The American Legion Department of New Jersey’s Employment, Homeless & Education Committee presented its Employer of the Year awards on Sept. 19 at Backward Flag Brewery in Forked River, N.J.
Backward Flag Brewery received the committee’s Veteran Owned Business-Over 3 Years award. Founder Torie Fisher served as a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army.
Other award recipients were:
• Veteran Owned Business-Under 3 Years: Ironbound Boxing, Newark, N.J. Founder Mike Steadman is a Naval Academy graduate, Marine, and three-time national collegiate boxing champion.
• Veteran Business Champion of the Year: Retired U.S. Army Col. Jeff Cantor, founder and CEO of New Jersey State Veterans Chamber of Commerce.
• Veteran Employment Advocate of the Year: Cassie Edwardson, career readiness counselor, Citizen Soldier for Life. Edwardson served as a captain in the U.S. Army.
• Veteran Business Mentor of the Year: Shyeka Hopkins, New Jersey Small Business Development Center, Rutgers Business School. Hopkins is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force.
Also recognized at the event with a Homeless Veteran Outreach Award was Backpacks for Life and founder Sgt. Brett D’Alessandro.
The recipients shared remarks regarding their start-ups and successes with the crowd of 150 attendees, and Department of New Jersey Commander Robert Newell spoke about the committee’s national awards, including four Michael Guty Homeless Veterans Outreach Awards.
Other Department of New Jersey Homeless Veteran Outreach Awards will be presented at Post 524 in Ocean City, N.J., on Oct. 14.