2016 South Jerseyan of the Year Award Winners Announced by Rutgers University–Camden

Three prominent southern New Jersey citizens have been selected to receive the South Jerseyan of the Year Awards from the Senator Walter Rand Institute (WRI) for Public Affairs at Rutgers University–Camden for their leadership contributions to the region.

The awards will be presented during the 15th annual Walter and Leah Rand Awards and Scholarship Dinner, which will be held at the Campbell Soup Company’s global headquarters in Camden on Thursday, April 28.

The South Jerseyan of the Year Awards will be presented to Denise Morrison, president and CEO of the Campbell Soup Company; Assemblyman Louis Greenwald, who represents the Sixth Legislative District and serves as majority leader in the New Jersey General Assembly; and Donna Bennett, president and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cumberland and Salem Counties.

In keeping with the legacy of the late Senator Walter Rand and his wife, Leah, the event will applaud regional growth, service, and identity while also spotlighting scholarships at Rutgers–Camden.

According to Gwendolyn Harris, executive director of the Rand Institute at Rutgers–Camden, “It’s important for South Jersey to think and act regionally if we hope to balance our competing desires for growth with the preservation of the quality of life that makes South Jersey such an attractive place to live.  Through research and public service the Senator Walter Rand Institute seeks to bring together citizens, policy makers and the resources of Rutgers–Camden to advance these goals.”

The honorees are selected on the basis of their efforts to promote regional approaches to growth and exemplary service in the public, private, and non-profit sectors.

Morrison is the 2016 South Jersey of the Year Private Sector Honoree.  She became Campbell’s CEO in August 2011, after more than eight years at Campbell and more than 30 years in the food business, including senior leadership roles at Kraft Foods, Nabisco, Nestle, and Pepsi-Cola. She began her career at Procter & Gamble. Morrison is a founding member of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation and serves on the boards of MetLife, Inc., the Grocery Manufacturers Association, and Catalyst. She was named as a co-chair of the Consumer Goods Forum in 2015 and also serves on the organization’s board. Morrison was named to President Barack Obama’s Export Council in 2012. She regularly is named among the “most powerful women” by Fortune and Forbes.

Greenwald is the 2016 South Jersey of the Year Public Sector Honoree in recognition of his 20 years of service to New Jersey Sixth Legislative District, which includes municipalities in Burlington and Camden counties.  Since 1996, Greenwald has been a member of the New Jersey General Assembly, where he currently serves as majority leader.  He is a constant champion of legislation to create more and better jobs for middle-class families, to invest in science and technology, and to ensure that all New Jerseyans have access to quality, affordable health care. Greenwald was a sponsor of the New Jersey DREAM Act, enacted in 2013, which ensures all New Jersey students have the opportunity to access higher education and economic advancement. He has received the Legislator of the Year award from the Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey, the New Jersey Elected Official of the Year award from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Consortium, and the Standing Ovation Award from the South Jersey Cultural Alliance.

Bennett is the 2016 South Jersey of the Year Non-Profit Sector Honoree.  She became president and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cumberland and Salem Counties in 1992 after having served as a volunteer since 1986. During her tenure, the organization has experienced annual revenue and program growth; in 2015, Big Brothers Big Sisters served 387 children.  In 2004, Bennett received the Liberty Bell Award awarded by the Cumberland County Bar Association and, in 2008, received the CEO of the Year Award from  Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

The 15th annual Walter and Leah Rand Awards and Scholarship Dinner raises funds to support scholarships for Rutgers University–Camden students in public policy, law, and social sciences.  Additional information about the event is available at rand.camden.rutgers.edu.

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