PERTH AMBOY — James W. Horne, Jr., President/CEO, United Way of Greater Union County (UWGUC) will receive the “Lifetime Commitment to Community Development” award by the NAACP Perth Amboy Area Branch. The award will be presented at the 35th Annual Freedom Fund Awards Banquet, on Friday, April 26, at 7 p.m. at The Pines Manor, 2085 Route 27, Edison.
“This award is given to distinguished community activists who are dedicated to the betterment of our families and our communities,” says Rev. Milton T. Lester, President of the NAACP Perth Amboy Area Branch.
Horne has been part of the United Way system since 1994. He began his career as Senior Vice President of Resource Development of United Way of Eastern Fairfield County in Bridgeport, Connecticut and after 6 years he became the Executive Vice President of Resource Development for United Way of Summit County in Akron Ohio. As an accomplished executive with a strong commitment to serving underrepresented constituencies, Horne developed and implemented Project Blueprint, a volunteer diversity initiative focused on recruiting and training highly skilled African Americans, Latinos and women to serve on the boards of non-profit organizations. The initiative was very successful resulting in the placement of over 70 graduates in both Bridgeport and Akron communities.
Later in 2002, he became the CEO of United Way of Springfield Massachusetts. During his tenure in Springfield, Horne developed the United Way Children’s Achievement Network that provided an integrated approach to help increase the academic success of children in Western Massachusetts. Horne continually introduced focus groups and town meetings to assist in gathering and disseminating information. Consequently, when 35% cuts in state funds threaten to close the doors of many human services providers, his initiatives fostered greater collaboration to maintain the same levels of services – a very difficult task to accomplish. As a result, much-needed services to Springfield families and residents continued without interruption.
Closer to home, Horne became the CEO of United Way of Greater Union County in 2005 and has dedicated his work to building opportunities, relationships and networks that support the success of families. Now known as a catalyst for collaborations, Horne is credited with creating the Union County Family Strengthening Network (UCFSN). The network is the result of his hard work in formulating a collective partnership between UWGUC, the Union County Department of Human Services, the State of New Jersey Department of Children and Families, the Nicholson Foundation and several non-profit organizations. The outcome has been a unique public-private partnership designed to maximize and leverage all the available resources within the county on behalf of children and families.
“I am honored to have been selected by my peers for such a distinguished award. Working with families in need requires the commitment of many partners, and the NAACP is one of them,” exclaims Horne.
Horne serves on the Board of NJ-4-Haiti and has participated in its earthquake relief efforts. He is a member of the Board of Directors for Brand New Day, a community development corporation and serves on the External Affairs Committee for Kean University. Horne is a member of Mt. Zion AME Church in New Brunswick and is married with four children.
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