Joe Trachtenberg, a graduate of GNL Masters Class XIV, has been named as the 2023 recipient of its annual Distinguished Leadership Award in recognition of his significant contributions to both nonprofit and civic efforts. A luncheon to present the award to Mr. Trachtenberg will be held March 15, 2023, at 11:30 am at the Naples Hilton Hotel.  

Currently serving his second term as Chair of the Collier County Affordable Housing Advisory Committee, (CCAHAC), Mr. Trachtenberg completed 11 years on the board (six as Chair) of St. Matthew’s House and served on the Homeowners Association (HOA) Board of Aqualane Shores for six years.  

During his tenure at St. Matthew’s House (SMH), the organization expanded its services from two homeless shelters in Naples and Immokalee, a food pantry and men’s recovery program (Justin’s Place) to now include a women’s recovery program (Jill’s Place) and a large feeding ministry. SMH businesses developed and expanded during Joe’s tenure to include a restaurant, two catering ventures and eight thrift stores.

GNL President Kitty Keane says, “Joe’s commitment to helping those struggling to find or keep a home in Collier County is extraordinary. We are fortunate to have someone with his knowledge and expertise so dedicated to making our community a better place for all.”

Rick Fumo, Chairman of the Board, St. Matthew’s House, adds, “I can’t think of a more deserving person in Collier County for this award.” 

During this time. Mr. Trachtenberg also became increasingly aware of the lack of workforce housing in Collier County.  This led him in 2021 to apply for a seat on the 11-member CCAHAC board.  Within a year of joining, he was elected Chair and continues to serve in that capacity.

As CCAHAC Chair, Mr. Trachtenberg has authored countless OpEd columns and articles in local newspapers and periodicals about the need for county commissioners to make the necessary changes that will encourage and permit affordable housing developments. He addresses the Board of County Commissioner meetings on a regular basis in his efforts to advocate for this much-needed change. 

Mr. Trachtenberg was a major contributor to the January 11th, 2023 GNL Workforce Housing Forum that featured prominent local employers and employees addressing this issue.  He has spoken to numerous community and faith organizations as well in his efforts to educate the public about the affordable housing crisis. 

A native of Brooklyn where he met his wife, Mr. Trachtenberg has an accounting degree from Long Island University and completed an executive education program at Columbia University.  He spent the majority of his career with Victaulic Company, a global manufacturing company based in Easton, PA, joining in 1974 as controller and retiring in 2004 as CEO and Chairman.  He continues to serve on their board and chairs the audit committee.  Mr. Trachtenberg served for many years on NJ school boards as a member and president, and on the boards of several non-profit organizations.

The couple have three adult children and five grandchildren.  Mr. Trachtenberg enjoys traveling and boating, has a U.S. Coast Guard Captain’s license and is a member of the Naples Sailing & Yacht Club.  He also stays active in GNL, recently serving as a member of its strategic planning committee.