
Pays the bills:
Financial Advisor at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney
On the side:
I like to keep pretty busy. Below is a listing of the organizations I’m involved with in an official capacity.
- Alpha Epsilon Pi Regional Governor- Midwest
- Alpha Epsilon Pi Chicago Alumni Club Chairman
- Alpha Epsilon Pi Northwestern Foundation- VP Fundraising
- BBYO Friends and Alumni Network Board
- B’nai B’rith Midwest Regional Board
- Northwestern Swimming and Diving Fundraising Committee
Describe yourself in 10 words or less:
An energetic friendly mensch who connects the Jewish community
Ben Stiller- I can even do my own Blue Steel
How do you Jew in Chicago?
My Jewish connection is through creating and leading organizations that engage Jews from all walks of life. I work with emerging leaders in college as well as help build a stronger young professional network in order to ensure the future strength of the Jewish community. In addition to AEPi, BBYO, and BBI activities, you can find me at most of the Jewish events throughout the city (including all the great JUF programming!). I consistently bring new people to the events and encourage them to find or create a group that they are passionate about.
First and foremost, I am passionate about my friends and family, and always doing my best to communicate and share my love and joy with them. I love serving as a mentor to undergraduate students and young adults to help guide them through their own Jewish leadership experiences. Finally, through work as a financial advisor, I am lucky to work with so many wonderful clients, and getting to see them through a variety of different life stages as I passionately help enable their dreams.
How do you give back?
I have been blessed with an amazing Jewish foundation: from BBYO in high school, AEPi at Northwestern, and today a variety of seasoned Jewish professionals serving as my mentors. Because of this, I feel it is my responsibility to give back, so that others can have the same, or even more enhanced opportunities than I had.
Whether I have a role formally or informally, I spend multiple hours a week (more likely hours every day), helping shape the strategic vision or executing ideas for a variety of Jewish groups. When there is a need for a new or different Jewish organization, I help create one. Working with a multitude of different organizations, I consistently look for ways to have groups partner with each other and build a stronger overall community. I also help cross pollinate the best ideas across multiple different groups. Financially I contribute to organizations I am committed to, putting my money where my mouth and time is. I am always the first person on the phones to excitedly ask others to join with me in contributing. I strive to continually set an example showing that it is possible to achieve success professionally while also volunteering your time, enhancing our Jewish community.
Fill in the blank: If time and money were limitless, I would:
travel the world engaging different Jewish communities. I would also provide financing to help young professionals with grassroots efforts to build and engage their own communities.
Chicago's Jewish community in 10 years:
Will be missing me at these 36 under 36 parties since I will be 38. But in all seriousness, I would love to see a more connected interdenominational Jewish community that is passionate about practicing their style of Judaism whatever denomination that may be. I believe this is integral for the strength and future of our community as a whole. I see a community in 10 years that is open to people of all walks of life and one which will continue to be leading positive social growth across all of Chicago.
Me in 10 years:
Ten years ago, I would never have thought I would be doing what I’m doing today. In hindsight, it makes sense. I am continuing my Jewish leadership that began in high school and getting to work with and meet so many people both as my professional job and my various volunteer interests. Ten years from now, I see myself helping even more people navigate the financial markets as I continue working with my amazing financial advising team at Morgan Stanley. I would like to get married someday, and hopefully with the help of the Jewish community and friends alike, marriage equality will happen within 10 years! I look forward to getting to work with the next crop of young leaders and consistently serving as a positive example of a Jewish leader in our community.