United Way of Hunterdon County had a full agenda at the 2022 annual meeting. In addition to reporting the impact of our work throughout 2021, we bid farewell to Bonnie Duncan, CEO, who is retiring after 25 years of dedicated service. In her honor, the Bonnie Duncan Scholarship was created to help fund the college or trade school of a qualified student each year. Rob Crane, who is succeeding Becky Testa as Board of Trustees President, was sworn in. Four new Board of Trustees members were inducted. Our Volunteer of the Year, Barbara Piwinski, was honored for her years of tireless service. And incoming CEO, Brenda Esler, was introduced to the stakeholders.
Scholarship Created in Honor of Retiring CEO Bonnie Duncan
Bonnie Duncan has passionately and selflessly served the needs of Hunterdon County’s low- and moderate-income families for 25 years as the leader of United Way of Hunterdon County (UWHC). Throughout her tenure with United Way, Bonnie has been particularly passionate about reducing education, health, and financial stability disparities within our community. In her honor, United Way of Hunterdon County is establishing the Bonnie Duncan Scholarship Fund to support access to post-secondary education and/or certification among Hunterdon County students demonstrating financial need.
“This is one small way that we can honor Bonnie’s legacy,” said Becky Testa, UWHC Board of Trustees President. “Our objective is to provide at least one $2500 annual scholarship to a deserving student every year.” she said. Duncan will work with a committee of the board to establish qualification and selection criteria, and it is expected that this same committee will oversee the application, selection, and distribution process on an annual basis.
“Being the leader of this organization has been my life’s work,” said Duncan, “it is such an honor that this scholarship fund is being created in my name.”
If you would like to join in honoring Bonnie’s legacy, you can donate at uwhunterdon.org/donations and select the “Bonnie Duncan Scholarship Fund” option.
2021 Impact Statistics
Tools 4 School
40 + Volunteers
800 + Backpacks Donated
$40,000 in School Supplies saved for our ALICE families
90 + Volunteers
315 Donors (individual and Businesses
$179,041 in Goods, Gift Cards and Cash
801 Families Served (2,253 Neighbors)
VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance)
1,350 Families' Income Taxes Completed
$405,000 in Tax Preparation Fees Saved
$3.6M in Refunds and Tax Credits
Rob Crane Inducted as Board of Trustees President
Resides in: Hunterdon County, on and off for 12 yearsFamily: Wife, Ann and a daughter and a son
Works for: ExxonMobil, Annandale, NJ
UWHC Experience: ExxonMobil Annual Campaign, a Board of Trustees member and a member of the Governance Committee
Superpower: Finding opportunities to work in partnership with the CEO to achieve our mission.
"I care a lot about people and their ability to thrive. I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve and give back. My vision is for UWHC to have the greatest impact possible through programs, partnerships, and advocacy. We are an organization with passion to unite for positive impact."
I look forward to working with the board, our staff, and our partners in the community to make a difference!"
United Way of Hunterdon County Welcomes Four New Members to the Board of Trustees
Resides in: Readington Township, 1 year
Family: Fiancé and three children who live nearby
Works for: Exxon Mobil Corporation, Annandale, 5 years
Education: BA Criminal Justice, Political Science – University of Delaware
UWHC Experience: ExxonMobil Annual Day of Giving
Superpower: Leveraging communication and public affairs skills to further UA’s efforts
“UW must continue to be a vital and effective force in helping the ALICE population in our community”.
Resides in: Ringoes
HC Resident: 7 years
Family: 2 Children
Works for: Enterprise Sales at Apple Inc., 4 years
Education: BA Psychology, Kean University
UWHC Experience: Holiday Hands donor
Superpower: To be a voice that helps prioritize where we can have the greatest impact
“I have several close family members who are or have been ALICE for years. Every story I hear about the clients we help reminds me of someone I love who is in the same position. I’m passionate about the potential to make contributions in my own community to financially secure themselves and their families.”
Resides in: Clinton
Works for: Hunterdon Central Regional High School District, 5 years
Education: BA in History, Masters and Doctorate in Education – Rutgers University
UWHC Experience: Partnership between UWHC and Hunterdon Central
Superpower: Representing those who need assistance in the schools, systems, planning, and organizational theory
Resides in: Raritan Township, 22 years
Family: Wife, Lisa and three wonderful children
Works for: Pharmaceutical (29 years) and Special Needs Benefits Planning (5 years)
Education: BS in Chemistry
UWHC Experience: VITA Volunteer, RD Committee
Superpower: Advocate and guardian for our county
“The ALICE concept captures our community’s needs. We are lucky to live in such an affluent county but even here there is great opportunity to help make our friends’ and neighbors’ lives better”
Barbara Piwinski Honored as Volunteer of the Year
For Barbara Piwinski, volunteering is an integral part of her life. Piwinski, a 28-year resident of Hunterdon County, will be the recipient of the 2022 United Way of Hunterdon County’s (UWHC) Volunteer and Donor of the Year Award.
This honor is generally awarded to a devoted volunteer, advocate and leader and donor. Piwinski represents all those attributes.
“Barbara embodies everything that our work is about,” said Bonnie Duncan, CEO of UWHC. “She gives of her time, shares her skills, and annually donates as Tocqueville level donor. Her contribution over the last 10+ years is immeasurable. She has had a hand in nearly every program on some level and has consistently donated over the years.”
“I came from a middle-class family with five brothers and sisters,” Piwinski said, “I know how hard it is for our ALICE families to make ends meet. United Way is laser focused on families who have fallen through the cracks. It’s so much harder now than it was when we were starting our families.” (Note: ALICE refers to United Way’s acronym: Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.)
Piwinski met Amy Andersen, UWHC’s former Assistant Director of Financial Wellness in 2011. “Amy’s enthusiasm for United Way and its programs was contagious,” Piwinski said. “I decided that I wanted to get involved. I love working with people and getting things organized so that the programs are successful, and the needs of the community are met.”
From the start, Piwinski dove in to UWHC’s Holiday Hands program, which connects donors with holiday wish lists for its clients. “It was the year that Holiday Hands went from a small program to a larger one and it just exploded,” she said. “Each day we would come and respond to whatever was needed. It was an amazing program. I was just hooked.”
Over the years, Piwinski has also assisted with the Tools 4 School Program and the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Program. “VITA and Holiday Hands were almost completely run by volunteers,” she said. “We served 2500 people with volunteer gifts, and 1350 tax returns were all done by volunteers. With strong leadership and a team of volunteers the most amazing things can be accomplished.”
Piwinski has served on the Board of Trustees and as both the co-chair and chair of the Resource Development Committee.
“I’m so proud to be a volunteer with this organization. I want to be a support for them. This is a wonderful place to volunteer. And, having served on a committee and the Board, I know they are good stewards of the donations they receive,” she said.
Piwinski received her award at UWHC’s annual meeting on June 16th. “It felt so good to present this award to Barbara,” Duncan said, “she has given so much and is so deserving.”
Annual Meeting Photo Gallery
Bonnie Duncan Welcomes All to the Annual Meeting
Outgoing Board President Becky Testa
Becky Testa and Bonnie Duncan
Outgoing President Becky Testa with Incoming President Rob Crane
Frank McElroy, Board President 2005-2007
Bonnie Duncan with Dorothy Wantrobski of Fulton Bank (Event Sponsor)
Commissioner Director John Lanza Presents Proclamation to Bonnie Duncan
Bonnie Duncan and Alice Byrdia (UWHC's Vanna White)
Bonnie Duncan with Board Member Mayra LaMantia
Incoming Board Member Kristy Talorico with Bonnie Duncan
Steve Croghan of Three Bridges Wealth Advisors (Event Sponsor) and Bonnie Duncan
Dionicia Perez, Bonnie Duncan and D.J. Wright (Annual Meeting Sponsor)
Bill Hamilton, Bonnie Duncan and Ken O'Gorman - Great Volunteers!
Jeannie Colalillo and Bonnie Duncan
Bonnie Duncan and Rowena Madden, ED of NJ Office of Volunteerism
Jennifer Williford of Fisherman's Mark with Bonnie Duncan
Jeff and Meagan Moore with Bonnie Duncan
Bonnie Duncan and Leanne Rea
Incoming CEO Brenda Esler with Bonnie Duncan
Mark Valli of NORWESCAP with Bonnie Duncan
Silver Presidential Volunteer Award Winners - Ken O'Gorman, Kendra Schroeder, Diane Burgess, Barbara Piwinski, Ray Somers, Deb Guevara and Rene Marinich
Gold Presidential Award Winners - Dianne Ihling, Becky Testa, Bill Hamilton and Mike Wellons
Anna Walz Board President 2007-2009
Brad Muller Board President 2018-2020
Julie Nealon & Jeff Lazovick of Hunterdon Central Regional High School with Bonnie Duncan
Rachel Eichem, UWHC's Chief Operating Officer & Director of Development
Rachel Eichem, Bonnie Duncan and the UWHC Staff
Bonnie Duncan and her Staff Kick Back for Some Post-Meeting Ice Cream