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Pat Martin MP presents ivan with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal

Mazel Tov to Heart Health Scholar Ivan Berkowitz on Receipt of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee

March 18, 2013

Ivan berkowitz recently received the  Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal from NDP MP Pat Martin

Berkowitz was born and educated in Winnipeg, where he and his ex-wife Sheri raised their children Jay, Wendy and Niki. Ivan chose to devote all of his energy and talents here even though he has had opportunities all over the world after receiving his B.Comm. from the University of Manitoba and his M.B.A. from Harvard.

Following summer jobs from as early as the age of 8, Ivan spent 30 years with his family’s business Monarch Wear, makers of “TEE*KAYS” jeans. A colleague recently summarized Ivan’s efforts as, “He led the creation of the Jean Craze locally and nationally and the transformation of the “Shmata Business” into the fashion industry, professionally managed and respected.”

In 1973, he facilitated Monarch Wear’s initial public offering. He was the first president of the Manitoba Fashion Institute. Subsequent to the sale of Monarch Wear to h.i.s. from New York, he co-founded H. I. Marketing Services which organized over 100 professional, trade and such public shows as Home Expressions, Mid-Canada Boat Show and the Winnipeg Car Show. Under the leadership of Harold Buchwald, he was Exhibit Manager for Winnipeg Winter Cities 1996 which included serving as President of Export Building Products of Manitoba which built a complete furnished demonstration house across from the Winnipeg Convention Centre.

As Ivan stated in an article he wrote in CV NETWORK, the quarterly Bulletin he edits for the Winnipeg-based International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences (IACS): “Among the thousands of Manitobans who were attracted to the “Reh-Fit Lifestyle” is the Academy’s HEART HEALTH SCHOLAR Ivan Berkowitz. He joined the Centre’s ‘Pre-Fit’ program shortly after it opened and went a long way from initially only being able to walk half a lap and run half to completing 22 - 42 km full marathons. Ivan states, “The Reh-Fit Centre completely changed my life. Motivated by the premature loss of both my parents to heart attacks, the fitness, diet and social atmosphere undoubtedly has allowed me to enjoy incredibly good health for the last 25 years.”

He works for the IACS (located in Winnipeg by its founder Dr. Naranjan S. Dhalla) and has organized such events as the 2001 World Congress which brought 2,000 heart health professionals to Winnipeg from 72 countries; three Young Investigators' Forums; and the series of Harold Buchwald Memorial Luncheons highlighted in 2009 by Dr. Jay Cohn from Minneapolis who shared his vision for early detection of cardiovascular diseases. Ivan has been encouraged by many community leaders who heard Dr. Cohn speak in Winnipeg. Plans are now underway to launch a trial for 1,000 women shortly. This work has brought Ivan closer to the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation's C.E.O. Charles LaFleche. Together they conceived collaboration between the visionary Myles Robinson Memorial Heart Fund which Ivan, Harold Buchwald and other friends of Myles’ have built. The Foundation has committed to match funds so together there will be a million dollars to support such projects at the IACS, Cohn's early detection program and an IACS-led Heart Health Think Tank to encourage Manitobans to be more engaged in their own prevention of heart disease as Ivan has practised with passion since the too-early deaths of his beloved parents, leaders in our community, Bernice and Julius Berkowitz.

When he received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, Ivan was delighted to be joined (L to R) by his sister A.C. Dolgin (from Ottawa), his cousins Justine Steinkopf and Rochelle Pincovich, his very special friend Irene Furgale and his true joy of this stage of his life, Irene’s granddaughter Agnes Fournier. (See first photo)


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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

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