In a career spanning 50 years, Sam Gershowitz has earned a number of awards and honors. His most recent was a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries in Washington, D.C. Aside from his achievements in the scrapyard business, he’s also a member of several organizations, including the Long Island Sanitation Officials and the Solid Waste Association of New York.
Although he isn’t as flashy as his father, Samuel Gershowitz, Sam is a man of many talents. He’s a businessman who operates numerous recycling facilities on the North Shore and Brooklyn. He’s also the owner of several clubs, including the Star Island Yacht Club and the Offshore Sports Marina. And he’s also the son of immigrants. After moving to Long Island, he spotted a few abandoned cars. The company he founded was named Gershow Auto Parts & Wreckers. Now known as Gershow Recycling, it’s been around since 1964. During its heyday, it had a lot of high profile clients, including Coca-Cola and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Today, the company operates in the waste management and recycling space and has been named a Top 10 company by Forbes magazine.
When he’s not busy with his business, Sam Gershowitz enjoys golfing and flying light aircraft. As part of his role as a philanthropist, he’s provided underwritten benefits for the American Legion, Long Island State Veterans Home and other community groups. Among other things, he’s contributed to the success of two regional Long Island FIRST Robotics teams.
Sam’s most important contribution to his industry is the Gershow Recycling Student Scholarship program. The company provides underwritten scholarships to children from local school districts who qualify for a free education in the field of recycling. Also, Gershow Recycling has supported a number of Little League and other sports programs on Long Island. It’s also operated a number of underwritten events, including a benefit for the local chapter of the National Jewish Democratic Council. One of his most charitable contributions, however, was to donate a number of computers to the Southampton Jewish Center.
Sam is not only a successful businessman, but he’s a savvy family man. He and his wife, Marlena, have been married for nearly fifty years. They’ve had a daughter, a daughter-in-law and a granddaughter. They also have adopted pets. There was a time when they even had a dog-themed wedding! While they separated in 1997, they remained friends. They made the most of their time together by donating to charity, attending their children’s sporting events, and traveling. Their marriage was a happy one. But after their kids got older, the couple split.
The stars of the show, though, are Gershowitz’s two sons. Michael, a graduate of Hofstra University, spent a number of years serving in the United States Navy. This included six years in the Navy and a tour of duty in Bosnia and Desert Storm.