new jersey grantmakers

Council of New Jersey Grantmakers elects Officers & New Trustees for statewide Philanthropic Association

Horizon BCBSNJ & Horizon Foundation’s Pearson becomes Chair of Statewide Council of New Jersey Grantmakers

TRENTON, NEW JERSEY – The Council of New Jersey Grantmakers (CNJG), the statewide association serving corporate and private philanthropy announced the election of Jonathan R. Pearson of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and Horizon Foundation for New Jersey as its new Chairman. In addition, the organization elected a number of philanthropic leaders to the Board of Trustees.

“The Council represents the best of the philanthropic sector in New Jersey and Jonathan is highly respected by his peers across the state as a knowledgeable, thoughtful and effective grantmaker,” said Nina Stack, longtime President of CNJG. “Though the state’s most philanthropic companies are members of the Council, this marks the first time we have a corporate foundation executive serving as the Chair. It is an exciting milestone, especially as the Council heads into our 20th Anniversary year.”

Jonathan R. Pearson is Director of Corporate Social Responsibility for Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, the state’s oldest and largest health insurer serving 3.8 million members. Jon is also Executive Director of The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey. He works closely with the senior team to foster participation, gain input and alignment regarding the Company’s community engagement program. Horizon BCBSNJ is recognized as a leading corporate citizen that innovates and provides tremendous impact to the communities it serves.

In his dual role, Jon creates positive and proactive relationships with a wide range of community partners and organizations that advance the Company’s philanthropic and business interest. He serves as spokesperson at external activities within the business and philanthropic community in New Jersey and nationally.

As Executive Director of the Horizon Foundation, Pearson is responsible for the strategic direction, board engagement, governance, grantmaking, staff, administration and financial oversight to advance its mission. Since 2004, the Horizon Foundation has granted more $48 million dollars to nonprofit organizations.

Other officers elected to one year terms are Bill Engel, the longtime President of The Hyde & Watson Foundation, as 1st Vice Chair; Annmarie Puleio, Executive Director of the Fred C. Rummel Foundation as 2nd Vice Chair, Sidney Hargro, President of the Community Foundation of South Jersey as Secretary, and Cynthia Evans, Chief Financial Officer for the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation as Treasurer.

“I am deeply honored and humbled to serve as the Board Chair for the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers and have the opportunity to work with Nina, her team and the talented and diverse group of trustees and members.  CNJG is the state’s leading organization focused on our philanthropic community,” said Pearson. “The Council tackles important societal issues from health, education and the environment to early childhood learning, community development, and immigration all for the purpose of improving the quality of life for all New Jersey residents.”

In separate business, the membership of the Council, which represents New Jersey’s leading family, independent, corporate and community foundations, elected five new philanthropic leaders to its Board of Trustees. Each brings years of experience working as funders in New Jersey.


  • Frank Barra, F.M. Kirby Foundation, Morristown
  • Craig Drinkard, Victoria Foundation, Newark
  • Marion O’Neill, PSEG Foundation, Newark
  • Michael Unger, Atlantic Foundation, Hamilton
  • Ed Wallace, Suez North America, Harrington Park

The center for philanthropy in New Jersey, the Council strives to strengthen effective philanthropy throughout the state. A nonprofit membership association, CNJG has more than 100 members, including independent and family foundations, community and corporate foundations, corporate giving programs and federated funds.

CNJG is a member of the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers, a national network of 33 regional philanthropy associations with more than 6,000 participating organizations, making it the largest network serving philanthropy in America. The Council’s programs and services increase the impact of organized philanthropy in New Jersey by providing members with valuable information about the needs of New Jersey’s citizens, assisting them in their work to promote and support adequate health care, quality education, a cleaner environment, recreation, culture and much more. The Council and its members partner closely as problem solvers working side by side with nonprofit organizations throughout the state of New Jersey. For more information about CNJG, visit, follow Nina Stack at @njgrantmakers or @CNJG.



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