AmerisourceBergen’s Steven Collis Honored for Israel Support

Steven Collis (Courtesy of JNF-USA)

Steven Collis is the CEO of AmerisourceBergen, a publicly-traded drug wholesale company with 2021 revenues of more than $200 billion.

The Jewish Haverford resident is a busy guy, but he makes sure to carve out time for a cause close to his heart: Israel. Over the years in the Jewish state, Collis has helped open a children’s hospital and worked with a school outside Tel Aviv that works with troubled youth, among other initiatives.

For his efforts, Collis has earned a major piece of recognition in the American Jewish community: the Jewish National Fund-USA’s Tree of Life Award, which celebrates humanitarian and community work with a particular focus on Israel.

Collis will receive the award at the Tree of Life Gala on April 7 at the Hilton Philadelphia City Avenue. Close to 300 people were expected to attend, according to the CEO. The event has raised $300,000 so far for resettling Ukrainian Jews displaced by the ongoing war.

“It is a big honor,” said Collis, 60, of the award.

Marina Furman, the executive director of national major donor advancement for JNF-USA, has known Collis “for many years,” she said. She called him “a big supporter of Israel and the community at large.”

The CEO’s relationship with JNF-USA, a not-for-profit organization that focuses on “building a prosperous future for Israel,” according to its website, does include a history of giving. Collis estimated that he’s donated between $150,000 and $200,000 to JNF-USA over the years.

Furman, though, explained that Collis earned the award for his support of Israel, yes, but also for other reasons. She mentioned his work at AmerisourceBergen creating jobs, his community projects and his character.

“He’s an extremely humble person who treats everyone equally,” Furman said. “Really a person of great, great integrity, which is probably the most valuable quality, especially today.”

Collis moved to the Philadelphia area in 2009 and became CEO of AmerisourceBergen two years later.

He has grown the company to more than 22,000 employees and helped distribute more than 100 million COVID vaccines during the pandemic, among other efforts.

He also helped establish the corporation’s foundation, which has distributed more than $7 million in health care, community and education grants, according to Collis.

AmerisourceBergen was doing community work before the foundation started. But the foundation enabled it to focus on specific efforts and communities consistently, as well as position itself in the public eye as a company that goes beyond its business to help the communities it serves.

Collis said AmerisourceBergen is “united in our responsibility to create healthier futures,” and that the foundation “really ties into our purpose.”

The company also donates to social justice causes in “communities where we live and work,” to charities that offer financial aid to parents of children with cancer and to Jefferson Health for efforts that focus on underserved communities, the CEO added.

All of those efforts helped Collis win the Tree of Life Award, according to Furman.

“The award should go to someone who serves as an example of what it means to be a leader,” she said.

But the CEO was quick to add that it wasn’t just his award. He credited the people who have worked with him over the years.

“It’s recognition for many people,” Collis said. “People that have worked hard. People that are passionate and motivated.”

Steven Collis (Courtesy of JNF-USA)

Collis is excited to share the ceremony where he’ll receive the honor with other attendees. It’s a live event after more than two years of remote gatherings due to COVID.

“It’s a chance to have a celebration, a simcha,” he said.

After the simcha ends, the 60-year-old is not going to sit back and start thinking about his legacy. He’s too busy trying to grow AmerisourceBergen.

The company does huge business in Philadelphia, the Northeast in general, North Carolina, Texas, the United Kingdom and Europe in general. And Collis wants AmerisourceBergen representatives to have a leading voice in conversations about how to transition to a post-COVID world.

He wants his company to take the lead in fixing the supply chain that got disrupted during the pandemic.

“What the supply chain safety level should look like,” he added. “Should we be on-shoring drugs?”

But after more than a decade in charge, Collis can at least take a second to appreciate what he’s done.

“I have to be most proud of AmerisourceBergen,” the CEO said. “The growth of the company, the purpose we have.” JE


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