BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Somerset County Business Partnership (SCBP) has selected Peg Wright, President/CEO of the Center for Great Expectations as the 70th Somerset County Citizen of the Year.

The Citizen of the Year award, given annually to Somerset County’s premier civic and business leader, is the county’s most prestigious individual award recognizing a single person for community and professional activities that have contributed to making Somerset County a special place.

The dinner honoring the Citizen of the Year continues the seven-decade long tradition of bringing the community together to honor an individual’s efforts in support of the County and provides the opportunity to reflect on Somerset County’s rich history and the people who have provided the leadership that has contributed to that success.

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Wright will be honored on Thursday, April 30th, beginning at 5 p.m. at the Bridgewater Marriott, 700 Commons Way.

Past recipients are individuals who have dedicated their personal lives to contributing to Somerset County’s widely recognized reputation as one of New Jersey’s best places to live, work, visit, and play.

Wright is being recognized for her 22-year effort building the Center for Great Expectations, a non-profit that serves homeless pregnant and/or parenting women & adolescents, men, and their children.  Under her leadership the CGE has created a safe place, safe presence, and safe path, enabling clients to experience, choose and maintain physical, psychological, social and spiritual health for themselves, their children and families.

She started CGE in 1998 in a house in Somerville providing services to 12 expectant mothers annually. Ten years later CGE built 2 residential facilities in Somerset, one for adults and their children needing long-term treatment for substance abuse and mental disorders and the second for pregnant and parenting adolescents with mental health disorders.

Additionally, under Wright’s leadership, CGE has developed a child development center for outpatient and in-home treatment programs. CGE now serves over 900 women, men, and children annually with a team of over 100 full- and part-time employees supported by a dedicated group of volunteers.

Wright has earned the New Jersey State Governor’s Award for Public Service, been named Citizen of the Year by the New Jersey Psychology Association and as a Top 25 Leading Women Entrepreneurs and Intrapreneurs by New Jersey Monthly, and NJBIZ Top 50 Women in Business.

Mike Kerwin, president & CEO of the Business Partnership noted, “The Citizen of the Year recipients demonstrate how one person can make extraordinary contributions to Somerset County.  Under Peg’s leadership the Center for Great Expectations has become a national leader in providing transformational (behavioral health) substance use and mental health treatment to women, children, men and families impacted by trauma, abuse and neglect.”

The Citizen of the Year award was first presented in 1950 to Somerville Mayor Howard Lyons who served as president and director of the Somerville Trust Company. The announcement of the selection was made by George H. Shay, President of the Somerville Chamber of Commerce.

Registration fee is $110 for Business Partnership members and their guests through Friday, April 17th. Non-member admission is $150. Reservations may be made by calling the Business Partnership at 908-218-4300 or ordering online at Registration deadline is Friday, April 24th.

Recent Citizen of the Year recipients are: Paul Grzella, Alina Klein, Gail Rosen, Mike Camerino, Doris Zampella, Ken Bateman, Paul Stahlin, Rod Ryan, former Somerset County Freeholder Rick Fontana, Jim Ventantonio, Esq., Somerset County Administrator Dick Williams, Manville Mayor Angelo Corradino, Sen. Walter Kavanaugh, Steve Kalafer, Rich Reitman, Bernie Navatto, John Graf, Jr., Robert Corcoran, Christine Rose, Dan Puntillo, Donald Bowers, Ray Bateman, and Evelyn Field.


PHOTO CAPTION: Peg Wright, 2020 and 70th Somerset County Citizen of the Year.