Three new members have been appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Princeton Area Community Foundation, and a founding board member has been named Trustee Emeritus.
Lovepreet Buttar, a Managing Director at Mercadien, Mike Van Wagner, who recently retired as NJM Insurance Group’s Vice President of Public Affairs, and Victoria Rivera-Cruz, the Director of HR Compliance and Employee Relations at Cenlar FSB were appointed to three-year terms on the Board.
The new trustees bring significant community and board service experience with expertise in accounting, public affairs and human resources to support the Board’s committees.
“We want to welcome our newest trustees, whose tremendous skills and valuable experience complement the talent of our current board members,” said Sonia Delgado, Board Chair. “We look forward to working with them to continue to make an impact in our communities. We also want to thank our departing trustees for their years of volunteer service on our Board.”
Lovepreet Buttar, of Burlington, a Managing Director with Mercadien’s Nonprofit and Human Services Group, has more than a decade of experience performing and overseeing audit, tax and consulting engagements for various nonprofit clients.
She is a Certified Public Accountant, Chartered Global Management Accountant and a Public School Accountant. Buttar is responsible for the firm’s Audit and Assurance practice and oversees the firm’s continuing professional education initiatives and trainings.
Buttar serves on the Boards of the Thomas Edison State University Foundation and the Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting & Finance and an MBA, both from Rutgers University.
Mike Van Wagner
Mike Van Wagner, of Ewing, retired from NJM Insurance Group after 39 years with the company, the last 10 as Vice President of Public Affairs. During his tenure, he led NJM’s legislative affairs, corporate communications and corporate giving efforts, and he also established the company’s first Marketing Department.
From May 2012 to October 2013, Van Wagner took a leave of absence from NJM to serve as Executive Director of the NJ Business Action Center under the Christie administration. He led a team of economic development professionals helping businesses to stay, grow or locate in New Jersey. In 2014, he was recognized by NJBIZ as one of the “Top 100 Business Leaders in New Jersey.”
Van Wagner is Vice Chair of the Board of HomeFront, and he serves as a Board Member of NJ Audubon, the Mooch Myernick Soccer Foundation and the Ewing Township Recreation Advisory Board, and as an Advisory Committee member for Greater Trenton. He previously served as the Board Chair of LeadNJ, and as a Board Member of Greater Trenton, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Mercer County and the Princeton Mercer Regional Chamber of Commerce.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Guilford College in Greensboro, NC.
Victoria Rivera-Cruz, of Hopewell, is an attorney who serves as the Director of HR Compliance and Employee Relations at Cenlar FSB.
She has experience in human resources operations and planning, federal and state law compliance, investigations, performance management, compensation structures, training and development, employee contract negotiations, leadership and team development and coaching.
Before joining Cenlar, she was the Director of Employee and Labor Relations and ADA at Hackensack Meridian Health Network, where she also served on various committees, including the HR Policy Integration, Staffing and Patient Safety Committees.
Rivera-Cruz previously worked at Cooper University Health Network as Human Resources Director and Senior Business Partner. In 2012, she received the HR Award of Excellence in Employee and Labor Relations from the Delaware Valley HR Department of the Year Awards Program. She also previously worked as a confidential and legislative aide to former Trenton Mayor Douglas Palmer, Director of Mercer County Human Resources, Director of the Division of Civil Rights & Affirmative Action at the state Department of Transportation, and as an associate with Szaferman, Lakind.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Harvard University and a law degree from Rutgers Camden Law School.
Trustee Emeritus John D. “Jack” Wallace
The Board also voted to name John D. “Jack” Wallace as Trustee Emeritus. Wallace was one of the Community Foundation’s first board members when the organization was established more than 30 years ago. Since 1991, the Community Foundation has made more than $190 million in grants to nonprofits.
Wallace previously served as Vice Chair of the Community Foundation Board as well as Chair of several of its committees. He has led a life of public service: he is also a former Mayor of Princeton Township, the retired Chairman and Chief Executive of CoreStates New Jersey National Bank, and a volunteer who served in a leadership capacity on the boards of several other local nonprofits.
“Today, the Princeton Area Community Foundation is able to impact many lives and causes in our region because 30 years ago visionaries like Jack Wallace believed in the power of philanthropy,” said Jeffrey M. Vega, President & CEO of the Community Foundation. “Jack has been our ardent supporter for all this time and his belief in our mission will continue to inspire us into the future.”
Vega also thanked the seven board members, who completed their terms of service, for their years of commitment and volunteerism: Ana Berdecia, Jeanne Besser, Vernon Bramble, Shawn Ellsworth, Elizabeth “Betsy” McNeilly, Jamie Kyte Sapoch, and Michael Ullmann.