By Miles Z. Epstein, Editor, COMMERCE Magazine
THE SKYLINE HAS MORE BRIGHT lights that illuminate the night, and reflections along the waterfront paint a picture of progress, a Jersey City renaissance. The light is symbolic of a brighter future for the city, which is seeing growth and innovation and a greater sense of community.
To honor this success story, the Jersey City Leadership Awards—presented by the NJCU Foundation—will celebrate the city’s most valued thought leaders on Thursday, June 6, 2019, at Liberty House in Jersey City, beginning at 6:00 p.m.
Rooted in the fundamental premise that bettering the quality of life for those who live, work, play and study in Jersey City is a noble pursuit, the Jersey City Leadership Awards were conceived to honor, promote, and encourage exemplary efforts by individuals and organizations who have made and continue to make exemplary contributions to Jersey City.
“We are thrilled to celebrate our outstanding honorees for their vision, achievements and continuing commitment to advance their areas of expertise on behalf of Jersey City,” says New Jersey City University President Sue Henderson. “The four recipients of the Jersey City Leadership Awards demonstrate the true spirit of professional and personal leadership to our community.”
The following four individuals represent the pinnacle of excellence in the areas of the arts, service, innovation and community building as a lifelong legacy.
Arts Award—Art House Productions Executive Director Meredith Burns continues to focus and engage educational communities across Jersey City by providing summer programs and outreach to many charter and public schools. Art House Productions sprung from the desire to connect a devastated community through art and dialogue after 9/11. Since then, the non-profit organization has established itself as a pioneer of artistic and cultural programming in Hudson County, continuing to engage, inspire, entertain and educate diverse communities through theatre, dance, comedy and the visual arts.
Service Award—Born and raised in Jersey City, Hon. Frank J. Guarini is distinguished by a lifetime of service as a member of Congress, veteran and philanthropist. He is on many boards of charitable, educational and cultural organizations, and his strong belief in the power of education has led to the foundation of centers and institutes at Dartmouth College, New York University School of Law, St. Peter’s University, New Jersey City University and John Cabot University in Rome, Italy. Guarini continues his commitment to Jersey City through his involvement with the Hudson County Chamber of Commerce and through major area real estate development projects.
Innovation Award—As Executive Vice President, Health Care Transformation, Joseph F. Scott, leads strategic planning and implementation, business development, innovation and population health for RWJBarnabas Health. Under his leadership, Jersey City Medical Center has received more than 35 awards and designations for quality services, diversity, patient safety and community outreach. He also volunteers his time and has assumed several leadership positions with community organizations. The governor appointed him to the Board of Trustees for New Jersey City University. Scott is Chairman of the Board of America’s Essential Hospitals and is past Chairman of the America’s Essential Hospitals Policy Committee.
Legacy Award—Glenn D. Cunningham (2001-2004) is being honored posthumously for his drive to improve Jersey City as its 43rd mayor. He was the first African American U.S. Marshal for New Jersey and in 2001, he became the first African American to be elected Mayor of Jersey City. His passion for education led to the creation of The Sandra and Glenn D. Cunningham Foundation, which was founded to positively impact the growth and advancement of students in Jersey City and Bayonne. The Foundation provides financial assistance and one-on-one mentor relationships with positive roles models.
Since its inception in 1927, New Jersey City University has been an integral part of the Jersey City community, celebrating its deep ties to the city and its interest in ensuring the city continues to thrive and grow.
“NJCU is honored to present this special event celebrating those whose work has positively transformed our community,” says New Jersey City University President Sue Henderson.