Summit Mayor Ellen Dickson and New Providence Mayor Brooke Hern Credits: Christy Potter
Kassandra Romas (left) introduces Christy Hodde of the Red Cross. Credits: Christy Potter
Christy Hodde of the Red Cross. Credits: Christy Potter
Robert Davies (left) and Al Mirabella Credits: Christy Potter
Norm Sobin (left) and John Rosellini Credits: Christy Potter
Lauryn and Mike Shapiro, founders of The Alternative Press, with Mike's parents. Credits: Christy Potter
Christine Truhe (left), president of Bonds of Courage, and Kelly Pantone, director of marketing and membership of the Basking Ridge Country Club. Credits: Christy Potter
Beth Welsh and Mort O'Shea Credits: Christy Potter
Rabbi William Horn (left) and John Rosellini Credits: Christy Potter
Suburban Chamber of Commerce Annual Service Awards Dinner Honors Those Who Give Back
Thursday, March 21, 2013 • 11:01pm
SUMMIT, NJ - Local businesses and individuals who have contributed to their communities were honored Thursday night at the Suburban Chamber of Commerce's third annual Service Awards Dinner at the Grand Summit.
Business people, political leaders and residents from Summit, Berkeley Heights and New Providence attended the event, titled "Tying the Communities Together."
John Rosellini of Overlook Medical Center and president of the Suburban Chamber of Commerce, was the master of ceremonies for the evening. Dr. Christine Truhe, president of Bonds of Courage, led the Pledge of Allegiance.
The Public Service Organization award, presented by Kassandra Romas of Bouras Properties, went to the New Jersey Crossroads chapter of the American Red Cross. Christy Hodde, executive director, accepted the award and thanked her fellow Red Cross staff for their efforts, particularly during New Jersey's recent spats of bad weather.
The Public Service Award, presented by Robert Davies of Davies Insurance Management, was given to Al Mirabella, Union County Freeholder, who thanked the Chamber for helping make his initiative, "Union County Means Business," a success over the past two years.
The Beautification Award was presented by Norm Sobin of Cartridge World in New Providence and went to the New Providence Downtown Streetscape. Mayor Brooke Hern, Dimitrios "Jimmy" Vardas of the New Providence Downtown Improvement District, and Michelle Brugger of the New Providence Business and Professional Association accepted the award.
"Some of the best things can happen when government facilitates, then gets out of the way," Hern said. Vardas added his thanks for those who visit New Providence and patronize its businesses.
Gary Kapner of Creative Wallcoverings and Interiors in New Providence, where he is also a borough councilman, presented the Business of the Year Award to Michael Shapiro, publisher and CEO of The Alternative Press. Kapner lauded The Alternative Press for its growth and its balanced news coverage, pointing out that it doesn't have an editorial page and does not allow anonymous comments under its news stories. Shapiro thanked his wife and co-founder, Lauryn, and said The Alternative Press, known locally as TAP, is truly about the communities it serves.
"For us, it's not a matter of saying we're local, it's really being local," he said. "It's all about giving back to the communities."
The President's Award, presented by Beth Welsh of Bassett Associates, went to Mort O'Shea, president of Hilltop Community Bank. O'Shea said he's "the luckiest guy in the world because I get to work with all the wonderful people at Hilltop Bank." O'Shea, who kept the crowd in stitches with his jokes, also thanked his wife.
The Silver Service Award, was presented by Rosellini to Rabbi William Horn of the Jewish Community Center. Now Rabbi Emeritus, Horn has been in Summit for more than 50 years. The crowd gave him a standing ovation as he stepped up to the podium.
"It's been a very good time," Horn said of his years in Summit. He thanked his family, including his wife, children and grandchildren.
For more information on the Surburban Chamber of Commerce, click here to visit their website.