North Jersey Region Recognizes Outstanding Volunteers

The American Red Cross North Jersey Region honored some of its extraordinary volunteers at three Volunteer Recognition Ceremonies this month. We are honored to work alongside these amazing people who give so much of themselves to help others in need.  Photos on Flickr: 

 Outstanding Volunteers Service Award

Jeffrey Einbond, New Jersey Crossroads

Fred Schlesinger, Northern New Jersey

Joan Klimpl, Central New Jersey

 Outstanding Youth Involvement Award

Morris Youth Council, New Jersey Crossroads

Bindi Dhaduk, Northern New Jersey

Amanda Faynor, Central New Jersey


New Jersey Crossroads: Kevin Anderson, Sam Bailey, Sally Barylick, Adelaide Fairfield, Kay Hurd, Janet George Murnick, Susan Mondics, Pat and Barry O’Brien, Brian Otto, Carol Ouzounian and Westfield Youth Council.

Northern New Jersey: Meredith Barrentine, Hank Bernstein, Katherine Celardo, Joseph Fantozzi, Bill Kelly, Purva Kulkarni, Margie McCord, Renee Salkin, John Thomas, Jonathan Tsui, Jerry Wallace, Tom Wojtovich and Lois Yanagi.

Central New Jersey: Dennis Bunting, Julie Daigle, Jamie Ferguson, Jack Ford, Netty Lowenstein, Michele Mariano, Greg Pozesky and Robert Weston.

More about our amazing award recipients:

Outstanding Volunteer Service Award Recipients

JEFF EINBONDfb - Summit Jeff w Don and Cliff

Jeff is a remarkable responder on the Disaster Action Team (DAT), who became lead for Union County merely a year after joining the organization.

During Superstorm Sandy, Jeff generously devoted more than a month of his time to help with Red Cross relief efforts in New Jersey.

Jeff is also a Blood Services volunteer, who dedicates his time to work at least eight drives per month and also finds time to help with health fairs and community events.  

This exceptional volunteer added disaster preparedness presenter to his Red Cross resume last year and quickly became a trainer for the Disaster Preparedness teams. Jeff is also a member of the mentoring team which helps guide new disaster services volunteers. 

Jeff is always enthusiastic to spread the word about Red Cross preparedness and the services available to the community.


During the past eight years, Fred Schlesinger has displayed an infinity for developing creative solutions for important and complex situations while continuing to devote more than 80 hours per month to the American Red Cross. 

In the summer of 2013, Fred was selected as one of three volunteers to attend a week-long, National Red Cross conference on disaster re-engineering. He was essential in aiding the Regional Chief Executive Officer in the finalization and mapping of roles and the creation of Performance Development Plans for the newly-defined Disaster Services department. 

fb Fred volunteer FairfieldZ (2)Following the departure of the regional disaster officer in August, Fred displayed an unmatched level of leadership when he committed to ensuring that the re-engineering remained on track. Fred designed a series of PowerPoint presentations and has been delivering disaster re-engineering presentations to community groups, staff, boards and volunteers. Fred’s presentations have been used as “best practices.”

Additionally, Fred has dedicated himself to supporting his fellow volunteers. He is leading a volunteer and staff task force to discuss volunteer on-boarding. He has created a set of sub-committees that are building new standard operating procedures for volunteer intake, recruitment, retention and professional development. 

Fred has become a beacon of steadiness and is constantly working in a collaborative spirit to refine the work that the Red Cross does to best meet the needs of the people it serves every day. Fred’s selfless commitment of personal time and his productivity far surpasses all the expectations one could have for a volunteer.  


Joan Klimpl has spent countless hours and traveled across the country to provide disaster relief to those in need. During her eight years of service Joan has demonstrated top-notch leadership skills in disaster situations. The self-proclaimed “disaster junkie” has deployed to 25 national disaster relief operations where she aided in logistics and shelter operations. 

Most recently Joan deployed to Colorado to assist in the relief effort following mudslides in the state.    Joan’s commitment to providing superior support to those affected by disasters exemplifies the spirit of the Red Cross. Her speedy response and positive demeanor has earned her the admiration of her peers.   

As an active and passionate instructor in Disaster Services, Joan has prepared many volunteers with the knowledge to effectively administer disaster relief in the region. The former school teacher’s exceptional and tireless efforts to help educate the community demonstrate her devotion to the safety of others. 

Between instructing courses and supporting disaster relief, Joan’s role also includes workforce administrator and service on numerous committees. Joan has truly devoted herself to the mission of the Red Cross. 

Outstanding Youth Involvement Award Recipients


In the last year the Morris Youth Council has worked on numerous events, to educate the public on key American Red Cross initiatives and raise funds for the organization.fb Morris Youth Council 12191687036_2df86bd299_b

In one instance, the council reached more than 11,000 families with important preparedness information by distributing materials to Morristown Community Theater goers. Additionally, they supported Service to Armed Forces by collecting personal care items and created more than 100 kits which they then distributed at the veterans hospital.

The blood program remains an important facet of the council’s work, holding blood drives which exceed the goals while recruiting first-time donors.

The council also educated more than 1,500 children about the importance of hand washing to control the spread of germs. 

Whenever there is an event, the Morris Youth Council is there. The way this group handled change during the reorganization was exceptional. The Red Cross can always count on this group to find a way to be enthusiastic and supportive. 


Every youth volunteer has individual strengths, but Bindi Dhaduk stands apart. Bindi became an American Red Cross youth volunteer in the spring of 2013. She founded and was instrumental in organizing Bloomfield High School’s Red Cross Club by drafting the club’s constitution, identifying the required faculty members, and continues to steer the club in a direction consistent with the Red Cross’s mission.

fb Bindi Fairfield 12191072085_423aba1f44_o[1]Bindi spearheaded a Bloomfield High School Red Cross Club fall-fundraiser, raising more than $300. She was responsible for coordinating the first Bloomfield High School  Red Cross blood drive which collected more than 60 units of blood, benefitting more than 180  individuals. Bindi, and fellow members of the Bloomfield High School Future Business Leaders of America, hosted a day of wellness for children in Bloomfield. The event included emergency vehicles, health and safety booths, games and preparedness education from the Red Cross. 

Bindi’s compassion, kindness, poise and persistence exemplify everything the organization is looking for in a youth volunteer. She is an inspiration to her peer group, her community and her fellow Red Cross colleagues. She is an ideal example of the very best of our organization’s future.


Amanda has been an exceptional American Red Cross Youth volunteer with the Hillsborough High School Red Cross Club for the past four years. She has proven herself to be a great leader by guiding the club in various activities that support the Red Cross mission.  fb princeton volunteer amanda

Amanda attended the Red Cross Youth Leadership Conference in 2012 and is serving as the club’s president for the 2013-2014 academic year. Amanda coordinated a collection of items for comforts of home packages to be sent to members of the Armed Forces serving overseas. She has led the club with preparedness and health program participation and a visit to a local assisted-living facility.

In addition, Amanda chose the Red Cross as the place to complete her REACH senior-year internship which included organizing a successful blood drive at Hillsborough High School. 

Amanda is a bright young volunteer we hope to see with us for many years to come

Pacesetter Recipients


Disaster Preparedness – Kevin Anderson

Kevin is a dedicated key volunteer in the Preparedness Program. His background and experience are essential to his ability to connect with public audiences. He has also puts his wonderful chef skills to good use for many pot luck dinner meetings.

 Administration – Sam Bailey

Sam is the friendly face and voice that greets all who visit the Millburn office. He is also learning Volunteer Connection to ensure all potential volunteers are contacted and moved into their area of interest quickly.

Blood Services – Sally Barylick

Sally started volunteering with the American Red Cross at the young age of 86. Over the past seven years, she has expertly managed and coordinated the Madison area blood drives.

Community Service/ Transportation – Adelaide Fairfield

Adelaide stepped forward to coordinate and manage the transportation program in the Summit office. She does this with superior customer service to our clients and her team of volunteers.

Disaster Health Services  – Kay Hurd

Kay has used her nursing talents to strengthen our relationship with the Medical Reserve Corp. and help standardize the shelter nurse kit throughout the North Jersey Region.

Service to Armed Forces – Janet George Murnick

As an avid supporter and advocate of our troops and veterans, Janet has been a champion in promoting Services to Armed Forces.

Service to Armed Forces – Susan Mondics

Susan volunteers and assists regularly at Services to Armed forces events and never hesitates to say “Yes.” Her enthusiasm is contagious.

Fundraising – Pat and Barry O’Brien

Pat and Barry had stepped up to lead a committee of volunteers to successfully implement the Run for the Red 5K in Millburn. From sponsorship to the small details, Pat and Barry were hands on.

Disaster Services – Brian Otto

Brian has set the pace for other new volunteers in Warren County by exemplifying the importance of being a well- rounded volunteer in a rural area.

Community Services/Food Pantry – Carol Ouzounian

Carol has been supporting the food pantry in Millburn in partnership with St. Stevens Church. She is the key coordinator in packing, sorting and distributing food to our clients.

Youth – Westfield Youth Council

The Westfield Youth Council has grown from six to 28 members over a 4-year period. The spirited group is involved with fundraising, preparedness training and blood drives.


Community Services/Transportation – Meredith Barrentine

Meredith stepped forward to skillfully coordinate and manage the transportation program for Montclair and Glen Ridge. She is extremely dedicated and passionate about the program. She demonstrates superior customer service skills in interacting with our clients and her team of volunteers.

International Services – Hank Bernstein

Hank is our lead for Restoring Family Links case worker. He has masterfully ensured a strong team is available to assist clients as the American Red Cross begins its outreach into migrant communities.

International Services – Katherine Celardo

Katherine has done an incredible job at researching the North Jersey Region’s refugee and migrant populations and identifying the key geographic locations for our Restoring Family Links outreach program.

Disaster Preparedness – Joseph Fantozzi

In the short time that Joe has been an American Red Cross volunteer, he has demonstrated unparalleled passion and professionalism that have been key to his success as a Be Red Cross Ready presenter and trainer.

Preparedness Health & Safety Services – Bill Kelly

Bill is one of our most dedicated and reliable instructors. His continuous efforts and ability to mentor newly recruited volunteer instructors is a huge contribution to educating our community.

Disaster Preparedness – Purva Kulkarni

As a disaster preparedness trainer, Purva has become a vital asset in developing and growing our Preparedness efforts throughout the North Jersey Region.

Administration – Margie McCord

Margie is as dedicated as they come. Margie runs the Jersey City office covering needs with Disaster, Blood and Volunteer Services along with community outreach. She is a force to be reckoned with.

Community Services/Food Pantry – Angela Mustica

Angela expertly manages and organizes the Nutley Food Pantry ensuring that the pantry is always well stocked. She coordinates the volunteer schedules to guarantee the client’s needs are met.

Service to Armed Forces – Renee Salkin

Renee’s assistance in creating an effective, timely and compassionate family follow-up program for our service members cannot be overstated. It is largely due to her efforts that this program consistently exceeds the national requirements.

Disaster Services – John Thomas

 JT is a dedicated supervisor with Disaster Services. He knowledgeably trains and mentors new disaster volunteers. JT is a team player who gives his all.

Volunteer Services – Jonathan Tsui

Jonathan has been a guiding force behind the scenes for volunteer recognition. He is instrumental in coordinating and organizing the holiday parties, Volunteer Appreciation Week and the annual BBQ.

Fundraising – John Uzzi

John has a long history with the American Red Cross as a leader, fundraiser and advocate for the mission.  As the chair of the jazz brunch in Bergen County, his ongoing support is unwavering.

Blood Services – Jerry Wallace

Jerry is instrumental in supporting the blood drives in the Essex County area. He is an outstanding role model for staff, clients and fellow Red Cross volunteers.

Facilities – Tom Wojtovich 

Tom is the resident house manager for the Ridgewood office. He ensures the building is open every day, sets up for all the classes and makes sure the grounds and building are in great shape. When you need something done, Tom is always willing to help.

Community Services Braille – Lois Yanagi

Lois is an exceptionally dedicated volunteer who has been transcribing books for the visually impaired since 1992. She particularly enjoys transcribing the works of William Shakespeare.


Preparedness Health and Safety – Dennis Bunting

Dennis is one of our most dedicated instructors. His commitment and enthusiasm to teach life-saving skills and ability to mentor newly recruited volunteer instructors is a huge contribution to educating our community.

Public Affairs – Julie Daigle

An excellent spokesperson for the organization, Julie brings her unique combination of knowledge, professionalism and compassion into all her work with the Red Cross. In addition to her work with Public Affairs, Julie serves as a lead responder on the Disaster Action Team, deploys to national disaster relief operations and volunteers with Service to the Armed Forces.

Administration – Jamie Ferguson

Jamie enthusiastically greets all who visit the front desk in the Princeton office. His support to the office, as well as his work with the Home Delivered Meals program, is invaluable.

Disaster Services – Jack Ford

Jack works tirelessly on behalf of the Red Cross. He teaches the Defensive Driving course for Emergency Response Vehicle drivers, is a lead responder on the Disaster Action Team, and is a HAM radio operator. Jack is always willing to take on projects and is currently working on updating all the shelter surveys and agreements in the National Shelter System.

International Services – Netty Lowenstein

Netty has been instrumental in assisting families trace relatives separated during the Holocaust and other conflicts. She brings a strong dose of intuitiveness to her search and compassion to the families impacted by terrible circumstances.

Blood Services – Michele Mariano

Michele covers at least three blood drives per month and will commit to additional drives in a pinch. She has a wonderful ability to connect with the donors. Michele receives accolades from the blood drive sites because of her caring nature.

Fundraising – Greg Pozesky

Greg has supported the Annual Golf Classic for several years, most recently chairing the event. His enthusiasm helped to bring in additional sponsorship and support which increased the success of the event.

Community Service/Home Delivered Meals – Robert Weston

Robert brings a bit of sunshine along with meals delivered to clients in Hamilton and Trenton. Robert is reliable and eager to help the program in any way.

Photos on Flickr: 

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