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.