Federation welcomes Linda Ausch,new development professional

Linda Ausch joined United Jewish Federation of Tidewater last month as its newest development (fundraising) team member, assuming the role of Development Director – Community Campaign. She will be responsible for a variety of fundraising and community building roles within the Federation, including as lead staff for UJFT Women’s Division, outreach to new and potential donors, and supporting other Federation affinity groups.

A lifelong resident of Tidewater, Ausch only left the area to attend college at the University of Maryland. Some may know her from her family’s business, Reisner’s Delicatessen. After graduating from college, Ausch joined her parents, Eddie Ausch (of blessed memory) and Erica Reisner Ausch, at the restaurant.

“I was the third generation in the business along with my sister, Jodie Ausch Woodward,” says Ausch. “I always loved working with the public and schmoozing with the customers. When my parents retired, I wasn’t ready to give it up. We closed our location at Janaf Shopping Center in June of 1996, and I opened a location in the Great Neck area of Virginia Beach in December of the same year, on my own (but, of course, with the support of my parents and family). It was a challenge, but I made it work! My customers were the best. After six successful years, I made the tough decision to sell Reisner’s.”

Then began the next chapter of Ausch’s professional life. “I took some time off and traveled a bit before settling in at the Hilltop (Virginia Beach) Stein Mart department store, where I served as customer service manager for years, later moving up to ladies merchandising manager, assistant (store) manager, and ultimately, store manager. Since the close of Stein Mart, I worked at a few different places, but never really found my home – until now. Thanks to a chance encounter, I have found my new home, here at UJFT.”

After a busy couple of months, during which Ausch not only changed careers, sold her home, and moved into the Oceans Condominiums with her mom, she began her new professional role on March 25 with a full day at the office and a rare, nighttime women’s event. An exhausting, but exciting way to start.

Ausch says she looks forward to meeting those she doesn’t yet know and reconnecting with those in the community that she’s known for much of her life. And the Women’s Division (and others) at the UJFT is very pleased to be working with her and getting to know her in a new way.

Amy Zelenka is chief development officer for United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.