Tai & Tony WANG
Founders, WAC Lighting
Caring for Generations Award
Forty-two years ago, Tai and Tony Wang came to the United States from China chasing their dreams. With little money, they purchased a grocery retailer in Queens, and in 1984, established WAC Lighting, one of the largest lighting manufacturers in the world today. And while pouring their energy and efforts into making their business a success, they never forgot the importance of giving back to the community.
Tai has been an active member of Selfhelp’s Board of Directors since 2015 and is the Founder and Chair of Selfhelp’s Chinese Advisory Council, established to provide resources and support to the 5,000+ older Chinese immigrants served by Selfhelp.
Beyond Selfhelp, Tai and Tony are active in a myriad of causes, especially those which address the needs of the Chinese community. Through their Glow Foundation and Glow Community Center, they offer opportunities for Chinese-speaking people of all ages to learn, grow, and become self-sufficient. For her efforts, Tai has received numerous honors and awards, including the 2021 Woman of Distinction Award from former New York State Senator Anna Kaplan, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and many more. She is also the proud founder of the New York Chinese Chorus.
A seasoned business executive, Tony transformed strong family values into successful business values at WAC, while promoting the highest standards of entrepreneurship and quality of life. Tony is a true gentleman in every sense of the word and is widely known for his exceptional integrity. He was nominated for Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young and has received various other accolades.
Tai and Tony’s greatest joy are their children, Shelley & Dirk and Thomas & Yifan Yang, and their five grandchildren (with one on the way 😊).
Founder & Chief Strategy Officer, Bright Power
Lifeline of Hope Award
A renowned leader in the energy efficiency field, Jeff Perlman is the founder, former CEO and current Chief Strategy Officer of Bright Power, the premier provider of energy and water management services for real estate owners, investors, and operators. As CEO, he built Bright Power from a single rented desk in a shared office into an industry leader.
Selfhelp and Bright Power have a long history of partnership, having worked together on nearly all of Selfhelp’s affordable housing projects for the past decade. Jeff’s leadership is of vital importance to Selfhelp as we renew our commitment to energy conservation and climate control.
In addition to his work at Bright Power, Jeff serves on the board of the New Alternatives Fund, a mutual fund that invests in renewable energy. He also has taught as adjunct faculty at NYU, CUNY, and Pratt. Jeff has been widely recognized in the real estate and sustainability industries, having been named to Crain's New York 40 Under 40, listed as an Environmental + Energy Leader 100 honoree, ranked as a Top Impact CEO by the MO 100, and recognized as a top power player by City & State’s Energy & Environment Power list, among other honors.
Outside of improving the sustainability and comfort of the built environment, Jeff is an accomplished clarinetist. He lives in Manhattan with his wife Pamela and three sons, Isaac, Raphael and Aaron.
Kate Marks &
Jessica Milstein Mishra
Co-Chairs, Selfhelp NextGen
Fran Eizenstat Legacy Award
A truly dynamic duo, Kate Marks and Jessica Milstein Mishra are the proud co-chairs of NextGen, Selfhelp’s young leadership division. For both, their immense love for Selfhelp runs deep in their roots, Kate being part of the Netter family, who has been involved with Selfhelp for over 80 years, and Jessica as the grandchild of Holocaust survivors. Kate and Jessica are the dream team driving NextGen to new heights. They have a boundless passion for helping Holocaust survivors, which is only matched by their enthusiasm for engaging their peers in helping as well. Kate and Jessica oversee all aspects of NextGen’s work with survivors, including organizing festive holiday parties, coordinating volunteer events and friendly visiting, delivering care packages for holidays, raising funds, and much more.
As the fourth generation of the Netter family to be actively involved with Selfhelp, Kate is incredibly proud to be a part of NextGen. Trained as a social worker, her philanthropic work mirrors that of her profession, as the Director of Business Development at Eldercare Homecare, a concierge homecare company. Outside of work, Kate is a devoted wife to her husband, Alex, and a loving mother to her two young girls, Lena and Ruby. They live in Westchester.
A Denver native, Jessica has over 15 years of experience as a nonprofit professional, giving her a deep knowledge and passion for Jewish philanthropy and pro-Israel advocacy. Her late grandmother, Anna (z"l), was a survivor from the Former Soviet Union, and Jessica’s guiding light in life. Jessica's commitment to Selfhelp, Holocaust survivors and vulnerable communities is a tribute to her grandmother. Jessica and her husband Sambit live in New York City.