It was a full house of local businesses and residents at the recent Chamber of Commerce awards dinner at Casa Bianca in Oak Ridge. The Chamber annually recognizes its outstanding members in various categories.
Chamber president Dr. Bret Hartman of Total Wellness of New Jersey was the presenter at this year’s event. He began by praising the increased enrollment of the Chamber of Commerce and its accomplishments.
Guest speaker Senator Kristin Corrado (R) spoke about the future small business climate. She believes the challenges for small business owners may be on the rise and encourages all to get involved and make their voices heard in Trenton.
Chamber vice president John Tully presented the Doris Roberts Business Scholarship, sponsored by Kipp’s Books, to high school senior Liam Fitzgerald. Liam has a 4.0 grade point average and aspires to open his own accounting firm. He volunteers as a Confraternity of Christian Doctrine teacher, coaches basketball, and organizes soccer clinics for children with special needs. Liam’s academic achievements, community service, and athletics earned him this year’s Chamber scholarship.
Kim Finnegan, Town Council member and past chief of the Jefferson Township Rescue Squad, presented the Chamber’s Public Service Award, sponsored by Total Wellness, to two local service organizations. Chief Ron Anzalone accepted on behalf of the Jefferson Township Rescue Squad (JTRS) and chief James Perrier accepted on behalf of the Milton First Aid Squad.
Perrier and JTRS assistant chief Albie Garcia agreed their success takes cooperation from the fire department, police department, and their sister company. Both organizations stressed the need for additional volunteers to continue to be successful.
JTRS treasurer Patty Fallon told The Jefferson Chronicle, “I love my squad, but I also have a lot of respect for James Perrier and the Milton First Aid Squad. To have a sister company that you have camaraderie with is an outstanding feeling. The time and dedication that both squads’ volunteers put in on their own free time is incredible. So to be recognized by the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce is a great boost in our morale.”
And More Awards
Dr. Lauren Boucher received the Educator of the Year award, sponsored by the Department for Persons with Disabilities (DPD). Dr. Boucher is an occupational therapist who works with challenged children throughout the district to develop strategies and accommodations to make them more independent. When asked what the award means to her, Dr. Boucher told The Chronicle, “I think it is a reflection of how much I love my job because of the people I get to work with and the kids I get to help out.”
The Lake Hopatcong Foundation received the Non-Profit of the Year award, sponsored by PostNet. The foundation’s accomplishments include the lake clean-up, B-SAFE dock numbering program, annual Lake Hopatcong Block Party, Lake Loop, and – most recently – floating classroom. The foundation also assisted with 10 miles of trails around Lake Hopatcong, with more to come. The Landing train station renovation is nearly complete and will open this summer.
The last award of the evening, also sponsored by PostNet, was presented to Nisivoccia, LLP for Business of the Year. Nisivoccia, located in Mt. Arlington, is an accounting firm with approximately 100 employees. Nisivoccia is involved with charities and outreach programs including the DPD, Community Food Bank, local colleges, and March of Dimes, among many more. The award was accepted by Michael Smith, who told The Chronicle, “We are honored to receive this award. I am a resident of Jefferson for about six years now and we love the area. We are proud to support the local community.”
Participants agreed that it was a fun evening of networking, good food and great company.