The Bloustein School is pleased to announce that Christiana R. Foglio MCRP ’86, president of Community Investment Strategies, Inc. and the Honorable Daniel R. Benson MPP ’99, Assemblyman, 14th District (D-NJ) have been selected as the Bloustein School Alumni Association’s (BSAA) 2013 Alumni of the Year. In a reception on Tuesday, October 1, the BSAA also inducted the inaugural class of the Alumni Hall of Fame.
Christiana R. Foglio was honored with the BSAA Career Achievement Award, which recognizes an alumnus who has made significant personal and professional contributions, having demonstrated the highest standard of the public service ethic and whose commitment to civic improvement has brought credit to themselves and to the school. Ms. Foglio spearheads and oversees all of Community Investment Strategies (CIS), Inc.’s fully-integrated real estate activities including multi-family housing, mixed-use redevelopment, market-rate, and affordable housing. An industry veteran with more than 30 years experience in the private and public sectors, she specializes in real estate developments and affordable housing initiatives that reflect each community’s vision, needs and character.
Prior to forming CIS, she served on behalf of two governors as executive director of the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, where she was responsible for over $1 billion of multi-family bond financing and is credited with creating the state’s housing policy as well as national awards for innovative state housing initiatives. She also was appointed by Governors Florio and Whitman to serve as chair of the New Jersey Council on Affordable Housing. Prior to joining NJHMFA, she served as president of the New Brunswick Development Corporation (DEVCO), a not-for-profit real estate development company located in New Brunswick, NJ, implementing over $300 million of urban redevelopment projects, reporting to the board of directors of J&J companies. Ms. Foglio is also credited with creating the foundation of New Brunswick’s economic rebirth.
A licensed planner in the State of New Jersey, she is a highly sought-after guest speaker who has garnered numerous business and industry awards, including the PlanSmart NJ Van Zandt Community Involvement Award; Urban Land Institute’s Edward J. Bloustein Award for Exemplary Achievement in Civic Leadership; New Jersey Business of the Year; Top Woman-Owned Business in New Jersey; and among the Top Women in Business.
The Honorable Daniel R. Benson was recognized as the BSAA 2013 Young Alum of the Year. This award was established to honor graduates of 15 years or less who have begun to distinguish themselves as a leader in his/her profession and whose personal and professional accomplishments have been of the highest caliber, and has shown continued support for the Bloustein School and made contributions toward the advancement of its goals.
Assemblyman Benson was selected by the Democratic Committeemen and women of the 14th Legislative District to fill the Assembly vacancy left by Linda Greenstein’s election to the New Jersey State Senate on January 8, 2011, and was elected to a full term to the Assembly in November 2011, becoming the youngest elected Councilman in Hamilton’s history. On his first day in office, he was chosen by his fellow members of Council to serve as president, a position he held for two years. On the council, he increased the police force to ensure that Hamilton would be one the country’s safest communities and adopted an open space and recreation plan that increased the state and local funding available to the Township, which led to funding for projects such as the preservation of Ellis Farm and the purchase of the Braghelli Tract, significantly expanding Hamilton’s Veterans Park.
He has worked to protect Hamilton’s youth by improving school zone traffic safety while improving road safety by banning trucks on local roads, and pushing for speed humps and other traffic infrastructure improvements. In 2008, Assemblyman Benson was appointed to the Mercer County Board of Chosen Freeholders to an unexpired term and won a special election in November 2008; he was re-elected for a full term in 2009. Outside his elected office, he is the past president of the Kiwanis Club of Hamilton Township. He is a member of the board of the Henry J. Austin Healtch Center, the Young Professionals Board of Robert Wood Johnson Hospital at Hamilton, and the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks Lodge #2622. He is Vice President of Friends of the Hamilton Township Library, a Life Member of the American Council of Young Political Leaders, and an Alumnus of Leadership New Jersey. Dan earned his MCRP from the Bloustein School in 1999.
Since 1994, the BSAA Alumni of the Year Award has recognized 14 alumni who have made exemplary contributions to their professions and communities, while demonstrating support of the Bloustein School. The purpose of the Bloustein School Alumni Association Hall of Fame is to showcase and honor the current and all previous recipients of the Alumni of the Year award whose personal and professional accomplishments have been of the highest caliber and brought credit to the school. In addition to this year’s Alumni award winners, the 2013 Alumni Hall of Fame inductees include the following previous Alumni of the Year recipients:
James G. Bach (Alumni of the Year 2001)
Shirley M. Bishop (Alumni of the Year 1996)
Robert W. Burchell (Co-Alumni of the Year 2000)
James Crawford (Alumni of the Year 2004)
Redenia C. Gilliam-Mosee, posthumous (Alumni of the Year 1998)
Connie O. Hughes (Alumni of the Year 1997)
James W. Hughes (Alumni of the Year 1994)
David Listokin (Co-Alumni of the Year 2000)
Anthony L. Marchetta (Alumni of the Year 2012)
Nicholas J. Masucci (Alumni of the Year 2007)}
Elizabeth (Betsy) C. McKenzie (Alumni of the Year 1999)
Harvey S. Moskowitz (Co-Alumni of the Year 1995)
Maureen Ogden (Co-Alumni of the Year 1995)
Robert G. Sommer (Alumni of the Year 2011)