The Great Oak Awards: Small Companies

Applegate Farm Homemade Ice Cream, Inc.

Industry: Ice cream retail/wholesale/manufacturing
NJ Employees: 32
Cash Giving: $6,558
Volunteer Hours: 120
Through product donations and fun events like ice cream-eating contests, Applegate Farm supports Union Congregational Weekday Nursery School in Montclair, St. Joseph’s Hospital’s Cooking for Kids program, the local PTA and a variety of other causes. The staff is encouraged to give back through local cleanups on Earth Day.

The Artist Baker
Industry: Pastry shop café
NJ Employees: 6
The Artist Baker donates food and baked goods in support of local organizations and events, including Grow It Green Morristown, the Seeing Eye of Morristown and Bike Walk Morristown. In 2015, the Artist Baker sponsored a team in the Gran Fondo charity cycling event. The café supports the arts as host of a series of talks featuring local artists.

Avison Young
Industry: Real estate
NJ Employees: 80
Avison Young employees volunteered at the Interfaith Food Pantry, feeding more than 500 families. Principal and managing director Ed Walsh has been personally recognized for his generous giving to the United Way, American Cancer Society, Somerset Hills Learning Institute and other causes.

Back to Nature Home & Garden, LLC
Basking Ridge
Industry: Landscape design & construction
NJ Employees: 10 full-time; 30 seasonal
Cash Giving: $2,000
Volunteer Hours: 500
Back to Nature donates thousands of trees, plants and vegetable starts to local community and nonprofit organizations, such as the Giving Garden Project and the Women’s Association at Morristown Medical Center. In spring 2015, the company hosted a Throw & Grow Campaign to educate participants on gardening, reseeding and the dangers of certain chemicals.

Belmora Spa
Basking Ridge
Industry: Beauty/wellness
NJ Employees:  6
Cash Giving: $2,300
Belmora Spa donates services and treatments to churches, congregations, schools and charitable groups such as Integrity House, Bryan’s Dream Foundation and Visiting Nurses Association. For Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Belmora Spa donated 10 percent of October sales to Sloan Kettering Cancer Research and Treatment Center, and offered discounts on certain services to breast-cancer survivors.

DeBragga & Spitler, Inc.
Jersey City
Industry: Meat purveyor
NJ Employees: 40 (approximately)
Cash Giving: $1,500
The company supports Jersey City youth through food and monetary donations to the Jersey City Urban League. In addition to cash donations, the firm gave approximately $10,000 worth of goods and services to local organizations such as the Jersey City Salvation Army, St. Lucy’s Soup Kitchen and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Document Solutions, LLC
Industry: Office solutions
NJ Employees: 63
Volunteer Hours: 759
Document Solutions donated more than $60,000 worth of goods and printing services to charitable organizations in New Jersey in 2015. Additionally, the company supports the ARC Union County programs that offer activities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Employees participate in events such as the Share NJ 5K run and NJALA Bowl-A-Thon.

Englewood Cliffs Cadillac
Englewood Cliffs
Industry: Automotive
NJ Employees: 100
Cash Giving: $50,000
Volunteer Hours: 50
In addition to cash giving, the dealership (partially owned by former football Giants stars Jessie Armstead and Antonio Pierce) provided $100,000 worth of in-kind gifts—such as autographed collectibles—for community events. Each year, the dealership pays for the annual fireworks displays in Englewood and Tenafly. Employees are encouraged to donate time and items through an annual toy drive.

Essential Pharmaceuticals, LLC
Industry: Pharmaceutical/medical research and manufacturing
NJ Employees: 7
Cash Giving: $9,850
Volunteer Hours: 51
Essential Pharmaceuticals provides life-saving technology and support to more than 10 organizations. In 2015, the company donated more than $50,800 in medical equipment (namely its Custodiol medical device) to international surgical missions, helping to facilitate transplants and surgeries in needy areas around the world.

Gran Fondo NJ, LLC
Industry: Endurance sporting events
NJ Employees: 2
Cash Giving: $32,000
Volunteer Hours: 290
Gran Fondo NJ, a well-regarded annual cycling event, serves as a fund-raising platform for numerous nonprofits. In 2015, the event raised  $146,930 in donations for event beneficiaries in addition to its cash contribution. Gran Fondo encourages and supports volunteerism and community involvement at the event.

Hollister Construction Services
Industry:  Construction management
NJ Employees: 90
Cash Giving: $698,000
Volunteer Hours: 1,260
FThrough volunteerism and donations, Hollister supports the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, the Catholic Charities BackPack program, the iCare Foundation, and a mobile blood drive. The Hollister Foundation’s annual annual golf classic with the United Way of Northern New Jersey raised $125,000 for local children in need. The foundation encourages others in the real estate and construction industries to support children’s education and health initiatives.

Jacobs Levy Equity Management
Florham Park
Industry:  Finance
NJ Employees: 54
Cash Giving: $475,150
Volunteer Hours: 44.5
The firm supports local arts organizations such as NJPAC, Paper Mill Playhouse and the Mayo Performing Arts Center; the latter received a $100,000 donation to support general operations. Through the Jacobs Levy Equity Management Personalized Genomic Medicine Program (affiliated with Atlantic Health System), the firm pledged $1 million to support the integration of genetic medicine into everyday practice, benefiting close to 600 patients this fiscal year. Jacobs Levy has honored its $200,000 commitment to genetic medicine, and a $250,000 pledge to the Chambers Center for Well Being in Morristown.

JPR Group
Industry: PR & marketing communications
NJ Employees: 3
Cash Giving: $1,000
Volunteer Hours: 240
The JPR Group supports many environmental causes, including Protect the Palisades and New Jersey Conservation. The firm spearheaded an effort to reduce the proposed height of the planned LG Electronics Corporate headquarters in Englewood Cliffs. The ensuing settlement kept the height of the headquarters below the treeline in the area. In addition, JPR provides pro bono services to organizations and individuals in New Jersey and promotes a medical mission to Armenia.

L’Abbate, Balkan, Colavita & Contini, LLP
East Hanover
Industry: Legal
NJ Employees: 6
Cash Giving: $5,000
Volunteer Hours: 250
Through the efforts of managing partner John Gonzo—a Boy Scout leader and board member of the Northern New Jersey Boy Scout Council (NNJC)—LBCC has promoted scouting and upgraded the scouting experience for young boys in Bergen, Essex, Hudson and Passaic counties. The company also supports Scoutreach, which promotes scouting in Newark, Jersey City, Paterson and other urban areas.

Lawrence B. Goodman & Co.
Fair Lawn
Industry: Accouning/finance
NJ Employees: 23
Cash Giving: $7,349
Volunteer Hours: 250
Employees support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Foundation by contributing during Friday Denim Days; the firm then matches the total raised. Members of the firm also contribute to food drives through the Englewood-based Center for Food Action. Employees receive two days of paid time off per year for their volunteer work.

Levine, Jacobs & Company, LLC
Industry: Accounting
NJ Employees:  32
Cash Giving: $14,852
Volunteer Hours: 1,000
Levine Jacobs and its employees sponsored two Little League teams; collected clothing and goods for a battered-women’s shelter; gathered toys for the annual Liberty H.O.G. toy run; and sponsored the Essex Fall Tune Up, a youth soccer event. The firm also discounts its accounting rates to help smaller charitable organizations.

Marilyn Schlossbach Group/Food For Thought By The Sea
Asbury Park
Industry: Food service/hospitality
NJ Employees: 50-150
Cash Giving: $28,000
Volunteer Hours: 20,000
One of the company’s cornerstone venues, Langosta Lounge in Asbury Park, hosted community dinners last year that served more than 3,000 free meals. The restaurant also distributed winter clothes, toiletries and toys during the holidays. The team has also donated to Kula Café, a culinary and hospitality training program for kids in Asbury Park, and partnered with community advocates to host free surf and yoga lessons for local youth.

Mariner’s Bank
Industry: Banking
NJ Employees: 70
Cash Giving: $20,000
Volunteer Hours: 100
Mariner’s Bank gives back to its community through an annual food drive with Center for Food Action. The bank also supports scholarship programs for Giants of Generosity and Edgewater Arts. Each branch is involved in community events—a total of 15 events annually.

West Caldwell
Industry: Lighting manufacturing
NJ Employees: 90
Cash Giving: $1,700
Maxlite makes energy-efficient, environmentally friendly lighting accessible for those who can’t afford it. Working with Habitat for Humanity, team members helped build a home in Newark. As part of its commitment to Habitat, Maxlite provided discounts on more than $39,000 of energy-efficient lighting products for Habitat Restore outlets in New Jersey. Maxlite also supports HelpLightNJ, a group of eco-conscious high school students, in their efforts to educate residents on the benefits of LED Lighting.

Morris Animal Inn, Inc.
Industry: Pet services
NJ Employees: 60
Cash Giving: $23,900
Volunteer Hours: 180
The Morris Animal Inn provides housing for homeless beagles through Lab to Leash and raised funds to help bring U.S. war dogs back from overseas. The company also participates in the Jersey Cares coat drive and donated over 100 baskets of pet goods, gift certificates and services in 2015 for local tricky trays and fund-raising events.

MSI Plumbing & Remodeling
Industry: Construction
NJ Employees: 23
Cash Giving: $30,000
Volunteer Hours: 200
FMSI principals Anne Thorton and Les Giese founded the Hunters Helping the Hungry (HHH) in 1998 to address two critical New Jersey challenges: feeding hungry families and responsibly culling the state’s deer population. During last year’s hunting season, MSI donated 306 deer, amounting to 11,700 pounds of venison, to feed the hungry—as well as $6,000 in marketing, advertising and administrative services to HHH. Employees who hunt are encouraged to give their extra venison to the program.

Nisivoccia LLP
Mt. Arlington
Industry: Accounting, finance, business advisory
NJ Employees: 95
Cash Giving: $250,000
Volunteer Hours: 3,100
Keeping Raymond Nisivoccia’s goal of giving back to clients and the community, the firm supported approximately 80 organizations in 2015. The firm sponsored events such as a Wounded Warrior golf outing, participated in the Rotary Club of Newton’s 14th annual Gift of Life coed volleyball tournament, awarded scholarships and particpated in clothing drives. Employees also donate their time to give tax and financial planning presentations at local organizations.

Phillip Jeffries
Industry: Design
NJ Employees: 76
Phillip Jeffries employees give back as a team through clothing and food drives, cleanup initiatives and volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity. The company’s goal is to hold at least eight volunteer programs per year; employees get paid days out of the office when performing philanthropic activities.

The S3 Agency
Industry: Advertising
NJ Employees: 22
Volunteer Hours: 2,700
The S3 Agency gave more than $400,000 in in-kind services during 2015; $250,000 in services went to the Zoological Society of New Jersey, which supports the Turtle Back Zoo in increasing awareness of and participation in education and conservation efforts. The team also supported the New Jersey Chapter of Entrepreneur’s Organization, which helps business owners thrive in the Garden State. Along with MSNBC, S3 helped make a difference for diabetes sufferers by providing marketing services for Yadabags, makers of a handbag with storage for diabetes patients’ supplies.

Sawyer Smith Residential Brokerage
Jersey City
Industry: Real estate
NJ Employees: 15
Cash Giving: $20,000
Volunteer Hours: 300
The company cofounded and sponsors the Hamilton Park BBQ Festival, which supports the Hamilton Park Conservancy in Jersey City. Sawyer Smith also sponsored three local farmers markets this year and hosted free seasonal events for low-income children, including a free pumpkin patch where over 300 pumpkins were given away.

Vitiello Communications Group
North Brunswick
Industry: Communications
NJ Employees: 20
Cash Giving: $25,000
Volunteer Hours: 1,000
To celebrate its 25th anniversary, Vitiello (VTLO) created a community-service program to highlight employees’ volunteer activities and charitable contributions. As part of their 25 Points of Light Program, VTLO employees posted stories and photos to their website and social media channels to document how they add value in their communities. VTLO is particularly passionate about organizations aimed at assisting families, health education and community food banks.

WCTC Radio
Industry: Broadcasting
NJ Employees: 40
With about $13,000 in in-kind donations this year, WCTC radio has hosted and participated in events such as the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure at Six Flags Great Adventure, the Hugs for Brady Foundation, and the Great Childhoods Radiothon. WCTC has also volunteered at SuperFest Special Bowl at St. Joseph’s High School in Metuchen, an event for special needs adults and children the week before the Super Bowl.

Wireless Experience
Toms River
Industry: Retail At&T
NJ Employees: 90
Volunteer Hours: 1,300
Wireless Experience encourages its employees to volunteer by documenting their efforts on a company website. The team made in-kind donations totalling $31,000 and supported youth sports clubs, an autism group, the PBA and other nonprofits.

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