President’s Corner

Check in here to get the latest word on our major accomplishments, upcoming events, and your opportunities to participate and contribute from our Men’s Club Co-Presidents, Steve Lessman and Andy Wagner.

Welcome To Our New Men’s Club Year!

Hello Congregation Beth Shalom!  My name is Steve Lessman, Co-President of Congregation Beth Shalom Men’s Club.  Along with Andy Wagner, we will lead the Men’s Club for the next two years. We have a lot of exciting events planned and some surprises along the way. If you are not aware, Andy and I have a tough act to follow. In June the Federation of Jewish Men’s Club held their biannual convention virtually, and Congregation Beth Shalom took home FIVE Gold Torch Awards including the Gold for the Best Overall Programs.  We were the only club among over 200 Clubs in the country to win this award. Mazel Tov to outgoing President Steven Elisco and his executive board for leading us during the last two years and receiving the recognition our club deserves during the year of the Pandemic.

As President of CBS Men’s Club from 1995-1997, I used my monthly bulletin article to introduce you to the men who make up the executive and regular boards and their unique life stories. I plan on doing that again during the next two years as well.  I want to begin by introducing myself to many of the newer members of Congregation who I have not yet had the pleasure of meeting.

Born and raised in Chicago, I attended Mather High School and Northern Illinois University. Married to my wonderful wife, Ann, we have four children – three married and one to be married this September. We are also proud grandparents of four boys. I have been in the advertising industry for most of my career, selling advertising on radio and television stations, and for 20 years, represented most of the Chicago Sports Professional teams’ radio stations selling game sponsorships on the radio. I currently work for WCPT Radio in Chicago and other media companies as well. My hobbies include PA announcing at high school and college sporting events including basketball, volleyball, and football. My involvement in Congregation Beth Shalom began in 1975 after my dad passed, and I spent my evenings at CBS saying Kaddish. Soon I got involved in Men’s Club, became President, and then got involved in the Midwest Region of FJMC and am a Past President of the Midwest Region.

Andy and his son Brandon joined CBS more recently, in December 2016. This was after moving from Oklahoma City, where he lived for 11 years and was very involved with Emanuel Synagogue. Andy grew up in Milwaukee at Congregation Beth Israel and, for many years, went to Camp Interlaken JCC. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison for college (saxophone performance) and medical school. Andy now practices reproductive genetics at Northwestern University since moving here. He is following presidential traditions in the family with Brandon having been CBS USY President in 2019-2020, and his father Alan, who was Men’s Club President at Beth Israel in the 80s. His hobbies include playing the saxophone almost nightly on Facebook and in two community bands and being amazed at Brandon’s many accomplishments.

Andy and I are very excited to be Co-Presidents of the Congregation Beth Shalom Men’s Club. CBS Men’s Club is filled with a long history and special men who make this club great. We look forward to continuing this success and developing strong leaders to carry on the CBS Men’s Club traditions.

L ‘Shalom,

Steve and Andy