(February 2022)

Columbia Bank Celebrates Its Newest Branch Opening With Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony in Newark
On February 11, 2002 Columbia Bank hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate the grand opening of its second branch in Newark, New Jersey. Deputy Mayor of Newark Ligia DeFretias, Carmen Mosca Chief of Staff for Council President Luis A. Quintana, bank executives
and others, gathered to mark the occasion which was held on-site at 260 Chestnut Street in the Ironbound section of the city. The branch which offers Portuguese and Spanish speaking capabilities, and full-service personal and business banking including drive-up amenities, is currently offering special promotions such as low fee/affordable mortgages, savings on closing costs, and cash bonuses for opening a personal or business checking account, designed to help businesses grow and the neighborhood flourish. Columbia Bank will continue its support of neighborhood communities with its “Banking for a Cause” program which started on December 20, 2021. For each new checking or savings account established at the location, $10 is donated, along with additional funds provided by the Bank, to one of the following Newarkbased charities/non-profits of the customer’s choice: ICC - Ironbound Community Center, Ironbound Soccer
Club, Love and Charity in Action and The Salvation Army Ironbound Boys & Girls Club.

From Left to Right (front row): Allyson Schlesinger, Executive Vice President, Head of Consumer Banking; Sandra Evering Brown, Commercial
Loan Regional Manager; Ivetiz Army, Branch Manager; Thomas J. Kemly, President, Chief Executive Officer; Ligia DeFretias, Deputy Mayor of
Newark; Maria Carmen Mosca, Chief of Staff for Council President Luis A. Quintana; Minoska Mateo, Community Development Manager.
From Left to Right (back row): Justin Jennings, Executive Vice President, Operations Officer; Matthew Crocco, 1st SVP, Head of Retail Banking:
Nuno Poitevin, Sr. Account Executive; Oliver Lewis, Executive Vice President, Head of Commercial Banking; Libuse Bajgerova, Consumer
Banking Market Manager; E. Thomas Allen, Sr. Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer. Image Courtesy of Columbia Bank.

(December 2021)

Adult Day Center of Somerset County Tenth Annual Generations Gala Honored Jim Hughes of Unity Bank with the Steve Kalafer Community Leadership Award

Over 200 people gathered at The Palace at Somerset Park in Somerset on Tuesday evening to honor Unity Bank President & CEO James A. Hughes, a resident of Easton, Pa., with the first Steve Kalafer Community Leadership Award during the Adult Day Center of Somerset County’s (ADC) Tenth Annual Generations Gala.
The Generations Gala, which serves as one of the ADC’s most significant fundraisers of the year, honors individuals who have made exceptional contributions to helping older and disabled adults, many of whom have an Alzheimer’s or dementia-related diagnosis, and their caregivers. This year’s Generations Gala’s proceeds were at an all-time high thanks to so many generous donors.

Comedian Joe Piscopo served as Master of Ceremonies and Ken Scherer of Hillsborough served as Chair. Piscopo and Scherer had the opportunity to share with Gala attendees the impact Hughes’ leadership has had at Unity Bank with building its base of customers and making it one of the best places to work in New Jersey. 

Hughes graduated from St. Mary’s College in May 1980 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting/Finance; and, in May 1983 earned his MBA in Finance from Seton Hall University. Hughes became a Certified Public Accountant in November 1983. In addition, he was a part-time accounting professor at the New Brunswick campus of Rutgers University. Mr. Hughes has served as an active member of the Independent Community Bankers of America Federal Delegate Board and the New Jersey Bankers Association in various officer positions since becoming Unity Bank’s President.

Hughes joined the Clinton-headquartered bank in December 2000 as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer and was subsequently appointed to his current position in 2003. Prior to Unity Bank, Hughes was a Senior Vice President of Finance at Summit Bancorp in Princeton.

Hughes serves on the Board of Directors of the Center for Hope Hospice & Palliative Care in Scotch Plains and is a regular volunteer with many non-profits such as Grow-A-Row and The Salvation Army. He encourages the entire Unity Bank team to give back to the community and leads by example.  Unity Bank prides itself on customer service and is admired by vendors and customers, which was evidenced by the full ballroom, genuine enthusiasm and positive spirits of Gala attendees. 

The ADC of Somerset County recently renamed its Annual Gala Award as the Steve Kalafer Community Leadership Award to honor the memory of the late entrepreneur and longtime ADC supporter.

The Generations Gala is one of the Center’s two fundraising events. Proceeds from the Gala go towards operating expenses, which are the most difficult to raise. They are necessary to pay dedicated staff, take care of the facility, purchase program materials, and launch new therapeutic activities.  This year specifically the funds will be used to help the ADC return to its pre-pandemic level of service; continue to evaluate and evolve services to best meet the needs of the growing aging population; and continue their legacy of providing care for all those who may need its services regardless of financial limitations. 


Peapack-Gladstone Bank Celebrates Company’s 100th Anniversary through Volunteerism
As Peapack-Gladstone Bank celebrates their centennial, the Company continues to pursue the original mission established by its founders in 1921:  to provide value-added banking services and strength to the communities it serves.  To commemorate its 100th Anniversary and legacy, the Bank set a goal to complete 100 employee community service efforts in 2021. “It’s impressive that our people have far exceeded the high bar we set for our anniversary challenge, completing over 315 service projects,” said Doug Kennedy, President and CEO.  “What is humbling is the commitment and caring amongst our staff.” 
Peapack-Gladstone Bank’s foundation, is based on five core principles, and their Principle #4, “Invested in our Community” has never gone out of style.  Each and every year, the Bank supports hundreds of organizations through monetary donations, collections of tangible goods and countless hours of volunteerism.  The Company’s philanthropy and outreach have provided support services for Atlantic Healthcare Visiting Nurse, the United Way of Northern New Jersey, nourish.NJ, America’s Grow-a-Row and the United Way of Northern of New Jersey to name a few.  “We are proud of the efforts our employees have made to continue the Bank’s legacy of service through these volunteer outreach projects” said Rosanne Schwab, Public Relations Manager.  “Volunteering not only helps the nonprofit, it also gives our employees an opportunity to work together to help improve the quality of life in our municipalities.”  
The purpose of Peapack-Gladstone Bank’s volunteer program is to touch our communities, with one voice, and make a lasting impact as a community partner.  So, to end this year of celebration of service, the Bank will continue its commitment of moving forward, and giving back, in the next 100 years.


(November 2021)

Manasquan Bank Unveils Community Room Meetings Space at Renovated Point Pleasant Branch
Manasquan Bank has unveiled its Community Room meeting space located within its recently renovated Point Pleasant branch. The latest state-of-the-art banking center now features a complimentary office/conference room space for local non-profit organizations and professional groups to conduct meetings. The Community Room is the ideal location to hold group meetings so people can come together and make positive change within their own community. The space features a flexible layout including a board room and private offices to suit every organizational need. The meeting space is available during and after branch hours, including evenings and weekends, and is completely free of charge. Manasquan Bank’s Point Pleasant branch and Community Room is located at 2307 Rt. 88, next to Quick Check. To learn more about Manasquan Bank or to make a reservation, visit www.manasquan.bank.

Unity Bank’s Car Show Raises $8,000 for Family Promise of Hunterdon and Warren Counties
Unity Bank has donated $8,000 to Family Promise of Hunterdon County and Family Promise of Warren County, the proceeds from the 15th Annual Cruisin’ Bob’s Classic Car Show held at the bank’s Clinton headquarters. The bank donates all proceeds from the car show to the non-profits, in addition to donating volunteer time to coordinate the event.

The show featured 160 classic cars competing in a variety of categories. The winners were: Best Custom Paint, Paul Sadowski of Byram, 1934 Ford 3 Window Coupe; Best Custom Interior, Bob Hollingshead of Hillsborough, 1955 Chevy Nomad; Chauffeur's Choice, Kevin and Gail Peach of Port Murray, 1937 Packard Super 8 Convertible; Rattiest Rat Rod, Philip Lincoln of Milford, 1949 International Harvester KB-3 Pickup Truck; Best Car for Lenny and Squiggy, Bruce Snyder of Washington, 1930 Ford A Pickup; Best Truck, Victor Donahue of Chester, 1956 Chevrolet Series 3100; Most Likely to Get a Speeding Ticket, Nick Zripko of Pittstown, 1968 Camaro Z28; Coolest Motorcycle, Peter Koop of Belvidere, 2000 Corsair Scout; Best Getaway Car, Jeff Neary of Hillsborough, 2018 Ford GT; Best Road Trip Car, Bob Hollingshead of Hillsborough, 1955 Chevy Nomad; Worst Car Mileage, Nick Zripko of Pittstown, 1968 Camaro Z28; Best First Date Car, Pam Vette of Bridgewater, 1991 Chevy Corvette; James Bond Car of Choice, Ron and Gloria Peles of Stewartsville, 1963 Studebaker Avanti; Most Likely to be at Woodstock, David Santini of Washington, 1978 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible; Oldest Car, Frank Cushing, Jr. of Washington, 1927 Ford T Rat Rod; Youngest Car, Charles Dahms of Pittstown, 2020 Dodge Challenger Hellcat Red Eye; People’s Choice, Denise Buchanon-Virgo of Whitehouse Station, 2016 Jeep Wrangler; Family Promise Choice, Vince Bassani of Califon, 1961 Chevrolet Corvette; and Unity Bank Choice, Harry Santa of Belvidere, 1961 Pontiac Bonneville.

Family Promise of Hunterdon County and Family Promise of Warren County provide services to both help overcome and prevent homelessness through the Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN) – a network of congregations and volunteers who provide overnight/weekend shelter, home-cooked meals, and companionship to families who enter the program. Comprehensive case management, licensed counseling services and a donation program are also available.

Spencer Savings Bank Donates $75,000 to the American Red Cross NJ For Hurricane Ida Relief Efforts
Spencer Savings Bank donated $75,000 to the American Red Cross NJ to support Hurricane Ida relief efforts.
During the one month since Hurricane Ida made landfall, the Red Cross and its partners have worked tirelessly to assist those negatively impacted by the storm. In New Jersey, more than 335 Red Cross volunteers have been working around the clock to help families affected by the devastating flooding brought on by Ida.
Since September 1 in New Jersey, the Red Cross has provided more than 2,070 overnight shelter stays and served nearly 20,670 meals and snacks; distributed more than 11,620 clean-up kits and 12,069 other relief supplies like comfort kits, rakes, tarps and more; provided health or emotional support to more than 2,124 people; and provided 4,355 people from 1,502 families with disaster recovery support through casework.


(October 2021)

Lakeland Bank Awards $15,000 Grant to St. Joseph’s Health Foundation

Lakeland Bank announced it awarded a $15,000 Community Impact Grant to St. Joseph’s Health Foundation. This was the third grant issued as part of a three-year commitment to support the expansion of pediatric dentistry services at the hospital to support underserved children living in Paterson, N.J. and the surrounding area. 

Lakeland Bank associates Tim Matteson, Roxanne Camejo, Perry Lighty and Debra Zimmerly recently met with Dr. Ephros, Chairman of Dentistry, Dr. DeSimone, Director of Pediatric Dental, and Mark Cantine, Director of Individual Giving, to present a $15,000 grant to support St. Joseph’s Pediatric Dentistry Division.

Columbia Bank’s Annual Food Drive Raised Funds and Meals Throughout New Jersey
Through the assistance of its team members and the generous residents of New Jersey, Columbia Bank proudly raised financial donations and several hundred food items at its annual fooddrive. By providing nourishment to those in need around the state, Columbia Bank maintains its long-standing history of aiding residents in the communities it serves.

The recipients of the donations and totals are as follows:
CUMAC - Paterson, NJ
Center for Food Action - Saddle Brook, NJ and
Simuel Whitefield Simmons Organization - Somerset, NJ
Over 50 shopping bags of food and over $1,200
Maple Shade Food Bank - Maple Shade, NJ
$250 in monetary donations
South Jersey Dream Center - Thorofare, NJ
$100 and 150 pounds of non-perishable food
St. James Food Pantry - Woodbridge, NJ
Over $500 in monetary donations
Starfish Food Pantry - Plainfield, NJ
500+ items of food and $160

Team Members of Columbia Bank Deliver Donations from Annual Food Drive to CUMAC in Paterson, NJ. Photo Courtesy of Columbia Bank.


Manasquan Bank Donates More than $10K to Local Non-Profits during Days of Giving

Manasquan Bank and their banking patrons across New Jersey rallied together to donate over $10,000 to local non-profits state-wide during the Bank’s 1st Annual Days of Giving. Recipients included Big Brothers Big Sisters of Coastal & Northern New Jersey, Dottie’s House, Luke's Helping Hand, Greater Tuckerton Food Pantry, and the YMCA of Metuchen, Edison, Woodbridge and South Amboy.

In keeping with Manasquan Bank’s community focus, Days of Giving calculated 15% of all loose coin redemptions and donated the amount received to the selected non-profits. Additionally, the Bank offered exclusive stickers and daily giveaways building up to their main event, Community Day, on Sept. 18, 2021. Community Day, an annual family-friendly event, is hosted in downtown Manasquan as a celebration of the Bank’s anniversary and commitment to serving NJ communities.

Spencer Savings Bank Supports Higher Education With Donation to Passaic County Community College (PCCC)

Spencer Savings Bank recently made a donation of $7,500 to Passaic County Community College (PCCC) to help provide financial support to low-income, minority students seeking higher education. The donation will be used to provide low-income students, enrolled in the Student Support Services (SSS) and PCCC Success programs, with financial emergency assistance awards. The awards are used to help pay for emergency costs dealing with a variety of issues (rent/housing, utilities, food, transportation, medicine, childcare) or for educational expenses (tuition/fees, books/supplies or technology).

Blue Foundry Bank Opens Reimagined Branch Location in Lyndhurst, NJ

Blue Foundry Bank crafted banking experience, announced the reopening of its reimagined branch location at 753 Ridge Road in Lyndhurst, New Jersey. The new design by DMR Architects reflects the bank’s reinvention and creates an unmatched banking experience for the modern-day movers and shakers of Lyndhurst that it serves. 

Blue Foundry Bank looks forward to continuing to bring its dedication, service, and spirit to the communities and small businesses in Lyndhurst using its “Blue Is Here for You” service. Delivered by dedicated, knowledgeable Universal Bankers, clients will enjoy individualized support to help them meet their financial goals and get the most out of their Blue Foundry banking relationship.

To celebrate Blue Foundry Bank’s grand reopening in Lyndhurst, donations were made to: 

Woman’s Club of Lyndhurst in support of Food Security: the Woman’s Club of Lyndhurst unites its members in activities that promote the ethical, intellectual, and social standards of the community. With this donation, they will help provide for neighbors in need of food and essential items.
North Arlington Volunteer Emergency Squad: a volunteer organization that has been serving the Borough and protecting its residents since 1972.
Lyndhurst Police Emergency Squad: a nonprofit ambulance and rescue service comprised of loyal volunteers who respond to more than 1900 emergency calls a year, serving the community since 1942.

Blue Foundry Bank is a place where things are made, purpose is formed, and ideas are crafted. Dedicated to outstanding customer experience and personal support, Blue Foundry Bank offers a comprehensive line of products and services including personal and business banking and lending, to support clients’ financial goals and investment for growth. With its Universal Bankers acting more as partners, the process will be less about banking and more about living.

In the midst of the back-to-school season, Kearny Bank’s Caldwell office hosted a donation event to benefit youngsters in and around Paterson who receive services from the Eva’s Village community assistance organization. Bank clients and employees were invited to participate by donating backpacks, and a total of 40 of these were collected and then donated to the nonprofit.


Spencer Savings Bank Awards Almost $25,000 in Scholarships To Local Students
Spencer Savings Bank has awarded almost $25,000 in scholarships to high school and middle school students from 32 local schools in Bergen, Passaic, Union, Mercer, Morris and Essex counties. To date almost $500,000 has been awarded since the program first started in 2002.

“As a community bank, investing in our local youth for a brighter future, is part of our mission,” stated Jose B. Guerrero, Spencer’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “This past school year has been an especially challenging one. We are proud to support these scholarship winners and congratulate them on all their academic achievements! May your perseverance and strength carry you through all of life experiences. Congratulations to the Class of 2021!
Students from various New Jersey school districts, within Spencer’s market area, received scholarships. The winners were selected by the school’s guidance department. High School students each received a $1,000 check, and middle school students each received a tax-advantaged Coverdell Education Savings Account (CESA) with $500 deposited to encourage future saving. Each student received a scholarship certificate from the bank. Scholarship recipients attend the below New Jersey schools. Please join us in congratulating them!

Bergen County: Aizar Imran (Elmwood Park Memorial High School), Raquel Roca (Garfield High School), Brooke Scarcella (Lodi High School), Tyler Laski (Lyndhurst High School), Briana Marie Vullo (Saddle Brook High School), Konrad Baj (Wallington High School), Nicholas Parmi (Wood-Ridge Jr/Sr High School), Melanie Colon (Elmwood Park’s Memorial Middle School), Aiden Peterson (Garfield Middle School), James Campoverdde (Lodi’s Thomas Jefferson Middle School), Rachel Pimentel (Lyndhurst Middle School), Aleiya Moore (Saddle Brook Middle School), Natalia Wargala (Wallington Jr/Sr High School), Bridget Marquez (Wood-Ridge Jr/Sr High School)

Passaic County: Chloe Popowich (Clifton High School), Giana Buchicchio (Wayne Hills High School), Ayah Bazzi (Clifton’s Woodrow Wilson Middle School), Destiny Rivera (Wayne’s Schuyler-Colfax Middle School)

Union County: Joseph Santoro (Cranford High School), Anan Yousef (Elizabeth’s Alexander Hamilton Preparatory Academy), Valentina Schiavone (Union Senior High School), Andrew Pink (Westfield High School), Henry Guillen Jr. (Elizabeth’s Mabel G.
Holmes #5), Ashley Diaz (Garwood’s Lincoln Middle School)

Essex County: Angelina Lee Monaco (North Caldwell’s West Essex Regional High School), Eyad Ahmad (Nutley High School), Jessica Metry (North Caldwell’s West Essex Middle School), Mark Rivera (Nutley’s John H. Walker Middle School)

Mercer County: Monica Wang (Ewing High School), Nathan Myers (Ewing Fisher Middle School)

Morris County: Jacqueline Baldarrago (Parsippany Hills High School), Van Dang (Parsippany Central Middle School)


Manasquan Bank Charitable Foundation Presents 18 Charities with Grants at Recipient Event
The Manasquan Bank Charitable Foundation, an affiliate of Manasquan Bank, brought 18 local organizations together for its second quarterly Charitable Foundation meeting of 2021. The grant recipient event was a chance for community members to learn more about Manasquan Bank’s philosophy for its future success and commitment to its community-based partners. It was also a great opportunity for each organization receiving a foundation grant to tell their story and explain how the new grant will assist in the achievement of their overall mission.

Manasquan Bank Chairman, President and CEO, James S. Vaccaro, along with the Foundation’s trustees kicked off the morning’s event, where they provided an overview of the mission and strategic efforts of the Bank and its Foundation. “Charitable giving has been central to the core values of Manasquan Bank since its very beginnings,” said Vaccaro. “We recognize those who share our passion for building a better community and we are privileged to provide them with financial assistance”.

Notably, at the recipient event, those receiving an annual grant from the foundation included Mental Health Association of Monmouth County, Stop Drowning Now, Monmouth Arts, Collier Youth Services, Family Promise of Southern Ocean County, YMCA of Metuchen, Edison, Woodbridge and South Amboy, Community Nursery School, Arc of Monmouth County, Bayshore Center at Bivalve, Tigger House Foundation, InfoAge Science and History Museum, Interfaith Health & Support Services of Southern Ocean County, Inc., The Valerie Fund, Fighting H.A.R.D Foundation, Association for Multiple Impaired Blind (AMIB), Visiting Nurse Association of Central NJ, Autism Family Services of NJ, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Coastal and Northern NJ.

In addition to the quarterly Foundation meetings, Manasquan Bank will begin hosting town hall-style meetings for its existing clients, as well as potential business clients, each month after hours at a rotating branch location. Additional event details are forthcoming.

Lakeland Bank Awards Over $165,000 in Scholarships to Local Students
Lakeland Bank was pleased to distribute over $165,000 in scholarships to high school seniors graduating from high schools in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Ocean, Union, and Warren counties in New Jersey and Orange County, New York. The funds were raised at the 2020 Annual Scholarship Golf Outing and also support college scholarship programs.

Lakeland Bank Raised Over $65,000 at Sussex County Golf Classic
Lakeland Bank is pleased to announce that more than $65,000 was raised at its 40th Annual Sussex County Golf Classic to support local charities.

1st Bank of Sea Isle City Loan Department Supports Two Local Charities

The Loan Center Staff donated nourishing food items and household provisions to Saint Maximillian Kolbe Food Pantries, which through the Saint Maximilian Kolbe Parish of Marmora feeds families of need in its community.
Beacon Animal Rescue recently opened a new veterinary clinic in their facility, located at 701 Butter Road in Ocean View.  The clinic services cats and dogs from the rescue, as well as those of adopters, volunteers and the general public.  The Loan Center Staff purchased necessary medical equipment, supplies and treats to support the clinic’s efforts in caring for animals in Cape May County.  
1st Bank of Sea Isle City, Vice President/Chief Lending Officer, Joyce Allegretto said “I am pleased that through the generosity of our Lending Staff, we were able to assist these two worthy organizations.”

Pictured (Top): Dawn Evans, Mary Ellen Lindsay, Deborah Dunn, Joyce Allegretto, Joe Krajicek, Lauren Barnhart.
Pictured (Bottom): Tracie Fitzgerald holding Loan Center Mascot Vino, Tracey Smedley, Vet Tech, Dr. Susanne Poff, DVM, Kathleen Dever, Sheryl Zappala and Bridget Cardwell. 


On Wednesday, June 2, 2021, The First National Bank of Elmer celebrated their hard-working employees.  Mr. Softee and his famous jingle made the rounds to each of the bank’s locations with an afternoon treat for all.

Spencer Savings Bank Helps Feed Needy Community Members With Eva’s Village Donation

Spencer Savings Bank recently made a $2,500 donation to Eva’s Village to help feed community members. The organization’s Community Kitchen is serving to-go breakfast and lunch to over 400 individuals daily. This is in addition to serving 3 prepared meals a day to those residing in their recovery and sheltering programs.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the organization has adapted to keep life-saving programs and services open to ensure those who rely on them receive the help they need. Since switching from sit-down dining to meals to-go, their Community Kitchen has been busier than ever. They are serving these meals as the pandemic forces more of their community members to choose between food, medicine and rent.


Provident Bank Employees Raise Funds for Women Rising
Provident Bank, a leading New Jersey-based financial institution, announced it recently held a Jeans Day fundraiser to benefit Women Rising, a Jersey City-based provider of domestic abuse support programs in Hudson County. Provident Bank employees donated more than $3,800 to the organization whose mission is to assist women and their families to achieve self-sufficiency and live safe, productive and fulfilling lives through social services, economic development and advocacy services.

Pictured (L-R) Stacey Kavanagh, FVP/Market Manager, Provident Bank; Sister Roseann Mazzeo, Executive Director, Women Rising; Sonali Jhurani, Director, Fund Development, Women Rising; Frances Montagnino, VP/Market Manager, Provident Bank.

The brook trout is native to New Jersey. It was designated as the official state fish when Governor James J. Florio signed Assembly Bill 2608 on January 8, 1992 at Hopatcong Middle School, Hopatcong, New Jersey. Also called speckled trout, brookies, or speckles, brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) live under water conditions that are cool, clean and pure (they cannot survive in polluted water).

MagyarBank Charitable Foundation Awards $26,696.50 to Various Central New Jersey Non-Profit Organizations 

The MagyarBank Charitable Foundation recently awarded $26,656.50 in grants to eight non-profit organizations from the Central New Jersey region.  Awarded funds will be used to support and improve the lives of local residents.  The Foundation provides grants to programs supporting education, affordable housing, youth programs and health and human services.

From Left to Right: John Fitzgerald, President & CEO, Magyar Bank; Kathleen Carlucci, Executive Director, Thomas Edison Center at Menlo Park; Leonard Sendelsky, Chairman, Thomas Edison Center at Menlo Park; Thomas Lankey, Chairman, Magyar Bank Board of Directors & Mayor of Township of Edison. 


The Columbia Bank Foundation recently donated $50,000 to the Christian Health Care Center (CHCC) to address the urgent needs of senior care during the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding will assist with CHCC’s efforts to maintain necessary personal protective equipment, testing kits, and cleaning supplies while ensuring appropriate technology for client socialization and remote mental health services. A special designation of $25,000 was made to fund vaccine distribution. 

Spencer Savings Bank Hosts “Warm Up This Winter” Drive For Bridges Outreach Nonprofit

Spencer Savings Bank hosted a “Warm Up This Winter” drive in support of Bridges Outreach, a non-profit organization headquartered in Union County. The bank and employees donated hundreds of new socks, gloves, hats and scarves to help keep their clients nice and warm this winter season. Contactless shopping was done with items purchased at various stores via an Amazon Wishlist.

Bridges ends homelessness through volunteer-driven outreach and individual case management focusing on health, housing and independence. They form relationships with those experiencing homelessness while meeting their most urgent needs. To learn more about the non-profit and help, visit them online at bridgesoutreach.org.


Peapack-Gladstone Bank Helps Kids Get Back to School

To support the United Way of Northern New Jersey Tools for School program, Peapack-Gladstone Bank coordinated a multicultural virtual concert which raised a $2,530 in donations and participant purchase of 1,615 school supply items shipped to students in need.  In its 12th year of support for the program, the Bank  has made significant contributions, helping students obtain the resources and supplies needed to start off the school year in a positive mindset, ready to learn.

Unity Bank Launches Partnership with NID Housing Counseling Agency and Donates $5,000 for Community Education Programs

Unity Bank recently donated $5,000 to the NID Housing Counseling Agency (NID-HCA), a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approved national network of housing counselors and community-development consultants with offices in Plainfield and Allentown, Pa. Unity is launching a partnership with the agency to supplement the bank’s Low-Moderate Income Mortgage Program.

Provident Bank Opens New Wyckoff Branch; Names Cornicelli Banking Center Manager
Branch marks the bank’s eighth location in Bergen County
Provident Bank, a leading New Jersey-based financial institution, has announced the opening of its newest branch at 345 Franklin Avenue, Wyckoff, New Jersey. The modern, full-service banking facility offers customers a welcoming environment with convenient features that include a drive-through, ATM, night depository, and Saturday hours. The branch is open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm; Thursday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm; and Saturday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. 

Maureen Cornicelli of Park Ridge, New Jersey, was named Assistant Vice President, Banking Center Manager of the new Wyckoff branch. Ms. Cornicelli is responsible for driving deposit and small business loan growth for the branch, developing sales strategies, ensuring superior customer service, as well as overseeing the staff and operational integrity of the branch.  

Ms. Cornicelli has more than 35 years’ experience in retail banking, and most recently served as a Financial Service Officer/Branch Manager with Columbia Bank. She has also held branch management positions with JP Morgan Chase, Bank of New York, and Valley National Bank.   

Spencer Savings Bank Supports Mental Health Initiatives, Donates $7,500 to CBH Care
Spencer Savings Bank recently made a $7,500 donation to CBH Care, in support of mental health services in its community. The nonprofit organization is a leader in behavioral health care services for New Jersey and Bergen County, offering compassionate and mental health services to thousands in Northern New Jersey.

Unity Bank Donates $34,200 to Food Pantries in NJ and Lehigh Valley
Bergen, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Somerset, Union and Warren Counties in N.J. and Northampton County, Penn. Food Banks Receive Support
Unity Bank and its employees have donated a record total of $34,200 to 19 food pantries in New Jersey and Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania. The funds were contributed by Unity Bank employees and matched by the bank as part of a special annual holiday community service project that was started more than 10 years ago.
Donations of $1,800 will be presented to a local food bank by each of Unity’s 19 community branches, including: FISH Hospitality Program in Piscataway, serving Middlesex, Union, and Somerset Counties, from Middlesex Branch; Flemington Area Food Pantry from Flemington Branch; St. Vincent De Paul Society from North Plainfield Branch; Franklin Township Food Bank from Somerset Branch; Highland Park Community Food Pantry from Highland Park Branch; Home First Interfaith Housing & Family Services of Plainfield from Scotch Plains Branch; Linden Interfaith Network for Community Service from Linden Branch; River of Life Food Pantry of Phillipsburg from Phillipsburg Branch; Open Cupboard Food Pantry of Clinton from Clinton Branch; Readington Area Starfish from Whitehouse Branch; St. Paul Food Pantry of Ramsey from the Ramsey Branch; Feeding Hands of Raritan from Somerville Branch; Sacred Heart Social Concerns Ministry in South Plainfield from South Plainfield Branch; Alliance Center for Independence Food Pantry in Edison from Edison Branch; Union Food Pantry from Union Branch; Helping Hands Food Pantry of Hillsdale from Emerson Branch; Washington Community Food Pantry from Unity’s Washington Branch; New Bethany Ministries of Bethlehem from the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania Branch; and Easton Area Community Center from Forks Township, Pennsylvania Branch.

Help for the holidays: Wells Fargo donates $50K to Fulfill food bank
How’s this for an early present for those in need: Wells Fargo surprised representatives from Fulfill, a food bank serving the Jersey Shore, with a $50,000 donation to assist the organization with its ongoing efforts to address food insecurity in the region.

The funding will enable Fulfill, the nonprofit run by former Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, to provide 150,000 meals to residents in Monmouth and Ocean counties. The donation is in addition to the $25,000 Wells Fargo previously donated to Fulfill earlier in 2020. Guadagno was grateful.

Wells Fargo has a long commitment to supporting people facing hunger through its longstanding relationship with Feeding America, the largest domestic hunger-relief organization in the United States, and its affiliate organizations, which includes Fulfill.

Fulfill has served an additional 3 million meals since the pandemic hit the Jersey Shore.

Pre-COVID, Fulfill was serving 136,000 people, 50,000 of them children. Fulfill has seen a 40% increase in the demand for food since the onset of the crisis. Today, Fulfill is feeding 215,000 people, and 70,000 of them are children.

Earlier this year, Wells Fargo launched a nationwide Drive-Up Food Bank program, in which the company helped reach families facing hunger due to the COVID-19 pandemic by working with local Feeding America member food banks to distribute food at some of the company’s branches and corporate locations.

To extend this effort during the holidays, Wells Fargo is directing grants as part of its “Many Hearts. One Community.” holiday campaign to Feeding America food banks around the country — ensuring there is food on the tables for people who need it most — and fulfilling the company’s commitment to help provide 82 million meals to families in need.

Wells Fargo’s “Many Hearts. One Community.” holiday campaign can be found here.

Fulfill, formerly the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, moves more than 1 million pounds of food each month for families in Monmouth and Ocean counties. Fulfill feeds children, seniors, veterans and the working poor. Fulfill serves pantries and shelters, provides hot meals for children after school and sends food home for those same children over the weekend during the school year. Fulfill also provides additional services to help our neighbors improve their overall situation.

Spencer Savings Bank Supports Mental Health Initiatives, Donates $7,500 to CBH Care
Spencer Savings Bank recently made a $7,500 donation to CBH Care, in support of mental health services in its community. The nonprofit organization is a leader in behavioral health care services for New Jersey and Bergen County, offering compassionate and mental health services to thousands in Northern New Jersey.

Peapack-Gladstone Bank Brings Holiday Cheer
Peapack-Gladstone Financial Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select Market:  PGC) and Peapack-Gladstone Bank are proud to report the Bank has partnered with the United Way of Northern New Jersey for its annual Gifts of the Season holiday drive.  During these challenging times, the need is greater than ever; so for the 12th consecutive year, the Bank coordinated a response - but with a new twist!  Employees had the opportunity to browse through a custom-designed virtual shopping site to purchase toys, clothing and necessities for local needy children and teens.

Through the generosity of Peapack-Gladstone Bank employees, a total of 977 items were purchased totaling approximately $7,000 in value!  A generous response, especially during these trying times.  Through their partnership with the United Way, the Bank has joined in the spirit of the season, assuring local youth have a holiday that is merry and bright.  

Throughout the years, Peapack-Gladstone Bank has been dedicated in supporting New Jersey communities by being proactive in doing their part for those that are less fortunate.  The Bank looks forward to continuing its community outreach in the New Year and thanks everyone who contributed for their generosity, bringing smiles to the faces of those families most in need.

Columbia Bank Toy Drive Supports Families in Need
Employee Collection Effort Gathers 
Approximately 500 Holiday Items and $4,000 in Gift Cards

Columbia Bank has recently completed its Annual Corporate Holiday Toy Drive for children in New Jersey. Coordinated by Team Columbia Volunteers, the effort benefitted six organizations across the state, including Boys and Girls Club of Passaic and Paterson, Department of Child Protection and Permanency, Greater Newark Conservancy, New Destiny Community Development Corporation, New Hope Ministries, and Toys for Tots. Approximately 500 gifts and $4,000 in gift cards were donated.

Shown are some of the Team Columbia volunteers who helped collect, wrap, and distribute the holiday gifts to the participating organizations.


Somerset Savings Employees Help Make the Holidays Special for Those in Need
Somerset Savings Bank employees answered the call when United Way of Northern New Jersey asked for help from the community to bring holiday cheer and much-needed winter apparel to children, adults with disabilities, and seniors in need across northern New Jersey. A carload of gifts was delivered to United Way of Northern New Jersey for distribution to struggling individuals and families.
These gifts may be the only ones received by those less fortunate in the community. When parents receive gifts for their children through this program, they are able to avoid going into debt by utilizing their limited resources to pay for basic needs such as food, utilities, and rent.

Pictured after loading the SUV are (left to right) Bill Taylor, Chris Pribula, Dana DePace and Audrey Mothner, all from Somerset Savings Bank.

Gregory Scharpf, Amboy Bank President and CEO, and Anthony DeToro, Vice President and Branch Administration Deposit Officer, help Anahita Feltz, Old Bridge Food Bank Manager, and Matthew Mercurio, Director of Parks & Recreation and Social Services, gather the food collections from the Amboy Bank Administration Building and neighboring branches. Scharpf said, “Through the generosity of our staff and clients, we were able to help the Old Bridge Food Bank feed the members of our community who need it most. We’d like to thank everyone for making our annual food drive such a success.” Amboy Bank’s food drive included all 23 offices making donations to their local community food banks.

MagyarBank Charitable Foundation Grants $6,000 to State Theatre New Jersey 

The MagyarBank Charitable Foundation recently granted $6,000 to State Theatre New Jersey in support of their Next Stage Campaign. The campaign is raising funds to improve the theatre’s accessibility and safety, audience and artist experience, and operational efficiency. Planned improvements include an elevator to allow access to all levels, an improved HVAC system, new auditorium seating with increased ADA seating, replacing the rope-and-sandbag rigging system with a motorized system, renovating restrooms to include touchless technology, and more. 

Pictured: from left to right: John Fitzgerald, President and CEO, Magyar Bank, Sarah Chaplin, President & CEO, State Theatre New Jersey.

Blue Foundry Bank Opens New Branch Location on Park Avenue in Rutherford, NJ
As part of their new branch opening and continued community commitment, Bank to host food drive supporting Rutherford Community Pantry

Blue Foundry Bank, a financial institution that offers a full service, crafted banking experience, announced the opening of its 19 Park Avenue, Rutherford, New Jersey branch. The new location reflects the bank’s reinvention and acknowledges the modern-day movers and shakers that they serve. 

Blue Foundry Bank is a place where things are made. Reflecting the bank’s brand, this newly designed facility offers an open floor plan and more connected approach to banking, without the traditional physical divisions such as counters and desks, providing Universal Bankers an environment conducive to helping customers plan for their financial success. The 1,600 square foot branch reflects the bank's industrial, maker spirit through sleek design elements such as exposed brick, steel, distressed wood and concrete wall panels. The branch also includes space perfect for community collaboration, when appropriate. Throughout the location curated pieces of art can be found along with an art deco moss wall, three-dimensional logos, and modern new ATM designs.  


Amboy Bank hosts its annual food drive

Throughout November, all 23 offices of Amboy Bank will collect food and household items for food banks in their branch area. Every Amboy office manager has selected a food bank to collect for in their community. In many cases, Amboy has a strong relationship with the organizations, including St. Laurence Food Bank, Lunch Break and Freehold Open Door. 

Gregory Scharpf, President and CEO, stated, “At Amboy Bank, we are dedicated to helping our local community prosper, and we are proud to lend a helping hand to our neighbors who need it most. Our annual food drive will help to restock the shelves of the food banks in our area.”

Branch locations and details about the food drive can be found on Amboy’s website, www.AmboyBank.com.

Amboy Bank’s Red Bank branch celebrates the kick off to the annual food drive on Halloween. Donations to the Red Bank branch go to Lunch Break of Red Bank.  


BCB Bank recently unveiled a colorful new mural on its newest branch in the Ironbound, painted by local artist Jo-El Lopez. The branch, opened in July, is located at 269 Ferry Street, Newark, NJ. BCB commissioned the mural as a gift to the neighboring community, according to Thomas Coughlin, BCB President and Chief Executive Officer. Lopez also will be decorating the branch’s interior with a mural.

Lopez is a well-known artist in the Newark Art Community. His work is in the permanent collection of The Newark Museum of Art and The Zimmerli Museum of Art and hung at Gallery Aferro in Newark.

Freedom Bank Donates 1,200 Shields
Freedom Bank, headquartered in Maywood, recently donated more than 1,200 face shields to the Guttenberg Public School District. The face shields from LG Protective Wearables, are for the students as well as staff protection. The donation was comprised of a mixture of glasses frame face shields and adjustable face shields. For more information about Freedom Bank, please visit. www.fbnj.com.
LG Protective Wearables, headquartered in Rutherford, is a manufacturer and distributor of protective products and has more than 15 years experience in manufacturing and supply chain management. For more information or to purchase PPE, please go to https://www.lgprotectivewearables.com/.

From right to left:
Michelle Rosenberg: Superintendent Guttenberg School District, Marisol Montanez: Town of Guttenberg Event Coordinator, Lieutenant Rafael Martinez, Freedom Bank Branch Manager Maria Moreano, Sargent Steve Diaz, Detective Hector Molina and Officer Emily Dubon.



Investors Bank Named ‘Best Big Bank in New Jersey’ by Newsweek

Investors Bank has been named the “Best Big Bank in New Jersey” in Newsweek’s first-ever ranking of financial institutions.

The “America’s Best Banks 2021” rankings were released in the magazine’s Oct. 9 issue, as Newsweek acknowledged the pandemic has reshaped banking, driving consumers to seek out reliable customer service and robust online banking options.
Newsweek, in a partnership with LendingTree, evaluated more than 2,500 U.S. financial institutions to determine leaders in 19 best-in-class categories, including the best big and small bank in each state. The “Best Big Bank” rankings were specifically based on a “winning combination of low fees, competitive interest rates and a broad array of services, including a variety of loans and a high performing mobile app.”

“It is a great honor to be recognized as the ‘Best Big Bank in New Jersey’. Our commitment to develop and support a digital platform that enhances the customer experience has paid significant dividends,” said Investors Bank Chairman & CEO Kevin Cummings. He also said Investors employees worked collaboratively to ensure online and mobile banking applications are responsive to customers’ needs. “We always will put the customer first,” said Cummings.

“We thrive on strong relationships with our customers, who want banking to be easy, convenient, and safe,” said Cummings. “Our digital platform enabled our customers to safely manage their accounts during the pandemic. We are proud that we were able to keep our branches open. That was important to us and to our customers.” 

Investors Bank has designed its mobile banking services for ease and flexibility and provides a “digital concierge” to offer assistance as needed.

Investors Bank President & COO Domenick Cama credited the Newsweek recognition to the dedication and commitment of Investors Bank’s employees. “This recognition is a testament to the conscientious and diligent work of our employees,” said Cama. “They meet and exceed expectations by actively listening to our customers every day, not just in the branches or in their offices, but side-by-side as they work in the communities with businesses and nonprofits. They understand that each customer is an individual with specific needs.”
Cama said the recognition from Newsweek is also an affirmation of Investors’ commitment to providing superior products and services with each customer engagement. “We want our customers to know we hear and understand their needs,” said Cama.

Columbia Bank Hosts 32nd Annual Charity Golf Classic

Columbia Bank’s Thirty Second Annual Charity Golf Classic raised $85,000 to benefit Spectrum for Living, an organization dedicated to the philosophy that persons with developmental disabilities have the same rights as others to a fulfilling and meaningful life. Today, Spectrum for Living operates 28 sites in three New Jersey counties, serving upwards of 800 people. Nearly 140 golfers took part in this annual charitable fund raiser.

Shown taking part in a special check presentation at the event are (from left) Frank Recine, Board Member, Spectrum for Living, Bill Schuldt: Vice President of Operations, Spectrum for Living, Randy Csik, Board Member, Spectrum for Living, Christopher Perry, President & CEO of Spectrum for Living, Thomas J. Kemly, President and CEO of Columbia Bank, Allyson Schlesinger, EVP Head of Consumer Banking, Steve Vahalla, Director of Development & Recreational Services, Spectrum for Living and Steve Torrico, Board Member, Spectrum for Living.

Unity Bank Donates $5,000 to Housing Authority of Plainfield

Unity Bank has donated $5,000 to the Housing Authority of Plainfield (HAP) to support activities associated with affordable housing; and economic revitalization of low or moderate-income areas within the community. “Unity Bank is committed to assisting organizations who provide vital services in the community,” said Unity Bank President & CEO James A. Hughes. “We are pleased to be able to support the housing authority during these challenging times because its services are more important than ever.” Pictured (from left) are Randall Wood, HAP Executive Director; Paige Burwell, Unity Bank Area Manager; Chris Bono, Unity Bank Commercial Loan Officer; and Lewis Hurd, HAP Director of Finance.


Peapack-Gladstone Bank Helps Stock New Jersey Food Banks
As the fight against the coronavirus continues, Peapack-Gladstone Bank has focused on its unwavering support of nonprofits, local organizations and food banks through monetary donations, volunteer engagement and community service.  Ensuring food security within the Garden State is taking on increased urgency, especially amongst individuals and families whose finances have been impacted by COVID-19, struggling to make ends meet.  

Throughout the years, Peapack-Gladstone Bank’s community service and support have made an impact in improving the lives of countless individuals in New Jersey, and this summer is no exception.  In this time of uncertainty, New Jersey’s food banks are seeing a record increase in the number of people in need of help. 

Hence, the Bank has stepped up its efforts in providing support to America’s Grow-a-Row based in Pittstown, New Jersey who grows and delivers fresh fruit and vegetables where it is needed most.  By delivering fresh, healthy produce to New Jersey food banks and countless financially deprived individuals in impoverished areas, America’s Grow-a-Row has made an impact in alleviating food insecurity within the Garden State, protecting low-income individuals and their families from hunger and related illness.

Peapack-Gladstone Bank will continue its ongoing support to the growing needs of the communities we serve and is committed to making a real, tangible difference in the lives of New Jersey’s residents, ensuring everyone has the food they need during this difficult time.

Peapack-Gladstone Bank Employees harvest corn at the America’s Grow-a-Row farm in Pittstown, NJ.


Unity Bank’s 14th Annual Classic Car Show Benefitting Family Promise Will Be Virtual in 2020
Unity Bank is seeking sponsors and classic car owners for the 14th Annual Cruisin’ Bob’s Classic Car Show, which for the last 13 years has been held at the bank’s Clinton headquarters, but will be virtual this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. All proceeds from the car show will benefit Family Promise of Hunterdon County and Family Promise of Warren County.

Unity Bank is the Only NJ Bank to be Named One of the 2020 Best Places to Work in New Jersey

Unity Bank has been named one of the 2020 Best Places to Work in New Jersey – the only bank in New Jersey to make the prestigious list. It is the fourth year in a row that Unity has been honored by the survey and awards program, which identifies, recognizes and honors the top places of employment in New Jersey that benefit the state's economy, workforce and businesses.

To qualify, companies had to fulfill the following eligibility requirements:
At least 15 employees working in New Jersey
Be a for-profit, not-for-profit or government entity
Be a publicly or privately held business
A facility in New Jersey
A minimum of 1 year in business

“It is an honor to be named one of the Best Places to Work in New Jersey for the fourth year in a row and, particularly inspiring this year, as we are the only New Jersey bank to earn the honor,” said Unity Bank President & CEO James A. Hughes. “The recognition is a testament to our employees because they are what makes Unity Bank a special place to work. Our employees are genuinely committed to providing customers with a personalized banking experience. Our bank management team in turn works to find new and innovative ways to recognize our employees for their dedication and to make the bank a special place to work.”

Companies from across the state entered the two-part process to determine the 100 Best Places to Work in New Jersey. The overall registration and survey process were managed by Best Companies Group (BCG). BCG also analyzed the data provided and used their expertise to determine the final rankings.

The awards program, created in 2005, is produced by NJBIZ. The Best Places to Work in New Jersey awards reception and ceremony will be held on Tuesday, April 21st from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at iPlay America’s Event Center in Freehold. 

During the awards ceremony, each company’s ranking will be revealed live on the big screen. Guests are invited to access the amusement park to enjoy rides, games and dessert when the program ends. 

For more information on the Best Places to Work in New Jersey program or to reserve your seats to the event, please visit www.njbiz.com/events

Lakeland Bank and Hackensack Meridian Health Sponsor Opioid Education Program for Teens
Collaboration with the FBI-Newark Division, FBI Newark Citizens Academy Alumni Association, and bergenPAC uses music and experts to raise awareness of opioid addiction crisis

Lakeland Bank and Hackensack Meridian Health are sponsoring valuable opioid education for teenagers this school year in collaboration with the FBI-Newark Division, FBI Newark Citizens Academy Alumni Association, and bergenPAC. The program will be presented to New Jersey middle and high school students in an effort to combat the growing prescription drug and heroin abuse epidemic. It involves interactive presentations, musical performances, and a screening of the documentary Chasing the Dragon: The Life of an Opiate Addict which was produced by the FBI and the DEA.

Hackensack University Medical Center has been on the forefront of combating the opioid epidemic.  Michael A. Kelly, M.D., chair, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine and chair, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Hackensack University Medical Center, has led national discussions and lectured across the country about the need to minimize the use of opioids. Hackensack University Medical Center has been limiting the use of opioids by offering patients a personalized pain management program, replacing intravenous opioids with a multimodal approach, using several non-opioid agents before, during and after surgery.

Program Overview
This assembly program is built around the Chasing the Dragon: The Life of an Opiate Addict documentary and has been presented to an estimated 1,500 students with the goal to reach as many students as possible throughout New Jersey. A unique aspect of the program is that it opens with an interactive rap performance by Derick Cross aka D. Cross who also paints a Chasing the Dragon banner for the schools to display. During the assembly, FBI and Hackensack University Medical Center representatives with first-hand knowledge of the epidemic share their insights about the crisis and provide information on how to prevent addiction. 

Program History
The collaborative effort was established in 2018 after the idea for an educational program to address drug addiction awareness for the youth in the community was proposed by staff at bergenPAC. The goal was to use performing arts and interactive assemblies to deliver lessons on character-building and good decision-making. As community ambassadors for the FBI, members of the FBI Newark Citizens Academy Alumni Association were instrumental in bringing the FBI into the partnership.

Recent Presentations:
Janis E. Dismus Middle, Englewood: Oct. 23
Dwight Morrow High School, Englewood: Oct. 30
Thomas Jefferson Middle School, Teaneck: Jan. 8

Upcoming Presentations:
Washington Park School, Totowa: May 14
Carl W. Goetz Middle School, Jackson Township: Date TBA
McAuliffe Middle School, Jackson Township: Date TBA
Classical Academy Charter School of Clifton: Date TBA

Photo courtesy Lakeland Bank:

Sue Scimone-Bellini and DawnMarie Montgomery of Lakeland Bank presented a Community Impact Grant to bergenPAC for the 2019/2020 Chasing the Dragon: Raising Awareness of Opioid Addiction education program. bergenPAC associates Devin Cohan, Becky Serico, Dominic Roncace (l to r), Edie Peters Liguori (center) of the FBI Newark Citizens Academy Alumni Association and Alexander Diaz of bergenPAC (right) joined the presentation.

Photo courtesy Hackensack Meridian Health: 

Dr. Michael Kelly, top right, and Derick Cross aka D. Cross get together with students after a presentation of Chasing the Dragon. 

MagyarBank Charitable Foundation awards $23,950 to several Central New Jersey non-profit organizations

The MagyarBank Charitable Foundation recently awarded $23,950 in grants to nine non-profit organizations from the Central New Jersey region.  The Foundation distributed these awards based on applications submitted by each organization and how their program addressed the Foundation’s objective of providing financial support to non-profits that focus on improving the quality of life for residents in Central Jersey.  The Foundation provides grants to programs supporting education, affordable housing, youth programs and health and human services.
The following organizations received an award from the MagyarBank Charitable Foundation:

10 Hairy Legs, Highland Park, NJ - $1,500 awarded to expand an educational initiative within the New Brunswick school district. 

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Monmouth & Middlesex Counties, Asbury Park, NJ - $1,000 awarded in support of Community Based & Workplace Mentoring programs.

Caritas Program at Holy Family Parish - New Brunswick, NJ - $2,000 awarded to help offset the costs of hosting a Farmer’s Market in New Brunswick, during June 2020, July 2020, and August 2020, and to provide vouchers for produce purchase.

Central Jersey Housing Resource Center - Raritan, NJ - $5,000 grant awarded to fund housing counseling.

Childhood Leukemia Foundation, Brick, NJ - $2,450 to support Wish Basket program at St, Peter’s University Hospital in New Brunswick.

New Brunswick Education Foundation, New Brunswick, NJ - $2,000 awarded to fund Teacher Grants for Excellence Program.

New Brunswick Health Science and Technology High School, New Brunswick, NJ - $5,000 awarded to provide two $2,5000 scholarships to Class of 2020 graduating Seniors.

State Theatre Regional Arts Center at New Brunswick, New Brunswick, NJ - $2,500 awarded to support the 2019-2020 Arts Education Programs

Town Clock CDC, New Brunswick, NJ - $2,500 awarded to support on-site therapeutic counseling services for residents

To apply for a grant, applicants are asked to visit www.magbank.com to download an application.   Applications with supporting documentation should be sent to MagyarBank Charitable Foundation, c/o Magyar Bank, 400 Somerset St., New Brunswick, NJ 08901, and Attention Jay Castillo.  For more information about the MagyarBank Charitable Foundation, call Frank Lankey at 732-342-7600, ext. 111 or visit www.magbank.com.

Magyar Bank President & CEO, John Fitzgerald (center, holding the check) is joined by representatives of the non-profit organizations that received grants from the MagyarBank Charitable Foundation. 

Columbia Bank Volunteers
Complete Phoenix Center Project

Volunteer Efforts Helps Nutley Special Needs School

This volunteer crew of Columbia Bank employees recently painted hallways at the Phoenix Center, a Nutley-based school that provides educational and therapeutic services to children with disabilities from eight New Jersey Counties.  All labor and materials was donated by Columbia Bank.

In addition to their volunteer efforts, the bank, through their Columbia Bank Foundation, has also issued grants that have funded the school’s outdoor basketball court; completely renovated of several life skills classrooms, and converted unused outdoor space into an interactive, learning garden and horticulture therapy workshop.

Team Columbia annually achieves nearly 100% employee participation in these types of community-sponsored events.  

Family Promise of Gloucester County
Is the Latest Columbia Bank Foundation Grant Recipient 
Grant Funds School Transportation Program

Family Promise of Gloucester County has received a $15,000 grant from the Columbia Bank Foundation to help fund their School Transportation Program. Family Promise provides homeless families an opportunity to achieve stability with shelter, food and case management resource support. With this grant, Family Promise can now provide direct transportation for their sheltered children, without having to pay for a local bus company to do so.

Pictured in a special check presentation are (from left) Robert Cleveland, Branch Manager of Columbia Bank’s West Deptford and Voorhees offices, Reverend Bob Fitzpatrick, Kristy Kazelskis, Treasurer of Family Promise and Dr. Tom Powers, who provides assistance through the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.    


Magyar Bank Earns Fifth Consecutive “Outstanding” Rating From FDIC

Magyar Bank announced today that the bank has earned the FDIC’s coveted top rating – “Outstanding” – for its compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) for the fifth consecutive time. The CRA is a 1977 federal law intended to encourage insured banks to meet local credit needs, consistent with safe and sound operations.  Over the years, this FDIC rating has also commonly been considered a benchmark for a bank’s level of care and concern for the communities it serves.

Unity Bank Donates $2,000 to Bound Brook Fire Victims Fund

Unity Bank has donated $2,000 to the Bound Brook School District to support victims of the massive downtown fire that impacted borough residents in early January. Pictured during the check presentation are (from left):  Mark Gigallon, Unity Bank Middlesex Relationship Manager; Beth Fischer, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, Bound Brook School District; and Julia Homann, Unity Bank Linden Relationship Manager. “It is our privilege to support the Bound Brook School District’s efforts to help the many families affected by the fire,” said Unity Bank President & CEO James A. Hughes. “It is inspiring to see the community come together to support those in need, particularly during these types of events. We hope our gift assists Bound Brook families during this difficult time.”


SB One Bank has announced its new Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Daisy Ortiz Berger. Berger is responsible for the Bank’s overall marketing and communication strategy and supporting its growth in the region.

First National Bank of Elmer Hosts Delegation of Bankers from Japan!
The First National Bank of Elmer had the pleasure of hosting 24 community bank executives from Japan on Wednesday, October 9, 2019, prior to them visiting Philadelphia and New York City.

Brian W. Jones, President/CEO of The First National Bank of Elmer and his executive management team conducted a roundtable forum discussing all aspects of community banking and how such integrates into the current banking environment.

“It is always a pleasure to welcome our friends from Japan!  Our discussions revolving around community banking are always quite interesting and informative”, Jones said.

Joining Jones from The First National Bank of Elmer were Robert Bender, SVP/Chief Lending Officer, Matthew Swift, SVP/Chief Financial Officer, and Joanna Penman, SVP/Chief Banking Officer.

Each bank that attended were members of the National Association of Shinkin Banks.  This banking system is made up of cooperative regional financial institutions and serves small and medium sized businesses and residents.  The Shinkin bank system was formed in the early 1950’s and currently has 257-member banks with over 7,300 locations across Japan with over $1.5 trillion of assets, in US dollars.

Lakeland Bank Awards $20,000 Grant to Housing Partnership

Lakeland Bank has awarded a Housing Impact Grant of $20,000 to the Housing Partnership in Dover, N.J. The goal of the Bank’s grant program is to address specific community-focused initiatives and invest in eligible high-performing non-profit organizations that make a strong and lasting impact on our communities.

“Our goal is to help those non-profit organizations whose primary mission is to provide housing related services to low and moderate income families within the Bank’s assessment areas,” said Ellen Lalwani, Chief Retail Officer, Lakeland Bank. “And the Housing Partnership plays a crucial role in providing a pathway for people in the community to purchase a home.”

Lakeland Bank has partnered with the Housing Partnership for many years providing funding as well as  colleague volunteers to teach workshops and serve on the organization’s board of trustees. This grant will provide the funding that the Housing Partnership needs to continue its Individual Development Account (IDA) Matched Savings Program, a systematic matched savings club for income eligible households who are two or more years away from homeownership and are working on debt and credit issues. Visit the Housing Partnership website for more information.

“The Housing Partnership is honored to be selected to receive the grant for $20,000 to support our future home buyers who participate in the IDA program,” said Jessica Padilla Gonzalez, Executive Director, Housing Partnership NeighborWorks HomeOwnership Center. “This funding is a key part to helping our working families in reaching their goals of homeownership!”

Lakeland Bank Awards $10,000 Grant to Oasis—A Haven for Women and Children

Lakeland Bank recently presented a $10,000 Community Impact Grant to Oasis--A Haven for Women and Children in Paterson, N.J. This is the second consecutive year the Bank provided a grant to fund the education and development programs at the nonprofit.

“Oasis plays a critical role in helping women and children in need obtain the skillsets required to move out of poverty,” said Ellen Lalwani, Chief Retail Officer, Lakeland Bank. “The Bank believes strongly in the Oasis mission and we are pleased to continue our support of the comprehensive education and development programs that this nonprofit provides in the Paterson community.”

“Lakeland Bank’s commitment to Oasis and to the women and children we work with serves as a model of corporate citizenry,” said Jennifer Brady, Executive Director, Oasis--A Haven for Women and Children. “Our mission to help women and children rise out of poverty and achieve self-sufficiency is buoyed by Lakeland’s support, and we are both proud and honored to call Lakeland Bank a partner.”

The mission of Oasis is to break the cycle of poverty through compassionate programs designed to feed, clothe, educate, and empower women and children in need. In addition to social service and youth development programs, Oasis provides educational opportunities to over 400 women annually. Students enroll in year-long courses in English as a second language as well as classes for GED preparation, computers, and workplace readiness. They also offer certificate programs such as the customer service certificate from the National Retail Federation, bank teller certificate through the American Banker Association, and the Servsafe® certificate from the National Restaurant Association. Visit oasisnj.org to learn more.

Amboy Bankers Volunteer at Eva’s Village

As Eva’s Village volunteers, Amboy Bank employees helped to prepare the Community Kitchen, serve lunch, and cleanup after meal service. The mission of Eva’s Village is to provide care and support for people who are struggling with poverty, hunger, homelessness and addiction. Their community of supportive services, based in Paterson, includes food, shelter, addiction and mental health treatment, childcare, job training, medical and dental care, and housing.

“Eva’s Village is truly making a difference in the society and in the lives of the people they serve. We believe in their mission to help everyone who comes to them for help with a comprehensive and individualized approach. They address both basic needs, like food and shelter, as well as more complex issues, such as mental health and homelessness. We commend their kindness and compassion, and we are proud to support their mission,” said Greg Scharpf, Amboy Bank President and CEO.

Pictured from left to right: Luc D’Andrea, Ellen Simons, Robin Granger, Cheryl Bonczek, Kay Warren, Marie Caliendo of Eva’s Village, Teresa Gilligan, Sylvia Rapoport, Jose Rodrigues, Eileen Roemer and Harry Deerfield.

NVE Bank Launches Thanksgiving Food Drive
NVE Bank has launched a bank-wide Thanksgiving food drive to benefit the families who rely upon the St. Cecilia Office of Concern Food Pantry.  Staffed completely by volunteers, the Office of Concern Food Pantry located at 55 West Demarest Avenue in Englewood, supplies weekly groceries to over 900 families in Englewood and surrounding communities and is the largest single location food pantry in Bergen County.   NVE is asking for donations of non-perishable food items such as canned fruits and vegetables, pasta, breakfast cereals, cranberry sauce and stuffing.  Food donations will be accepted through Tuesday, November 19, 2019 at all NVE’s 11 branches located throughout Bergen County.

“As a Mutual Bank, NVE has deep roots within the towns we serve and is committed to ensuring that our communities remain healthy and strong”, commented Robert Rey, President and CEO of NVE Bank.   “Through our Food Drive, we hope to make Thanksgiving a little brighter for our neighbors in need”.

Peapack-Gladstone Bank Recognized by CIANJ for Best Practices

Peapack-Gladstone Bank was recognized at the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey (CIANJ) and COMMERCE Magazine 6th Annual Best Practices Conference.  More than 150 business leaders from every industry sector, as well as representatives from the higher education community, participated in the event, which was designed to encourage CEO’s and other executives to share their best practices – innovative approaches to solving business challenges.

Two River Bancorp Selected for the Sandler O’Neill Sm-All Stars Class of 2019
Two River Bancorp (Nasdaq: TRCB) (the "Company"), the parent company of Two River Community Bank ("the Bank"), today announced that is has been selected for the Sandler O’Neill Sm-All Stars Class of 2019. Two River Bancorp is one of 30 publicly traded banks and thrifts in the country to be chosen as an Sm-All Star among 394 eligible depository institutions with market capitalization below $2.5 billion.

Unity Bank Selected for the Sandler O'Neill Sm-All Stars Class of 2019
For the second year in a row, Unity Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: UNTY), the parent company of Unity Bank, has been named to the Sandler O'Neill Sm-All Stars Class of 2019. Unity was one of only 30 publicly traded banks and thrifts – and one of only five banks headquartered in New Jersey – to be recognized.

Columbia Bank Foundation Supports Special Projects for Special Children Inc.

The Columbia Bank Foundation recently issued a $7,000 grant to Special Projects for Special Children Inc., based in Old Bridge.  The grant, part of the Foundation’s current initiative to partner with local communities and Boards of Education within the Bank’s service area, will benefit the organization’s Camp ROBIN program, a camp that grants individuals with disabilities experiential and educational opportunities. The grant will fund a technology upgrade to the camp’s systems, including new computers, cabling, iPads, and infrastructure.

Columbia Bank Foundation Supports Old Bridge Education Foundation 

The Columbia Bank Foundation recently issued a $13,000 grant to the Old Bridge Education Foundation.  The grant, part of the Foundation’s current initiative to partner with local communities and Boards of Education within the Bank’s service area, will benefit the Silver Linings Senior Program, with upgraded software and scanning systems, as well as a vegetable garden that local senior citizens and high school students will work on together. 

Columbia Bank Hosts 31st Annual Charity Golf Classic

Columbia Bank is pleased to announce that their Thirty-First Annual Charity Golf Classic at North Jersey Country Club in Wayne raised $100,000 for the benefit of Strengthen Our Sisters a local non-profit program serving homeless/battered women and children.  Nearly 150 golfers took part in this annual charitable fund raiser.  

Columbia Bank Foundation Grant Funds Renovation of A.D.O.P.T. Animal Shelter

Animal Dignity Organization of Pequannock Township has received a $60,000 grant from the Columbia Bank Foundation to renovate their animal shelter. The grant will provide much needed facility upgrades including a new ecofriendly HVAC system, office improvements and a new exercise yard with synthetic turf. 

Columbia Bank Foundation Supports Medford Police Department

The Columbia Bank Foundation recently issued a $3,889 grant through the Medford Historical Society to the Medford Police Department.  The grant, part of the Foundation’s current initiative to partner with local communities and Boards of Education within the Bank’s service area, was used to purchase a new metal detector that will provide added security for those attending the municipal court.

Riker Danzig Partner Joseph L. Schwartz Serving on Corporate Advisory Council of Homeless Solutions
Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland & Perretti LLP is pleased to announce that Partner Joseph L. Schwartz has agreed to serve on the Corporate Advisory Council of Homeless Solutions, effective September 3, 2019.
Homeless Solutions offers shelter, services and supportive housing to the homeless and working poor in Morris County through outreach services, a Safe Haven Program for the mentally ill homeless, and a Family Transitional Housing Program.  The purpose of the Corporate Advisory Council is to increase the visibility of Homeless Solutions and its mission among the local corporate and business community, promoting opportunities for partnering and employee volunteer/team building experiences.   
Schwartz is the Chair of Riker Danzig’s Bankruptcy Group and focuses his practice on commercial bankruptcy and state court insolvency matters, including corporate restructurings and reorganizations. In addition to his role on the Corporate Advisory Council of Homeless Solutions, Schwartz is the Director of Membership for the New Jersey Turnaround Management Association, and also serves on the Turnaround Management Association’s Global Membership Council, which addresses membership goals and strategies for TMA on a global basis.  He is a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute and various other insolvency-related associations.  In addition, Schwartz serves on the New Jersey Supreme Court District V-C Ethics Committee (western Essex County).  

Riker Danzig and Grow It Green Team Up for a Volunteer Day at The Urban Farm
The Morristown-based law firm Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland & Perretti LLP teamed up with Grow it Green Morristown for a volunteer event at the Urban Farm on September 10, 2019.  Riker Danzig employees were given the afternoon off to assist with preparations for the fall growing season.  The Urban Farm is New Jersey’s largest public school garden, and is managed by a small staff, part-time interns and community volunteers.  
Riker Danzig partner Jeffrey M. Beyer, an insurance litigator and Board Member of Grow it Green Morristown, coordinated the volunteer day at the Urban Farm in Morristown. 
A group of 12 Riker Danzig volunteers comprised of attorneys, paralegals and administrative staff weeded and cleared garden beds and compost, weighed and bundled fresh radishes, harvested hops, and even fed the chickens, all under the direction of Grow It Green’s Director of Agriculture and Education, Shaun Ananko, and Assistant Farmer, Megan Phelan, otherwise known as “Farmer Shaun” and “Farmer Megan.” 

Columbia Bank Foundation Supports West Deptford Police Department

September 16, 2019 The Columbia Bank Foundation recently issued a $21,088 grant through the 4 Heroes Charity Inc. to the West Deptford Police Department.  The grant, part of the Foundation’s current initiative to partner with local communities and Boards of Education within the Bank’s service area, was used to purchase a new All-Terrain Vehicle and a new K-9 vest for the department’s newest K-9 addition. Currently, 90% of the K-9 unit’s budget is raised by officers themselves.