Employees Honored For 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 And 35 Years Of Service
When Owen Thompson was first hired at New Community, he was a much younger man. At age 30, Thompson was starting off life as family man, married with a 4-year-old son.
He was offered a job as a painter by Richard Rohrman, who then oversaw the Department of Environmental Services at New Community.
“I hired Owen, so Owen is making me feel old today,” Rohrman, now the CEO of New Community, said in a lighthearted manner at the annual Employee Recognition Luncheon. Thompson, a 35-year veteran employee hired in 1981, was among more than 75 New Community employees who were recognized for reaching a milestone year of service.
“Enjoy this day,” Ben Galvez, director of Human Resources, said to the staff gathered at St. Joseph Plaza for the luncheon and ceremony. As a group, the employees worked a collective 815 years at NCC, according to Galvez.
As New Community approaches its milestone of 50 years since its founding in 1968, Director of Mission Frances Teabout noted that each staff member has played a part in helping build Founder Monsignor William J. Linder’s vision of a new community in a formerly devastated part of Newark.
“We are a testament to ‘out of the ashes came hope,’” Teabout said, referencing Monsignor Linder’s aptly titled memoir that was released last year.
Rohrman acknowledged each employee’s longevity as showing a remarkable commitment to serving those within the community who are most in need. “I know sometimes it’s not easy,” he said.
“All of you are the face of New Community to our clients,” Rohrman said. “Thank you for all of the hard work that you do.”
Jose Rodriguez, known to most colleagues as simply “Joe,” said he felt like it was not to long ago that he began working for Monsignor Linder at the Priory Restaurant.
“I was happy to be a part of what he was doing,” said Rodriguez, who celebrated his 30th work anniversary at the luncheon.
Each employee was presented with an engraved plaque that stated their name and years of service. After the luncheon, the honored employees were given the rest of the day off to enjoy.
For more than 50 years, New Community Corporation has walked the walk of social justice, helping residents of inner cities improve the quality of their lives to reflect individual God-given dignity and personal achievement. After all, NCC was birthed from the literal ashes of the civil disorders of 1967 by a core group of Black community leaders and White allies, including a young priest named William Linder. Together, they modeled through word and deed the moral principle and reality that Black Lives Matter.
Today, just as in 1967, NCC joins in solidarity with all those who seek justice and an end to police brutality and racism.