As an active participant and professional member of the Summit New Jersey community for over 40 years, it is my pleasure to endorse Ms. Susan Dillingham Hairston’s candidacy for a seat on the Summit City Council.  Her experience, education, history in the community and community service make her excellent candidate.

Ms. Hairston is currently the director of Grants Management for a major international foundation that oversees the compliance monitoring of $495 million in grants annually.  Prior to this, for more than 12 years, Ms Hairston was engaged in philanthropic employment for nonprofit organizations where she performed outstandingly in positions that required skill in finance and accounting.

Ms. Hairston received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from the University of Pittsburgh and a Masters degree in Public Administration from Seton Hall University.  Her background documents a history that is deeply ensconced in the Summit community. She can proudly relate three generations of devoted service. Her father was the first African-American police officer in Summit and was an active member and volunteer of the YMCA. Both her mother and grandmother worked tirelessly in community and their respective church organizations.

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Citing many organizations in the community in which she is currently or was either an active member or a leader, Ms. Hairston’s priority has always been committed to making the Summit community the best community that it could be. She is now a trustee of the PEP foundation that supports high school students with potential but limited means; a volunteer in the YMCA Achievers program; a member of the Jack and Jill Greater Union County; and a co-founder of the Summit African American Action Association, a parent advocacy group that involves parents in eliminating the minority achievement gap. Additionally, Ms. Hairston served on the Summit Civil Rights Commission and the Editorial Board of the Nonprofit Sector Resource Institute of New Jersey. For six years, she served on the Summit, New Jersey Board of Education, completing her final term as its president. Ms. Hairston has been recognized by many prestigious organizations for selfless devotion to service in the community. In 2009, she received the Shaping Summit Together’s MLK Keeper of the Dream Award; in 2008, she was honored by the NJYMCA’s Achiever program; and in 2003, she was honored by the Tri-City NAACP.

Although active professionally and in the community, Ms. Hairston finds time to instill family values assuring that unselfish commitment to others continues.  She and husband, Jerome, have four children.   

Reviewing her education, ties to the community, and community service, you readily see that Ms. Susan Dillingham Hairston is an asset. I proudly endorse her candidacy for a seat on the Summit City Council. Please contact me if you need additional information.