CRANFORD - After 20 years of Cranford Area Chamber of Commerce service, Dottie Baniewicz has officially retired as Executive Director, and was honored at the February 11 Cranford Township Committee meeting. 

"It's been my pleasure to organize the many events for the Chamber and the Township over the years," said Baniewicz. "Easter Bunny, street fairs, Santa's arrival, tree lighting, and many more. But events like these take more than one person. I would like to thank the Cranford Police Department, the Fire Department, TV35, the DPW, and all the wonderful individuals that work in this building. They never said no to me. No matter what I needed, they were always there, and they were always willing to support me."

Baniewicz has lived in Cranford for nearly 40 years and has contributed to the Cranford community with her many years of service with various organizations, including the Parent Teacher Associations at Walnut Avenue School and Livingston Avenue School, Hillside Avenue School, and Cranford High School. She also contributed to Project Home of Cranford for over 10 years and Cranford Family Care for over 15 years. 

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"The amount of care that she has given to Town Hall, to the businesses, and to the community at-large, it really goes without saying and it's unrivaled and will probably never be done again," said former Cranford Area Chamber of Commerce President Kurt Petschow, Jr. at the February 11 Township Committee Meeting. "She's probably one of the most natural, unspoken heroes that the town has ever known."

Taking over Baniewicz's Executive Director position is Gina Tipton who has served as a Board Member since 2009. She is also owner of Cranford.com and Cranford Web.

"This is an exciting time for the Cranford Area Chamber of Commerce," said Tipton. "It brings some new faces to our Board and it's also our 75th anniversary. Together, we will stay true to our original core ideals: serving our community by improving members’ success through marketing, networking, educational opportunities, and encouraging business & community development. Throughout 2020 we’ll be hosting a number of new and exciting events to celebrate our members and this momentous occasion. But our 75th anniversary isn’t just about celebrating the past; it’s about looking towards the future, it’s about reinvigorating our commitment to our community."

Along with a new Executive Director, former Cranford Mayor Andis Kalnins takes over as President of Cranford Area Chamber of Commerce. Tg Glazer last served in that role. 

Full List of 2020 Cranford Area Chamber of Commerce Board Members:

President: Andis Kalnins

Vice President: Jim Boyle

Treasurer: Mike Flynn

Secretary: Victor Liu

Executive Director: Gina Tipton

Board of Directors:

Brian Denny

Mark Dugan

Daniel Finestein

Jesse Hynes

Maryanna Kaplan

Mark Mayer

Christine McMullan

Timothy Pristas

Donna Slevin

John Weaver