Benjamin Zeltner, Esq., a partner with Levine, Staller, Sklar, Chan & Brown, P.A ., was honored as the 2016 Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) New Jersey Southern Chapter during its eighth annual National Philanthropy Day® Celebration on Thursday, November 17 at The Mansion in Voorhees.
The Association of Fundraising Professionals’ (AFP) annual awards program recognizes outstanding achievement by individual, foundation and corporate philanthropists, fundraising volunteers and fundraising professionals.
Mr. Zeltner currently serves as the board chairman for the AtlantiCare Foundation, the nominating entity.
According to Executive Director of the Foundation Samantha Kiley, Mr. Zeltner’s dedication and support of AtlantiCare spans almost a decade. “We are delighted to highlight Mr. Zeltner’s dedication and continued support of the work of the AtlantiCare Foundation,” Kiley said. “National Philanthropy Day provides us an opportunity to honor Mr. Zeltner – as he has demonstrated himself to be one who holds his ethical standards high and best exemplifies commitment and dedication toward helping our community.”
“It is truly an honor and a privilege to be recognized in this way. Giving back has always been a passion of mine. Instilled at a young age, I’ve been fortunate in my life to have had many role models and opportunities to demonstrate my commitment to improving the communities and agencies which mean the most to me and my family,” Zeltner said. “I am proud of the work that I’ve been able to do alongside a group of many peers who share similar beliefs and aspirations to make a difference. While the contributions that I’ve made may not be as significant as others, this award is a reminder that all of our efforts combined truly enable the many causes and agencies represented today to serve more people, to expand resources to new populations, or in cases of the AtlantiCare Foundation, where I am proud to serve, improve the health status of our community. “
Under the guidance of Mr. Zeltner as board chairman of the Foundation, the Mainland Transformation Campaign is AtlantiCare’s most successful capital campaign to date exceeding the target of $5.5 million and raised more than $6 million. The capital project expanded access to surgical care through a new surgical pavilion and enhanced the AtlantiCare Mainland campus with additional operating rooms, family waiting areas, and provider and staff lounges. The expansion of surgical services and other upgrades and renovations completed under this landmark project will help AtlantiCare improve patient outcomes, reduce length of stay and increase access to high-quality surgical care in a sustainable way.
Additionally, his other passion lies in supporting the Foundation’s Growing Green initiative, which is a community based program dedicated to creating sustainable community and school gardens and promoting healthy eating habits to aid in the fight against childhood obesity, the ever increasing diabetes epidemic. This program not only receives Mr. Zeltner’s financial support, but he was instrumental in the development of the program working with a fellow board member serving on a board-driven planning committee providing oversight and guidance to establish the community gardening initiative. The creation of a Chef’s Council and the Farm to Flavor fundraising event was the result. The Chef’s Council is a distinguished group of culinary experts working in the greater Atlantic county area committed to increasing access to healthy food for community members, and proving them with the food preparation skills necessary to lead healthy lives. The program continues to expand.
As a partner with the firm Levine, Staller, Sklar, Chan & Brown, PA of Atlantic City, NJ, he has had significant influence in the support through his firm which has generously given more than $82,000, as well as, provided professional guidance and support in the Foundation’s development of a strategic planned giving program providing donors with gift options expanding the Foundation’s reach for support.
In addition, his philanthropic spirit, influence and work have supported his alma matter, Duke, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the boards of the local United Way Board and Board of BERON Jewish Older Adult Services, and hurricane damaged homes in Mississippi and Atlantic City.