The Montclair Foundation Elects Five New Trustees

Montclair, NJ – On Monday, April 11, 2022 The Montclair Foundation Board of Trustees elected five new board members for a three-year term: Township of Montclair Councilman-at-large Peter Yacobellis, Annette Strickland, Betty Murphy, Jeanie Givens and Marisabel Raymond.

Peter Yacobellis served in the administrations of two New York Governors, and as Chief of Staff for both the Marketing and Human Resources divisions at American Express. In his time working for the State of New York, Peter helped pass a property tax cap, marriage equality, and gun control legislation. He also ran the New York rent stabilization office and the Hurricane Sandy command center. In his time at American Express, among other things, Peter helped lead the Small Business Saturday and Shop Small teams. In addition to serving on The Montclair Foundation Board, Peter serves on the Boards of the New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition, and the PSEG Sustainability Institute. He is a member of the League of Women Voters, NAACP, Rotary Club, Montclair Film and UNICO and serves as the President of Out Montclair.

Annette Strickland has had a distinguished career in public service and philanthropy. She recently retired as Executive Director at The Schumann Fund, for New Jersey, a private foundation that invests in the areas of early childhood development, vulnerable children, public policy within the State of New Jersey, and community based social service organizations in Essex County, New Jersey. Ms. Strickland is a member of the Essex County Model Court (an initiative of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges), the Essex County Human Services Advisory Council, and has been deeply involved in state and local efforts to reform New Jersey’s child welfare system. Before coming to the Schumann Fund in 1992, Ms. Strickland served in state and county government as Special Assistant to the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Energy, and as director of community relations for the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office. She is a certified early childhood teacher and holds a BA (cum laude) in Child Study from Tufts University.

Betty Murphy was President and Managing Member of ReGenesis LLC for 40 years with her co-founder business partner, Jim Smith. Their company was honored with a Top 25 NJ Businesses award. A dedicated and active supporter of numerous community and non-profit organizations, Betty was the North Essex Chamber’s 2009 Community Leader of the Year; NJ Women Business Owners (NJWBO) Business Woman of the Year; received Working Woman’s Entrepreneurial Excellence Award, and was president of Bnai Keshet Synagogue. Betty currently serves on the NY Advisory Board for Little Kids Rock, and she is the Membership Chair for the NJ Jewish Women’s Foundation. Betty also worked as a longtime volunteer and advisor to Dress for Success and has served on event committees for the Montclair Art Museum, Van Vleck House & Gardens and Shine Global. Betty is also on several committees in The Montclair Garden Club.

Jeanie Givens worked for 10 years in clinical research at Hoffman La Roche. A life-long resident of the greater Montclair area, Jeanie has immersed herself in raising her “brood of boys” and in volunteering for her church, youth sports, public schools and various clubs. She has served on the Van Vleck Management Committee for numerous years, bringing her extraordinary decorating talents (and her friends) to The Foundation’s fund-raising events. In June Jeanie will assume leadership of the Management Committee and will become Vice Chair of The Montclair Foundation Board of Trustees.

Marisabel Raymond has been actively involved with the Montclair Foundation for over 20 years. She served as President of the Van Vleck Management Board from 2001 to 2007 and spearheaded The Montclair Foundation’s capital campaign in 2015. She currently serves as Chair of The Foundation’s Education Committee. Marisabel served as President of the Junior League of Montclair-Newark and served in many other board and community positions. Before that, Marisabel chaired a senior citizen’s arts project at the Montclair Art Museum and a project at Newark Beth Israel Hospital and, for three years, she was a member of Kids on the Block handicapped puppet troupe. She has served in each of the League’s show houses since 1985. She is also a frequent guest speaker at League-sponsored training programs. She holds degrees from the University of Massachusetts and the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She taught in the New York City and Boston public schools and was on the faculty of Kean University in New Jersey and Antioch College in Massachusetts.

Board Chair Emer Featherstone stated: “We are extraordinarily pleased to welcome such a talented and committed cohort to The Montclair Foundation Board of Trustees. Each person brings a wealth of experience and acumen to our governing body and we are honored to have them join our ranks.”

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