Salem County Chamber of Commerce
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FREE – January 21, 2021 at 8:30 am Via Zoom
Presented by Lisa Bien
The turning of a new year lets us reflect on the difficult year that ended, assess how we dealt with adversity, and resolve to do better.
The normal New Year’s resolutions—making new friends, paying off debts, losing weight—seem inadequate after a pandemic year that was like no other in our lifetimes.
So this year, let’s make collective resolutions that can help all of us bounce back from 2020, together, and make 2021 a better year for everyone.
Lisa Bien, author, motivational speaker and media personality will present some tips to help you be positive and constructive about the year that’s over, and carry positive behaviors into the new year to “bounce back” and create the best life for you and your loved ones.
FREE – January 29 at 12 Noon
“Becoming A Daring Leader” Lessons in Leadership Series
Sponsored by Atlantic City Electric
The Chamber’s Business Education Committee kicks off the 2021 Lessons in Leadership Series via Zoom.
Business leadership in southern NJ requires us to be brave in the face of uncertain economic trends, a workforce scarcity and unfunded mandates.
This discussion will be lead by Dave Bailey, Jr., now in his 16th year as CEO of Ranch Hope, Inc., a 56 year old non profit corporation with over 200 employees, headquartered in Salem County. This session will include a workbook.
Jeff Truax is a Salem County Hero
On the day New Jersey mandated a lock-down mode due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Jeff Truax sprang to action knowing that the Mid-Atlantic States Food Distribution Program would be an essential resource to thousands throughout South Jersey, and most particularly, in Salem County.
In early 2020, Mid-Atlantic States Career and Education Center under the leadership of Jeff, operated a food distribution program at its Training Center at 375 S. Broadway in Pennsville, once a week serving seniors and others lacking food security in Salem and Gloucester counties.
When the pandemic hit, Jeff responded quickly, beginning a daily food distribution immediately, leveraging our partners’ contributions with a few new resources to acquire literally tons of nutritious food on a weekly basis. Jeff redesigned the packaging and distribution process immediately to adhere to CDC Guidelines. He led the devoted staff and volunteers into a seemingly seamless transition from serving hundreds per week to thousands per week – all while maintaining the health and safety of everyone involved. Today, Mid-Atlantic States continues to provide food to more than a thousand families per week; sometimes the line for pickup at the Pennsville site has stretched for two miles. In July, Mid-Atlantic States’ Food Distribution Program has given away 268,400 pounds of food for 223,667 meals for 8,091 families.
Simultaneously to this expanded distribution, Mid-Atlantic was approached by the Veteran’s Hospital in Wilmington Delaware to provide food baskets to shut-in disabled veterans in several Southern New Jersey counties. Due to the nature of being isolated over long distances these baskets must be delivered directly to the door of the veterans. Rather than saying NO, our staff, once again under Jeff’s attentive guidance and leadership, sprang into action and we now deliver what we call “Meals of Honor” to more than 50 disabled veterans per week.
In addition, Salem County seniors who participated in the Salem County Office on Aging’s Congregate Nutrition Program administered by Mid-Atlantic States, were no longer able to gather, thus missing out on hot meals. Jeff worked out the logistics that now allow these seniors, who are most vulnerable to the virus, to receive food baskets delivered to their door on a regular basis.
While we commend and support all food pantries and distribution sites within Salem County which have stepped up to support the community, we believe that Jeff Truax deserves special accolades for going way above and beyond – working beyond 9 to 5 and many times dipping into his own pockets to provide needed food and supplies – to make sure the people of Salem County can put food on their family’s tables.
Jeff, supported by Mid-Atlantic States Career and Education Center, had the courage to immediately ramp up operations to giveaway enormous quantities of food, expanding from a few hundred pounds of food a week to tons of food a week without any guarantee of financial resources.
Most important of all is how Jeff leads the staff and volunteers – many times though extreme heat or pouring rain – to show great caring and empathy for people in need at significant personal cost and without reservation. He encourages them to give their best graciously and selflessly. Jeff’s infectious positive attitude is also a welcome relief for the many people receiving food. He’s not just handing them a bag of food; he’s giving them a smile, a bit of support, a ray of hope during this very trying time that our entire country is enduring.
Webster’s defines Heroes as having great courage in the face of adversity but here is more than courage involved. There is also empathy, caring, understanding, a big heart, perseverance, self-sacrifice, and a strong desire to overcome barriers that might stop meeting urgent needs. Jeff Truax has exhibited this definition in an amazing way, and as long as the need is there, Jeff will be there as well.
Jeff lives in Pennsville with his wife Michele and their two daughters Shelby and Kimberly.
When I saw the hero nominations Sally Maurer immediately came to mind. Sally is a visiting Nurse Practitioner with Phoenix Housecall Associates of South Jersey. Home-bound individuals throughout South Jersey rely on Sally to receive in home medical care. I know there are many Meals on Wheels clients who utilize the service Sally provides, which is how I was able to get to know her. The individuals Sally cares for often do not have others they can rely on and Sally steps in to be a source of reliability and trust. Through mutual clients and interactions I see just how much Sally cares for her patients.
During this time of quarantine and social distancing Sally is taking extra precautions to keep her home-bound clients and herself safe so that she can continue to visit them in their homes, where they feel safe.
It is not always easy to help care for those who are home-bound, especially if they have no other family to help them. For these individuals you become much more than just their medical provider. You become their friend, their therapist and sometimes their family. Sally has stepped-in and assumed the role of Emergency Contact for more than a few of the clients she cares for. Sally is an advocate for her clients and truly has earned and deserves the title of Salem County Hero.
Thank you! This was a great idea and I am so glad to be able to nominate this individual.
The Friends Village at Woodstown COVID-19 Response team is made up of administrators, directors, facility personnel, registered and licensed practical nurses, and certified nursing assistants who selflessly created a safe haven during one of the most challenging times in our organization’s history. The unexpected storm hit in early March when we were forced to suspend visitors and cancel resident activities. We had no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at that point, but this would not be the case for much longer. Knowing that the novel Coronavirus was on it is way to us, our team put a COVID-19 Response plan into motion, with guidance from the State of NJ Department of Health and Salem County local health officials.
Within thirteen days, this team converted our office and storage wing into a 12-bed COVID-19 isolation wing so that we could accommodate South Jersey seniors who were contracting the virus. We opened the doors of the isolation wing on April 15th and have been treating COVID patients ever since. A team of nurses, certified nursing assistants, and a member of our facility team volunteered to exclusively work with COVID-positive seniors, a noble act that reduced the chance of virus transmission to our other residents and staff members. These staff members have families and loved ones, which triggers fears of their own, yet they continue to help our patients who need their kindness as much as the critical medical care.
In addition to our COVID-19 Response medical team members, our administration has also been committed to the safety of every staff member as weekly COVID-19 testing was put into place in May. Every Monday, each staff member and resident is tested for COVID-19 to ensure the safety of all who are connected to Friends Village at Woodstown. This commitment comes at a high financial cost for a nonprofit that could never have predicted what 2020 has brought us.
I am nominating our entire COVID-19 Response Team as a Heart of Salem County Hero for their altruism that is enriching and saving lives during the most significant public health crisis of our time.
I am nominating this person due to the strength and loyalty she has shown during the Covid outbreak while serving her clients here in Salem County.
Cynthia Davis is a CNA employed through Bayada. She also has several clients through the state’s PPP program and self pay clients. She takes care of the physically disabled, the senior population as well as younger clients, also the mentally ill.
During the Covid outbreak her job took on many new roles, not expected or reimbursed for.
Some of her daily duties include helping her clients with daily living skills as well as light cleaning and food preparation.
With the new normal she now has taken on more in-depth of a role due to the lack of clients family members being available, such as: medication ordering, picking them up from the pharmacy, dispersing them in proper daily containers, grocery shopping, laundry, yard work, and using her own phone for tele-med conferences for her patients with their doctors.
Instead of going down the road as a lot of her co-workers did by quitting their jobs for the fear of getting Covid, not to mention they made more money staying home collecting the “new” unemployment rates brought on by the virus, Cyndi remained faithful to her clients. She quickly became their “family member”, not letting one of them want for anything!
Oh how I wish more of us had her attitude! Her job is not just a job, it’s a passion for helping those who can not help themselves.
While she is currently working full time, raising her own family at home, enjoying being a first time grandmother, she is pursuing a career as an RN and is currently enrolled in Salem Community College.
Her current clients will someday miss her ……… but her new patients will be blessed! Let’s keep her in Salem County!
Agencies have not begun accepting forgiveness applications for the PPP Loans, however, they released what the application will look like on Friday:
It follows the same basic requirements that they have been stating throughout the process. The loan funds must be used for payroll (25% of which can be used for approved non-payroll expenses) loan proceeds must be used within 8 weeks (56 days) beginning from the date funds were received. They will be doing employee headcounts, in an effort to enforce payroll restoration. If your employee headcount is reduced, so too will be the portion of the loan that can be forgiven.
Your Help Needed to contact Governor Murphy to express support to reopen ALL Salem County Businesses. For complete details, click on the link to view. Please SHARE with others in the business community: https://conta.cc/36aSmL0