Contact: David Jwanier, media relations associate, 610-740-3790

Associates of Cedar Crest College Recognizes

Bob Wood and Ilene Hochberg Wood for Community Leadership

Allentown, PA (Feb. 18, 2010)—The Associates of Cedar Crest College has selected Bob Wood and Ilene Hochberg Wood of Allentown to receive the 2010 Associates’ Award. The Woods are being recognized for their leadership efforts in the community during a special luncheon at Cedar Crest College on Wednesday, March 10, beginning at 11:45 a.m. in the Tompkins College Center.


Lynald E. Silsbee, chair of the Associates, said of the selection: “Bob and Ilene Wood have worked tirelessly on behalf of the people of the Lehigh Valley and it is truly an honor and privilege to present them with the 2010 Associates’ Award.”

The Woods were excited to be recognized in such a way for their efforts. Bob Wood recalled how the Cedar Crest College campus has always been a part of his life in some way, whether it was walking the campus’ rolling hills during his childhood, or later living in the same neighborhood where former College President Dorothy Gulbenkian Blaney—a fellow Cornell University graduate—held student recruitment events.

“Cedar Crest has been a huge asset to the community for a long time—not just for the students who go here—and I’m very honored that Ilene and I are receiving this award. Providing young women with another option where they can maximize their potential is important, and the Cedar Crest graduates I have met have been impressive,” Bob Wood said.

By all accounts, the Woods have been quite impressive in many ways. After graduating from Cornell University in 1967 with a degree in hotel administration, Bob Wood worked in jobs with increasing responsibility in the family business, Wood Dining Services, ultimately achieving the position of CEO. The company was purchased by food industry giant Sodexo in 2001. He served as executive vice president at Sodexo until “semi-retiring” earlier this year. He now serves as a consultant for the company.

Bob Wood comes from a long line of family members who grew up in Allentown, and he learned about “getting involved” in community service early on when his father was on the board at the Allentown YMCA. He currently serves on the boards of many organizations and entities in the area including the United Way of Greater Lehigh Valley, Allentown Art Museum, The Perkiomen School, Lehigh Valley Community Foundation, Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation, and the Leonard Pool Society. He is chair of the Harry C. Trexler Trust and City of Allentown-Allentown Ahead.

His wife is equally impressive. Ilene Hochberg Wood, a 1976 Cornell graduate and New York City transplant, is very involved in many of her husband’s charitable efforts, giving her time freely to organizations like The Allentown Art Museum, Girl Scouts, Second Harvest, The Child Advocacy Center and The United Way, among others. Her professional background includes a career in retail marketing and merchandising for Abraham and Strauss and Macy’s. She branched out to the publishing business, first starting a pet fashion accessory business, Dogwear, and then writing a series of bestselling books including Dogue and N.Y. Times bestseller Catmopolitan, humorous takes on two of the hottest fashion magazines of our time—Vogue and Cosmopolitan.

Hochberg Wood offered some sound advice for Cedar Crest College students about their future careers: “I have been fortunate to always have a job that I wanted to do. You have to follow your passion. Change is your friend—it’s how you respond to change that determines whether you’ll be successful. My career didn’t turn out at all as I had imagined it would, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

In receiving the award, the Woods join a distinguished group of past honorees, including: Marlene “Linny” Fowler, local artist and philanthropist (2009); Barbara Goldman-Wartell, rabbi at Temple Concord in Binghamton, NY (2008); Adrienne Angeletti Snelling ’52 and Dr. Charles D. Snelling, an alumna and local supporter of the arts, and a life trustee of the College, respectively (2007); Dr. Marilyn L. Steinbright ’56, a former trustee of the College and local philanthropist (2006); the late Charles Fletcher, past president of the Associates (2005); Charles and Constance Noonan, long-term Associates. Charles Noonan was also past Cedar Crest Board of Trustees chair (2004); Dr. Anne Okal Winkler ’51, Cedar Crest College life trustee and pioneer in the field of nursing (2003); the late Abram Samuels, Cedar Crest College trustee, philanthropist and former chairman of the board of Automatic Devices, Inc. (2002); Kathryn Stephanoff, retired director of the Allentown Public Library (2001); Joan Miller Moran, activist and volunteer (2000); Helene M. Whitaker ’71, former Cedar Crest trustee and vice president of administration at Northampton Community College (1999); Cynthia Blaschak ’84, former chair of the Cedar Crest College Board of Trustees and president of Blaschak Coal Company (1998); Jane S. Baker ’67, former Pennsylvania state representative and former Lehigh County executive (1997); Elsbeth G. Haymon, currently the director of development and marketing for the Allentown Art Museum (1996); The Honorable Madeline Palladino, former Cedar Crest trustee (1995); Alice Anne Miller, Cedar Crest College trustee (1994); and the late Ardath Rodale, former Cedar Crest trustee and former chief inspiration officer of Rodale Inc. (1993).

Tickets to the Associates’ Award Luncheon honoring Bob Wood and Ilene Hochberg Wood are available at $40/person or $300 per table (8 places). Sponsorship opportunities are also available. For tickets or information call the Cedar Crest College Office of Institutional Advancement at 610-606-4609.


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Last Updated: 3/8/10