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CIANJ Honors "Companies that Care"

CIANJ honors “Companies that Care”
Awards presented at Chairman’s Reception

            The Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey (CIANJ) saluted the generosity of business at its 2nd Annual Chairman’s Reception where more than 30 “Companies that Care” were honored this year.

Martin Kafafian, chairman of the CIANJ board of directors, presented the awards during the gala attended by more than 200 business executives at the Stony Hill Inn in Hackensack. “For most of these companies their donations, kindness and community outreach are part of their corporate culture — their mission,” said Kafafian, who is also a managing member of the Beattie Padovano law firm in Montvale. “The public at large is often unaware of the magnitude and scope of the good works. This reception is our way of shining a spotlight on “Companies that Care.”

Sal Lauretta for Men, a family-owned, Midland Park men’s clothing store, received the top award for its “Extraordinary Good Works.” Over the past five years the store organized  fashion shows that raised more than $460,000 for Eva’s Village, a social service agency in Paterson that provides food, shelter and counseling to those in need.

The CIANJ is a statewide business advocacy organization based in Paramus. It represents more than 900 member companies from every business sector. The associations asked businesses to tell stories of their good works and more than 85 responses were given. These accounts and pictures are featured in a special “Companies that Care ”  section in the March issue of COMMERCE Magazine, the media arm of the association.

CIANJ President John Galandak said 31 companies was named “Champions of Good Works” by a panel of judges. CIANJ staffers and representatives from non-profits organizations served on the panel, that included: Cathleen Davey, executive director of the Ramapo College Foundation, Galandak, Jackie Lue Raia, assistant director of the NJ Sharing Network, Cindy Myer, the owner of Ridgewood Moving Service who also serves as president of the board of the Center for Hope and Safety; Jacey Raimondo, executive director of the Habitat for Humanity of Bergen County, Judi Stewart, an ambassador with the CIANJ Human Resources Council, and Tom Toronto, president of Bergen County’s United Way.


The champions included:

Berkeley College – Faculty and students provided assistance to Healing the Children, a project that offered medical care to children in Ecuador. The award was accepted by Joseph Charleman, chairman of the surgical technology program at Berkeley.

CohnReznick – Donated $105,000 to Make A Wish in East Hanover for a total of $1.45 million over the past 13 years. The award was accepted by Steven Schinella.

Cole Schotz – Raised funds to renovate bedrooms and repair storm damage to the Holley Child Care and Development Center in Hackensack, where the firm has been a loyal supporter for the past 10 years. The award was accepted by Rich Abramson, Randi Kochman, Glenn Kazlow and Chris DeFrancesco

Columbia Bank – Volunteered with the United Methodist Aid in the Community to prepare bags of groceries for the needy in Paterson, as well as donating $33,000 to buy a commercial freezer for the church’s efforts to combat hunger. The award was accepted by Thomas Kemly, president of the bank

Connell Foley – Volunteers donated thousands of hours to rehab Camp Liberty, a summer camp for inner city kids. The award was accepted by Michael McBride, managing partner at the firm.

Goldstein Lieberman & Co. – Established the Goldstein Lieberman & Co. Cares Program to offer monthly donations to the areas non-profits, such as the latest $1,000 donation to Equine Rescue in Orange County. The award was accepted by Phillip Goldstein.

Guardian Data Destruction – Collected and donated computers and sporting goods to needy children in third world nations. The award was accepted by Glenn Laga from Guardian Data and Rich Katz from the Charitable Organization for Children’s Education and Support.

Holy Name Medical Center – Offers internships to needy students at Christ the King Prep School in Newark, giving skills training in healthcare, while helping with tuition costs. The award was accepted by Jackie Kates, the community relations coordinator at the hospital.

IMPACT Group – Partners with Connections to Success to teach resume writing, as well as contributing $18,000 to United Way. The award was accepted by Gail Sonners.

Jackson Lewis – The Morristown offices placed second in firm’s nationwide fund-raising efforts by raising $15,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The award was accepted by  Richard Cino.

JCP&L – Supports Employment Horizons, a non-profit that provides job training and placement services for people with disabilities. The award was accepted by Mike Obremski, the area manager, and Ron Morano, senior public relations representative at the utility.

Kearny Bank – Partnered with Junior Achievement of NJ, providing $50,000 in donations and volunteers to teach financial literacy to students. The award was accepted by Eric Kesselman, second vice president and marketing director.

KPMG – Volunteers distribute books to needy children in Newark and Paterson to combat illiteracy, part of the nationwide “KPMG’s Family for Literacy” program. The award was accepted by Mara Spierer.

Lakeland Bank – Developed an innovative approach to “Jeans Day,’ by asking staff to make $10 donation for casual dress and using money for monthly contributions to a variety of charities. The award was accepted by Tom Shara, the CEO of Lakeland.

Middlesex Water Co. – The lead corporate sponsor for the Bowl for Hunger which helps local food banks. The award was accepted by Dennis Doll, the CEO of the water company.

NAI Mertz – Participated in Jake’s Run4Play, which raised funds for the construction of playgrounds for children with disabilities. The award was accepted by Jon Klear.

NJMEP – Created the Team Eagle Foundation, which has offered mentoring and leadership training to 107 young adults since 2010. The award was accepted by Mike Bani and Stacy Cooke

Oritani Bank – Staff delivered food to the Center for Food Action in Englewood and made donations totaling $75,000 this year. The award was accepted by Michael DeBernardi, the chief operating officer of the bank.

PSE&G – Built playgrounds in neighborhoods in Moonachie and Little Ferry that were devastated by Hurricane Sandy. The award was accepted by Jennifer Coyne.

Samsung Electronics America – Teamed up with Habitat for Humanity to help rebuild a home in Little Ferry for a family displaced by Hurricane Sandy. Part of the company’s first nationwide day of service. The award was accepted by Rose Luppino.

Seton Hall University – The university’s “Division of Volunteer Efforts” performs more than 40,000 hours of service each year, including working at soup kitchens, river clean-ups and working in Haiti and El Salvador. The award was accepted by Fahim Aberdrabbo and John Borgese.

Singer Nelson Charlmers – A Risk Strategies Company – Long-time supporter of the People Against Children Starving. Worked to bring a truckload of food from Oklahoma to the needy here. The award was accepted by David Singer.

Super Stud Building Products – Partnered with Homes for Our Troops to provide supplies to build a new home for Marine Sgt. Luis Remache who lost both legs in Afghanistan in 2011. The award was accepted by Donna Kaiser.

TD Bank – Organized 400 volunteers who planted more than 500 trees across New Jersey. The award was accepted by Tom Hewitt.

Thomas Edison State College – The college’s Support Our Troops program adopted military units overseas and sent more them 400 care packages to them. The award was accepted by  Charlene Martucci, the chairwoman of the program.

Valley National Bank – Donated $100,000 to Tunnels to Towers to build homes for veterans with disabilities. The award was accepted by Jim Trouwborst, senior vice president at the bank.

WithumSmith+Brown – Raised $300,000 for Embrace Kids Foundation helping children with cancer and other serious disorders. The award was accepted by Allison Gorga from the marketing division at the firm.

Woodard & Curran – Employees created a foundation to support environmental efforts, such as grants to engineers without borders, bringing water to villages and growing community gardens. The award was accepted by Mark Pietrucha.





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