Gibbons Named a “Champion of Good Works” by the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey


March 18, 2016

Gibbons P.C. was named a “Champion of Good Works” by the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey (CIANJ) at its Chairman’s Reception saluting the generosity of the business community. The reception was held on March 10, 2016 at the Stony Hill Inn in Hackensack, New Jersey.

Gibbons was recognized for its founding and support of the H. John Schank, II Memorial Trust Fund. The fund was created in 2010 after the death of a 51-year-old partner, who had worked at the firm for more than 25 years, originally as a mailroom employee. The Schank Memorial Trust was formed to serve the educational needs of his two daughters, who were 9 and 7 when he died.

Over five years, the firm and its employees contributed to the Schank Trust in numerous ways. For example, Gibbons holds a “Jeans Day for Charity” one Friday per month, with employees invited to dress down for work for a very small fee, to raise funds for various charitable organizations. The Schank Trust was the beneficiary of several Jeans Days between 2010 and 2015. The small admission fee for the firm’s annual “End of Summer Barbecue” was collected for the Schank Trust at each one held during the trust’s lifespan. Proceeds from the sale of firm-branded items, or the auction of high-end donated items, were directed to the trust. Individual employees also made contributions, which Gibbons generally matched. The firm successfully raised enough funds for both Schank girls’ college educations and closed the Schank Trust in 2015.

“From the time he joined this firm as a mailroom clerk, through his studying law and ultimately being named a firm partner, John was a constant presence in our Gibbons family,” said Patrick C. Dunican Jr., Chairman and Managing Director of Gibbons. “The Schank Trust was established to reaffirm the commitment we have to our attorneys and their families.”

“For most of these companies their donations, kindness, and community outreach are part of their corporate culture – their mission,” said Martin Kafafian, Chairman of the CIANJ board of directors. “The public at large is often unaware of the magnitude and scope of the good works. This reception is our way of shining a spotlight on ‘Companies that Care.’”

CIANJ is a statewide business advocacy organization based in Paramus. It represents more than 900 member companies from every business sector. The association asked businesses to submit stories of their good works and more than 90 responses were received this year. These accounts and pictures are featured in a special “Companies that Care” section in the March issue of COMMERCE Magazine.