Susan, a former nurse, went back to school. She received a degree as a paralegal from Adelphi University and became licensed as a Notary Public and a Real Estate Broker. Susan and her late husband, Jay Helsinger, founded the Custom Real Estate Group and JSC Building Corporation. In 2004, Susan took over sole ownership. Recently the Custom Real Estate Group was acquired by Douglas Elliman Real Estate.
Susan Gruen Helsinger is the Founder and CEO of The Jason Gruen Foundation.org, a not-for-profit organization named for her late son. The foundation is instrumental in building the Children’s Heart Centers at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center and Cohen Children’s Hospital at Northwell Health. The foundation contributes equipment on an ongoing basis to many hospitals and facilities in need. The foundation made history nine years ago when it started offering cardiac screenings to eighth grade students in school systems on Long Island.
Ms. Helsinger will be installed on January 1, 2017 as Vice President of the Long Island Board of Realtors, the third largest board in the United States. She serves on the Board of Directors of the New York State Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors. Susan serves on the Board of Directors of the L.I.B.O.R. Federal Credit Union and is the Parliamentarian for the Women’s Council of Realtors. Susan has served as a guest lecturer at Molloy College speaking about marketing in business. She has been chosen to be recognized as a member of the NYSAR Realtors Honor Society for the past eight years.
Ms. Helsinger was named Merrick’s “Woman of the Year” in 2000. In 2001, she was nominated by Senator Charles Fuschillo and bestowed the great honor of “Woman of Distinction” by the New York State Senate at a ceremony in Albany. In 2004, Susan was chosen as “Small Business Person of the Year” by the Nassau Chambers of Commerce from Merrick. In 2006, Ms. Helsinger was honored with the “Woman of the Year” award from United Cerebral Palsy of Nassau County, and the “Humanitarian of the Year” award from the Long Island Board of Realtors, as well as the 2008 “Spirit Award.” In March 2012, Susan and her best buddy Mary Hauptman, were bestowed the Humanitarian Award from “Best Buddies of America”, an organization founded by the Kennedy/Shriver families. In Spring 2016, Ms. Helsinger was honored with the Community Service award by the PTAs of Long Island followed by receiving the Nassau County Kiwanis Community Service Award in July. In November 2016, the National Association of realtors awarded Susan their highest honor, The Good Neighbor Award. Susan had the added distinction of being the first New Yorker to receive this award.
Susan was brought up by parents who believed that giving to others is an important part of life. Her parents, Cornelius and Jeanette Schneider were active in the Jewish War Veterans and her mother, Jeanette Schneider was a National President of J.W.V.A. Carrying on that tradition, Susan served as President of the State of New York J.W.V.A. Susan is a Past President of the Kiwanis Club of Merrick and serves as Chairperson of their largest fundraiser “Holiday Gift Wrapping for Charity” program which has raised over $400,000 for community and children’s charities. She sits on the board of the Merrick Chamber of Commerce and the Advisory Board of the Department of New York J.W.V.A. She is a proud member of the Long Island Center for Business & Professional Women, the Women’s Presidents Organization, and serves as a Trustee of Temple Emanuel of Great Neck.
Susan is thankful to have her son Connor Helsinger, sister Edna Schneider, and niece Jacie to be there to help give her strength to look forward into the future.