Senator Loretta Weinberg, CEO Wendy Kelman Neu honored at annual Gala
River Vale, NJ - Hackensack Riverkeeper, the citizen-steward of the Hackensack River, held its annual fundraising gala this evening at the Estate at Florentine Gardens in River Vale, NJ.
The organization’s Trustees, staff and supporters we joined by elected officials as well as business, labor and environmental leaders to celebrate two outstanding honorees – a woman who has spent virtually her entire life in public service; and a forward-thinking corporation led by a singularly talented woman. Each was recognized for their leadership and inspiration to many. They are:
Senator Loretta Weinberg, New Jersey State Senate Majority Leader, D-37 - Excellence in Public Service Award
Senator Weinberg was recognized for being an environmental champion throughout her career – from environmental justice issues, to habitat protections, to public access and more – beginning with her election to the NJ Assembly in 1992. Elected to the state Senate in 2005, she is the current Senate Majority Leader and Co-chair of the Select Oversight Committee. Senator Weinberg has a lifetime 90% pro-environment voting record according to the NJ League of Conservation Voters.
Hugo Neu Corporation at Kearny Point, Wendy Kelman Neu, Chairman and CEO - Corporate Environmental Stewardship Award
Hugo Neu and its CEO are being recognized as a much-valued Community Partner of Hackensack Riverkeeper. Occupying the former site of Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Corporation, the company is currently engaged in a wide-ranging redevelopment of its 130-acre industrial park. Focusing on sustainability, storm resilience and incorporating LEED-certified practices, Ms. Neu and her team are setting a new, much-needed industry standard.
Among the dignitaries who attended the celebration (in addition to the honorees) were NJ Assembly members Holly Schepisi and Robert Auth (District 39); Montvale, NJ Mayor Mike Ghassali; Westwood, NJ Mayor John Birkner; and Woodcliff Lake, NJ Councilman Corrado Belgiovine. Other state, county and local officials were also in attendance to celebrate the awardees and support Hackensack Riverkeeper’s continuing mission to protect, preserve and restore the Hackensack River.
In addition to a live auction, silent auction, tricky tray and several raffles, the gala also included a special Fund The Mission presentation by Riverkeeper Program Director Captain Hugh Carola, Project Manager Jodi Jamieson and Paddling Centers Manager Russ Wilke. Each in turn made a personal appeal for additional funding to help cover costs of providing environmental education programming, replacing worn-out paddling gear, and maintaining Riverkeeper’s signature – and unique – Eco-Cruise program.
“Thanks to our honorees, sponsors and friends we are poised to close out 2019 on a high note,” said Hackensack Riverkeeper Captain Bill Sheehan. “Without them and everyone who stands with us financially and ethically, we wouldn’t be able to tackle the tough issues, bring ten thousand people to the water or haul tons of trash out of it each and every year. Bring on 2020!”
Once again, the celebration featured Special Guest Host Brian Thompson, New Jersey correspondent for NBC-4 New York.
Event sponsors included: A Self Storage of Little Ferry, American Dream, Atlantic Realty (Xchange at Secaucus), BCB Bank, Benzel Busch, Bergen County Utilities Authority, Beveridge & Diamond, Bohler Engineering, Edison Properties, Erika Muller Insurance, EZ Docks Unlimited, Hackensack Meridian Health, Haftek, Hilco Redevelopment Partners, Hugh Neu Kearny Point, Orange and Rockland Electric, Inserra Supermarkets, Inc., Parisian Beauty Academy, PSE&G, RCM Ceberio LLC, River Terminal Development, Samsung Electronics America, Signature Flight, Sorce Companies, SUEZ, Toufayan Bakery and United EVENTures.Founded in 1997 by Captain Bill Sheehan, Hackensack Riverkeeper employs a fourfold strategy of environmental action, advocacy, education and litigation in its mission to protect, preserve and restore the Hackensack River.