BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Steve Kalafer, a successful businessman, philanthropist, founder and owner of the Somerset Patriots baseball team, a loving husband, proud father and grandfather who cares for the community as much as his family has been selected as an inductee with other prominent New Jerseyans in to the New Jersey Hall of Fame, Class of 2019-2020.
“This is a tremendous honor that I share with my beautiful wife of 49 years Suzanne, two wonderful sons Jonathan and Josh and their wives Kori and Rachel, and my five amazing grandsons,” said Kalafer. “Through their love, and all the people I have had the privilege to work with and get to know over the years, I already felt like a Hall of Famer. Having lived in New Jersey my entire life, to be inducted with such a prestigious class that represents my home state so well, is something that will always make me proud.”
Kalafer will be inducted in the Enterprise category alongside The Borg Family (former owners and publishers of The Record), Linda Bowden (NJ regional president at PNC Bank and NJ Chamber of Commerce board chair), Fairleigh Dickinson (Co-Founder of Fortune 500 company Becton Dickinson, benefactor of Fairleigh Dickinson University), and Joseph Simunovich (Former Hudson County freeholder director and chairman of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority).
Past inductees of the Enterprise category include Robert Wood Johnson (co-founder of Johnson & Johnson), Leon Hess (founder of Hess Corporation, owner of the New York Jets), J. Seward Johnson (co-founder of Johnson & Johnson), Malcolm and Steve Forbes (Forbes Media), and Alfred Koeppe (President and COO of Bell Atlantic and PSE&G).
The 2019-2020 Hall of Fame class also includes New York Giants two-time Super Bowl Champion quarterback Eli Manning, legendary Rutgers women’s basketball coach C.Vivian Stringer, former Rutgers athletic director Bob Mulcahy, award-winning performers Ed Harris, Anne Hathaway and Cissy Houston to name a few.
The 12th annual induction ceremony will be a one-hour virtual pre-recorded event on Sunday, Oct.18, 2020, and will be broadcast on several television, radio and prominent social media platforms throughout New Jersey.
“These Garden State heroes perfectly represent what makes our state great,” said Jon F. Hanson, Chairman of the NJHOF, in a statement. “It’s our privilege to honor these inductees for their outstanding contributions to our state.”
Born in Essex County, and active in businesses throughout the state, Kalafer is the chairman of the Flemington Car and Truck Country Family of Brands with showrooms and service centers in eight locations and 17 franchises. He is the Chairman Emeritus of the Somerset Health Care Foundation and serves on the Board Of Directors of RWJBarnabas Health. Kalafer is an Associate Trustee of the board of New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance, a Co-Chair of the Chairman’s Council of The Actors Fund of America, and recently retired as a trustee of the Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation.
"They certainly didn't select me because of my average," said Kalafer, who admitted to being a less-than-average high school ballplayer, batting .222 at the plate.
"But I am extremely honored to be included with these exemplary New Jerseyans in the New Jersey Hall of Fame," he added.
Some notable New Jersey Hall of Famers range from the greatest minds in history like Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison to musicians Frank Sinatra and Bruce Springsteen, inducted alongside sports heroes that include Yogi Berra and Shaquille O’Neal.
“This confirms something that I think many of us have already known for a very long time, that Steve Kalafer is a Hall of Famer,” said Somerset Patriots President/ General Manager Patrick McVerry. “We have seen it for over 20 years at the ballpark and throughout our community. Nobody works harder to make a difference, take care of the community, and do the things you are supposed to do. We are very proud of Steve and this well-deserved honor.”
The New Jersey Hall of Fame celebrates natives of the state that have overcome every imaginable obstacle and challenge. They have survived war, overcome the bleakness of poverty, conquered fear and disability and rebounded from untold rejections and failure. Their stories offer boundless hope and inspiration for millions of New Jerseyans. The New Jersey Hall of Fame “invites you to learn and interact with these inspired lives to chart your own path to extraordinary greatness.”
Flemington Car & Truck Country is a TAPinto marketing partner