By Tien-Shun Lee
Between refereeing for community basketball games, serving as president of the Young Israel of Hillcrest and working full time as a financial investor, Marc Katz, 54, doesn't have much time to himself.
Nevertheless, the longtime Hillcrest resident has decided to take on another role in the community by becoming a member of Community Board 8.
“I know quite a few members of the community board. They encouraged me to get on the board since I'm active in the community anyway,” Katz said. “The conversations continued on an ongoing basis, and finally I decided to just do it.”
After his application was approved by the borough president and Councilman Jim Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows), Katz joined CB 8 in the beginning of the month.
As the head of a congregation of more than 400 families at the Young Israel of Hillcrest, Katz said he is very concerned with safety in the community.
“I've signed up for the public safety committee,” he said. “It's relatively safe in our area, but I want it to continue to be safe.”
Katz, who has also signed up for the sanitation committee, is concerned about the mayor's plan to reduce garbage pickups in Queens from twice a week to once a week. He hopes to learn more about how recycling is handled and to find out if recycling of glass and plastics can be reinstituted.
Katz has served as president of the Jewish Community Little League since 1988. The league now has about 600 kids, all from Queens. Katz spends a lot of time dealing with registration, scheduling and the rules and regulations of Little League.
“I try to get out to the fields as often as I can to watch the kids play,” he said.
Katz also referees two to three basketball games a week during basketball season. He became a member of the International Association of Approved Basketball Officials after graduating from basketball school at St. John's University. The games he referees are usually played by high school students and other youths.
Though Katz deals extensively with youths, he decided not to sign up for CB 8's youth committee because he thought there were already enough people on it.
Katz has three sons, 27, 24 and 19, who are all very active in sports. Like Katz, they all attended private high schools in the city.
Katz grew up in Manhattan and moved to Kew Gardens in 1972 after getting married. In 1978 he moved to Hillcrest, where he lives today.
As the senior vice president for business development at Independence Investment LLC in Long Island, Katz helps institutions such as pension funds and foundations invest their money.
With all of his activities, Katz said he is “in over my head,” but he nevertheless looks forward to serving on CB 8.
Reach reporter Tien-Shun Lee by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com, or call 718-229-0300, ext. 155.