MONTVILLE, NJ – The Montville Township Chamber of Commerce held its 55th annual awards ceremony and honored six township leaders and an outstanding organization on March 10.

The Chamber’s new president, Danielle Speciale, told the assembly she looks forward to accomplishing a lot this year, as outgoing president Ken Young has prepared her well.

This is part one of a three-part series recognizing the awardees.

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Good Neighbor Award: Tuscany Village (owner/developer Bill Iellimo)

Chamber Board of Directors Member Joseph O’Dowd introduced Bill Iellimo, owner and developer of Tuscany Village on Changebridge Road, and honoree for the Good Neighbor Award.

O’Dowd said Iellimo emigrated from Italy in 1971 and opened Joe’s Pizza in 1982.

“Who knew it would be another American dream story?” asked O’Dowd.

He said once Joe’s Pizza was supporting the family, Iellimo started investing in real estate, starting with Bromley Estates, a five-home subdivision, then Melissa Court, then several other projects and a commercial building on Stiles Lane.

Prep work and construction on Tuscany Village started in 2015, O’Dowd said, and it was an arduous journey through state and local regulations, he said. It’s a welcome addition to Montville, and opened on Jan. 1, 2017, O’Dowd said.

“He took an abandoned gas station and turned it into the most attractive strip mall in town,” O’Dowd said.

Iellimo thanked the Chamber.

Silver Service Award: Michele Caron

Chamber Board of Directors Member Carl Grau introduced Michele Caron, recipient of the Silver Service Award, which honors a resident who has made significant contributions to the township and surrounding community for at least 25 years.

Caron has served as a member and chair of the Montville Township Environmental Commission. She has chaired the annual Arbor Day celebration and has been active in the protection and awareness of the Towaco aquifer and open space, Grau said. She has served as president and arts chair for the Montville Township Women’s Club, and is a member of Montville UNICO.

Within the state, she is on the advisory committee and is a member of the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissioners, which received state awards for the Elementary School Earth Club “Project Recycle” and for computer recycling. She participates in the NJ chapter of the National Sierra Club, the Arbor Day Foundation, Tree City USA, and the Morris County chapter of the Audubon Society.

Caron said she appreciated everyone making a wonderful community during the recent power outages, especially in Towaco. She thanked the Chamber.

Public Service Award: Mary Gormley

Chamber Board of Directors Member Michael Duddy introduced Montville Township High School teacher Mary Gormley, recipient of the Public Service Award.

Duddy said Gormley has been teaching for more than 30 years and has coached hundreds of students and state and national champions in speech and debate. Quoting the CEO of Campbell’s soup company, he said that leadership is service, and to help people, inspire and motivate them to reach their fullest potential is what Gormley does. He also informed the assembly that Gormley had been recently named National Debate and Speech Educator of the Year from the National Speech & Debate Association. Duddy said her students seemed more excited than she was, “and for that there’s no measure, when your protégés have that much love for you.”

Gormley said she was very humbled.

“It’s a tremendous pleasure to give your children their voice, and their voice has been heard,” she said. “Thank you.”

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