Peace Islands Institute Awards Recognize Excellence


Date posted: June 23, 2014

By Tasmin Mahfuz

The Peace Islands Institute of New Jersey held their annual awards dinner to recognize the accomplishments of 6 remarkable individuals in different walks of life.

More than 200 people joined to celebrate the achievements of their colleagues and community members, including NJ State Senator Bob Gordon.

“The Peace Islands Institute does a very good job of that,” he said.

This year’s awards recognized contributions in Business, Community, Media, Diversity Appreciation, Education and Peace and Understanding.

Mike Schneider, the recipient for the Media Award, started his career in broadcasting nearly 40 years ago.

From NBC’s Nightly News to ABC’s Good Morning America, he has kept his audience informed

“I am humbled by the honor because a lot of reasons I got into this work four decades ago, I felt that my political leaders at the time, didn’t listen to the people,” Mike explained.

For 30 years, Sheriff Berdnik protected his community through law enforcement and received the Community Service Award.

“To be chosen for this event is really spectacular. One thing that I love about my job is the fact that I go out in so many different diverse cultures and for me it’s a tremendous learning experience,” he said.

Dr. Tracy Severns serves as the Chief Academic Officer for NJ’s Dept of Education where her workshops offer best practices for today’s teachers.

“Working to help leaders and teachers to make things possible for over 1.7 million children throughout the state of New Jersey, I can’t imagine a calling or a mission more important than that,” she said.

Other honorees of the night included Assemblywoman Annette Quijano who received the Diversity Appreciation Award for her work in fighting inequality.

Reverend Robert Moore accepted the Peace and Understanding Award for his commitment to stop weapons trafficking.

Jeffery Vega was honored with the Business Award as the President of a non-profit organization called New Brunswick tomorrow.

Each of the honorees have motivated their community through their actions and by recognizing their accomplishments inspire others to strive for peace.


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