Newsmakers April 2021: Awards, honors and career moves

Joann Iskiwitch

Compiled by Ellen Futterman, Editor-in-Chief

Joanne Iskiwitch has received the 2020 Coldwell Banker President’s Elite Award, given to top Coldwell Banker real estate agents locally and internationally. Iskiwitch also recently was awarded the Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CHLMS) designation and the Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES) designation. She is a member of Temple Emanuel.


St. Louis Public Radio is honoring Diane Katzman with its Lifetime Achievement Award for 2021 at its virtual “Talk Taste Toast” event at 7 p.m. April 9. Katzman, an artist and jewelry designer, founded Diane Katzman Jewelry Design, which she sold last year to focus full time on Corporate & Non-Profit Art. She belongs to Central Reform Congregation.


Philip Taxman, senior vice president wealth adviser at Merrill Lynch, has been named a Forbes magazine “Best-in-State” Wealth Advisor for 2021. Forbes recognized 30 top wealth advisers in Missouri. Taxman, who has received this recognition in the past, just celebrated his 30th anniversary with Merrill Lynch in the Clayton office. He is a member of Congregation Shaare Emeth. 


The Arts and Education Council of St. Louis will honor Amy Kaiser, director of the St. Louis Symphony Chorus since 1995, with its 2021 Lifetime Achievement award at the St. Louis Arts Awards on May 24. Kaiser is one of the country’s leading choral directors and has been in that role for 50 years. She is also a regular preconcert speaker for the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and has presented the Symphony Lecture Series, promoting SLSO concerts, for the past 15 years. Her popular classes for Opera Theatre of St. Louis, “Illuminating Opera,” are being broadcast this season on Classic 107.3. 


The National Council of Jewish Women St. Louis (NCJWSTL) has been recognized by the Women’s Foundation of Greater St. Louis as a top place for women to work, in the fourth annual “Women in the Workplace: Employment Scorecard.” NCJWSTL was recognized as one of 21 St. Louis employers demonstrating excellence in workplace gender equity in leadership, compensation, flexible work policies, recruitment and retention. 

In addition, NCJWSTL announced its 2021 Section Awards recipients, who exemplify the values of the organization through their community service, advocacy work, leadership and volunteer efforts. They are Arlene Baer and Patti Teper, community service; Andrea Powers Schankman and Debbie Gilula, theFritzi Lainoff Advocacy Award; Susan Witte, leadership; Terry Cox, volunteer service; and Hillary Hinz, emerging leader. The NCJWSTL board installation and section awards ceremony will be held virtually Thursday, May 27.


Jan Baron and Ryia Ross Peterson were recently elected to serve two-year terms on Cultural Leadership’s board of directors. Peterson, who is a pediatrician at Mercy Ladue Pediatrics and belongs to CRC, was elected to serve as board chair. Baron teaches and belongs to Congregation B’nai Amoona. Cultural Leadership strives to create a more just and equitable community by educating middle and high school students to recognize and resolve issues of privilege and injustice through the lens of the African American and Jewish experience.

Lynnsie Kantor and her partner Craig Burfield of the Burfield Kantor Group received the 5 Year Legend award at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ 2021 national convention. The award honors agents who ranked in the Chairman’s Circle for 5 years in a row. In addition, their 2020 production placed them in the top 2% of the entire BHHS network nationwide. They are affiliated with BHHS Alliance in St. Louis. Kantor attends B’nai Amoona and CRC.


Norman S. Newmark, a partner in the law firm of McCarthy, Leonard & Kaemmerer in Town and Country, has been elected as a fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel. His practice focuses on business tax planning, tax controversies, estate planning and probate, and fiduciary litigation. He attends United Hebrew Congregation.


Scott Lefton and Doug Goldenberg are opening Lefty’s Bagels, which will offer freshly baked bagels from Lefton’s recipe. They plan to open by the end of the month and sell plain, poppy, sesame and everything bagels on Saturdays and Sundays at Baker’s Hub, 67 Forum Shopping Center in Chesterfield. The bagels cost $1.65 for one, $8 for a half-dozen and $14 for a baker’s dozen. Lefton and Goldenberg belong to Temple Israel.