Gibbons Named a Finalist for 2020 NJBIZ Corporate Citizen of the Year Award
December 18, 2020
Gibbons P.C. was named a finalist for the 2020 NJBIZ “Corporate Citizen of the Year” Award at the publication’s annual Business of the Year Awards ceremony, held virtually on December 18.
The NJBIZ Business of the Year awards recognize the state’s most dynamic businesses and business leaders and their shared commitment to professional excellence, business growth, and the broader community. The “Corporate Citizen of the Year” award honors companies that exemplify the tenet of “doing well by doing good” and shows a sustained commitment to employees and community.
Gibbons was a finalist for Corporate Citizen of the Year based on the combined efforts of the Gibbons Diversity Initiative (GDI) and “Gibbons Cares” charitable and community outreach program to more robustly observe 2020 Black History Month and Juneteenth with firm-wide commemorations and diversity-related programming and outreach – a particularly prescient agenda given the prominence of racial issues this year. The comprehensive schedule of events for Black History Month culminated in a firm-wide luncheon catered by a Black-owned restaurant and featuring a discussion with Senator Cory Booker, who reflected on his parents’ struggle to purchase a home in the New Jersey suburbs in the 1960s, which has been a motivating factor behind his public service.
Black History Month activities also included planning for a Juneteenth commemoration, which ultimately comprised a paid holiday for all employees on June 19 and, around that date, two service initiatives that reflected the Juneteenth ideal of an equal, just, and inclusive society.
First, GDI held a week-long fundraiser for the Newark Fresh Air Fund, with employees donating over $40,000 to help make up resources the Fund would otherwise have received from the “Battle of the Barristers” charity softball tournament. The tournament is typically held each summer, with area law firms fielding teams for a series of games that raises upwards of $100,000 for the Fund, which every year sends hundreds of greater Newark area children to accredited camps. Its 2020 COVID-related cancelation meant those proceeds would be unavailable – until Gibbons employees raised nearly half of the total the Fund usually receives from all participating firms.
Gibbons also launched a pro bono partnership around Juneteenth, joining the “Small Businesses Need Us” initiative of the Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership to assist women and minority small business owners impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the program, volunteers with various specialties required for day-to-day business operations, including legal service providers, are organized into cross-functional teams and matched with participating small businesses based on their specific needs. Gibbons attorneys have the opportunity to assist a variety of small women- and minority-owned enterprises in wide-ranging legal practice areas.
“Well before the national and international protests regarding George Floyd’s death and the great racial disparities in Americans’ treatment by police, as well as before the resulting enactment of legislation in New Jersey, we decided to center our 2020 charitable and volunteer efforts around diversity and inclusion,” said Patrick C. Dunican Jr., the firm’s Chairman and Managing Director. “We are grateful to NJBIZ for recognizing the timeliness and relevance of our efforts.”
In addition to NJBIZ, various other organizations and publications have recognized Gibbons and firm attorneys for their pro bono and community outreach work, including the New Jersey State Bar Association, Essex County Bar Association, New Jersey Business & Industry Association, Commerce & Industry Association of New Jersey, Volunteer Lawyers for Justice, Community Health Law Project, Law360, New Jersey Law Journal, and New Jersey Business. Gibbons was previously named NJBIZ “Corporate Citizen of the Year” in 2008.
No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey. A description of the selection process methodology for the awards referenced is available at gibbonslaw.com/awards.