March of Dimes Nominates Nurse at Preferred for Nurse of the Year Award

Posted on October 23, 2017 By

The March of Dimes has nominated Francis Chege, RN, Eatontown, N.J., Nurse of the Year. Chege is the clinical supervisor in the Eatontown office of Preferred Home Health Care & Nursing Services (PHHC), Eatontown, where he assists in the management of nursing and home health aide clients, and supervises the nurses and aides providing their care.

The 12th annual state-wide Nurse of the Year event pays tribute to the nursing profession by recognizing extraordinary nurses throughout the community in 12 categories. The Nurse of the Year Award recognizes and honors those who make a difference in the lives of many people.

The award ceremony will feature a cocktail hour, dinner, and reception on November 15, 2017, beginning at 6:00 p.m., at the Grand Marquis, 1550 U.S. 9, Old Bridge Township, New Jersey. For more information, contact Lisa Gallicchio, director of community relations, at 732-443-8100.

Chege, originally from Kenya, was employed as an electrician there. Unable to obtain a green card, Francis’ wife entered his name in a Kenyan green card lottery…and he won! Shortly after the September 11 attacks, they immigrated to America. When Chege was unable to obtain his electrician’s license, he accepted a position with the ARC of Monmouth, an agency that provides care to the elderly and disabled. The position with ARC sparked Chege’s interest in caring for others.

Over the last 15 years, Chege has worked his way upward in health care, culminating with receiving his RN license in 2015. Shortly thereafter, Chege joined Preferred Home Health Care & Nursing Services.

Chege has always made it his mission to help others. In 2005, returning to America after a visit to Kenya, Chege met a fellow Kenyan woman in distress. She was coming to the States to visit her acutely ill son and was having difficulty navigating her trip. Chege helped her navigate her entry into this country and arranged transportation so she could visit her child in a Maryland hospital. He also provided the woman with housing. After her child was discharged from the hospital, Chege offered both of them a place to stay with his family in Eatontown until he was able to help them obtain a residence of their own.

In 2007, Chege met another young woman from Kenya who had traveled to the U.S. to speak at the U.N about various hardships in Africa. Although she was 20 years old, she looked much younger because of malnutrition and various illnesses throughout her life. Chege took action. He assisted her in getting proper medical treatment and coordinated her living arrangements. The woman, deeply touched by Chege’s assistance, is now helping others after recently earning her nursing license in New Jersey.

About Preferred Home Health Care & Nursing Services: Since 1987, Preferred Home Health Care & Nursing Services (PHHC), 45 Main Street, Eatontown, N.J., has provided a wide range of medical and non-medical home health care services from pediatric to geriatric care throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania. PHHC is accredited by CHAP (Community Health Accreditation Program), an accrediting organization for the home health care industry.

Preferred works collaboratively with physicians, hospitals, nursing homes and facilities to ensure a smooth transition to one’s home. In-house services include skilled nursing care for infants, children, adults, and seniors; personal care services, including bathing, grooming, dressing, feeding, etc.; private duty nursing services; and at-home physical therapy, among others. All of the care can be provided in-house and is coordinated by registered nurses, with clinical supervision available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

New Jersey locations include corporate headquarters, Main Street, Eatontown; South Orange; Robbinsville; Brick; Galloway; Hackensack; North Brunswick; Wyckoff Road, Eatontown; and Mt. Laurel. Pennsylvania locations include Bala Cynwyd, Allentown, and Bensalem. Visit Preferred at for more information.


Odyssey International Productions Announces Its Business Excellence Award Winners

Posted on October 23, 2017 By

Odyssey International Productions, a 501(c)(3) organization that recognizes the efforts and accomplishments small-business owners, individuals, and organizations who have contributed significantly to the development of their communities, has announced the winners of its 18th annual Awards of Excellence.

The award ceremony will take place November 17, 2017, at 6:00 p.m., in the Robert Treat Hotel, 50 Park Place, Newark, N.J.

Melissa Persia Oliver, founder of Odyssey International Productions, said, “This event is designed to bring influential business leaders, entrepreneurs, and politicians together in an effort to create opportunities for business growth. Odyssey recognizes companies and individuals who have made substantial, outstanding contributions to their community that would not ordinarily receive recognition.”

The Awards of Excellence will be presented to the following recipients, including the Lifetime Achievement Award of Excellence to the Honorable Mayor Wilda Diaz, City of Perth Amboy; the Outstanding Achievement Award to Rohan Defreitas, Principle/CEO, Crescent Consulting; and the Special Recognition Award to Pauline Gebon, Global Head of Supplier Diversity, MetLife; and I. Javette Hines, Director, Head of Supply Chain Development, Inclusion and Sustainability, Citi.

Paola Camargo, Manager of Training Programs and Outreach Events, The Regional Alliance for Small Contractors; Theresa Childress, Associate Director, National Minority Supplier Development Council, Inc.; Janald R. Walden, Deputy Diversity Compliance Manager, Tappen Zee Bridge- EnTech; Gregory A. Jenifer, President and CEO, Armand Resource Group, Inc.; and Patricia Fulks, Program Manager, Hudson County Department of Parks and Community Service, Office of Minority and Women Business Enterprise, will receive the Business Awards of Excellence.

The Entrepreneur Awards will be presented to Ronaldo Linares, CEO and Executive Chef, Martino’s Cuban Restaurant; Rick Martinez, Owner, Senor  Sangria; Leo Cervantes, Owner, Chilangos  Mexican Restaurant; and Hipatia Lopez, owner, H.L. Unico LLC,

Samuel P. Lamparello, President and CEO, MLB Residential Lending LLC will receive the

Community Service Award. The 18th Year Green Diamond Award of Excellence will go Nettie Seaberry, Director, Strategy and Services, National Minority Supplier Development Council, Inc.

The honorees are selected by “Pass the Torch,” a program in which the past honorees nominate an honoree; or organizations and individuals nominate an individual. Board members of Odyssey review and make the final selection of the honorees.

For more information, tickets, sponsorships, or ads, visit or contact M. Persia Oliver, 732-381-3003. Visit for sponsorships and to view past winners.

About Odyssey International Productions: Odyssey International Productions, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded by Melissa Persia Oliver, has been recognizing the efforts and accomplishments of phenomenal individuals and organizations for their outstanding business and community service contributions for 18 years. Among other ideals, the mission of Odyssey is to provide recipients with a sense of appreciation and provide a platform for small businesses to network with corporations to gain additional exposure. Oliver was named one of the Top 25 Leading Woman Entrepreneurs of New Jersey by the organization Leading Women Entrepreneurs and Business Owners and was identified as one of the Top 25 Women in Power Impacting Diversity by Diversity Plus Magazine.

Odyssey International Productions focuses on communities, neighborhoods and economies through informative and empowering events, seminars and fundraisers. Odyssey has also hosted several events to raise community awareness, such as a Season of Giving holiday party for underprivileged families that includes a home-cooked meal, books, toys, bikes, clothing and photos with Santa; a Tie-A-Tie Drive to not only teach young men how to tie a tie, but to teach them about professionalism; and a Back-to-School Backpack drive. For more information, visit Odyssey International Productions, 103 West Main Street, Rahway, NJ 07065. Phone: (732) 381-3003; Fax: (732) 388-7078;


Hot Issues in Employment Law 2017-Half-day HR Legal Seminar, Nov. 9

Posted on October 22, 2017 By

What are the top employment law issues that impact HR professionals? The Jersey Shore Association for Human Resources (JSAHR) is hosting a half-day legal seminar presented by Jackson Lewis attorneys Richard Cino, Ashley Chilton, Jason Gavejian, Kelly Gunther, and David Islinger on Thursday, November 9, 2017, 9:00 a.m. to noon at Jumping Brook Country Club, 210 Jumping Brook Road, Neptune, N.J.  

This presentation will cover the Impact of the Trump Administration on New Jersey Employers; A Labor and Employment Overview of Data Breaches – Are You Prepared?; Preparation for Social Media Attacks – Vaccinating an Organization’s Brand; Train the Trainer – How to Effectively Conduct Management Training; Case law and Regulatory Update. A question and answer session is included.

The registration fee, which includes breakfast and networking from 7:45 to 9:00 a.m., is $60 for JSAHR members; $90 for non-members; $50 for those in-transition and guests, and $10.00 for students with valid IDs. A $10 additional fee will be added for walk-ins.

Register online at or email Christine Higgins at or call JSAHR at 732-701-7155. This program is pending 3 HRCI (Human Resource Certification Institute) and SHRM recertification credits. JSAHR is recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits.

About Jackson Lewis, P.C. Jackson Lewis LLP is among the largest firms in the country dedicated to representing management in labor, employment and benefits law and related litigation. With twenty-seven offices across the country, the firm has both a national perspective and an understanding of regional business environments. Jackson Lewis represents employers before state and federal courts on a wide range of issues, including discrimination, wrongful discharge, retaliation, whistleblower, health, safety, wage, /hour, pension and benefits. The firm’s attorneys negotiate collective bargaining before the NLRB, OSHA, and other federal and state agencies.


Halloween Parade and Fun in Lakewood, Oct. 31

Posted on October 20, 2017 By

The Lakewood Township Committee in conjunction with the Lakewood Police Department, the Lakewood Fire Department, the Lakewood EMTs, and the Lakewood Recreation Department are inviting residents to enjoy Halloween with them on Tuesday, October 31, 2017, at the Lakewood Town Square, Clifton Avenue and Third Street, Lakewood, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m.

Members of the Lakewood High School PALS program (Pupil Assisted Learning Services) will be on hand to help with face and pumpkin painting at 4:00 p.m. The Lakewood High School pep band will provide entertainment along with elementary school choruses singing Halloween songs and other music.

A costume parade for children age 11 years and under begins at 5:00 p.m. As kids walk across the stage, parents and friends can take pictures. All children will receive a Trick or Treat bag with candy donated by members of the Lakewood Police Department, the Lakewood Fire Department, and the Lakewood EMS.

According to Jeff Shapiro, supervisor of recreation for Lakewood Township, said, “The Lakewood Halloween event is a safe place for children so they do not have to go door to door or walk dark streets.”

The rain site is the Lakewood Community Center, 20 Fourth Street, Lakewood, N.J. For more information, call Lakewood Recreation at 732-905-3405.


N.J. Health Care Network to Meet November 14

Posted on October 19, 2017 By

The monthly meeting of NJ Health Care Network, a free organization for anyone in the health care industry, including those who provide ancillary products and services, is Tuesday, November 14, 2017, from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at CareOne at Somerset Valley Assisted Living, 1621 Route 22 West, Bound Brook, N.J.

The NJ Health Care Network provides an opportunity to build relationships among health care professionals, market events, and promote business. Meetings take place in a different New Jersey county each month.

For more information about NJ Health Care Network, email Lisa Gallicchio, director of community relations for Preferred Home Health Care & Nursing Services, Eatontown, at, call 732-547-9886, or visit for the monthly location and member events.


Joel Markel President of Preferred Home Health Care Named Citizen of the Year

Posted on October 17, 2017 By

The Lakewood Chamber of Commerce has named Joel Markel, the founder and president of Preferred Home Health Care & Nursing Services (PHHC), Eatontown, one of its 2017 Citizens of the Year.  The reception to honor Markel and other honorees is Thursday, November 9, 2017, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., at Eagle Ridge Golf Club, 2 Augusta Boulevard, Lakewood, N.J.

PHHC is a company that provides a wide range of medical and non-medical home health care services from pediatric to geriatric care in eight locations throughout New Jersey and three in Pennsylvania. Markel prides himself on the fact that his agency gives the “highest degree of custodial and medical nursing care, along with giving guidance on the emotional issues families may face.”

Markel and his wife Stephanie, a retired dentist, are well known for their humanitarian and philanthropic work, including their ongoing support of the Emmanuel Cancer Foundation (ECF). Joel, now chairman emeritus, is past president of ECF, having served as president for three years in a row.

More than 20 years ago, the Markels had sought medical care at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) for their son Ryan who later died of liver cancer and other complications. Out of their strength from this experience, the Markels created the Ryan Markel Memorial Fund that supports a program to give children checkups at a West Philadelphia homeless shelter. This program has evolved into the HHI (Homeless Health Initiative).

Recently the Markels received a recognition award for their generosity and devotion to helping others through HHI. Today, hundreds of volunteers, including doctors, nurses, dentists, social workers, and specialists of all kinds, provide monthly free health and health-related services to children and their families in three emergency housing shelters.

Markel has also served on the board of Circle of Life Foundation, a New Jersey-based organization whose mission is to provide palliative care for seriously ill and dying children, and support for families.

In honor of Markel, Townsquare Media, Toms River, renamed its fourth floor WOBM-AM studio in the Bob Levy Broadcast Center, “The Preferred Home Health Care Studio.” For several years, Joel Markel has hosted his own radio show Preferred Company, a regional radio show that airs on five radio stations in New Jersey. During the show Markel and Marianne Levy discuss topics of interest to families, the senior community, and caregivers. Markel uses his passion for radio to promote many charitable and nonprofit causes, and to discuss various health and wellness topics.

Markel, the son of a Hungarian Auschwitz survivor, had long desired to contribute to the field of Holocaust memory to honor the experience of his mother and the millions of victims of the Jewish genocide. It was during a tour of the Roman Ghetto in 2004 that Markel first heard the story of Kappler’s Gold Extortion.

Joel wanted to bring this story to an American audience. As a result, Joel, the founder and executive producer of Ottimo Films, created Oro Macht Frei (Gold Will Set You Free), a 70-minute documentary that tells the story of the Roman Jewish experience during the Nazi occupation of Rome, September 1943 through June 1944. Oro Macht Frei won Best International Documentary out of 15 submissions at the 13th annual Garden State Film Festival (GSFF), Atlantic City.  Joel is a member of Chhange – Center for Holocaust, Human Rights & Genocide Education.

Joel, who speaks English, Spanish and Hebrew fluently, grew up in Bensonhurst, New York. He graduated from CUNY Brooklyn with a B.S. in accounting.  The Markels, 30-year residents of Monmouth County, have two sons. James is an attorney in New York; and Lane is a recent college graduate.

Tickets cost $110.00 and include a premium open bar, buffet dinner, and dessert. Kosher food is available upon request.

Sponsorships and advertising opportunities are available, ranging from $200 to $1500. For questions, tickets or sponsorships, contact Denise Esposito, executive assistant of the Lakewood Chamber, at 732-363-0012 or


It Took 72 Years but Uncle Matty Finally Came Home!

Posted on October 17, 2017 By

A traditional number’s person, Jim Farrell had never put his pen to paper to write a narrative until he was moved deeply by the significant discovery of his Uncle Matty’s D-Day rifle from WWII. Reaching deeply into his family’s history and memorabilia, Farrell recreated as much of his Uncle’s life as possible, which turned into an incredible opportunity for Farrell to explore his past and write the book Uncle Matty Comes Home.

Farrell will be talking about his book and signing copies on Veteran’s Day, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. at Barnes & Noble, 753 New Jersey 18, Brunswick Square, East Brunswick, N.J. (732-432-0100).

The journey to bring Uncle Matty’s D-Day M1 Garand Rifle home started for Farrell at Saint Jerome’s Church in the South Bronx. This journey has led him to Normandy, France; Nottingham, England; 508th PIR reunions, The Pentagon, and many other places.

The journey has ended for the moment with the first annual mass for Uncle Matty at Saint Jerome’s Church on June 4, 2017, with more than 40 family members and 100 parishioners in attendance. (A mass in Uncle Matty’s honor will now be held there every Pentecostal Sunday.)

Private Martin Teahan of HQ Company, 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR), 82nd Airborne Division, died on June 6, 1944, near a church in Picauville, Normandy, on the first day of the Invasion of Normandy. While scouting a position, he was shot in the leg, captured, and then killed by a German soldier who thought he was reaching for a weapon.

A few days after D-Day, a French farmer in the area found an M1 Garand Rifle with the name M. Teahan engraved on the butt of the rifle. No one knew what the farmer did with the rifle for 72 years until it was discovered February 2016 by an active duty French Army Paratrooper Commander named General Patrick Collet.

Farrell said, “Martin Teahan, a legend to me and my family, was my uncle. We knew him as Uncle Matty.’ A poor Irish Immigrant, stories of his bravery resonated with me as I grew up in the same rough neighborhood in the South Bronx as Uncle Matty.

“On March 12, 2016, five days before learning about my uncle’s historical D-Day rifle, my brother Jackie and I visited Saint Jerome’s Church in the South Bronx for the first time since our childhood.  As we stood in the Church that day, we both realized we had never noticed a plaque that honored the parishioners who were killed in action in World War II. Uncle Matty was one of 65 names of World War II heroes who paid the ultimate sacrifice. We marveled over the plaque and wondered why we never noticed it as kids.”

As fate would have it, on Saint Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2016 (some say, “It was the Luck of the Irish”), Farrell received an email from General Patrick Collet that he had acquired an M1 Garand rifle with the named M. Teahan engraved on it.

For decades Farrell’s sister Liz had been a member of the Friends and Family of the 508th PIR Association and had setup a profile page on the 508th PIR website. General Collet, determined to find who M. Teahan was, searched the 508th PIR website for an M. Teahan. He found the match and notified Liz and Farrell.

Farrell said, “We knew the moment we found out that the rifle was our Uncle Matty’s, he was coming home after 72 years. This moment changed our lives.” Jim has now become a life-time member of Friends and Family of the 508th PIR Association.

General Collet invited Farrell and his wife Monica to visit him and his family in June 2016. During their visit, General Collet allowed Farrell and Monica to see, feel, and hold the M1 rifle of the beloved Uncle Matty. Farrell said, “I knew I had to tell his story.”

Purchase Uncle Matty Comes Home at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, or wherever books are sold. Copies are available on Kindle, paperback, or hardcover. For more information, contact Farrell at 732-995-0268 or

About Jim Farrell: Jim Farrell, born in Bronx, N.Y., in 1956, grew up in the South Bronx during the 1960s and ’70s. A shy Irish-American kid, he escaped the rowdy streets of New York City and served his country by joining the army in 1974. He served as a Military Policeman at Fort Lewis, Washington; and then Camp Ames, South Korea, before returning home to the United States.

Once home, Farrell got a B.S. in accounting (1983) from SUNY, Binghamton through the G.I. Bill. Subsequently, he has held key financial positions as Tax Auditor for New York State Department of Finance, COO of a retail electronics chain, and CFO (1994) of Configuration Management Inc., an IT consulting company with headquarters in Red Bank, N.J.

Farrell co-founded Single Throw, Inc. (2001) an Internet marketing company in Wall, N.J., which now employs more than 30 people; and “Move Ahead 1,” a business education company (2004). As CFO of Single Throw and Move Ahead 1, Farrell is in charge of the company’s finances, human resources, and managing the quality of services produced by Single Throw.

Farrell served on the Board of Directors of the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce, was first vice president and then president (2007-2008). He also chaired the technology, finance, and E-newsletter committees. Through his leadership, the Lakewood Chamber was one of the first to have its own blog and podcasts of business issues. Farrell was instrumental in developing websites for both the Lakewood and Brick chambers of commerce.

Farrell also founded the Monmouth/Ocean Chapter of the Financial Executives Networking Group, and a new business alliance, 24 Chair Networking Group.

Farrell lives in East Brunswick with his wife Monica, a retired Assistant Academic Dean at St. John’s University, the College of Professional Studies, Staten Island and Queens’ campuses. As an active couple, the two have played countless rounds of tennis and golf together. They enjoy spending time with their golden retriever, Piper.


ADA Sensitivity Training at the Strand Moved to October 18

Posted on October 13, 2017 By

Understanding how to help and accommodate anyone with a disability – difficulty hearing, wheelchair, problems seeing, among other impairments – is important for anyone who interacts with the public.

Luana Fahr, M.S. Ed, LDT-C, director of the Academic Development and Support Center and disabilities officer at Georgian Court University (GCU), is presenting Disabilities Sensitivity Training, open to the public, October 18, 2017, at 5:30 p.m., at the Strand Center for the Arts, 400 Clifton Avenue, Lakewood, N.J. Topics include disabilities etiquette, accessibility, and a history of laws, including those associated with employment of people with disabilities.

Fahr, the author of the book, Living on the Right Side of Zero, and the article, “Accommodations in College: Leveling the Playing Field,” in Off to College magazine, addresses all student accommodation and modification requests at GCU, serves as an instructor of the course Professional Development and Disability, and is a member of the executive board of NJAHEAD (New Jersey Association on Higher Education and Disability).

A donation for the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) seminar is $10.00 per adult and $5.00 per student with ID at the door.

For more information, contact Fran Whitney, operations manager, at 732-367-7789 Ext. 214 or email


You Are Invited! How to Get the Best Results from Social Media Marketing

Posted on October 13, 2017 By

Suzanne Stingo, the founder of SMS Social Media Strategies, will be the featured speaker at the Tuesday, October 17, 2017, meeting of CRA (Corporate Resource Alliance), 8:00 to 10:00 a.m., Room 104, at the Freehold campus of Brookdale Community College.  Stingo, who has developed best practices in using the power of social media and LinkedIn, will focus her talk for business owners on “How to Optimize Your Social Media Marketing to Get the Best Possible ROI.”

Feel free to attend and invite those who might benefit from her talk. Stingo is a well-known expert in her field.  R.S.V.P. to John Kalli, president of CRA, at


Lakewood Chamber to Sponsor LHS Career Fair – Exhibit Tables Available

Posted on October 11, 2017 By

Promote your company, find employees, and give students tips on career preparation at the Lakewood High School Career Fair, Friday, October 27, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Lakewood High School, 855 Somerset Avenue, Lakewood.

The Lakewood Chamber of Commerce and its education committee are sponsoring the 2017 Career Fair.  Free tables are available for the first 35 employers who respond.

For more information, contact Gay Huggins-Dickey at 732-905-3500 Ext. 7402 or