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.