Operating Board

Norm Cohen, President
Norman Cohen has a passion for developing leaders and has served as an Executive Coach and speaker for The John Maxwell Company. Norman is the CEO of Leadership Builder, LLC a training organization dedicated to helping people become better leaders. He has over 40 years of experience in the home building industry. For over 25 years, he has served on the board of the National Association of Home Builders. Previously, has served on the board of Temple Emanu-El, Vistage International, and as a managing member of Camelot Signature Development, LLC.


Jay Forgotson, Vice President
Merril Jay Forgotson is a graduate of Boston University Law School and also holds an MBA. He is a former general counsel for Barclays American and former chief credit officer for People’s United Bank. He has also served as CEO of Cornerstone Bank, CEO of BNC Financial Group and as dean of the School of Business Administration at the University of Bridgeport. Jay has extensive experience working with nonprofits, having twice served as chair for the Anti-Defamation League of Connecticut, as well as being a trustee for numerous others. He is actively involved in Temple Emanu-El and the Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee.


Gordon Metsky, Treasurer
Gordon Metsky’s lengthy career in the world of finance is a true asset to the Aviva community. As an MBA graduate of Fairleigh Dickenson University as served in both the private and public finance sector. Most recently, Gordon led a team at Large Business & International Division of the Internal Revenue Services conducting large-scale investigations into energy, shipping, and commodity companies. His personal background as both an accountant and controller provide him a unique perspective for the team.


Ron Paler, Secretary
Ron Paler, a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee alum, has been in the healthcare industry for over 40 years. Ron began his career as a purchasing agent and would later become president and Chief Operating Officer for one of the largest long-term care purchasing groups in the U.S. A natural entrepreneur, he developed a physical, occupational, speech and respiratory therapy company that expanded into four states. In 2002, he created another company to help provide medications to individuals who needed assistance reducing the cost of their medications. His company Orthomed LLC., provided services and consulting to orthopedic hospitals, institutional pharmacies, sports clinics and a major hospital group in Wisconsin. He recently sold two of these companies to free up his time to enjoy Florida living. Ron has served on the board of the Wisconsin Hospital Purchasing Association, Beth El Ner Tamid in Milwaukee, and a number of condominium boards.


Al Ernst, Immediate Past President
Al Ernst is a 1974 cum laude graduate of Wayne State University (Detroit) School of Law. For 35 years, Al was with Dykema Gossett, where he directed the firm’s Energy and Public Utility Group. He has acted as general counsel to several non-profits, including the Michigan Easter Seal Society and a number of rural electric cooperative utilities and trade associations. Al has served on the board of for-profits, including Utility Supply and Construction Corporation and ITC Transmission Holdings Corp. He has also served as an energy consultant to the US Department of Energy, the General Services Administration and the US Department of Defense. Al has been listed in Best Lawyers in America, The Super-Lawyers, and was named Best Energy Lawyer in Michigan’s State Capitol.


Bob Israeloff, Trustee
Bob Israeloff is the founder and former CEO of Israeloff, Trattner & Co, CPAs, PC, one of New York’s leading professional service firms. Named one of the 125 most influential CPAs in the history of the U.S., he is a past chairman of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and past president of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants.Bob has served on numerous nonprofit boards at the local and national levels, including as former president of HIAS, Inc., and treasurer for both the Perlman Music Program/Suncoast and Sarasota County Arts Council.


Jerry Lazar, Trustee
Professor Jerry Lazar has quickly become a leading expert on medical ethics both in Sarasota and across the country. As a professor of ethics, Jerry has served as a teacher for some of the greatest minds in medicine including classes at Michigan State University, University of Detroit Mercy and the Southern Illinois University of Medicine. His unique approach to medical ethics combines medical law, human behavior and psychology to create the best possible patient environments for the communities he serves.


Marc Lazarus, Trustee
Mark Lazarus is president and CEO of R & L Healthcare Advisors, a consulting firm with a track record of success helping managed care providers implement and improve their performance. Prior to that, he served as the president and CEO of Sarasota Palms Hospital and as the CEO for Nu-Med Northwestern Institute in Fort Washington, PA, and Nu-Med Hampton Hospital in Willingboro, NJ. Mark holds a master’s degree in healthcare administration and has served on numerous nonprofit boards, including United Way Suncoast, Federation of American Healthcare Systems and as past president of YANA Foundation.


Martin Marcus, Trustee
Martin Marcus most recently was president of Medical Records Corporation in Cleveland, Ohio, a company that utilized more than 2,000 employees in 40 offices throughout the U.S. From 1998 to 2001, he was president of the Cleveland Jewish News, a not-for-profit weekly independent newspaper. Martin is known for his support of non-profit organizations such as the Salvation Army of Cleveland and the Jewish Federation of Cleveland. He is currently on the Board of Trustees for both organizations. He also is a Life Trustee and foundation treasurer for Menorah Park Center for Senior Living in Cleveland.


Henry Mason, Trustee
Henry Mason is a New York native and holds an M.B.A. in International Marketing and Finance from Columbia University. Henry is the founder of Precision Plastic Ind. Inc., a specialty packaging manufacturing company based on a Patent I obtained for film packaging. In 2001, Henry purchased Sanders Laboratories, Inc., an Environmental Test Laboratory with labs in Nokomis and Fort Myers FL. After thirty successful years, Henry sold Precision Plastic Ind. Inc., in 2002. He continues to serve as president of Sanders Laboratories, Inc. Henry and his wife Ellen have called the Sarasota community home since 1998.
Seth I. Rosenberg, Trustee
Dr. Seth I. Rosenberg is an internationally recognized otologist/neurotologist and surgeon at the Silverstein Institute in Sarasota. A native of Poughkeepsie, NY, he graduated cum laude from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and received his M.D. from State University of New York Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse. He is a member of the prestigious Triological Society, having received its Mosher Award for his thesis, “The Natural History of Acoustic Neuromas” and was one of the youngest members ever invited to join the exclusive American Otological Society. Dr. Rosenberg also currently serves as vice president and education director for the Ear Research Foundation.


Kenneth Stock, Trustee
Kenneth Stock is a past president of the Aviva Jewish Housing Foundation Operating Board and has served on that board since 2000. He was vice president and chief financial officer with Liberty House Department Stores in California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, and Texas. He was the controller of F and R Lazarus and owned a chain of retail stores. Ken has served on the boards of Jewish Federation, Jewish Family and Children’s Services, and All Faiths Food Bank. Ken is a Business Administration graduate of Rutgers University and is a veteran of the US Army.


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