The Greater Pascack Valley Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Award recognition spotlights individuals who have given back to our community and helped make the Pascack Valley a better place to live and work. Our honorees for this year are the Hodges Family (Kathryn Hodges, JayMee Hodges, Cheryl Hodges, Jim Hodges, Beau Hodges, Amy Delentash, and Lori Schager) and Jeanne Martin, Pascack Valley Meals on Wheels. They will be honored during the Chamber’s “Citizen of the Year” Award Dinner at Seasons Catering in Washington Township on Tuesday evening May 5th.
Skip Kelley, Vice President of the Chamber and prior Honoree of the award spoke of the Hodges Family; “It’s rare to have such a special family that has demonstrated an intergenerational dedication to their Community and beyond, in so many ways.”
Honoree: The Hodges Family
JayMee Hodges has served on the Westwood Planning Board for 23 years, the Westwood Volunteer Fire Dept. for 41 years, serving as Chief in 1984 and again in 2012-2013, and he served on the Bergen County Fire Academy Training Board for 11 years.
JayMee’s wife Cheryl has been a member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Westwood Volunteer Fire Dept. for 15 years, very active in the Zion Lutheran Ministries for several years, and along with the rest of the family, devotes a tremendous amount of time to the Sgt. Christopher Hrbek Memorial Scholarship Fund in honor of her son, a United States Marine, who was killed in action while serving in Afghanistan. Chris also was a member of the Westwood Fire Dept. Chris Hrbek’s sisters, Amy Delentash and Lori Schager have been very involved the Scholarship Fund named for their brother.
JayMee’s sons, Jim and Beau have both done their part, not only as members of the Westwood Fire Dept., but both are professional firefighters with the FDNY.
JayMee’s father Donald Hodges, who recently passed away, had been an active member of the Order of Masons for 67 years, served as the State Chaplain of the Masons, Church Elder at Zion Lutheran for many years, and a member of the Westwood Fire Dept. for 66 years, and several years ago he was named an Honorary Chief.
Don Hodges’s wife Kathryn, better known as “Kay,” was an active member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Westwood Fire Dept. for decades, member of the Order of Eastern Star, Emerson’s Board of Health Nurse for 49 years and counting, and a Westwood Poll Worker for 52 years and counting.
“This only touches the tip of the iceberg in how much this family has given to the community and country.” noted Skip.
Honoree: Jeanne Martin
Our honoree, Jeanne Martin, has been the Director for Pascack Valley Meals on Wheels for over a decade. It is clear she has gone above and beyond her functional role; her impact in the community has been felt deeply within the Pascack Valley well as throughout the greater region.
Jeanne has developed an on-going supportive relationship with many of the mayors of the 29 towns PVMOW services through her “Mayors for Meals” initiative. She has created close working ties with area hospitals, colleges and social workers who are providing her clients with invaluable services they might not have received without her unusual innovation and personal intervention.
As a life-long resident of Bergen County with family roots going back to the 1600’s, she has continued to take meaningful leadership roles in her community which include founding member of the Rotary Club of Greater Westwood and founding board of NJ Recovery Advocates. Jeanne is an active leader in her church community; having served as Moderator, Head Deacon, Department of Missions and Christian Education for the Haworth Congregational Church.
Jeanne Martin commented, “I’m very touched and a little embarrassed by this honor, but I am thrilled that it will give me an opportunity to highlight two issues that I am passionate about: Caring for our Elders and Addiction Recovery. I am very grateful to the Greater Pascack Valley Chamber for that!”
Lisa Gladwell, a Board member of PVMOW noted that, “Jeanne is one of the most humble, kind and passionate people I have had the pleasure of knowing. She is a tireless trooper!”
Board President of PVMOW, Bob Dondero says, “Since Jeanne Martin was hired as our Director her personality has beamed out to help our seniors in Pascack Valley. Jeanne’s pro-active way of expanding the Meals on Wheels program has enhanced our ability to fulfill our Mission. Jeanne’s networking with many other social service organizations in our county, state & nationwide help P.V.M.O.W be in the forefront of feeding programs.”
Anna Lui, 2015 Chamber President said, “When I reached out to Jeanne to let her know we’ve chosen her for this award, she started offering to help with the event! I had to let her know firmly that we just want her to come and enjoy the evening. We want to thank her for all her service to the community.”
All net proceeds from the event will go to the charities selected by the honorees.
Awards Dinner Details:
The evening includes: a three-course dinner, complementary wine and champagne along with other non-alcoholic drinks. All net proceeds will go to charities selected by the honorees.
- Tuesday, May 5, 2015 from 6:00 PM to10:00 PM
- Seasons Catering, 644 Pascack Road, Washington Twp, NJ
- Ticket cost: only $75
Community Life of Pascack Valley is the Media Sponsor for this event.
About the Greater Pascack Valley Chamber of Commerce
The Greater Pascack Valley Chamber of Commerce (GPVCOC) was formed by several businessmen in the mid 1970’s not only to promote the businesses in the Pascack Valley, but also to engage in philanthropic activities throughout the 10 towns comprising the greater Pascack Valley. The GPVCOC’s is a non-profit 501(c)(6) organization. Its mission is to promote the business and community interests of the greater Pascack Valley including: Montvale, Park Ridge, Woodcliff Lake, Hillsdale, Westwood, River Vale, Washington Township, Oradell, Old Tappan and Emerson. More about the GPVCOC can be found online at: www.PascackChamber.org/about/.
President, Greater Pascack Valley Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 364
Westwood, NJ 07675-0364
Phone: (201) 666-0777