Marilyn T. Kleinberg, 59, of Egg Harbor, a communications specialist who worked to connect and empower women, died Friday, Feb. 28, of complications from a liver disease at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.
Ms. Kleinberg was involved in organizations that connected women and advocated for them in various ways.
“She made her life’s mission to help others be their true, authentic selves, to encourage their own empowerment,” her family said in a statement. “But it was her work to bring together women that was most extraordinary.”
Born and raised in Northeast Philadelphia, Ms. Kleinberg graduated from Northeast High School in 1978 and from Temple University in 1982 with a bachelor’s degree in communications.
In 1987, she began her career in sales and marketing at Graphic Data, a printing company in Philadelphia. In 2000, she became vice president of special events for the Chamber of Commerce of Southern New Jersey, where she worked for five years.
In 2007, she launched a South Jersey chapter of eWomenNetwork and was its managing director until 2013. The organization founded in Texas in 1999 provides referrals and help with marketing and promotion to businesswomen across the country.
Her first event in Cherry Hill in 2010 drew 200 participants. “That’s when they knew they had something special in Marilyn,” said husband Milton Byron, a retired policeman.
In 2012, she received the group’s Director of the Year Award. “She’s eWomen Director of the Year for a reason,” lawyer Lynda Hinkle wrote in an online message. “She’s a fantastic connector of people. Marilyn is just a great, down to earth, passionate person who radiates goodwill. She makes her events fun, informative, and great opportunities to grow your business.”
From 2013 to 2016, she was an assistant manager in Atlantic County working for the State of New Jersey, and in that role, supported those whose dwellings had been damaged or washed away by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. “I work with homeowners and landlords to finish rehabbing property, and help renters find affordable housing,” she wrote on LinkedIn.
Ms. Kleinberg’s work on behalf of others culminated in 2010 when she founded Empowering Connections, a nonprofit designed to encourage its members to “reach for the stars,” according to its mission statement. Ms. Kleinberg was the organization president until last year, when she stepped down for health reasons.
Ms. Kleinberg was active for many years in the Northeast High School Alumni Association, serving as president for two years and planning many reunions. In 2009, she was inducted into the Northeast High School Hall of Fame and named 2009 Northeaster of the Year. “She’s on their Wall of Fame,” her husband said.
From 1996 to 2000, she was president of the Association for Women in Communications, an organization that champions the advancement of women across all communications disciplines. She oversaw the group’s 1998 national conference in Philadelphia when TV broadcaster Jane Pauley was the keynote speaker, her family said.
Ms. Kleinberg was diagnosed with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in 2018. She stopped working that fall so she could become “CEO of my health,” she said on LinkedIn. She underwent a liver transplant Feb. 17 at Thomas Jefferson Hospital, but a prior blood condition caused her body to attack the new organ.
“It was an amazing attempt to save her life,” her husband said.
The two married five years ago. In addition to her husband, she is survived by stepsons Josh, Dalton, and Cole; a brother; two nieces; and a nephew.
Plans for a celebration of life were pending.