The Manheim Township Alumni Association is proud to announce the recipients of its Distinguished Alumni Award for 2023: Michael J. Novak, class of 1983, and Dr. Benjamin R. Stabler, class of 2008.

Since 1997, Manheim Township has honored graduates who have outstanding professional accomplishments and who have positively impacted their community.  The annual recognition is meant to spotlight the noteworthy achievements of alumni and inspire current students.  

Michael J. Novak ‘83 is a Senior Vice President at J.S. Held, LLC with a 35-year career in environmental consulting and remediation. 

At Manheim Township, Novak was a member of the track, cross-country and wrestling teams. He won the Lancaster-Lebanon League title in the 3,200 meter and received the Blue Streak Award in 1983.  He earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Lehigh University in 1987. 

Before being acquired by J.S. Held in 2021, Novak was founder and owner of Atlantic Environmental Solutions, Inc. (AESI) for 24 years. One of New Jersey’s first Licensed Site Remediation Professionals, he has directed over $100 million in environmental projects at more than 6,000 client locations across 47 states and serves as an expert witness on environmental and regulatory compliance issues.  

Novak received the Executive of the Year Award in 2018 by the New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA), a 20,000-member business organization.  In 2005, one of his remediation projects was honored with an Excellence Award by NJBIA. He has served on the boards of several professional organizations, including the Hudson County Chamber of Commerce, Hoboken Rotary, 200 Club of Hudson County, and Hoboken Zoning Board of Adjustment. He was President of the National Realty Club (a 70-year-old NYC-based commercial real estate organization) in 2019 and President of the Hoboken Chamber of Commerce. Novak is currently a member of the Advisory Board of the Rutgers School of Business, Center for Real Estate and serves on the Advisory Board of Citizens Bank and the Ambassador’s Board of Connect One Bank. 

Dr. Benjamin R. Stabler ’08 is a family physician with Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health.

At Manheim Township, Stabler was a member of the National Honor Society and played first chair bass in orchestra.  He was a 3-year varsity football player, earning all-league honors as an offensive and defensive tackle, as well as a track and field athlete, winning the league shot put title his senior year.  Stabler attended Harvard University, where he played varsity football and was a member of two Ivy League championship teams.  During college, he was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, undergoing surgery, radiation and chemotherapy during his senior year.

Following a gap year working for Lancaster General Health and completing his treatment, Stabler attended the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, where he was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. As a family medicine resident, he was recognized for excellence in pediatric, emergency medical, and internal medicine care. Throughout undergraduate and medical school, he volunteered with various service organizations, including programs addressing hunger and raising funds for cancer research.

Stabler graduated from residency in June 2022 and returned to Lancaster to begin his career as a family physician.