The Bayonne Junior Chamber of Commerce completed its second successful year with its 2017 Awards Event, at which four Bayonne iconic businesses were named and one was given the top honor for the year.
The Bayonne Junior Chamber of Commerce is a partnership between the Bayonne Board of Education and Bayonne Chamber of Commerce. Committee members from the adult Bayonne Chamber of Commerce worked with the BBOE to provide growth opportunities for the more than two dozen students involved in the Junior Chamber.
“These students worked hard, all year long,” said Catherine Shull Fernald, Chief Operating Officer of CarePoint Health-Bayonne Medical Center and Junior Chamber Committee Chairperson. “They worked together as a team for group projects, and supported each other for individual workforce preparation projects.”
“They put their heart and soul into it every day,” said Matt Dorans, Bayonne Chamber of Commerce President.
Two major events highlighted the Junior Chamber’s year of activities. First, a resume and job application workshop was held in the winter at Bayonne High School, at which the students were readied for life after high school, whether it be in college or the work field.
Then, an Intern for a Day program was held. Seven local businesses hosted participating students at their headquarters and worksites, giving the students a leg up in understanding how the business world operates.
Those seven companies were McCabe Ambulance, CarePoint Health-Bayonne Medical Center, Bayonne Community Bank, Cape Liberty Cruise Port, The Hudson Reporter, Provident Bank and Angela’s Mum LLC Floral Designs.
The students also worked at the Bayonne Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Gala in late March in various capacities.
Additionally, the students were involved in polling Bayonne residents about who they thought were iconic Bayonne businesses, taking dozens of suggestions, paring that number down to four, and then selecting one for the Junior Chamber of Commerce 2017 Iconic Business Award, whose winner was revealed at the event.
Students gave presentations about each of the businesses and the presence each has had in Bayonne for years.
Hendrickson’s Corner, a staple in the city since the late 1800s and formerly the site of Bayonne’s city hall, was honored with the Iconic Business Award. The restaurant and bar has served Bayonne and out-of-town patrons for decades, and continues to be one of the city’s thriving businesses. Co-owner Robert O’Neill Jr. accepted the honor on Hendrickson’s behalf.
Other businesses making the “Final Four” were San Vito Pizzeria and Restaurant, Judicke’s Bakery and Pompei Pizza.
Bayonne Mayor James Davis and 31st District Assemblyman Nicholas Chiaravalloti were among the elected officials who attended the ceremony.
Bayonne Schools Superintendent Patricia McGeehan was among the BBOE officials representing the district.
“Thank you to the Chamber of Commerce for thinking about the children at Bayonne High School, for this is your future,” McGeehan said.
Bayonne High School business teachers Leigh Ann Schaefer and Irene Pyke are the student advisers for the program.
“The goal for the program is to offer additional learning opportunities for students outside of the classroom, exposing them to real-life business situations,” said Schaefer.
“We appreciate the help we received this year and look forward to the new partnerships we will make next year,” Pyke said.
The 2016-17 Junior Chamber consisted of Nourine Abdelaal, Nicholas Arce-Cox, Alicia Betancurth, Ashley Bishop, Ty’shauna Bishop, Talia Charles, Edward Collins, Victor Cotto, Faith Garcia, Mateo Garcia-Medina, Jonas Gomes, Labounna Gomes and Serina Gonzalez.
Also, Chelsea Lopez, Justin Medina, Melissa Mena, Isabella Molina, Jacklyn Modhu, Izabella Rodriguez, Nicolas Sadek, Melanie Samaan, Kristina Signoretta, Nada Wahba, Tysona White and Lianne Wilson.
The Junior Chamber Awards Event was held in the Bayonne High School Auditorium.
More than a dozen Bayonne Chamber of Commerce businesses and business owners were represented at the event, including the Chandelier Restaurant, Sonic Drive-In, Inline Air Conditioning Co. and Exit on the Hudson Realty.