Somerset County News


Date ArticleType
2/13/2018 Featured News

Alina Klein is Citizen of the Year 2018

Alina Klein, 68th Citizen of the Year 2018BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Somerset County Business Partnership (SCBP) has announced that Alina V. Klein, Vice-President and Senior Consultant for Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in Bedminster, New Jersey has been selected as the 68th Somerset County Outstanding Citizen.

The Outstanding Citizen award, given annually to Somerset County’s premier civic and business leader, is the county’s most prestigious individual reward recognizing a single person for their community and professional activities that have contributed to making Somerset County a special place.

Ms. Klein will be honored at a dinner 
reception on Thursday, May 3, 2018, beginning at 5:00 P.M. at the Bridgewater Marriott, 700 Commons Way in Bridgewater, New Jersey. 

The past recipients are individuals who have dedicated their personal lives to contributing to Somerset County’s widely recognized reputation as one of New Jersey’s best places to live, work, visit, and play. Klein joins this group as a dedicated volunteer, focusing her experience and expertise on community issues that benefit women and the underserved.

Her list of volunteer involvement reflects a strong commitment to the advancement of and leadership by women in the workplace and in the community and support of individuals and families striving to improve their lives. 

She is an active volunteer both locally and worldwide with United Way Women United, a women's philanthropic network. She is a member of the Women United Global Leadership Committee and serves as chairperson for United Way of Northern New Jersey's regional network. Additionally, she served many years as a member of the Board of Directors of the Somerset County Business Partnership, is founding chair of the SCBP Women in Business Special Interest Group, president of the Merrill Lynch Northern New Jersey Chapter of Women’s Exchange, and member of the Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) Foundation Board.

Professionally, her rise from a secretarial position at Ethicon from 1973 to 1980 to her current leadership position as Vice President and Senior Consultant at Merrill Lynch is a testament to her dedication to every initiative in her professional and volunteer life. Along the way Klein has been recognized with the 2002 TWIN award from the YWCA Women in Industry; the Patriots Path Council Tribute to Women award; and the Joseph M. Lee Leadership Award from Somerset County United Way.

Klein’s United Way efforts are focused on improving financial stability for ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) women and families who work hard, but struggle to afford basics. “Alina is not just a volunteer, she is an innovator who has brought about positive change for ALICE families here and nationally,” said United Way of Northern New Jersey’s Michele Dreiblatt, who oversees women’s philanthropy and leadership giving. Klein was instrumental in founding a local women’s philanthropic Giving Circle which helps to fund various supports for ALICE families, including an ALICE scholarship program Klein helped establish at RVCC.

Klein stated “Join me in advocating for the women and families who don’t have a voice. We need to speak up, and speak out. In 2018, let’s resolve that every Women United member will use our collective power to make positive, lasting change that makes life better for ALICE.”

The dinner honoring the Citizen of the Year continues the seven-decade long tradition of bringing the community together to honor an individual’s volunteer efforts in support of the community. The Citizen dinner provides the opportunity to reflect on Somerset County’s rich history and the people who have provided the leadership that has contributed to that success.

The Outstanding Citizen of the Year award was first presented in 1950 to Somerville Mayor Howard Lyons who also served as president and director of the Somerville Trust Company. The announcement of the selection was made by George H. Shay, newly elected president of the Somerville Chamber of Commerce. Since that time residents and business leaders have gathered annually to honor men and women who have served the community as medical professionals, elected officials at the local and state level, newspaper publishers, clergy, business leaders, and philanthropists.

Mike Kerwin, President/CEO of the Business Partnership noted, “The impact that Alina has had on our community is evident in every aspect of her life. She has dedicated her time, experience, and expertise to making Somerset County a better place.”

Registration fee is $110 for Business Partnership members and their guests. Non-member admission is $150. Reservations may be made by calling the Business Partnership at 908-218-4300 or ordering online at Registration deadline is Friday, April 27, 2018.

The Business Partnership provides an opportunity to congratulate the recipient and create a lasting memory with an advertisement in the Awards Journal. Information on the ad journal is available by calling 908-218-4300 or online at

Recent Outstanding Citizen recipients are: Gail Rosen, Mike Camerino, Doris Zampella, Ken Bateman, Paul Stahlin, Rod Ryan, former Somerset County Freeholder Rick Fontana, Jim Ventantonio, Esq., Somerset County Administrator Dick Williams, Manville Mayor Angelo Corradino, Sen. Walter Kavanaugh, Steve Kalafer, Rich Reitman, Bernie Navatto, John Graf, Jr., Robert Corcoran, Christine Rose, Dan Puntillo, Donald Bowers, Evelyn Field, Frank & Audrey Dittman, Adele & Leonard Blumberg, David Prugh, Arlyn Rus, and Richard Shive.

The Somerset County Business Partnership (SCBP) serves as Somerset County’s regional Chamber of Commerce and the essential partner for doing business in Somerset County. The SCBP enjoys a unique public-private partnership with County government to provide economic development and tourism services.

The mission of the SCBP is to lead the business community to a properous and sustainable future, offering members opportunities to grow their businesses through networking, advocacy, workforce initiatives, and educational events. Members and investors represent public, private and community organizations, working in partnership and dedicated to maintaining and promoting economic prosperity and quality of life in Somerset County. The Business Partnership serves as the platform to gain critical information, brand a business, develop leadership skills and learn how specific business strategies can improve profitability.

PRESS CONTACT: Rich Reitman 908-526-1390 or 908-400-6061