Princeton Mercer Regional Chamber of Commerce, 600 Alexander Road, Suite 3-2, Princeton 08540. 609-924-1776. Peter Crowley, CEO. www.princetonmercerchamber.org.
The Princeton Mercer Regional Chamber has named Brenda Ross-Dulan to be its new board chair. The appointment was made official at the business group’s annual “changing of the guard” ceremony on January 28.
The chamber was previously chaired by John Goedecke. “As chairman of the board these past two years, I am grateful to Peter Crowley, my fellow board members, the staff, and members of the Chamber for the opportunity to lead this great organization. I am excited to pass on a chamber that is well positioned for future successes as Champions for Business to Brenda Ross-Dulan. My predecessors Rick Coyne, Pat Ryan, and John Thurber all provided me guidance and were examples of leadership that our Region can be proud of producing. I know that we can expect the same of Brenda and her Executive Team,” Goedecke said.
Ross-Dulan is principal of The Ross-Dulan Group, a strategy consulting firm for CEOs and executives.
Prior to launching her consulting practice, Ross-Dulan was president of the consumer banking group of Wells Fargo & Company for half of the state of New Jersey.
“We are excited to have Brenda as chair of our organization, and continue our path of growth as the largest regional chamber in the state. In addition, we are honored that Brenda is the first African-American woman to this role, and we look forward to her goals and initiatives in her term ahead,” said Peter Crowley, CEO of the chamber.
“I look forward to joining the chairs before me in leading this great organization to new heights. Our initiatives include focusing on diversity and inclusion, leveraging technology to bring the chamber to our members’ fingertips, and enhancing our philanthropic efforts while continuing to support our growth and membership base,” Ross-Dulan said.
Executive board members for the year include vice chairs Bill Rue of Rue Insurance and Jeannine Cimino of Berkshire Bank and formerly chair of the Mid-Jersey Chamber of Commerce; treasurer Linda Martin of Investors Bank; and secretary John Hardiman of NJM Insurance Group.
YWCA Princeton, 59 Paul Robeson Place, Princeton 08540. 609-497-2100. Judy Hutton, CEO. www.ywcaprinceton.org.
Judy Hutton is retiring as CEO of the Princeton YWCA this June. In a letter announcing the retirement, YWCA board president Megan Adams noted that Hutton has led the organization for the last 13 years. “The YWCA Princeton, and the greater Mercer County community, has benefited immensely from Judy’s leadership and vision for a world free from inequity,” she wrote. “Her service to YWCA Princeton has been filled with accomplishments and successes from forming the first board for young women (NEXT Gen Board) to successfully taking on Trenton programming (Latinas Unidas).”
During her tenure, Hutton co-founded Stand Against Racism together with the former YWCA Trenton in 2007. The campaign has since been adopted by all other YWCAs in the nation.
The YWCA board has begun a search for a new leader.
Mercer Street Friends Food Bank, 824 Silvia Street, Ewing 08628. 609-406-0503. Armstead Johnson, executive director. www.mercerstreetfriends.org.
Mercer Street Friends, a Ewing-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing issues of poverty throughout Mercer County, had appointed Bernie Flynn as CEO. Flynn retired from New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Group in April, 2018, following a 25-year career, including 10 years as CEO of the auto, home, and workers’ compensation insurance company incorporated in Trenton in 1913.
Flynn has remained active as chairman emeritus of the Greater Trenton economic development organization, trustee of the Princeton Area Community Foundation, and, as of December, 2019, a trustee of the Corella & Bertram F. Bonner Foundation, a scholarship and service-oriented family foundation.
Flynn volunteered at Mercer Street Friends before becoming CEO. He said he was drawn to the organization’s commitment to the “community schools” model, which fosters partnerships among schools and community resources.
“Through my time as a volunteer consultant, I saw firsthand the dedication of staff to those Mercer Street Friends serves, and I was inspired. Mercer Street Friends has been making a positive difference in our community for more than half a century and I look forward to leading the organization into its next chapter,” Flynn said.
“Food security, mental and physical health care, counseling, social and emotional learning, and strong academic support are all critically important to the overall wellness of our children and their families. It is evident that the community schools model in Trenton, led by Mercer Street Friends, is a significant part of the solution,” he added.
“The board and staff of Mercer Street Friends are firmly committed to serving those in need in our community. The mission of our organization to address poverty aligns with Bernie’s philanthropic interests,” said Mercer Street Friends’ board chair Joe Hulihan. “Bernie shares Mercer Street Friends’ belief that removing social and emotional barriers that open the doors to comprehensive academic opportunities for our young people is of primary importance. We are thrilled and grateful that he is willing to take on this leadership responsibility.”
Flynn will not be paid for the full-time job.
Mercer Street Friends operates four major programs in Mercer County.
It is best known for operating the county’s largest food bank, which last year distributed more than 4.5 million pounds of food to a network of more than 90 food pantries, shelters, soup kitchens, meal sites, senior centers, programs for the disabled, and low-income housing sites.
In addition, in collaboration with the Trenton Board of Education, Mercer Street Friends has partnered with Luis Munoz Rivera Community Middle School and B. C. Gregory Elementary School working to provide mental and physical health care and social and academic services for students and families.
The group also provides early childhood education at little to no cost to children ages three to five who live in Trenton.
Lastly, Mercer Street Friends offers programs for individuals and families who have experienced trauma. This trauma can be the result of living in persistent poverty, childhood maltreatment, or physical, emotional, or sexual abuse.