Zeta Beta Tau has honored several influential brothers and friends for their commitment to the Fraternity and their communities in 2021.
Lauding those men and women who exemplify fraternal excellence and serve as role models in living our Credo, Mission and Ritual, Special Awards includes periodically granted honors as well as yearly tributes like Man of the Year.
The following honors recently were celebrated at the 2021 International Convention in Miami, Florida. See more on Special Awards.
The Sommer Award
Presented from time to time to a ZBT alumnus for “Selfless Dedication to the Ideals of Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity,” the award is named in honor of Brother Edwin N. Sommer, a 1934 alumnus of the Alpha Theta Chapter at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, who served as Vice President of the Fraternity during the World War II era, shepherding the safety of Fraternity assets during a turbulent time.
Past International President Norman M. Waas, Esq., Alpha Omega (University of Miami) 1982, was honored with the 2021 Sommer Award. Brother Waas has been a chapter advisor and volunteer for Alpha Omega as well as ZBT International for many years.
A Miami native, Brother Waas earned his law degree with honors from the University of Miami in 1986 and immediately joined the firm which is now known as Falk, Waas, Hernandez, Cortina, Solomon and Bonner, P.A. For the past 12 years, he has served his firm as its Managing Shareholder and has helped expand the firm to Coral Gables, Plantation, Boca Raton and Orlando. Brother Waas, who has received a Martindale-Hubbell AV Peer Review Rating, has tried over 75 cases to verdict and also has over 25 reported appellate decisions. He is also a past president of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) in Florida. He served as Chapter Advisor and Executive Trustee to Alpha Omega from 2007-2016 and served on the Supreme Council from 2010-2020.
Watch as he shares his story that starts with the Alpha Omega house 40 years ago and the impact that moment has today.
The Ehrlich Award
The International Fraternity is blessed by the support of many alumni volunteers who are dedicated to furthering the ideals of our Brotherhood and work to ensure the Good & Welfare of ZBT. This honor is resented to those alumni who make significant contributions to the operations of the International Fraternity and those who give of themselves to make ZBT a better Fraternity.
In 1970, one such remarkable alumnus began his work on behalf of our Fraternity. While completing his law degree at Washington University in St. Louis, Stephen P. Ehrlich, Esq., Iota (University of Denver) 1970, worked with ZBT’s Alpha Xi Chapter. He quickly became involved with the Fraternity on an international level. His work and dedication culminated with his serving as President of the International Fraternity from 1990-1992.
He has a true passion for the Fraternity. He is committed to the success of each chapter and colony within ZBT. In honor of this brother’s gifts to ZBT, the leadership of the Fraternity created this award in 2000 to be styled in his name. This award is presented to those alumni who make significant contributions to the operations of the International Fraternity and those who give of themselves to make ZBT a better Fraternity. Brother Ehrlich was the first recipient of this award named in his honor at the 2000 International Convention.
Jerry N. Katz, CPA, Alpha Rho (University of California-Los Angeles) 1976, past president of the Zeta Beta Tau Foundation and a long-time volunteer for ZBT, was named the Stephen P. Ehrlich Award recipient for 2021.
Based in Los Angeles, Brother Katz has been a CPA for more than 40 years. He is involved in several philanthropies and boards in his community and he serves the Alpha Rho Chapter as an advisor. This past year was the close of his tenure as Zeta Beta Tau Foundation President. He was in the thick of helping the Fraternity navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and provided key advice and leadership to ensure the wellbeing of ZBT brothers and the organization as a whole. He has given much of his time, treasure and talent to the greater Fraternity as an international leader for years.
Watch as Brother Katz discusses his road in ZBT.
The Heritage Award
The Heritage Award was created in 2005 to be presented to a member of the Jewish community who distinguishes himself or herself in a communal, philanthropic, artistic or professional endeavor.
Fred S. Zeidman, Alpha Xi (Washington University in St. Louis) 1968, a respected national leader for several Jewish organizations, was named the Heritage Award recipient for 2021.
He was appointed to serve on the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council by President George W. Bush in March 2002, serving as chairman until 2010. Brother Zeidman also was appointed by President Bush to serve on the U.S. delegation to the Anti-Semitism Conference in Berlin, a major international conference. His leadership was recognized when he was named Honoree of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Tribute Dinner in 2011. He also has served in national leadership roles for AIPAC, Israel Bonds and more organizations. A resident of Houston, Texas, Brother Zeidman has a tenured career in investment banking, currently serving as Chief Executive Officer and Co-Chairman of Good Works Acquisition, a publicly held specific purpose acquisition corporation, since June 2020. In his industry-related volunteer work, he specializes in board level service for organizations needing complex financial leadership.
Watch as Brother Zeidman shares about his connection to ZBT’s heritage.
Additional Special Awards have been named for 2021. Celebrations are being planned for:
- Man of Distinction, Jerome A. Chazen, Alpha Kappa (University of Wisconsin) 1947, Chairman Emeritus of Liz Claiborne, Inc.
- Man of the Year Award, Denis A. Bovin, Xi (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) 1969, Senior Advisor, Evercore; Chairman of the MIT Investment Management Company
- Richard J.H. Gottheil Award, Zachery S. Banner, Alpha Delta (University of Southern California) 2017, Offensive Tackle, Pittsburgh Steelers
If you would like to receive information about celebrating any of the upcoming awards, email firstname.lastname@example.org.