Zeta Beta Tau Foundation

Visionaries celebration honors leadership

On Thursday, March 2, the inaugural ZBT Visionaries Celebration took place in New York City at the Harmonie Club.

At this celebration, we honored a group of brothers of extraordinary visionary leadership, provided updates on ZBT today, shared exciting news about ground-breaking initiatives on the horizon, and enjoyed the company of over 130 brothers and guests from the New York Tri-State area and beyond.

U.S. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman received the Visionaries Award, given to individuals for distinguished leadership, public service and personal/professional achievements. Now Senior Counsel at the law firm of Kasowitz, Benson, Torres LLP in New York, Lieberman was a member of the U.S. Senate from Connecticut for 24 years.

Fran Townsend, former Homeland Security Advisor to U.S. President George W. Bush, emceed the event, while Carter Rubin, Season 19 The Voice winner, was a featured performer.

The ZBT Visionaries Celebration also honored the extraordinary visionary leadership and contributions of:

Man of the Year Award

Denis A. Bovin, Xi (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) 1969

Denis A. Bovin, Xi (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) 1969

Brother Bovin serves as a Senior Advisor to the Investment Bank, Evercore, where he provides strategic and financial advice to a wide range of companies and Government Agencies. Among other commercial and nonprofit Boards of Directors, he also currently serves as Chairman of the MIT Investment Management Company, which oversees the investment of MIT’s approximately $30 billion endowment. He also is a member of the MIT Executive Committee.

He received a Presidential appointment to the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, Chaired the Secretary of the Navy Advisory Panel and served on the Defense Business Board, the Defense Science Board, the Defense Policy Board and the Senior Advisory Groups for both the United States Southern and European Commands. He has been awarded both the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service, as well as the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service.

Zeidman with Directors
From left: Devon M. Schad, Beta Alpha Theta (Colorado – Boulder) 2004, Foundation Treasurer; Fred S. Zeidman, Alpha Xi (Washington University-St. Louis) 1968; Past International President Matthew J. Rubins, Kappa (Cornell University) 1990, Foundation Director.

Heritage Award

Fred S. Zeidman, Alpha Xi (Washington University-St. Louis) 1968

Brother Zeidman is Chairman of WoodRock & Co., a Houston-based investment bank. He was Chairman and CEO of Good Works Acquisition Corp. until its sale to Cipher Mining and currently serves as Chairman of Good Works Acquisition Corp. II, both publicly held SPACs. Brother Zeidman is Chairman Emeritus of Gordian Group LLC, a NY-based investment bank, as well as Co-Chair and Director of Council for a Secure America (CSA). He is also Chairman Emeritus of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council appointed by President George W. Bush in March 2002 and served in that position from 2002-2010.

From left: James (Jim) P. Summers, Gamma Epsilon (Marshall University) 1970, Past Staff; Past International President Saul A. Fern, Pi (Boston University) 1954; Jeffrey J. Bakker, Esq., Delta Lambda (Monmouth) 1990, Foundation Vice President

Brotherhood for a Lifetime Award

Saul A. Fern, Pi (Boston University) 1954

Brother Fern is a Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity Past International President and served during the early rebuilding years of the mid-1970s. Brother Fern was the second International President who was initiated as a brother of one of Zeta Beta Tau’s antecedent fraternities. He is also a Past President of the Zeta Beta Tau Foundation and served many years on the Board and Council of both the Foundation and Fraternity in many official capacities. He was initiated into Phi Alpha and then became a brother of Phi Sigma Delta on the mergers of those two brotherhoods. He then became a ZBT upon its merger with Phi Sigma Delta.

Distinguished Service Award

From left: Bret W. Hrbek, Delta Xi (Virginia Tech) 1996, Foundation President; Faron A. Lewitt, Psi (University of Alabama) 1997; Jerry N. Katz, CPA, Alpha Rho (UCLA) 1976, Past Foundation President

Faron A. Lewitt, Psi (University of Alabama) 1997

Brother Lewitt attended the University of Alabama and was initiated into the Psi Chapter of ZBT in 1993. Faron joined the Fraternity’s professional staff in March of 1998. On March 1, 2023, marked the 25th anniversary of Faron’s service with the professional staff of ZBT. For the past 18 years, Brother Lewitt has served as the Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Zeta Beta Tau Foundation. Prior to that he served in a number of roles with the Fraternity including Chapter & Expansion Consultant, Director of Chapter Affairs and Director of Operations. As an undergraduate, Faron served as a member of the Fraternity’s Supreme Council, secretary of Psi Chapter and Chairman of Psi Chapter’s 80th Anniversary celebration.