Spotlight Gala 2017: Celebrating NJPAC’s 20th Anniversary Season

Saturday, September 23, 2017
5:30 pm


Featuring Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Michael Feinstein, Savion Glover, Paquito D’Rivera, India, James Monroe Iglehart, Cécile McLorin Salvant, NJSO, Christian McBride and his Big Band and more!

About the Event:

NJPAC Spotlight Gala 2017 kicks off NJPAC’s 20th Anniversary Season and benefits NJPAC and its Arts Education programs. Our signature event of the year is attended by over 1,000 of the State’s most high profile professionals and philanthropists.

Gala Co-Chairs:

Mary Kay Strangfeld
Vice President, Women’s Association of NJPAC

John Strangfeld
Chair, NJPAC Board of Directors
Chairman and CEO, Prudential Financial


$1,000/individual ticket; tables of 10 guests each starting at $15,000; one (1) raffle ticket for $100 or six (6) tickets for $500. To purchase tickets or table sponsorships with a credit card, CLICK HERE.

The drawing of the five raffle Gala Grand Raffle prizes will be held on September 23, 2017 at 11:00pm. Winners need not be present to win. NJ LGCCC ID# 337-5-35110 RL#16

For more info or to pledge tickets or a sponsorship, please contact Sarah Rosen at (973) 297-5806 or email to:

Lead Sponsor

The MCJ Amelior Foundation

Vice Chairs

American Express Company
Bank of America
Toby and Leon G. Cooperman
Gibbons P.C.
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
Arthur F. and Patricia E. Ryan
Tanenbaum Keale LLP

Dinner Committee Platinum

NJM Insurance Group

Dinner Committee Gold

Atlantic, Tomorrow’s Office
Mindy Cohen and David Bershad
Boraie Development, LLC
Dranoff Family Foundation
Elberon Development Co.
The Fidelco Group, Randi and Marc E. Berson
Don Katz and Leslie Larson
The Hon. Thomas H. Kean
Ruth C. and A. Michael Lipper
Paula and Bill Marino
Merck & Co., Inc.
Penguin Random House Audio Publishing
PNC Bank, N.A.
Prudential Center and the New Jersey Devils
Rutgers University – Newark
RWJBarnabas Health
TD Bank
Unity International Group
Diana and Roy Vagelos
Nina Mitchell Wells and Theodore V. Wells, Jr.

List in Formation


The Official Airline of the Spotlight Gala 2017


Founders Award for Commitment to NJPAC, Newark and the Arts

Don Katz
Founder and CEO, Audible
Founder, Newark Venture Partners

Donald Katz is founder and CEO of Audible, Inc., the leading provider of premium digital spoken audio information and entertainment. Prior to founding Audible, Katz was a journalist and author for twenty years; his work won a National Magazine Award, an Overseas Press Club Award, the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize for Nonfiction, and was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award, among other prizes.

Founded in 1995 and headquartered in Newark, NJ since 2007, (US) serves millions of listeners and offers over 350,000 downloadable audiobooks, audio editions of periodicals, and other programs. The company, under Mr. Katz’s leadership, commercialized the first portable digital audio player in 1997, four years before the introduction of the iPod. Audible is the supplier of audiobooks to Apple’s iTunes store worldwide and operates sixteen global outlets including in London, in Berlin, in Paris, in Sydney and in Tokyo. Audible was publicly traded on NASDAQ until acquired by in 2008 and is now an, Inc. subsidiary.

Named one of’s “25 Most Influential People in New Jersey” in 2016, Donald Katz was also recognized as one of America’s Top 25 Disruptive Leaders by Living Cities for his work on behalf of urban transformation in Newark. Katz was the recipient of a Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award in 2013. The story of Audible, a Business 2.0 magazine profile contends, is “precisely the kind Katz would have loved to write, complete with its big ideas about how an audacious writer turned businessman hopes to spearhead a literary revolution by reviving the ancient art of oral storytelling using modern technology. But Katz himself is the story now.”

During his years as a professional writer, Donald Katz wrote The Big Store: Inside the Crisis and Revolution at Sears (1987); Home Fires: An Intimate Portrait of One Middle-Class Family in Postwar America (1992); and Just Do It: The Nike Spirit in the Corporate World (1994). Katz also served as a contributing editor for Rolling StoneEsquireOutsideSports IllustratedMen’s Journal, and Worth. A two-volume collection of Katz’s magazine stories, King of the Ferret Leggers and Other True Stories and Valley of the Fallen and Other Places, was published in 2001; Home Fires was re-released in 2014.

Katz graduated from New York University in 1974, where he studied with novelist Ralph Ellison; he attributes his fascination with audio to Ellison, who emphasized the role of oral and vernacular culture as a fundamental underpinning of American literature. Katz also attended The University of Chicago as well as The London School of Economics, from which he holds an MSc Economics. He served as a member of the public library board in Montclair, New Jersey for nine years, and has served on the board of Uncommon Schools, a nonprofit organization that manages several of the most outstanding urban college preparatory charter schools in the Northeast, since the organization was founded in 1997. He also served as both a member and chairman of Newark’s economic development corporation, and he is the founder of Newark Venture Partners, a social impact early-stage investment fund and ultra-bandwidth accelerator that seeks to connect Newark – Audible’s global headquarters – to the early-stage technology start-up innovation economy. Mr. Katz is married, the father of three children, and an avid ice hockey player.