"From the time I became a Bar Mitzvah, my father took me to FAJA Day at Meadowlands Country Club," explained Brett Studner. "It really made me feel proud to make my own gift and be the youngest one there.
"Early on, my parents and grandparents who were all actively involved in Jewish organizations and service organizations in the general community, taught me: 'It's your responsibility to give back to the community – and you get back more than you give.' "
Said Studner: "Giving your support and time to the community means belonging to a larger family, a larger community."
After Studner graduated from college, he joined what was then Federation's Young Leadership Council, was an officer, and twice chaired Federation's Young Leadership Cabinet.
He serves on Federation's Board of Directors, is a past Federation executive officer and served as a Legacy Society co-chair; as an officer of the Jewish Publishing Group; a vice chair of Main Line Reform Temple's capital campaign; and is a founding member of the Federation's Men's Roundtable. He has led three missions to Israel.
"Federation has given me the opportunity to connect to Israel and its global efforts and see how every cent of our dollars count – the joy of an old woman opening a food package in Kiev and olim learning to be self-sufficient in Israel. The visits put tears in my eyes when I saw the difference our gifts make."
Studner now serves as a vice chair of Federation's annual campaign; vice president of Federation Endowments Corporation; and sits on the advisory council for the Jewish Employment and Vocational Service.
He has been honored with a Federation Young Leadership Award and by Israel Bonds.
A past president of Golden Slipper Club and Charities, he was honored in May with their Gold Medallion Award of Achievements for "outstanding community service and exemplary dedication to the Club."
"I enjoy Golden Slipper for the close bonds that come from working together on committees, such as Human Needs, which provides emergency funds for those in immediate need. Golden Slipper is also known for its hands-on operation of its camp, its senior center and its nursing and rehabilitation center."
Studner grew up in Lafayette Hills, went to Plymouth Whitemarsh High School and earned a Bachelor of Science degree at Muhlenberg College. He is the executive vice president and CSO of HUB International, a national insurance brokerage house.
He and his wife Bethany, originally from Malibu, Ca., met on a United Jewish Communities Singles Mission to Israel in 1984. The Studners are parents of Taylor, 18, who will attend the University of New England, and Gavin, 13, a "fantastic ballplayer."
"The kids have sought out their own community service," said their proud dad, "bagging and delivering groceries for the Jewish Relief Agency and organizing a yard sale to raise money to fight Parkinson's Disease, which some of my relatives have been afflicted with."
Studner's advice to young Jewish adults: "Join Federation's Renaissance Group," he said. "Get involved and then get more involved. Make a difference in your life and the people's lives you touch with your time and your gifts. Gain new friends.
"That's what makes life special."