On May 4th, 2017, WRI held its 16th Annual Walter and Leah Rand Awards and Scholarship Dinner. The event was held at Scotland Run Golf Club, with over 170 people in attendance and nearly $57,000 raised. Vice President Thomas Marcille presented the South Jerseyan of the Year – Private Sector award to Dr. Kris Singh, President and CEO, Holtec International. Roger Hansen, CEO of Ole Hansen & Sons and father of the honoree, presented the South Jerseyan of the Year – Not-for-Profit Sector award to Jennifer Harnsen, Founder and Chairperson, The Hansen Foundation. Dr. Edward Salmon, Chairman, Salmon Ventures LTD, presented the South Jerseyan of the Year – Public Sector award to Joseph Derella, Freeholder Director, Cumberland County.
The event began with a cocktail reception, where WRI students skillfully networked with respected figures in the South Jersey community. Chairwoman of WRI’s Advisory Board, Carolyn Heckman, welcomed the crowd and introduced Phoebe Haddon, Chancellor of Rutgers University-Camden, who spoke about the Walter Rand Institute and its impact on students, the campus, and the region. Master of Ceremonies, the Honorable Louis Greenwald, Assembly Majority Leader, 6th Legislative District, spoke about Walter Rand Institute’s recent research report: Is South Jersey Getting Its “Fair Share” of Public Goods?. After Majority Leader Greenwald’s presentation, WRI’s Executive Director, Gwendolyn L. Harris, gave an update on the Institute including its recent growth and burgeoning impact in the fields of population health, criminal justice and safety, and community and organizational development.
After the awards presentation, the Honorable Judge Charles Rand spoke about his father’s legacy. At close of the event, WRI Advisory Board Chairwoman Carolyn Heckman called all WRI staff and students to the podium and presented Gwendolyn Harris with an award for her exemplary leadership and 10-year tenure with the Walter Rand Institute.