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State Recognizes Madison, Partners for Innovative Problem Solving

Chief Executive Council for Madison receives state Community Affairs Award.

From left, Steve Rusckowski, CEO of Quest Diagnostics, Dr. Vivian A. Bull, president of Drew University, Madison Mayor Bob Conley and Sen. Richard Codey. (Contributed photo)
From left, Steve Rusckowski, CEO of Quest Diagnostics, Dr. Vivian A. Bull, president of Drew University, Madison Mayor Bob Conley and Sen. Richard Codey. (Contributed photo)
The Chief Executive Council For Madison (CECM) was presented with the State of New Jersey Department of Community Affairs Award for Innovation in Governance by State Sen. and former Gov. Richard Codey at their biannual meeting and anniversary celebration.

The award highlights exemplary local government programs that provide innovative and practical approaches to solving municipal problems and concerns. The honor was presented at a Jan. 22 meeting where CECM convened local and national leaders to build further collaborations to strengthen the community, celebrate progress over the last year, and learn about national trends impacting the local area.

"Congratulations to the Borough of Madison and its partners—Quest, Drew and all of the Chief Executive Council for Madison executive members for your innovation. Your work makes a difference in the lives of the people of New Jersey,” Codey said, when presenting the award to the founding chairmen.

In its first year, CECM committed to supporting the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention Study (CPS-3), adopting the town of Union Beach, whose infrastructure and families were devastated by Hurricane Sandy, and creating an "Emerging Leaders" initiative that would foster the next generation of leaders in Madison.

The community helped the society exceed its local CPS-3 enrollment goals, provided more than $300,000 of support to Union Beach, and partnered with Junior Achievement to create an "Emerging Leaders" speaker series at Madison High School and Drew University with participating executives.

The Chief Executive Council for Madison was founded by Steve Rusckowski, CEO of Quest Diagnostics, Madison Mayor Bob Conley and Dr. Vivian A. Bull, president of Drew University, to connect local corporate chief executives living in or leading businesses in Madison for networking, collaboration for collective community impact, and education leadership.

Also in attendance were Mayor Paul Smith of Union Beach, and executives from Junior Achievement, Madison Area YMCA, Wells Fargo, Realogy, Pfizer, Prudential, Investors Bank and others.

"Making a difference in people’s lives extends far beyond our primary job of providing diagnostic insights," Rusckowski said. “We’re happy that the collaborative work of the Chief Executive Council for Madison has been recognized, but we’re more happy about the results we’ve achieved. I think Mayor Conley, Dr. Bull and the CECM members would agree that 2013 was a building year for us and 2014 is just getting started. I look forward to the great things to come."

CECP CEO Daryl Brewster shared with CECM members the 2014 Edelman Trust Barometer found that 84 percent of those surveyed agree businesses should play a role in solving societal issues while also making a profit.  He reiterated that a clear connection between business strategy and community needs is no longer nice to do, but a must.

"One of most important pillars of the work that CECP promotes for companies to engage in effective societal investments is collaboration,” Brewster said. “Madison is a case study for other communities to take note of to bridge across sectors and put the talents of a variety of people to work for the community."

Looking forward to 2014 impact and beyond, the group announced, in honor of Dr. Bull, the Vivian A. Bull CECM Emerging Leaders Fellows Program at Drew University, funded by member organizations and executives, to support learning internships and "Emerging Leader" education activities, and the establishment of the CECM Inspiring Leadership Award, presented in its inaugural year to Jim Burnet, assistant borough administrator of Madison for his pivotal role in bringing together stakeholders to help CECM take life in its first year.

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