WEST ORANGE, NJ — Guests of the 2017 North Essex Chamber of Commerce Leadership Recognition Banquet enjoyed a sit-down dinner and cash bar in the Garden Room at the Manor in West Orange on June 8 as they helped to celebrate outstanding NECC members, congratulate the annual scholarship recipients and induct the new board.

The award for Outstanding Community Leader was presented to Louis LaSalle, Senior Vice President, Corporate External Affairs for RWJBarnabas Health, who has been recognized by his colleagues as a community-minded professional who is able to gather the best resources to help foster a sense of community spirit and a purpose to improve the health and well being of New Jersey residents.

“The community is what it’s about, and I’m privileged to work with the group from North Essex,” said LaSalle as he addressed fellow NECC members. “Be involved in your community—don’t be afraid. There are those who aspire to do great things and those who, in addition to doing great things, get involved in the community. Use the phrase, ‘Face-to-face”—That’s what makes the world go ‘round. We need more of that in this country and in this world.”

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The award for Outstanding Chamber Member was presented to Eric Francais, founder of e-outbox LLC. Francais currently lives and works in Nutley and has been a chamber member since 2010, including two-and-a-half years as chair of the Marketing Committee and four years as a board member.

The NECC President’s Award went to Chelsea Dodd, information services supervisor for the Montclair Public Library. Dodd has served on the NECC board Feb. 2016 and is a member of the Marketing Committee.

This year’s Outstanding Non Profit or Charitable Organization is SAVE of Essex County, the State of New Jersey’s designated sexual violence program for Essex County, located in Montclair. SAVE is dedicated to supporting and empowering survivors of sexual violence through the provision of comprehensive direct services.

Lifelong Investments of Fairfield earned the award for Outstanding Business or Corporation of the year.

This year's NECC scholarship winners include:

Cathleen Atkinson  -  Cedar Grove High School

Khristina Cassanova  -  Montclair High School

Ina Gonzales  -  Mount Saint Dominic Academy

Lynette Massott  -  Bloomfield High School

Sara "Sally" Short  -  Verona High School

Lydia Wielgus  -  James Caldwell High School

Michael Daniels, who was named as the new president of the NECC, said the chamber is enthusiastic about the future of the NECC—specifically the re-launch of the NECC Foundation. He said the NECC plans to do more community outreach and connect with more members of the community outside the businesses.

“I couldn’t be more excited about becoming the incoming president of the chamber,” said Daniels. “I look forward to building on top of what all of the work that the board members as well as past presidents have done so far.”

To learn more about the North Essex Chamber of Commerce, which serves the business communities of Montclair, Verona, Cedar Grove, Essex Fells, Caldwell, North Caldwell, West Caldwell, Roseland and Fairfield, click HERE.