Outstanding community volunteers recognized

This is part one of a series on the Jewish agency volunteers who received 2019 Special Recognition Awards at the Jewish Community Awards celebration held May 9 at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. The evening also included the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona’s annual meeting.

Neil Markowitz

Neil Markowitz, Jewish Community Foundation of Southern Arizona

The Jewish Community Foundation honored Neil Markowitz as a vital part of its grants committee for more than a decade.  “As co-founder and executive director of the Environmental Education Exchange, Neil does not have a shortage of things to do in his professional life. Yet he has never said ‘no’ when asked to take on additional responsibilities at the foundation,” said JFCF’s executive director and president Graham Hoffman, in presenting the award.

Markowitz served on the foundation’s executive committee last year and will remain on the board as an officer for the coming year. He also previously served on the board of Tucson Audubon society. “Neil has served our community well, adding an extra level of thoughtfulness and insight to committee and board discussions,” Hoffman added.

For two years in the mid-1980s, Markowitz lived in Australia while on the faculty at Deakin University in the College of Education. He has been a professional environmental educator for over 25 years. With an undergraduate degree from Rutgers University and a master of science from the University of Michigan, he has taught graduate level coursework and managed educational projects for a wide range of agencies and organizations. Since 1991, his company has promoted environmental education development in the United States and Mexico.

Susan Garber (Martha Lochert

Susan Garber, Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Southern Arizona

Susan Garber has served as a Jewish Family & Children’s Services board member and chair of the marketing and development committee since 2016 and has been a principal at Garber Marketing & Strategic Planning for 22 years.

“With expertise as a nationally-recognized marketing professional, Susan has helped insure powerful impact, good marketing, and branding for the organization,” said Ken Goodman, incoming JFCS board chair. “Thank you, Susan, for encouraging and inspiring us, willingly and sometimes unwillingly, to redefine our organization’s image and branding for greater impact and support from not only the Jewish community but also from the greater Tucson metropolitan area.”

Garber has an extensive background in traditional and digital business strategy, branding, marketing, and advertising, providing strategic planning for established businesses and start-ups. She says it all began with a “KISS,” so to speak, when she helped create the enduring rock and roll brand for the band KISS. Being part of their “start-up” days and working with other artists like Paul McCartney and Eric Clapton showed Garber how to create identities, products,
and companies.

Previously, Garber was a senior vice president at Launch Media and held senior account management positions at iconic advertising agencies in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. She is a guest lecturer at University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, Otis College of Art & Design in Los Angeles, and University of Arizona McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship, and a mentor at Arizona Center for Innovation. Her bachelor’s degree in communications is from Occidental College.