Life Changes Show, 15/06/2021
Life Changes Show with Filippo Voltaggio and cohost Mark Laisure, with Executive Producer Dorothy Lee Donahue
“Auschwitz Survivor and Penniless Immigrant to Being Unstoppable,” with Guest, Banker–turned–Singer, Reality TV Celebrity, Social Activist, Ivan Wilzig, and Guest, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, Championship-Winning Race Car Driver, Restaurateur, Alan Wilzig; and Musical Guest, Acclaimed Cantor Mo Glazman on The LIFE CHANGES Show Ep. 637
Guests: IVAN WILZIG and ALAN WILZIG; and Musical Guest: MO GLAZMAN
Alan is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, championship-winning race car driver, and restaurateur. Born in Clifton, NJ to the late Siggi Wilzig, an Auschwitz survivor, and Naomi (Sisselman) Wilzig. Alan’s father came to America with nothing and rose to fame in the finance industry.
When his father retired from the Trust Company of New Jersey (TCNJ) shortly after being diagnosed with multiple myeloma, Alan took over as CEO. Under Alan’s leadership, TCNJ doubled in market value from $385 million to $765 million, and Alan engineered the merger between TCNJ and North Fork Bank of Long Island in 2004.
Alan has a degree from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
In addition Alan is owner, team leader, and soul of Team Wilzig Racing, and Wilzig Racing Manor, which embody and demonstrate a lifelong obsession with all facets of motorsport & racing on both two and four wheels… He and his companies collect, commission, restore and create special projects & vehicles, and compete in professional automobile racing on a National level.
In 2011 and again in 2012 Alan (as owner / driver for Wilzig Racing) won the IMSA Prototype Lites L2 Masters Championship.
In 2013 Alan competed in select ALMS/IMSA events at Sebring and the new Circuit of The Americas (COTA) while commencing the “race-build” of a newly acquired Lotus model 2-Eleven for 2014 Florida Winter training and development – and then competed in the 2014 Lotus Cup USA Championship (a West Coast series) and select other events in the Northeast. It will be Alan’s first foray into “Light GT” class racing Vs pure Prototype full-ground-effects cars.
In 2017 Alan made his return to IMSA prototype racing with the Ginetta LMP3.
Alan has been a passionate, lifetime motorcycle enthusiast and has a collection of 120 rare sport and racing motos on display in a purpose-built 15,000 sq ft private museum and race shop / HQ, located at Wilzig Racing Manor.
Wilzig Racing Manor is a personal motorsports paradise located near Hudson NY, exactly 100 miles North of Manhattan / NYC.
WRM’s is comprised of 300 acres which include (among many other things!) a 15 acre lake, ponds, 150 acres of open fields, a 60 acre wooded section with 20’ wide trails as well as challenging terrain areas for off-roading, spectacular waterfalls and natural beauty………and a 1.15 mile FIA/FIA-spec 13m / 40’ wide road racing circuit with 9 turns and 100’ of elevation-change. In fact it is the ONLY professional spec , privately owned “personal use” circuit in the world. No races are held at WRM but personal, charitable and other spectacular private events are hosted on a regular basis.
Alan’s passion for motorsport and powersports spans all seasons and very much includes snowmobiling and SnowHawking (a single ski snow-motorcycle). After the sale of the bank Alan ran until 2004, he began to make certain strategic “Angel” investments the most significant of which is in Brammo Electric Motorcycles.
Alan has been extremely active in numerous philanthropic and charitable endeavors including active board membership roles for Wilzig Hospital, The Rainforest Alliance, and JCP Downtown, and along with his siblings and mother supports over 100 different charities and worthy organizations.
Alan’s other great passion is his family; 10yr old son Siggi (named in memory of Alan’s father) and 8 yr old daughter Winni.
Alan’s first training in automobile racing was at Race Resort Ascari , 45 mins from Marbella, Spain. Additionally Alan has attended various Skip Barber and other domestic racing schools as well as over 17 days with California Superbike School over the last 10 years. These days “Race Weekends” provide for some “time alone, together” in addition to the thrill of competition!
Acclaimed by New York Jewish Life as a “wonderful tenor and star attraction,” Cantor Glazman has appeared in concerts throughout Europe, Israel and North America. He was a tenor soloist for Handel’s Israel in Egypt with the Westchester Chorale and Orchestra, and a guest performer in the Jewish Cultural Festival of Berlin. He recently performed with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and the Salome Chamber Orchestra, and has concertized at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall/David Geffen Hall, Merkin Hall, The National Opera Center and Studio 54.
Cantor Glazman’s repertoire spans the cantorial, Broadway, classical and folk genres, which he has performed with world-renowned cantors, gifted opera singers, and acclaimed musical theater artists. He has produced and recorded Kabbalat Shabbat, a CD of liturgical music, and was featured on a CD celebrating the music of The March of the Living. His solo album, Soul on the Seventh Day, is a Motown-like prayer experience called “Jewish Soul.” Most recently in 2018, calling upon music as a bridge, Cantor Glazman was thrilled to be the executive producer and performer in One Voice, a historic album bringing together three Jewish movements through three cantors, creating one large community.
Cantor Glazman has served as senior cantor for Central Synagogue in Manhattan and Congregation Kol Ami in White Plains, NY. In both synagogues, he launched and instituted numerous musical initiatives and multi-generational arts programs that have enriched the lives of congregants. He has conducted choirs and musical ensembles, and he plays the violin and guitar.
Cantor Glazman received his Bachelor of Science degree from McGill University and his Master of Sacred Music degree and ordination from the Hebrew Union College, Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music. For his thesis and recital he wrote, produced and starred in a musical based on the life and music of Cantor Yossele Rosenblatt. Upon his ordination, Cantor Glazman joined the Cantors’ Assembly and the American Conference of Cantors and remains an active member in both.
Cantor Glazman is married to Rachel Feld-Glazman. Together, he and Rachel perform lullabies seven nights a week for their two young sons.
Banker–turned–singer, reality TV celebrity and social activist Ivan Wilzig has led a life that Hollywood movies are made of; all of which ultimately ties back to his passion to see the world live in peace and harmony.
IN THE BEGINNING
Born in Clifton, New Jersey (January 6, 1956), Ivan grew up with two siblings and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in European Intellectual History from the University of Pennsylvania and then later, he went on to earn a law degree from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Rather than practicing law however, Ivan joined his father Siggi in running The Trust Company of New Jersey.
After more than twenty years working for his family’s multi-billion dollar commercial banking business, where he also sat on the Board of Directors, Ivan left the banking world behind to reinvent himself as recording artist “Sir Ivan”. His love for music and his passion for peace and equality translated into a very unique sound that ultimately led to him becoming a Top 10 Billboard-charting artist.
THE RECORDING ARTIST
Sir Ivan’s journey began in 2000, when he played a demo tape for Dave Jurman, Senior Executive Director of Dance Music at Colombia Records. Dave was so impressed with Ivan’s talent and enthusiasm that he immediately introduced him to Ernie Lake, half of the two–time Grammy nominated producer team known as Soul Solution who produced Sir Ivan’s first single.
For that first single, Sir Ivan chose the iconic John Lennon song “Imagine”, as the lyrics and message closely mirrored his own beliefs of creating a world without violence and hatred. The reason these lyrics resonated so strongly with Ivan is because his father was an Auschwitz concentration camp survivor and 59 of their Jewish family members were murdered during the Holocaust.
“Imagine” was signed to Tommy Boy Records, by label founder Tom Silverman, and was released on September 4, 2001, exactly one week before the horrendous September 11th tragedy; where it broke into the Top 40 on the Billboard Club Play Chart.
It was the first time in history that a recording artist had converted the slow rock ballad into a high energy dance record. In fact, it was the first time that a recording artist remade any Beatles or John Lennon ballad into a dance record. Incredibly, thirty years after Lennon’s original release, Sir Ivan had made the song popular again for a whole new generation.
In 2011, Sir Ivan hit another milestone. After enjoying various degrees of success with other songs on the Billboard Charts, Sir Ivan finally got the recognition from the music industry he was seeking when, for the first time, he ranked in the Top 10 on Billboard’s Dance/Club Play chart with his hit single “Hare Krishna”, sharing the top 10 slots with superstar performers like Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Jennifer Lopez and Rihanna.
After this monumental feat, the momentum never stopped. Sir Ivan went on to release another hit single “Live For Today,” where he ranked in not one, but two different Top 10 Music Week Magazine Charts, in the UK, in 2011 and 2012.
His first original song “La La Land”, in which he co-wrote the lyrics, also made the Top 10 in UK’s Music Week Chart in 2012. Next up, Sir Ivan co-wrote his anti-bullying anthem, “Kiss All The Bullies Goodbye”, created specifically to address the nation’s teen bullying epidemic and the high suicide rate occurring within the LGBTQ teenage community. This time Sir Ivan reached out to heavyweight dance music producer Paul Oakenfold and well-known singer Taylor Dayne and the song landed in the Top Ten in UK’s Music Week Chart in 2015. Sir Ivan’s dream of becoming an “electro-pop” star had become a reality.
Inspired by the success of “Imagine”, Sir Ivan decided that all of his music would be about universal love, human rights and peace. The ’60s were both the most evolutionary and revolutionary period in history – when civil rights, women’s rights and gay rights were bravely fought for. The fight for these rights is still being waged today and Sir Ivan is leading the battle through his music and philanthropy.
In 2005, Sir Ivan founded The Peaceman Foundation to fight hatred and violence. Since then, he personally and The Peaceman Foundation have donated over $500,000 to various charities, including many LGBTQ, anti-bullying, and other organizations that help those directly affected by violence, such as people suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Sir Ivan is known as “Peaceman” because he portrays a superhero when he performs, complete with a cape adorned with a large peace sign centered on his back. He has been spreading his message of positivity, acceptance and goodwill around the world for more than 18 years.
Because of his music success, charitable work and fabulous medieval-style castle in the Hamptons, Sir Ivan has been featured on TV shows all over the world, and has quite a large following in France and Germany due to his appearance on numerous programs that have aired in those countries. Stan Lee, the most famous superhero creator of all time, personally selected Sir Ivan to star as a finalist on the SciFi Channel reality TV series Who Wants to be a Superhero. Sir Ivan has also made featured appearances on VH1’s The Fabulous Life of the Hamptons, Discovery Channel’s Epic Castles and Bravo’s Chef Roble & Co.
Sir Ivan’s movie experience consists of a major part in a full length documentary, King of the Hamptons, and, a minor role in an independent SAG film, called The Gold and the Beautiful. In addition, Sir Ivan has worked with four-time Emmy® award-winning director Jim Brown, who has also done documentaries on Billy Joel, Pete Seeger, and Peter, Paul and Mary.
Dabbling in the Hollywood film finance business, Sir Ivan was one of the Executive Producers of full-length movie Freak Show, an adaptation of James St. James’ best-selling book.
In 2018, Sir Ivan joined the Board of Directors for the College of Communication, Architecture + the Arts (CARTA) at Florida International University (FIU).
Sir Ivan is co-owner of the Wilzig Erotic Art Museum (WEAM), the largest privately owned collection of fine erotic art in America, which is one of the reasons he was invited by FIU Dean Brian Schriner to join the Board of Directors.
On December 12, 2018 Miami Beach, Florida commissioner Michael Góngora issued a proclamation for “Sir Ivan Wilzig Day”, in perpetuity, to acknowledge and show appreciation for his work and contributions, in his fight against bullying.
Come and join the conversation about what's going on and what we can do together about it, with it, and for it. We have the choice, we have the power. We can do magic if we just believe!
A show about the changes going on in us, to us, around us, and because of us. Therefore, it's technically a show about "Everything," only with a how to make it better, see it better, be better.
In the show, there is talk about, and with, people who have either been through major changes, are helping others with major changes, or people who are changing the world for the better in a major way.
The show is a one-hour talk show format with a monologue by the host, a 30 minute interview with a guest of note, capped by a "Producer's Wrap" segment, in which Filippo and Co-Host Mark Laisure, and sometimes surprise guests, bring it all home for the listeners in a sometimes humorous and sometimes touching, but always entertaining conversation.