Great Oak Awards: Saluting Jersey’s Most Generous Companies

Each year, New Jersey Monthly presents the Great Oak Awards to honor the state’s businesses for their work on behalf of social and charitable causes and nonprofits.

Medium Companies

Allstate New Jersey
Industry: Insurance
NJ Employees: 740
Cash Giving: $300,000
Volunteer Hours: 1,000
Allstate supports organizations focused on youth empowerment, safe teen driving, domestic-violence awareness and disaster preparedness. With the Junior Achievement of New Jersey programs, Allstate provided more than 700 volunteer hours, directly impacting almost 900 students. The company also provides awareness programs in high schools to educate new drivers and provides grants to domestic-violence organizations such as Safe + Sound and the Love You Girl Foundation.

Atlantic Stewardship Bank
Midland Park
Industry: Banking/finance
NJ Employees: 142 full-time; 25 part-time
Cash Giving: $336,000
Volunteer Hours: 2,400
Members of the bank’s BEACH Committee (Bank Employees Assisting Charities) volunteer in annual projects including school supply drives, collections for smoke detectors, and holiday donations of Christmas trees and Easter baskets. Atlantic Stewardship also shares 10 percent of their pre-taxable income annually with Christian groups, civic groups and nonprofit organizations in the community.

Benzel-Busch Motor Car
Industry: Automotive
NJ Employees: 285-plus full-time; 50 part-time
Cash Giving: $400,000-plus
Volunteer Hours: 30-plus
Benzel-Busch supports and donates to various local institutions, including the Englewood Hospital and BergenPAC. The dealership group has donated money to the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, a charity that fosters coaching programs to help benefit local sporting teams. Owners Joseph and Artie Agresta also sponsor local charity events like Rock the River, Fun Run North Jersey and various 5Ks.

Berkeley College
Woodland Park
Industry: Higher education
NJ Employees: 589 full-time; 438 part-time
Cash Giving: $106,800
Volunteer Hours: 3,930
Fueled by its mission to empower students to achieve success in dynamic careers and helping to eliminate poverty, Berkeley College assists 73 different organizations in New Jersey. Their annual Community Service Day provided more than 1,100 volunteer hours to 30 nonprofits. The school donated 300 pounds of food to Heaven’s Helpers Food Pantry in Woodbridge and St. Peter’s Haven in Clifton. Some 400 toys were donated to the Boys and Girls Club, Toys for Tots and others.

Blue Moon Mexican Cafe
Woodcliff Lake
Industry: Food
NJ Employees: 150 full-time; 50 part-time
Volunteer Hours: 30
Blue Moon Mexican Cafe helps various local charities by donating food and hosting fundraisers and community event nights. The small restaurant chain has donated to schools in the area and the Wyckoff Fire Department, and holds benefits for local nonprofits.

Brach Eichler LLC
Industry: Legal
NJ Employees: 138 full-time; 2 part-time
Cash Giving: $164,000
Brach Eichler supports the American Heart Association by raising money and awareness, participating in various Heart Walks and hosting raffles. The firm holds denim days when employees are invited to wear jeans in exchange for a $5 donation to various charities. They have also sponsored and attended events for RWJ Barnabas Health, Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and others.

Capital One Bank
Industry: Banking/financial services
NJ Employees: 439 full-time; 74 part-time
Cash Giving: $1.09 million
Volunteer Hours: 5,907
With its Future Edge program, Capital One has provided $150 million in community grants over the past five years through partnerships with the New Jersey Boys and Girls Club, Heart of America and Junior Achievement of New Jersey. The bank values the improvement of communities, holding team volunteer days with nonprofits like the Community Foodbank of New Jersey and the Resource-Center of Somerset.

Castle Windows
Mount Laurel
Industry: Sales and marketing
NJ Employees: 300 full-time; 60 part-time
Cash Giving: $100,000
Volunteer Hours: 100
In a partnership with Rowan College, Castle Windows President Chris Cardillo helped develop a course for students to learn about the window business. The Cardillo family also participates in local charity events, including the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, holds food and toy drives, and donates doors and windows to local fire departments.

Cedar Crest Retirement Community
Pompton Plains
Industry: Continuing care retirement community
NJ Employees: 546 full-time; 608 part-time
Cash Giving: $533,000
Volunteer Hours: 50,000
Cedar Crest’s Scholars’ Fund provides scholarships to New Jersey high school students working in dining services with grants up to $1,000 per semester. The community-living group also provides financial assistance for basic living expenses and medical costs through its Resident Care Fund. In 2016, more than 800 staff and resident volunteers contributed 50,000 hours of service at local elementary schools, shelters and nonprofits like Food Bank and Emmaus for Veterans.

Columbia Bank
Fair Lawn
Industry: Banking/finance
NJ Employees: 500 full-time; 150 part-time
Cash Giving: $1 million
Volunteer Hours: 2,100
Columbia helps to improve community infrastructure and funds financial-literacy programs in schools. The bank operates a functional branch inside the lobby of Passaic County Technical Institute, serving as a classroom for students in the school’s finance program. Through their foundation, grants of nearly $400,000 were issued to 19 different charities, including food banks, shelters, hospitals and more.

Eastwick College
Industry: Education
NJ Employees: 150 full-time; 175 part-time
Volunteer Hours: 600-800
Eastwick College’s student committees raise funds for local nonprofits such as food pantries, which are then matched by president Tom Eastwick. The college also offers scholarships and helped feed the homeless at the Bergen County Homeless Shelter.

Elizabethtown Gas/AGL Resources Foundation, Inc.
Industry: Utility
NJ Employees: 315
Cash Giving: $200,000
Volunteer Hours: 316
Through the Elizabethtown Gas activities committee, company volunteers are heavily involved in community events and donation drives. The committee organizes an annual canned-soup drive, with about 3,400 cans donated in 2016. Last year, Elizabethtown Gas also established the Fueling the Future Scholarship at Union County College for four college students pursuing careers in the STEM fields.

First Bank
Industry: Banking/finance
NJ Employees: 105 full-time; 10 part-time
Cash Giving: $80,000
Volunteer Hours: 1,837
First Bank participates in charity walks and assists organizations with fundraising goals. The bank supports more than 30 organizations across New Jersey and encourages employee volunteer programs. The bank also provides financial-literacy programs to students.

The French’s Food Company
Industry: Food
NJ Employees: 200 full-time; 50 part-time
Cash Giving: $1 million-plus
Part of the French’s promise is community commitment. The food company supports nonprofits like Feeding America, Habitat for Humanity, AutismSpeaks and local food shelters by donating money and food. Employees volunteer in fundraising events and help build homes with Habitat For Humanity.

Hollister Construction Services
Industry: Construction management
NJ Employees: 120 full-time; 2 part-time
Cash Giving: $425,000
Volunteer Hours: 2,000
Devoted to fighting hunger and poverty in New Jersey, Hollister partnered with the iCare Foundation to provide Christmas gifts to families and children in need. The construction company sponsors mobile blood drives, and employees volunteer at the Community FoodBank of New Jersey. Volunteers donated more than 100 bags of food to the Catholic Charities BackPack program.

Industry: Technology
NJ Employees: 536
Cash Giving: $32,000
Volunteer Hours: 362
iCIMS is focused on preserving the environment through green initiatives, such as partnering with the Arbor Day Foundation to support reforestation. The company donated to the foundation, which helped plant 6,000 new trees, some benefitting homeowners and communities who lost tree cover in Hurricane Sandy. Volunteers also participate in food and toy drives and community cleanups.

Maser Consulting P.A.
Red Bank
Industry: Engineering services
NJ Employees: 393 full-time; 94 part-time
Cash Giving: $67,000
Volunteer Hours: 359
Maser Consulting provided surveying and civil engineering services free of charge for an expansion to the Center for Great Expectations, an organization that aids and shelters the homeless. The firm established its own foundation in 2016, raising funds to aid local organizations that benefit surrounding communities. Charitable Fridays are held every month, benefitting a nonprofit organization or an individual in need.

Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland & Perretti LLP
Industry: Legal
NJ Employees: 204 full-time; 7 part-time
Volunteer Hours: 4,029
Riker Danzig annually sponsors the Newport 10K in Jersey City, a benefit for the Jersey City Medical Center. The firm supports such organizations as the Alliance for Lupus Research, Daytop New Jersey, Homeless Solutions and numerous others. The firm also provides meeting space and food and beverages to nonprofits, and provides pro bono legal services to those with limited financial means.

Industry: Utility
NJ Employees: 360 full-time; 6 part-time
Cash Giving: $250,000
Volunteer Hours: 1,760
Suez partners with local nonprofits in their support of educational, health and humanitarian services. The utility company contributes half of their charitable funds to environmental organizations and also donates water and sporting tickets. Employees volunteer in various walk/run events and environmental cleanups.

Wiss & Co. LLP
Industry: Accounting & consulting
NJ Employees: 134 full-time; 8 part-time
Cash Giving: $15,000
Volunteer Hours: 500
The Wiss M.A.D. (Making a Difference) Committee raises money to fund accounting scholarships at colleges and universities throughout the state as well as local charities, including Habitat for Humanity, Community FoodBank of New Jersey, the CPNJ Horizon School and more. The firm also provides internships to high school students, giving them the opportunity to work in a professional setting and get prepared for college.

WithumSmith + Brown, PC
Industry: Public accounting
NJ Employees: 516 full-time; 18 part-time
Cash Giving: $750,600
Volunteer Hours: 3,400
The company is involved in three philanthropic initiatives: Withum Week of Caring, in which 575 employees helped 50 organizations by volunteering over 2,500 hours; $5 Jeans Days, which raised $30,404 for 36 organizations; and the Withum Staff Hardship Relief Fund, to which employees donated $284,000, while also assisting team members pay $97,000 in medical bills.

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