B’nai B’rith International’s Banking & Finance unit has chosen Mark R. DeFazio, founder, president and CEO of Metropolitan National Bank, and Harold Shulman, a partner at Citrin Cooperman & Company, LLP, to receive the prestigious Distinguished Achievement Award.
DeFazio and Shulman were honored at a dinner at the Grand Hyatt New York on Oct. 24 in New York City.
Distinguishing himself as an outstanding banker, community volunteer and reliable supporter of B’nai B’rith, DeFazio’s career has been marked by solid leadership in the New York middle market banking community.
“In his professional life and his personal life, Mark exemplifies the highest ideals,” Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin said. “He’s been a terrific friend to B’nai B’rith and we are so pleased to honor him with this well-deserved award.”
DeFazio created Metropolitan National Bank 13 years ago and has overseen its growth from $8 million in assets to more than $600 million in assets.
Shulman’s long term professional achievements—55 years so far in the field of accounting in New York—and his leadership and devotion for many years in the global growth and development of B’nai B’rith made him an ideal candidate for this award.
In 1982, he founded his own firm, Shulman Cohen Furst & Co. Under his leadership as managing partner, the firm sustained growth and profitability and in 2006 it merged into Citrin Cooperman & Co., now the 28th largest CPA firm in the country. As tax partner, he provides tax, estate and financial planning services for businesses and individuals. He is also an attorney admitted to the New York State Bar.
For more than 40 years, Shulman has volunteered at the community, district and international levels of B’nai B’rith. He has served two terms as B’nai B’rith International’s treasurer, chaired the national Budget Committee, currently is Audit Chairman and serves on the Executive Committee and the board of the B’nai B’rith Foundation.
“I’d have a hard time finding anyone in our financial community who has done more for B’nai B’rith than Hal,” President Allan J. Jacobs said. “His dedication to B’nai B’rith and to his profession, along with his philanthropic endeavors, make Hal a role model for others. He’s a true gentleman and this award is a long time in coming.”
Keynote speaker Jerome M. Hauer, commissioner, New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, discussed cyber security pointing out the vital role the banking and finance industries play in recognizing and responding to cyber threats.
The tribute committee comprised of former honorees and other leaders in the banking and finance community in New York worked diligently to ensure a successful event.
Photos available upon request. Please contact Amy Green: AGreen@bnaibrith.org.