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Maplecrest Ford Lincoln Named Finalist in Two Award Programs that Recognize Philanthropy and Vision

Jen Miller, creator of Mustang Sally’s Now: Driving Women’s Leadership, a program fueled by Maplecrest Ford Lincoln, has been named a finalist for the “Visionary of the Year” category in the Believe Inspire Grow “B.I.G. Member’s Choice Awards.” Credits: Maplecrest Ford Lincoln
Jen Miller, Mustang Sally’s Now: Driving Women's Leadership, finalist, “Visionary of the Year" B.I.G. Member’s Choice Awards. Credits: Maplecrest Ford Lincoln
Maplecrest Ford Lincoln donated nearly $50,000 to a variety of organizations in 2015. Credits: Maplecrest Ford Lincoln
Maplecrest Ford Lincoln is a sponsor of Mapleswood's MayFest. Credits: Maplecrest Ford Lincoln
Left to Right: Matt Smollon, Film Festival Director, Jen Miller representing sponsor Maplecrest Ford Lincoln, and Mary Scott Smollon. Credits: Fred Smith
Credits: Maplecrest Ford Lincoln

Local auto dealership Maplecrest Ford Lincoln of Union has been named a finalist in two award programs that honor businesses and individuals for contributions made within their communities.

New Jersey Monthly announced recently that Maplecrest Ford Lincoln of Union has made its roster of nearly 60 Great Oak Award finalists, an honor given to NJ-based companies that demonstrate a strong commitment to giving and volunteering at local charities and social causes.

“This is a great honor,” Stephen Giordano, President of Maplecrest Ford Lincoln of Union, said. “We feel strongly that supporting and growing our community is a team effort, one that requires time and understanding as well as money. We do our best every day to give with compassion.”

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In 2015, Maplecrest Ford Lincoln donated nearly $50,000 in charitable contributions and in-kind services to more than 50 different non-profit organizations, including programs that impact the arts, education, health, music, senior citizens, veterans and youth. In addition, employees donated nearly 200 hours of time and contributed to a company supported matching-gift program.

Charitable giving has been part of the Maplecrest way for more than 50 years, according to Giordano. Since opening its doors in 1963 when Stephen’s late father Fred Giordano, Sr. headed up the company, the South Orange family has given considerably to local charities, impacting thousands of lives along the way.

The United Way of Northern New Jersey, one of Maplecrest’s charities of choice, nominated the auto dealership for the award in January. A team of New Jersey Monthly editors reviewed detailed information supplied by Maplecrest on its 2015 charitable efforts and named it a finalist for the last phase of judging. New Jersey Monthly will announce the full slate of finalists in the August 2016 issue of the magazine. The magazine will salute the 2016 Great Oak Award finalists and announce the winners at a dinner on September 19, 2016 at the Palace at Somerset Park. The 10 winning companies will be featured in the November issue.

In addition to the Great Oak Awards, Jen Miller, creator of Mustang Sally’s Now: Driving Women’s Leadership, a program fueled by Maplecrest Ford Lincoln, has been named a finalist for the “Visionary of the Year” category in the Believe Inspire Grow “B.I.G. Member’s Choice Awards.”

“Mustang Sally’s Now represents a metaphor for tackling tough challenges that women don’t think they can possibly overcome or confidently navigate - like cars,” says Miller, who also serves at Maplecrest Ford Lincoln’s Head of Brand Transformation and Consumer Experience. “I often speak to women and ask, ‘if you can negotiate for a car, don’t you feel as though you can negotiate for anything? And, if you can change your car tire, don’t you feel like you can change your world? Most women start smiling and shake their heads, YES!”

Mustang Sally’s Now, created to help women build confidence and connect with other women through a bi-monthly series of in-store workshops, clinics and on-line resources, celebrated its first anniversary in March. During its debut year, the program has held eight in-store workshops, from negotiating skills to financial acumen to learning how to change a car tire and what to do in a road emergency; garnered state-wide and national media interest; collaborated with academic partner Seton Hall to conduct market research; and reached thousands of women through additional social media. In addition, Miller created an in-store training program to educate the sales team (mostly male) about understanding the needs and wants of female consumers.

There is no charge to attend the workshops; however, attendees are invited to make a voluntary contribution to the United Way of Northern New Jersey Women’s Leadership Council, a group dedicated to improving the lives of women and children in our communities.

"I am excited for Jen and our Mustang Sally’s Now team,” Giordano said.  “And I am very proud of the entire Maplecrest Ford Lincoln team for embracing the program. We are committed to providing women with the tools and resources to be confident and informed about all aspects of cars.”

"Mustang Sally’s Now is about empowering women to be their best,” added Miller. “Generation after generation of women continue to pass along perceptions (and misperceptions) that women can’t negotiate well, even though women make more than 80% of household purchases. It’s a confidence issue.  As a mom of three daughters, I want to pass along a legacy of confidence.”

The next Mustang Sally’s Now: Driving Women’s Leadership event will take place on Wednesday, May 11 from  6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Maplecrest Ford Lincoln (2800 Springfield Avenue, Vauxhall). Two women from the NJ Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, Anne Kriegner, former Asst. Deputy Director and Rosemary Martorana, Director of Intelligence, will discuss “How to know ‘When You See Something, Say Something.’”

Believe Inspire Grow, “B.I.G..” a Basking Ridge-based company is a membership organization that supports and empowers women entrepreneurs and business owners in five states. Members were nominated for the award in December and three finalists in nine categories chosen in January. Winners are selected through popular vote.

Voting for the B.I.G. Member Choice Awards will take place through April 23, 2016 on TAPInto. Award winners will be named at the B.I.G. Member Choice Award on May 19th at The Rooftop Auditorium at MetLife (3 Bryant Park, New York, NY).

To learn more about Mustang Sally’s Now: Driving Women’s Leadership or to register for the next event, contact Marissa DeFeo at or call 908-964-7700 ext. 5566.

For information on the B.I.G. Member Choice Awards, contact Nell Conway at


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Friends of the Union Library Plan Trip to Longwood Gardens

April 19, 2018

UNION, NJ - The Friends of the Union Public Library and BCB Community Bank have planned a trip to Longwood Gardens for Sunday, May 20.

The $50.00 fee includes bus trip, entrance to gardens, and snacks.  RSVP by May 1.  The bus leaves the Library municipal lot on Morris Avenue at 9:00 a.m. and returns at 6:00 p.m.

Checks can be made payable to 'Friends of the Union Public ...

Second Annual "Spring into the Arts"

UNION, NJ - The Second Annual "Spring into the Arts" festival will take place this Sunday, April 22, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., sponsored by Photography by Rebimbas.

The event will feature local businesses, artists, music, dance and many activities, including pottery, jewelry, big band classics.  For more information, call 908-851-2701.  The event takes place in the area ...

Karate at the Union Public Library

UNION, NJ - Sensei Andrew Crescenzo from USA Karate from USA Karate & Fitness will be teaching a four-week series of 30 minute karate classes.  All levels welcome.

Classes run from Saturday, April 21 through Saturday, May 12.  Ages 3-6:  12:00 p.m.  Ages 7-11:  12:30 p.m.

Registration is required.  Email for more information.

Upcoming Events


Sat, April 21, 9:00 AM

Department of Public Works, Union

Second Annual Waterway Cleanup


Sat, April 21, 12:00 PM

Union Public Library, Union


Education Sports


Sat, April 21, 2:00 PM

Union Public Library, Union

Family M.E.S.S.

Arts & Entertainment Education


Sun, April 22, 9:00 AM


Second Annual Spring into the Arts

Vauxhall's John Jenkins Passes Away

April 18, 2018

UNION, NJ -  John Jenkins, a Newark native and resident of Vauxhall, passed away on April 12.  Jenkins was a beloved husband, father, grandfather and community member.

Jenkins was the devoted husband of Wimphrey (Williams) Jenkins; the beloved father of Jay (Vicki), Jerraune (Teressa), Jermel and Jeoffrey Jenkins; the grandfather of Monique, Jai (Leslie), Jazmyne, Jermel ...

Plainfield's Assemblyman Jerry Green Is Dead at Age 79

April 19, 2018

PLAINFIELD, NJ - Assemblyman Jerry Green (D-22) has died at age 79, according to an email to TAPinto Plainfield from Councilwoman-at-Large Rebecca Williams. (Williams also shared the information on her Facebook page.)

On Jan. 24, Assemblyman Jerry Green (D-22) resigned as Chairman of the Union County Democratic Committee "to focus his energy on recovering from an ...

CFESPTA Tricky Tray Set for May 18

April 17, 2018

UNION, NJ - The 5th annual Tricky Tray at Connecticut Farms Elementary School will be held on Friday May 18.

Door open for the CFESPTA Red, White and Blue Tricky Tray at 5:00 p.m.  Calling begins at 7:00.  Contact Kathy McGee (908) 377-1164 or email for additional information.

Union's First United Poetry Slam

UNION, NJ - Poets and performers from Kawameeh and Burnet Middle Schools and Union High School will get together to perform at the United Poetry Slam on Friday, May 11 at the high school.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the American Red Cross.  There is a suggested donation of $1.  The event begins at 5:30 p.m.

Unveiled Sunday: Springfield's Meckes Street Renamed Reverend Clarence E. Alston Way

April 17, 2018

SPRINGFIELD, NJ - Reverend Alston lead the congregation at Antioch Baptist Church for 53 years. He died October 8, 2017. According to the Proclamation issued by the Township of Springfield, he attended the Union public schools and earned his degree from Trinity Bible College in Indiana. Reverend Alston was ordained November 1964. He presided over the building of the Church and several ...

Cranford Man Dies After Wrong-Way Crash on Route 9

WOODBRIDGE, NJ – A Cranford man died after his car collided with another vehicle on Route 9 on Sunday.

Thomas McHugh, 88, was driving north in the southbound fast lane on Route 9, where he crashed head-on into another vehicle. On impact, one of the cars caught fire, according to Sgt. Jim Chessere of the Woodbridge Police Department.

 McHugh was taken from the scene to Robert ...

YESTERcades Opens in Downtown Westfield

WESTFIELD, NJ — A crowd of families lined up outside of YESTERcades in Downtown Westfield Friday night to be the first to play Pac-Man, Street Fighter, Space Invaders and other classic video and arcade games.

Located at 151 East Broad St. (formerly City Sports), it’s is the company’s third location.

YESTERcades describes itself as gaming experience straight out of the ...

Union County Freeholder Board Reminds Seniors on New Medicare Cards

April 20, 2018

Union County, NJ – In recognition of May as Older Americans Month, the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders reminds Union County’s senior adults that they will receive new Medicare cards from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services this summer.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is the federal agency that runs the Medicare program. It is a branch ...

Free Living History Event Showcases World War I Centennial

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders invites residents and visitors to experience battlefield life as a World War I American Salvation Army volunteer, featuring Ms. Laurie MacDonald-Gaulke, actress and storyteller, in a special free presentation of “Doughnuts for Doughboys: A Salvation Army Lassie in France.”

Doughnuts for Doughboys takes place on Tuesday, April 25 at ...

Senator Menendez Speaks at Union County College about College Affordability

ELIZABETH – U.S. Senator Robert Menendez visited Union County College’s Elizabeth campus on April 13 to speak about issues surrounding college affordability. He has been an advocate for affordable higher education in New Jersey for many years and recently co-sponsored the America’s College Promise Act which would offer free tuition at community colleges throughout the ...

Boys Lacrosse: Joe Stulec Named Union Catholic's Boys Conference Athlete of Week

SCOTCH PLAINS, N.J. -- A year ago, Joe Stulec didn't even know how to hold a lacrosse stick. Now, he's the leading scorer on the Union Catholic/Wardlaw-Hartridge lacrosse team.

Stulec's rapid development and transformation is a big reason for the remarkable turnaround this season by the Union Catholic/Wardlaw-Hartridge team, which is off to a 4-1 after the co-operative program ...


Retro Review: Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo

Retro Review: Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo (Citadel Press, 1970)


How does a reviewer do justice to a book called “the great American novel”? I first read Johnny Got His Gun during the Viet Nam war, when young people, nationwide, were protesting fighting in a war that was a senseless waste of life; a war in which the United States had no business participating.

The Truth About My Reading

The Truth About My Reading

I didn't get my Composition and Literature teacher at Montclair State College at all. A crusty old man with a dour disposition, Mr. Smith always seemed angry and rude. He appropriately intimidated freshmen, even me, an English major, who found this common core course beneath my dignity. Frankly, as a graduate of Highland Park High School, and a survivor of Mrs.

'The Sting' shimmers and shakes at Paper Mill

‘The Sting ‘slithers and shakes at Paper Mill Playhouse


MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage in Millburn.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and ...

What Union is Reading: Month ending March 2018

April 10, 2018

It is often said that you can tell a lot about a person by what they read but can you tell as much about a community by what they read? Take a look and see what you think. The top five circulated print books in six categories for the Union Public Library in March 2018 follows. The top circulated digital books from RBdigital make up the seventh category, download the app today and start borrowing ...

Letters to the Editor

Thank You, St. Joseph's Volunteers

April 16, 2018

Thank You from St. Joseph Social Service Center

In recognition of National Volunteer Week, we would like to express our gratitude to the countless volunteers that serve the poor and homeless at St. Joseph Social Service Center in Elizabeth (  Whether you make a sandwich, collect toiletries, tutor in the job program, make soup, wrap Christmas gifts, donate food, ...