Obren Brian Gerich, Senior Vice President of Public Storage, Inc and Philanthropist is Awarded the 2007 Ellis Island Medal of Honor

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Obren Brian Gerich, respected philanthropist of the Orthodox Christian community in America and Senior Vice President of Public Storage, Inc., has been awarded the "Ellis Island Medal of Honor" on May 12, 2007. He has been chosen by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations, among other recipients from various heritage groups, to receive this honor because of his dedication and leadership qualities in community service.

Brian Gerich is an outstanding American leader with a heart that is compassionate and generous and a mind that is brilliant and sensible. He has made a dramatic beneficial impact on everything he has been involved in, from the American corporate community to his committed dedication and love for the Orthodox Church

Obren Brian Gerich, Senior Vice President of Public Storage, Inc and respected philanthropist of the Orthodox Christian community in America, has been awarded the "Ellis Island Medal of Honor" for his dedication and leadership in community service. Mr. Gerich, along with other recipients from various heritage groups chosen by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations NECO, received this honor on May 12, 2007. Each year, NECO awards the "Ellis Island Medal of Honor" to outstanding individuals who lead a lifestyle dedicated to community service, exhibit interests for the preservation of cultural groups and to those who share and contribute through personal and professional achievements toward the overall benefit of society. The Ellis Island ceremony starts with an elegant and festive Welcome Cocktail Reception where all Medalists meet one another. Following the ceremony, the Gala Dinner is held in the beautifully restored Great Hall on Ellis Island, capped by a stunning display of fireworks, which are presented by Grucci.

As one of the outstanding lay leaders of the Eastern Orthodox Church in North America, Mr. Gerich stated, "I believe that the depth in understanding human relationships, family, leadership, charity and trust are vital." Widely respected by all Orthodox Christian jurisdictions, he is currently on the advisory board of the Orthodox Christian Laity. His work in the Orthodox Church has been dramatically fruitful and exemplary. He has helped start an international relief organization for the International Orthodox Christian Charities, which in a short 15 years has distributed over $200 million in short-term and long-term aid in over 15 countries. He has been instrumental in helping the Serbian Orthodox Church begin to meet the challenges of the 21st Century. In 1993, Obren Brian Gerich was awarded the Order of St. Sava - the highest honor given by the Serbian Orthodox Church. In 2002 he was also awarded the Order of St. Innocent by the Orthodox Church in America.

As Vince Lombardi stated, "Leadership is based on a spiritual quality - the power to inspire others to follow," Mr. Gerich has spent his life pursing exactly this. His charitable activities for his communities are considerable. He has been a life-long member of the St. Steven's Serbian Orthodox Cathedral in Alhambra, California, where he has been a member of the board of trustees for many years. Gerich is also a board member of St. Vladimir's Seminary in Crestwood, New York, where he was a co-chairman of a $20 million capital campaign, taking the seminary to a new level as its best previous effort was to raise $700,000. In his quiet, humble way, Gerich has funded an annual convening of St. Vladimir's alumni where clergy and laymen can renew acquaintances and exchange ideas.

"Brian Gerich is an outstanding American leader with a heart that is compassionate and generous and a mind that is brilliant and sensible. He has made a dramatic beneficial impact on everything he has been involved in, from the American corporate community to his committed dedication and love for the Orthodox Church," says Charles R. Ajalat, Chancellor of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese, founder and former Chairman of International Orthodox Christian Charities and most gratefully, a dear friend of his.

Besides these leadership roles, Mr. Gerich is a member of the Central Council of the Serbian Orthodox Church and treasurer of the American Western Diocese of the Serbian Church. He has also been an active member of the board directors of "Project Mexico," a church organization that builds houses for homeless people, operates an orphanage for boys and conducts programs that allow young people from around the world to join in philanthropic work in Mexico.

Mr. Gerich is currently the Senior Vice President of Public Storage Inc. (http//http://www.publicstorage.com) and has been with the company since 1974. "Brian has taught me about human relationships, family, leadership, charity and most importantly, trust. He remains an exemplary role model and most definitely represents the best of America" says President and CEO of Public Storage, Ronald L. Havner, Jr.

Mr. Gerich also serves as both the President of PS Insurance Company - Hawaii LTD. and the President of Stor-Re Mutual Insurance Company Inc. Trained as a certified public accountant, Mr. Gerich earned his bachelor's degree from Claremont Men's College in 1960 and his master's degree from the University of Southern California in 1966.

In addition to these church activities, he and his wife Marilyn have established "The Obren B. & Marilyn Gerich Family Foundation" which supports various causes including children's health, the handicapped and Orthodox Christian projects. The Foundation has endowed three scholarships at St. Vladimir's Theological Seminary for men and women of Serbian descent who wish to attend seminary. To date, over 40 men and women have received scholarships." Tremendous appreciation goes to his family and friends who also understand his commitment to his philanthropic work and his declining so many social engagements: his wife, Marilyn, his biggest supporter and a beacon of encouragement throughout their marriage; his daughters, Carrie and Julia, who have enriched his life with joy; his grandchildren (Alexis, Tessa, Ryan and Hayden) whose demise was much too soon.

Because of his many achievements and his ability to touch individuals through his personal and professional achievements, Mr. Gerich was honored at this year's ceremony on Saturday, May 12, 2007 on the historic Ellis Island in New York City. Gerich joins the honored ranks of past recipients such as former American presidents--Bill Clinton, George Bush, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, and Gerald Ford as well as other famed individuals such as Frank Sinatra, Donald Trump, Lee Iacocca, and Barbara Walters.

Additional recipients of the 2007 Ellis Island Medals of Honor include: Her Excellency Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa, President of the 61st Session of the United Nations General Assembly; Senator Chuck Hagel; Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., President of the University of Notre Dame; U.S. Congressman Tom Lantos, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and Founder and Co-Chairman of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus; Leslie Crocker Snyder, former New York State Supreme Court Judge; and Guillermo Linares, Commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs.

Two Serbians, Among 100 Recipients, are Awarded the 2007 Ellis Island Medal of Honor

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Grucci  fireworks  over the Statue of LibertyGrucci fireworks over the Statue of LibertyLast parting display of Grucci fireworks as medalists and guests ferry back to lower Manhattan ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comGrucci  fireworks over the Statue of LibertyGrucci fireworks over the Statue of LibertyFamed Grucci fireworks...above statue Of Liberty ... ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comGrucci  fireworks  over the islandGrucci fireworks over the islandThe dinner is capped by a stunning display of fireworks presented by Grucci at the New York Harbor as the medalists sail back to the Battery ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comfireworks presented by Grucci at the New York Harborfireworks presented by Grucci at the New York HarborA stunning display of fireworks presented by Grucci at the New York Harbor as the medalists sail back to the Battery ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comThe Ballroom ceiling with the American flagThe Ballroom ceiling with the American flagRegistry Room Great Hall ceiling with beautiful décor of a million painted stars and the American flag. ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comCultural Dancers perform at the Ellis Island EventCultural Dancers perform at the Ellis Island EventCultural Dancers greet VIPs and their families on Ellis Island ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comWelcoming  and Honoring Medalists on Ellis Island New York HarborWelcoming and Honoring Medalists on Ellis Island New York HarborU.S. Military Corps of Cadets Color Guard march at the military reception for Ellis Island Medalists on Ellis Island New York Harbor ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comInside the Registry Room Great HallInside the Registry Room Great HallInside the Registry Room Great Hall, glitz, glamour, flowers and candle arrangements provide a breathless experience for all attendees. ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comHonoring MedalistsHonoring MedalistsThe United States Army 82nd Airborne Division, All- American Chorus, Fort Bragg, NC honors the recipients of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comSoldiers at VIP PerfomanceSoldiers at VIP PerfomanceRecipients of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor are honored with a military performance and patriotic songs ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comRed Carpet Honor with military receptionRed Carpet Honor with military receptionU.S. Military Corps of Cadets Color Guard march at the military reception for Ellis Island Medalists on Ellis Island New York Harbor ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comOutside Ellis Island with Cadettes entering the buildingOutside Ellis Island with Cadettes entering the buildingCadets welcome recipients as they enter the museum buildingOutside Ellis Island with CadettesOutside Ellis Island with CadettesA military reception to honor the recipients at Ellis island Harbor, New York, NY ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comCadets honor recipients and their guestsCadets honor recipients and their guestsOver 250 members of the military march outside Ellis Island to honor the recipients of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comDocking the ship at Ellis Island HarborDocking the ship at Ellis Island HarborRecipients of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor wait to disembark, amazed by the greeting by the Honor Guard. Military commands included the Hanscom Air Force Base, The United States Air Force Band of Liberty, US Military Academy, US Corps of Cadets, Honor Guard, United States Naval Academy, United States Army XVIII Airborne Corps, United States Army 82nd Airborne Division, HQS 3rd Battalion 321st Field Artillery Regiment and Military Color Guards ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comThe Metropolitan Club The Metropolitan Club Medalists, family and friends are proud to attend the Welcome Cocktail Reception at the Metropolitan Club Medalists, family and friends are proud to attend the Welcome Cocktail Reception at the Metropolitan Club Welcome VIP Reception for MedalistsWelcome VIP Reception for MedalistsNew York, NY ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comNECO VIP passport, medal and other mementosNECO VIP passport, medal and other mementosNECO VIP passport, medal, Ellis Island Commemorative journal and other mementos ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalists: Obren Brian Gerich, Hon. Jacob Eapen, MD, MPH, George Hamilton, Mira Zivkovich, and Daniel J. SullivanMedalists: Obren Brian Gerich, Hon. Jacob Eapen, MD, MPH, George Hamilton, Mira Zivkovich, and Daniel J. SullivanMedalists: Obren Brian Gerich, Hon. Jacob Eapen, MD, MPH, famous star of Hollywood George Hamilton, Mira Zivkovich, and Daniel J. Sullivan ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comObren Brian Gerich at at Ritz Carlton Battery Park, New York, NYObren Brian Gerich at at Ritz Carlton Battery Park, New York, NYObren Brian Gerich enjoying company LTC Larry H. Lang, USAF Commander & Conductor, RADM Stephen W. Rochon, USCG Commander and Mira Zivkovich at the Ritz Carlton Battery Park, New York, NY ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comV. Rev. Nicholas Ceko in front of the guardV. Rev. Nicholas Ceko in front of the guardV. Rev. Nicholas Ceko, St Steven Serbian Cathedral,Alhambra, CA in front of the honor guard ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comObren Brian Gerich with family, friends and spiritual fathers in Ellis Island Museum HallObren Brian Gerich with family, friends and spiritual fathers in Ellis Island Museum HallFrom left : V. Rev. Nicholas Ceko, Brian and his mother Mira Zivkovich Choudhary, Brian and Carrie Bullard, Marilyn and medalist Obren Brian Gerich, his sister Marie Belotti, his daughter Julia and son-in-law Alex Brankovic. In front: his grandchildren, Alexis, Ryan and Tessa Brankovic ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comObren  Brian Gerich and  Mira Zivkovich at a press conferenceObren Brian Gerich and Mira Zivkovich at a press conferenceObren Brian Gerich and Mira Zivkovich at a press conference at at Ritz Carlton Battery Park, New York, NY ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comObren Brian Gerich and Mira Zivkovich enter on red carpetObren Brian Gerich and Mira Zivkovich enter on red carpetObren Brian Gerich and Mira Zivkovich enter on red carpet on way to receive Ellis Island Medal of Honor award, on the grounds of the historical Ellis Island ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comObren Brian Gerich with granddaughterObren Brian Gerich with granddaughterObren Brian Gerich "sharing" moments of joy and his Ellis Island Medal of Honor with his beloved granddaughter ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comBrian Gerich, wife Marilyn, sister Marie Belotti, and Dr. Paula Clayton (Left)Brian Gerich, wife Marilyn, sister Marie Belotti, and Dr. Paula Clayton (Left)Brian Gerich, wife Marilyn Gerich, sister Mrs. Marie Belotti, and Dr. Paula Clayton (Left) at the May 11th, 2007 reception at the famous Metropolitan Club, New York, NY. night before the Ellis Island Medal of Honor ceremony. ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comObren Brian Gerich awaits his Ellis Island Medal of HonorObren Brian Gerich awaits his Ellis Island Medal of HonorMoments of reflection about the millions of immigrants who passed through Ellis Island, during the dais seating preparation in the Museum Hall ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comBrian Gerich with his grandson Ryan BrankovicBrian Gerich with his grandson Ryan Brankovic“Sharing Ellis Island Medal of Honor “ with grandson Ryan Brankovic ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comObren Brian GerichObren Brian GerichV. Rev.Djokan Majstorovic of Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of Saint Sava, New York, NY, Mrs. Marilyn Gerich, Obren Brian Gerich with his sister Marie Belotti, and Mariana Majstorovic, at the NECO’s grand reception, night before Ellis Island Medal Of Honor event , at the Metropolitan Club, New York, NY ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalists  Obren Brian Gerich and his familyMedalists Obren Brian Gerich and his familyCelebrating with Gerich family at Registry Room Great Hall: son-in-law Alex Brankovic, Medalists Obren Brian Gerich and Mira Zivkovich with Mrs. Marilyn Gerich, daughter Julia Brankovich, sister Marie Belotti, daughter Carrie with her husband Brian Bullard and Mr. Gerich grandchildren in front Alexis, Ryan, Tessa ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comObren Brian Gerich with his wife Marilyn and his sister Marie BelottiObren Brian Gerich with his wife Marilyn and his sister Marie BelottiObren Brian Gerich with his wife Marilyn Gerich and his sister Marie Belotti at the Metropolitan Club reception, New York, NY ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalists Obren Brian Gerich and Mira Zivkovich of MZI Global MarketingMedalists Obren Brian Gerich and Mira Zivkovich of MZI Global MarketingMedalists Obren Brian Gerich and Mira Zivkovich of MZI Global Marketing, both of Serbian heritage, receive their Ellis Island Medal of Honor ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comTribute to Medalist Obren Brian Gerich Tribute to Medalist Obren Brian Gerich Tribute to Medalist Obren Brian Gerich Tribute to Medalist Obren Brian Gerich Special NECO passport for Obren Brian Gerich Special NECO passport for Obren Brian Gerich Special NECO passport program and VIP ticket ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comTribute to Medalist Obreb Brian GerichTribute to Medalist Obreb Brian GerichObren Brian Gerich receives his Ellis Island Medal of Honor Obren Brian Gerich receives his Ellis Island Medal of Honor On the big screen in front of 1500 guests, Obren Gerich receives his Ellis Island Medal of Honor ©Photo: www.mziglobal.comMedalist Obren Brian Gerich Medalist Obren Brian Gerich Special moments after receiving Ellis Island Medal of Honor ©Photo: www.mziglobal.com