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. The program, now in its third year, is an outgrowth of our annual Seeds of Hope program, which since 2004 has recognized the state’s most dedicated individual volunteers.
Why Great Oak Awards? The name is emblematic of the companies we salute. Sturdy and solid, deeply rooted in New Jersey, capable of impressive growth and able to change with the times—these companies are pillars of their communities. They are in it for the long haul. They are not just generous, but inventive and enterprising in the ways they give back.
How do we choose the best of these impressive enterprises? We use a multistep process culminating in a judging session by a panel of experts. (The complete methodology is explained here.)
In the end, we arrived at 66 finalists. They are a diverse and remarkable group, from the smallest contenders (the operator of an endurance bicycle event in Morristown and a PR firm in Montclair) to the largest (a biopharmaceutical giant in Lawrence).
What’s next? Ten top honorees will be revealed September 19 at an awards dinner at the Palace at Somerset Park.
In the meantime, check out our profiles of the 2016 finalists.* (*Cash giving and volunteer hours indicated for 2015 when available.)