General Business

Columbia Bank Foundation Appoints Amy Dupuis as Executive Director

Charitable Foundation Grows to $60 Million

The Columbia Bank Foundation has appointed Amy Dupuis executive director to manage the 10th largest charitable foundation in New Jersey. Amy joins the Fairlawn-based foundation from Sanofi US, where she held two simultaneous roles of vice president, Sanofi Cares Foundation North America, and senior manager, North America Corporate Social Responsibility, where her company was ranked #240 on the 2017 Fortune Global 500. She previously served as chairman of the board, Partnership for Quality Medical Donations, and as a member of the Sanofi US Diversity and Inclusion U.S. Council. Her primary responsibilities will be to cultivate partnerships, review and evaluate grants, and oversee the foundation’s policies and initiatives.

The appointment follows Columbia Bank’s conversion from a privately-held, mutual-based operating structure to that of a public company as part of the Initial Public Stock Offering (IPO), which concluded in April of this year. As a result of this structural change, approximately $60 million in funding has now been designated for Foundation coffers to help support local charitable causes and community projects on a sustained basis. The Foundation plans to expand its projects to cover more sponsorships.

In making the announcement, Thomas J. Kemly, Columbia Bank’s president and CEO, noted that, “This new funding change will provide us with more financial flexibility and opportunities to help the communities that we so proudly serve. Our goal is to make a difference in as many people’s lives as we possibly can… and to do our part to help make our communities better, stronger and safer. We are confident that Amy is the right person to accomplish our mission.”

Columbia’s support will now take place on several new levels, from basic support donations, often needed to sustain local projects and programs… to more sizable grants that will help expand community-based programs and charitable services. For example, a new Foundation donations program now encourages bank employees to nominate charities within specific monthly categories, like community health care, children’s services and community volunteers. The organization receiving the highest number of employee votes receives a $10,000 Foundation donation, while the remaining nominations are awarded donations of $500 each. Recent category winners receiving the top $10,000 donations included the Special Olympics New Jersey, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and Randall’s Rescue, a volunteer animal shelter.

Foundation grants have also been expanded in both size and scope to help support and develop additional charitable and community endeavors. For example, recent grants provided funding for the purchase of two emergency vehicles for volunteer first responders, the construction of a barrier free playground for a school for children with Autism, renovations at a Middlesex County Kids camp, a group home for disabled residents, and emergency warehouse repairs at a community food bank serving the greater Paterson area.

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