2018 South Jerseyan of the Year Award Winners Announced by Senator Walter Rand Institute at Rutgers–Camden

By Mike Sepanic

Three prominent southern New Jersey citizens have been named as recipients of the 2018 South Jerseyan of the Year award from the Senator Walter Rand Institute (WRI) for Public Affairs at Rutgers University–Camden for their leadership contributions to the region.

The 17th annual Senator Walter and Leah Rand South Jerseyan of the Year award winners are James J. Florio, former governor of the State of New Jersey; Jack Tarditi, managing director of Conner Strong & Buckelew and former mayor of Haddonfield; and Robin B. Weinstein, founder and president of the M25 Initiative.

According to Darren Spielman, 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, policymakers, and the resources of Rutgers–Camden to advance these goals.”

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

Daniel Dalton and James J. Florio

Governor James J. Florio, right, with former N.J. State Senator Daniel Dalton

Florio served as the 49th governor of the State of New Jersey from 1990 to 1994. During that time, he advanced significant pieces of legislation and policy to support the citizens of New Jersey, including the nation’s toughest assault weapons ban, the Clean Water Enforcement Act, and the Quality Education Act, and sponsored the Access to the Regions Core Program for mass transit. He previously served as a U.S. representative for New Jersey’s First Congressional District; while in Congress, he authored the “Superfund” law, engaged in virtually every major piece of federal environmental legislation, cosponsored the Exon-Florio Amendment, and served on the U. S. Secretary of Energy’s Advisory Board.

Currently, Florio is a founding partner of the Phillipsburg-based law firm Florio Perrucci Steinhardt & Cappelli, where he chairs the firm’s energy, environmental law, government and regulatory affairs, and health-care law groups. He is a senior fellow at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. He has served as chair of the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York and of the New Jersey Pinelands Commission.

Jim Kehoe and Jack Tarditi

Jack Tarditi, right, with Jim Kehoe, president of Tonio Burgos and Associates

For more than 40 years, Tarditi has held leadership roles within the insurance industry. He currently is managing director of Conner Strong & Buckelew, which is headquartered in Marlton. He previously served as president of Associated Insurance Management, where he was a principal shareholder for over 20 years, and was a corporate officer with Penn Mutual Life Insurance in Philadelphia, where he held the positions of assistant controller and director of special markets.

A current and longtime resident of Haddonfield, Tarditi served as that borough’s mayor and director of public safety for 16 years while serving as borough commissioner for 23 years. He is a former president of the Camden County Mayor’s Association and the New Jersey Conference of Mayors, and chaired the New Jersey State League of Municipalities School Funding Task Force. He serves on the board of the Cooper Foundation, the Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Camden, Symphony in C, the South Jersey Community Foundation, Camden Schools Foundation, the Haddonfield Educational Trust, and the Haddonfield Cultural Events Commission.

Robin Weinstein and Albert Kelly

Robin Weinstein, left, with Bridgeton Mayor Albert Kelly

As founder and president of the M25 Initiative in Bridgeton, Weinstein seeks to end homelessness and poverty, reduce crime, and revitalize community spirit in Cumberland County. Named by The Press of Atlantic City as one of the “Movers and Shakers of South Jersey in 2016” and one of the “17 to Watch in 2017,” Weinstein is an associate professor of business at Wilmington University, where he chairs the human resource studies program. He is the co-founder of the Cumberland County Code Blue Coalition and serves as the convener of the Cumberland County Housing First Collaborative, which addresses the plight of homelessness through community engagement, grassroots activism, and innovative partnerships.

A resident of Upper Deerfield Township, Weinstein is an ordained minister and serves as the founding pastor of Bethany Grace Community Church in Bridgeton. He is the recipient of the Cumberland County Hometown Heroes Award, the 2017 Golden Book of Deeds Award by the Bridgeton Exchange Club, the Greater Bridgeton Rotary Service Above Self Award, the Cumberland County Bar Association Liberty Bell Award, and the Bridgeton Area Chamber of Commerce’s Gary Simmerman Community Leadership Award.


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