Atlanta native Shai Robkin has been selected to succeed Tom Glaser as president of the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce, Southeast Region. Robkin will assume the position on August 1st, and Glaser will stay on in a consulting capacity to ensure a smooth transition through September when he will begin his retirement after almost 22 years of service to AICC.
“Our Executive Committee followed a very rigorous process, and made an excellent selection. We believe Shai will be an outstanding professional leader for AICC, building on the solid foundation and leading the Chamber to the next level of excellence,” said new AICC Board Chair Joel Neuman (The Coca-Cola Company). “We are grateful to Ben Fink for heading up the Succession Committee and to our Board for their assistance in the selection process and financing of the transition.”
Robkin brings a unique background and skill set to the position. A dual US and Israel citizen, he has extensive Israel and Southeast business experience. Educated in Atlanta, he earned his BA degree in Economics with a focus on international trade from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and an MBA from Georgia State University with an emphasis in marketing.
He began his business career in Israel with Bank Hapoalim, and two years later, he and his wife opened Israel’s first combination bookstore/coffee shop in downtown Jerusalem. Subsequently, they returned to Atlanta to handle family obligations, taking the proceeds from the sale of their Israel business to purchase Vernon Library Supplies. In 2004, he established a separate division, ITG, devoted exclusively to library technology that he sold in 2011 to One Equity Partners. The company was rolled up with British and Swiss companies to form Bibliotheca, a global library technology company, and for the past two years, Robkin served as a Managing Director and then consultant to Bibliotheca.
Robkin has been an active community leader. In Israel, he was a founding member and president for two years of Moreshet Avraham, a Conservative synagogue in Jerusalem. He served as commissioner of the Israel Softball League, and was instrumental in getting softball included as a recognized sport in the Maccabiah Games. The Robkins remain members of their Jerusalem synagogue, and are also members of two Atlanta synagogues. He served on the boards of Congregation Beth Shalom, the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce, Greenfield Hebrew Academy, and The Weber School which honored Shai and his wife, Judy, at their annual dinner in 2007.
He served in the standing army of the Israel Defense Force in 1978-79, and was a reservist until 1984. He is a fluent speaker and writer of Hebrew. The Robkins own an apartment in Jerusalem, and visit the country yearly, maintaining close relationships with many Israeli friends and family. In 1990, he formed a musical ensemble, PAZ, which continues to this day to perform popular Israeli music for community organizations in Atlanta and throughout the South. His passion for Israeli music led him to become host in 2006-7 of Boker Tov Atlanta (Good Morning Atlanta), a radio show on AM1160.