MELVIN DUBINChairman of the Board, Slant/Fin Corporation
Electrical engineer, veteran, entrepreneur, businessman, philanthropist - Mel Dubin's life is marked by ingenuity and compassion.Born and raised in Brooklyn and Manhattan, Dubin attended Townsend Harris High School, a preparatory school associated with City University of New York, and Brooklyn College before entering the U.S. Army in 1943.
After basic training in Texas, he
was sent to New York University
for electrical engineering classes, and was then assigned to the military staff at Los Alamos, New Mexico, as a technician on the Manhattan Project.After his discharge, he returned to NYU on the GI bill and earned his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering.
Following college, he
traveled to Pittsfield (MA) and worked in his
uncle's plumbing and heating supply business.He
had hopes of landing a General Electric job, but then considered starting out on his
thought of a business "I had no business going into!"Baseboard heating.The heating method was in its infancy with about seven or eight companies in the market, including giants like American Standard and Crane Company
With only $2,000 in his
partnered with a tool and die maker, and they began to craft a better heater.Looking back, Dubin
says, "One advantage was our ignorance of all the reasons we might fail."The pair designed the V-shaped fin and in 1949 founded American Slant/Fin Radiation Corporation
, delivering "an improved product with some personality, the V-shaped fin," adds Dubin
Today, Slant/Fin Corporation
of Greenvale, Long Island, is the country's leading manufacturer of baseboard heating equipment, is a major producer of boilers and portable germ-free humidifiers, and has 500 employees in factories in the U.S. and Canada.Always interested in technology, Dubin
and some fellow Jewish engineers began supporting Technion, Israel's oldest and premier institute of science and technology, co-founded by Albert Einstein in 1924.
Through the American Technion Society
(ATS), a national organization founded in 1940 and based in New York City, Dubin
has offered financial support.A member of the board of governors of Technion, Dubin has also served as chairman of the ATS metropolitan region.
Some 20 years ago, a group of Technion
supporters who wished to go beyond fundraising gathered at Dubin's Slant/Fin offices and decided to sponsor a research project.Their first grant of $300,000 was applied to research on an anti-inflammatory compound for rheumatoid arthritis. The group formed Redox Pharmaceutical Corporation, an American-Israeli company, of which Dubin in chairman.
..."It's amazing that we've actually been able to come this far," comments Dubin, adding that shareholders include a former chairman of Long Island Jewish Hospital, as well as three Holocaust survivors, three rabbis and investors around the world.One of Dubin's earliest philanthropic endeavors included membership in UJA-Federation, where he was chairman for his industry and the Great Neck community.He has served as co-chairman of the Metal Trades Division of Anti-Defamation League, and he is currently a trustee of the Gurwin Jewish Geriatric Center and North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System.His
interest in international health and goodwill led to various involvements, including his
service as chairman of American Friends of the Israel Museum of Science and Technology
, a member of the board of sponsors of Holocaust Publications
and a founder of Israel Hospital Fund
.He is an officer of the Center for War/Peace Studies, founded following World War II and seeking to abolish war.
The center offered a publication for United Nations and World Federation members, as well as others who sought to develop a program for lasting peace.An old friend of Mr. Dubin, retired university administrator David Salten says, "For many years I have observed with increasing admiration Mel Dubin's philanthropic activities - their emphasis on verifiable results - results that create growth in human dignity and performance.
has taken to heart the principles of truly responsible giving enunciated a thousand years ago by the great Jewish sage, Maimonides."
Part of Dubin's philanthropy takes form in providing space in his
office for nonprofit and altruistic organizations whose mission is to pursue worthy endeavors for society.Most recently, he
has provided space to the Lymphatic Research Foundation
, which seeks to raise funds for research against lymphatic disease.Asked about the mix of corporate and nonprofit in the same building, Dubin
simply states, "It's the logical thing to do; there's no distraction from the corporate effort, and you might wind up earning a mitzvah" (good deed).Dubin
was influenced by his
truly great teachers at Townsend Harris
, by exceptional people at UJA and by his
missions to Israel."I've met outstanding people at North Shore-LIJ, too, who devote themselves to creating one of the best hospital systems in the country."Dubin
wife Eleanor live in Great Neck.