The New Jersey City University Foundation will host the Jersey City Leadership Awards on Thursday, honoring four individuals who have had a tremendous impact on and positively transformed the community.
Steve Fulop, mayor of Jersey City, will be honored for his service and dedication to the advancement of the area.
Angelo Genova, partner at Genova Burns, will be honored for his innovation — and his willingness to share his ideas not just with his colleagues, but the community.
Stefania Panepinto, founder of Panepinto Galleries, will be recognized for her excellence in the arts (and will be hosting a silent auction at the event).
And Thomas Stanton Jr., the late former CEO and president of First Jersey National Bank, will be recognized posthumously for his legacy and his decision to build corporate offices along the Jersey City waterfront, which helped tremendously in making the Gold Coast into what it is today.
Genova said innovation is a key to growing communities — but that it can only succeed in the right environments.
“Innovation and new ideas thrive when you are comfortable with those with whom you work and play,” he said. “A culture of innovation grows from an environment that allows people to push themselves, to try to accomplish things they might not otherwise achieve, without being wedded to the norms of the past, and allows for failure within reason.”
Panepinto said she credits her passion for her success.
“No matter how many obstacles get in the way, no matter what people say you should do, you have to do what you love and your life will be better for it,” she said. “Pursue your passion no matter what. Even if you barely know what you are doing at first, really, truly believe in yourself.
“In addition, create or seek out an organization or community, like Pro Arts Jersey City, as these groups hold many opportunities.”
Stanton’s son, Thomas J. Stanton III, said his father overcame a lot to help build the city.
“Before my dad was 40, he became president of a local bank that faced extremely tough regulations,” he said. “As banking rules slowly evolved at the local, state and, eventually, national level, he remained on the cutting edge of expanding the bank’s footprint and believed in all that Jersey City could offer.
“It’s been 20 years since he passed away, but, to this day, I continue to meet people who knew my father and tell me stories about the impact he made. He was a terrific businessman and I am most proud that he was a champion of urban development.”
Click here for more information about the event, including how to purchase tickets or make a donation.