Chuck Marcus, the brother of Harold Marcus, has been named the new BBYO senior program director for its Keystone Mountain Region — a full-time position. He began his new job Aug. 1.
His brother, Harold Marcus, a 30-year sales representative for State of Israel Bonds in Pittsburgh, just left to become the regional director of Israel Bonds in Philadelphia — the same area Chuck just left to come home.
For Chuck, who lived the last 30 years in Wilmington, Del., part of his job will involve reacquainting himself with the region he left decades ago, but always called home.
“I’ve been away for 40 years,” he said. “I graduated in 1971, went to West Virginia to go to school and don’t believe I ever moved back.”
The Keystone Mountain Region encompasses much of western Pennsylvania and all of West Virginia.
Marcus takes over a region with eight BBYO chapters, approximately 200 members and, he believes, potential for growth.
That would explain why the International BBYO decided to upgrade his position, the only paid position in the Keystone Mountain Region, from part-time to full-time.
“I firmly believe that [there’s room for growth],” Marcus said. “To do that, you need someone here on a regular basis who can interact, not only with the teens, but the community as well.”
According to Aaron Katler, chief field officer for BBYO, the decision to make the KMR program director a full-time position again stems from steady growth in youth participation to 300, plus a fundraising effort here, which grew 350 percent this past year, all of which stays in the KMR region.
“The growth sort of demands it,” Katler said of the decision to upgrade the position.
There is a difference of 100 in the participation figures quoted by Marcus and Katler. That’s because Marcus’ number included only AZA and BBG members, while Katler’s figure counts participants in BBYO’s middle school program, Teen Connection, as well as teens who come to communitywide programming.
“The total of those participants is what we refer to as ‘engaged’ in BBYO programming during a given year,” he said.
One of Marcus’ first moves was to contact area rabbis and congregation youth directors. He also plans to visit West Virginia to determine opportunities for growth there.
He plans to use his background as a sales representative to forge relationships in the community.
“Right now, it’s all about rebuilding and making sure everything put in place the teens are able to achieve,” he said. “There are certain goals BBYO will give me and as time goes on there will be a strategic plan that I will try to follow.”
Though Marcus has spent much of his career as a marketing representative in the print and broadcast media (he was most recently an account executive for Clear Channel Outdoors), he also spent the past eight years as advisor for the Brian L. Dombchik AZA #164 chapter in Wilmington as well as the lead advisor for Central Region East BBYO, which encompasses Binghamton and Elmira, N.Y., eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware.
He won the David Bittker Unsung Hero Award in 2009, which recognizes outstanding BBYO advisors.
(Lee Chottiner can be reached at leec@the jewishchronicle.net.)