Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The Status of Cannabis in Bergen  County: Canna-Business? Canna-Bank? Canna-Town?

Hackensack, New Jersey - In 2009, the Bergen Volunteer Center introduced the Fifth Friday series as one of its educational and civic -minded leadership programs that helps Bergen County residents stay informed on topics ripped from the headlines. Fifth Friday is a powerful networking and public policy series that attracts leaders from every sector of Bergen County and gives them the opportunity to hear from high profile speakers and share perspective on topics that affect their daily living and working.

In 2018, more than 500 people attended Fifth Friday forums and joined the conversation about: Women in Leadership, A Look at New Jersey’s Largest Public Hospital, and The Future of Retail Space in Bergen County. The Bergen Volunteer Center is excited about the 2019 series which kicks off on Friday, January 25th at the Stony Hill Inn. 

The topic of discussion will be: The Status of Cannabis in Bergen County and the discussion will be led by a panel of esteemed presenters that includes William Caruso of Archer and Greiner P.C., Sheriff Anthony Cureton, Dianna Houneou, Policy Counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, New Jersey Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle, and Scott Rudder, President of the New Jersey Cannabis Association.

The Fifth Friday forums have been extremely successful, due in part to you- the attendee, a host of volunteers and our many generous sponsors. Thank you to Investor’s Bank, Archer and Greiner P.C, PNC Wealth Management and The Record for your sponsorship of the January 25, 2019 event .Sponsorship opportunities are still available! Fifth Friday Forum sponsors receive tremendous value for their investment, including: complimentary tickets; logo inclusion on websites, social media channels, email blasts, print and press releases; and recognition and signage on-site at the event.

Interested in joining us at Fifth Friday or becoming a sponsor? Call Elizabeth Reich at 201-489-9454 ext. 211 or e-mail for more information.

Bergen LEADS  Applications for 2020 Now Available!

Hackensack, New Jersey – A persistent question facing every sector is, “Where will the next generation of ethical, effective leaders come from?” The answer - Bergen LEADS. Bergen LEADS is a program of the Bergen Volunteer Center. The Bergen Volunteer Center strengthens the community by connecting people through service and developing civic leaders. Under the guidance of former Bergen County Executive William Schuber, the LEADS Seminar Director, Bergen LEADS is now in its 12th year.

Bergen LEADS is a 10 month community leadership program for adults who live or work in Bergen County. Interactive, fast paced and experiential, the program is delivered through a series of “Issue Days”, which include discussion with community leaders, site visits, small group interaction and personal reflection. Each class completes a capstone project which provides an opportunity to develop solutions to real issues in Bergen County. Relationships generated from Bergen LEADS transcend the program due to the active alumni that coordinate events and networking opportunities. 

Bergen LEADS applications for the Class of 2020 are now available at and are due by April 12th. Bergen LEADS seeks representation from a broad array of ethnic, racial, religious and socio-economic groups. Lynne Algrant, CEO of Bergen Volunteer Center and Bergen LEADS co-seminar director knows that, “Diversity of participants is essential”. Applicants from business, nonprofit, civic faith-based, and government organizations, as well as from the community at large, are encouraged to apply. Tuition is $2,500 and scholarship assistance is available for those with financial need.

To apply: Contact Melissa LaRobardier at 201-489-9454 x 206 or for additional information.