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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Jun 07, 2021

Abe Littenberg Wins Middletown’s Distinguished Citizen of the Year Award

By Lori Draz

Photo by Marguerite Portagallo. Abe and Linda Littenberg

This spring, the Middletown Township Committee presented the prestigious 2020 Distinguished Citizen of the Year honor to Abe Littenberg for being a philanthropic community leader and ardent supporter of Middletown businesses, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The affable and accomplished Littenberg is a Monmouth County favorite son. He was born and raised in Long Branch. He also lived in Little Silver and has been a Lincroft resident for 30 years. Middletown is also the home of the more than 100-year-old Guttenplan’s Frozen Dough Company which he and his partner of 50 years, Jack Guttenplan, operate along with Jack’s son, Adam, the current president; Shar Seshadri, CFO; and Tony Lopes, director of Manufacturing. Littenberg and his wife, Linda, also own A Child’s Place School in Lincroft, working with School Director Zack Klausz and School Administrator Elaine Athanasiou. 

Littenberg commented on his commitment to the county and community saying, “First and foremost, I have to thank my wife, Linda, for her support in everything I do. My happiness is a direct result of sharing my life with her.

“It has been my great pleasure to have lived in Monmouth County all my life. While in Long Branch and Little Silver, I was dedicated to raising four children: Sheryl, Jeffrey, Susan, and Joy. In Lincroft, I raised my son, Matthew, and had time left over to devote to the community. I happily raised funds for the Middletown North and South hockey programs as president of Hockey in Middletown. I was president of the Lincroft Village Green Association (LVGA) when the park was dedicated and was a member of the LVGA committee that worked on installing the less expensive roundabout at Brookdale’s Newman Springs Road entrance. Last year, I was chair of the Middletown Economic Development Committee where we helped many businesses learn how to apply for the PPP and PPE from the CARES funding.”

Littenberg has always used his time to enrich the community. As chairman of Middletown’s Economic Development Committee (MEDC), he supported the township’s “Takeout Thursday” initiative and small business recovery efforts by creating an easy to use database of local restaurants that offered takeout meals during the lockdown period. 

As a partner of Guttenplan’s Frozen Dough Co., a facility that produces frozen doughs for local supermarkets and nationally for Jersey Mike’s, he also worked with Middletown Social Services and local food banks to donate bread to those struggling with food insecurities. Abe and Linda Littenberg have also been recognized for their philanthropic efforts by Lunch Break, and Abe will be accepting the Eastern Monmouth Area Chamber of Commerce’s Corporate Good Neighbor Spinnaker Award on behalf of Guttenplan’s this month.

Part of proclamation issued by Mayor Tony Perry reads, 

“This past year has thrown many small-business owners and residents into challenging economic situations, and Abe has made it his mission to help others get back on their feet again. His personal and passionate commitment to bettering the lives of those around him is admired and appreciated. We thank Abe Littenberg for consistently donating his time, energy, and resources to those who need it most. We are incredibly fortunate to call him one of Middletown’s own.”