Rochelle Park, NJ (September 30, 2020) – The Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey (CIANJ) and COMMERCE Magazine recently hosted their Seventh Annual Companies That Care Reception – paying tribute to the kindness and generosity of the business community.


Forty-six companies, including leading manufacturers, retailers, hospitals, banks and colleges and universities, were honored as Champions of Good Works at the virtual reception, attended by more than 200 business executives.


“For most of the companies we are honoring, giving back and helping those in need is part of their culture,” said Anthony Russo, President of CIANJ. “The public is not always aware of how much these companies take on and the types of needs they address. This virtual reception is our way of showcasing these Companies That Care,” Russo added.


CIANJ is a statewide business advocacy organization, representing more than 900 corporate members from every industry sector. The organization asked the business community to share stories of its philanthropy. Their stories became a special section of the March issue of COMMERCE Magazine that was also distributed digitally when the event was rescheduled and held virtually.


This year’s champions were decided by a blue-ribbon panel of judges, which also named Doherty Enterprises as the 2020 Extraordinary Good Works recipient.


“Doherty Enterprises has created an incredible sense of community within their organization with their Wow a Friend Foundation,” said Richard Abramson, chairman of the CIANJ board of directors and a shareholder at Cole Schotz P.C. “Their employees contribute to the fund and make the decisions on how best to help their colleagues who suffered a traumatic event and need financial assistance. To date they have given out more than $2 million which is an outstanding achievement.”


Doherty Enterprises, a family-owned restaurant chain, established a special fund called the “WOW A Friend Foundation” to provide emergency assistance to its employees who have had a financial crisis or have had a catastrophic life event.


A highlight of the virtual reception was the inspirational keynote address given by the Hon. Helen LeFrois, Vice President, Development for Jersey Battered Women’s Service, Inc. (JBWS).


The companies honored as Champions of Good Works included:

Supporting New Jersey Charities:

The Walter R. Earle Foundation The foundation raised $276,000 for charities, especially helping local families combat the opioid epidemic by partnering with HOPE Sheds Light and Hackensack Meridian Health.

Eastwick College For its commitment to local charities, like the Smile Train, by hosting fund-raisers on campus. The college president, Tom Eastwick, often boosts the collection by matching the funds raised by students and staff.

Gibbons, P.C. For their long history of involvement at Cristo Rey Newark High School, including $300,000 in fund-raising as well as hosting an intern program at this critical institution.

Jackson Lewis They celebrated Pride Month with firmwide initiatives, including a fundraiser for The Trevor Project that raised more than $55,000 for the LGBTQ suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization.

Lakeland Bank The bank has an ongoing commitment to provide college scholarships by raising money at its annual golf outing. This year the bank raised $225,000 for young students.

Emergency Support:

Jefferson Health New Jersey The institution’s Emergency Financial Assistance Fund has helped more than 450 employees get back on their feet since 2006 and has distributed more than $648,000.

Lightbridge Academy The center donated more than $500,000 in medical equipment, scholarships, and other goods to help children and others affected by illness, emergencies and disasters.

PKF O’Connor Davies LLP The firm was a sponsor of an annual fundraiser walk for the neonatal intensive care unit at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at the Hackensack University Medical Center.

St. Joseph’s Health The hospital distinguishes itself with a special employee emergency relief fund to provide assistance to its workers.

Global Outreach:

LAN Associates The firm donated design services to help build an addition onto an education facility in an impoverished neighborhood in Juarez, Mexico, providing new classrooms, lab spaces and administrative spaces.

McCarter & English, LLP The firm represents refugees in the Federal Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, as well as other courts. It also runs a monthly naturalization clinic at its Newark office.

NPZ Law Group During the firm’s annual business trip to India, contributions are made to the Gabriel Project that serves the Kawla slums in Mumbai.

Helping Children:

New Jersey American Water They are being recognized for their Project Wet workshop teaching educators how to explain the importance of water and a $200,000 grant program for new STEM lab in Camden’s Woodrow Wilson High School.

Berkeley College Their Alumni Leadership Council and the Office of Alumni Relations collected toys for 60 families participating in the Our Way of HOPE, a non-profit started by alumna Karen Pena.

Fairleigh Dickinson University FDU Assistant Dean Dr. Chadwin Sandifer connects faculty, administrators, and students to Give Kids the World Village, a non-profit that provides vacations to ill children and their families.

Holy Name Medical Center For its unique outreach project sponsoring two teams of four Cristo Rey Newark High School students from each grade for work-study internships.

Konica Minolta Business Solutions USA Rick Taylor, the CEO and president of Konica, as well as many employees have donated to and volunteered with the National Kidney Foundation and helped Books for Kids build a “Zen Den” at a local library.

Riker Danzig Among the many pro-bono services done by the firm, one of their associates, Rebecca Borgese, helped a young woman with developmental disabilities who was sexually assaulted.

Santander The bank fielded nearly 200 volunteers and logged more than 1,075 hours assisting Junior Achievements at 17 events throughout the state.

Sax, LLP The firm is being honored for its ongoing commitment to helping St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital in Paterson by participating in the 4 Miler at Garret Mountain. Since 2012, it has raised more than $535,000.

Advocates for the Homeless:

Levine Jacobs & Co. LLC Each year the firm raises funds for “Movers for Mom,” a charity that helps homeless and abused women.

Terrie O’Connor Realtors More than 30 employees and associates have slept out on the street in Newark to call attention to local homeless youth, raising more than $135,000 for Covenant House in three years.


Housing Advocates:


Atkins Companies For its role in helping to build a group home in Hopatcong for SMILE – the Steven Milford Independent Living Experience.



AmeriHealth New Jersey They have been committed for 15 years to supporting the Ronald McDonald House, cooking and serving meals and working the telethon.

Delta Dental of New Jersey This organization celebrated its 50th Anniversary by hosting All Association Volunteer Day during which 285 employees volunteered 719 hours of service at community groups.

The Garibaldi Group For its support of Morristown’s nourish.NJ by supplying volunteers and providing more than $10,000 a year in funding and guidance from CEO Jim Garibaldi, who sits on the board.

GZA GeoEnvironmental Inc. For its policy of matching employee charitable contributions and establishing a grant program to fund employees’ community service activities.

MWWPR CEO Michael Kempner and many associates volunteer and serve on the board of organizations like Outreach to the Homeless, Feeding the Hungry and many others.

Ramapo College of New Jersey Students volunteer for the We Care Program for homeless. They also are encouraged to participate in the Alternate Break Program and devote their winter break to working with endangered animals at a sanctuary.

Ramboll The firm has partnered with the Mam Mare Breast Cancer Foundation since 2010, raising more than $25,000 for the organization and helping build Chemo Care Bags that are sent to patients across the country.

Valley Bank The bank supports Big Brothers Big Sisters of Essex, Hudson and Union Counties financially and with mentor volunteers. The bank also volunteers and donates to Morris Habitat for Humanity.

Environmental Conservation:

Atlantic Health System Instead of discarding the blue wrap that covers the surgical instruments at Overlook Medical Center, they are repurposing them into tote bags and sleeping bags.

Chiesa Shahinanian & Giantomasi PC Attorneys at this law firm show their dedication to the environment by serving on various law environmental boards and civic groups.

JCP&L For their grant to Lake Riviera Middle School in Brick Township which enabled the school to build a greenhouse so children can get a hands-on learning experience.

Splendor Design Group The firm spearheaded, an expanding eco-friendly, town-wide garbage pick-up in Red Bank.

Combating Hunger:

Clean Earth Volunteers packed 251 bags of non-perishable breakfast, lunch, snack and beverage items for children in need near their plant in Hatboro, PA.

Columbia Bank They collected tons of non-perishable food and household items for donations to local foodbanks, as well as providing grants to Eva’s Village, a social service agency in Paterson.

ExxonMobil Employees at their facility in Clinton showed their community spirit by hosting a Souper Bowl that collected more than two tons of food, along with other donations and service to the area.

Investors Bank For its new employee onboarding process that includes time spent at the Morristown Community Soup Kitchen as well as providing volunteers for many other area food pantries and kitchens.

Wells Fargo The bank supports local and national food banks and was the main even sponsor of the annual Save Latin America “Reaching Our Dreams” student essay contest.

Caring for Veterans:

Felician University G.I. Jobs Magazine has named Felician as a top military-friendly school for the past nine years. It is being honored for designing grants for veterans, active duty service members and family members.

Hackensack Meridian Health Their dedication to honoring our military is apparent in the fundraisers for combat wounded, donations for veterans’ children at summer camp and student scholarships.

Plast-O-Matic Valves, Inc. Company owners encourage employees to collect and donate personal care items for service men and women deployed overseas, as well contribute to organizations like Wounded Warrior Project and Semper Fi Fund.

RWJBarnabas Health Their Community Medical Center honors veterans with a luncheon, specially designated parking, a certificate of appreciation and a star from a retired flag.

SB One Bank Last year, the bank supported “Homes Fit for Heroes,” an organization that provides wounded special operations warriors with free housing and other benefits.




CIANJ is a unique network of businesses committed to improving and advancing the cause of free enterprise in the Garden State. Our focus sets us apart from other organizations and provides the basis upon which we work to make our state a better place to live, work and conduct business.

(Visited 108 times, 1 visits today)

Comments are closed.

News From Around the Web

The Political Landscape