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December 06, 2012 - Image 56

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2012-12-06

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Cultural Mix

Jewish members extend horizons
of the Chaldean Chamber board.




Ken Guten Cohen I JN Story Development Editor

Here to Help


On Nov. 14, Steven Tapper of Orchard Lake
Loan] and shaping it to meet their needs,"
was elected the second Jewish member
she said.
of the Chaldean American Chamber of
"Certainly the experience has enabled
Commerce board during the organization's
me to build on relationships I already had
annual event at Shenandoah Country Club
in the community and to build new friend-
in West Bloomfield.
ships," she said. "I have been invited to peo-
Sharona Shapiro of West Bloomfield has
ple's homes to experience happy occasions,
been on the Chamber board since 2010.
and members have come to my home for a
Although she did not receive enough votes
Passover seder and Shabbat meals:'
to win that year, she was the next in line
Tapper, who is president of the West
when an appointed position opened up.
Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce, was
In 2011, she was elected to a full
motivated to run for a spot on the
two-year term on the 15-member
Chaldean Chamber board because
of his commitment to community
"I am not aware of any
"Their values reflect my values
— community, helping people
Chaldean organization that has
non-Chaldeans serving on its
learn and grow, education," Tapper
board:' said Martin Manna,
said. "They are a powerful com-
Chamber president Gerard van
munity in a growth mode, and I
like their leadership. And bringing
Grinsven, president and CEO
of Henry Ford West Bloomfield
business and community together
Hospital, who is Catholic, but
is a key component to me:'
not Chaldean, also serves on the
Tapper is vice president of
Tapper's Diamonds & Fine Jewelry,
Tapper was one of seven out
based in West Bloomfield. A com-
of 13 candidates to be elected at
pany value is to give back to the
the Nov. 14 event, and he came in
community where you live and
second place with 109 votes. Votes
come from the Chamber's 900
"I take that responsibility
seriously:' he said. "If given the
Martin Manna
The board gives oversight and
opportunity, I can make an impact
direction to the Chamber and
and be an influencer. I like being
its charitable arm, the Chaldean
involved. This is a win-win situ-
Community Foundation. The
ation. I bring a lot to their table,
Foundation supports a multitude
and they bring a lot to mine'
of programs, including accul-
In his speech before the
turation programs for Chaldean
Chaldean Chamber election,
refugees, Project Bismutha (aids
Tapper talked about sharing the
the medically uninsured and is
same values, work ethic and
patterned after Project Chessed
desire to succeed as those in the
of Jewish Family Service) and the
Chaldean community.
Steven Tapper
Chaldean Loan Fund (patterned
"I have no agenda; he said.
after Hebrew Free Loan).
"Chaldeans have the support of the
"It's been a very rich experi-
Jewish community, but they have
ence that has afforded me the ability to
to know who we are, and I will help them
learn more about our neighbors, to build
understand where we are coming from:'
deeper relationships with individuals and
Manna said, "Metro Detroit's Jewish
to be helpful to this growing community:'
and Chaldean communities are among the
said Shapiro, who works for the Jewish
most affluent and entrepreneurial in the
Hospice and Chaplaincy Network in West
region. While there are a lot of business
partnerships and collaborations that are
Shapiro will continue to serve until
not as public, having two prominent mem-
November 2013. She is now on the execu-
bers of the Jewish community involved
tive committee and therefore a member
with such a high-profile organization
of the Foundation board as well. She also
as the Chaldean American Chamber of
serves on the membership and annual din-
Commerce will cause greater awareness of
ner committees.
the synergy between the two communities.
"It's remarkable how they've become
"Additionally, Steve and Sharona are
more sophisticated, and part of that devel-
excellent ambassadors who can only
opment is modeling after the Jewish com-
enhance our board:' BC
munity [Project Chessed and Hebrew Free

"'A Wor. ,



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help you accomplish your goals.
Whenever I have an issue, a

question or a request, I get a call

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excellent and immediate. 33

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Here to Help

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Michael Sarafa
President and CEO




December 6 • 2012



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