The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation announces the addition of Leslie J. Lipka, M.D., Ph.D., FACC and Mary Call Blanusa to the Board of Trustees. Lipka is a cardiologist now working as an Executive Director in Clinical Safety and Risk Management supporting oncology products at Merck & Co., where she also chairs the cardiovascular safety board. Call Blanusa is Director of Public Policy at The Alliance for Decision Education, a national nonprofit and field builder leading the growing call to have Decision Education a part of every student’s learning experience. Before joining the Alliance, Call Blanusa served as Executive Director at the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation.
Creating a Vision
Founded in 1998, the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization headquartered in Hackensack, New Jersey, celebrates its 25th anniversary. The Foundation’s primary focus areas are the environment, arts and culture, public health, education, civic engagement and philanthropy. Currently, the NNJCF’s board of trustees is creating the organization’s vision for the next 25 years and also undertaking a three-year strategic plan.
“We are honored to have Leslie Lipka and Mary Call Blanusa join the Foundation’s board of trustees. Leslie’s knowledge of health issues, along with Mary’s understanding of public policy and education, as well as her previous experience leading the NNJCF, will significantly build the organization’s capacity to help improve the quality of life in North Jersey’s communities,” said Leonardo Vazquez, Executive Director of the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation.
Leaders in Their Fields
These new members of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation are also leaders in their fields of work. Lipka, a Bergen County, New Jersey resident, has worked in the pharmaceutical industry both in Clinical Development, as well as in Clinical Safety and Risk Management. She holds a B.A. from Lehigh University and both M.D. and Ph.D. (cardiovascular pharmacology) degrees from the Medical College of Pennsylvania (now Drexel University). Lipka performed her internal medicine training at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City and postdoctoral work in pharmacology at Columbia University. Her cardiology and clinical cardiac electrophysiology training were performed at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, where she was subsequently on staff.
For most of her life, Call Blanusa has lived in northern New Jersey. She is an active member of the community in Hasbrouck Heights. Among her activities, she is the Municipal Vice-Chair of Bergen County Democratic Committee. In addition, she volunteers with the Hasbrouck Heights Green Team. Currently, she serves on the board of directors of Seek Common Ground and as Board Chair of The English Learners Success Forum. Previously, she served as president of the Hasbrouck Heights Junior Woman’s Club. Call Blanusa holds a Master’s degree from the Heller School of Public Policy at Brandeis University and also a Bachelor’s degree from American University.
Foundation Celebrating 25 Years
On October 26, 2023, the Board of Trustees joins the community at Aura Restaurant and Bar in Hackensack. They will celebrate the organization’s 25 years as a regional resource carrying out a mission to improve community life. Central to the NNJCF’s success is fostering collaboration among local governments, school districts, businesses, non-profits, and also community groups. For information about the 25th Anniversary Celebration, visit the registration and sponsorship site. Get involved in the Foundation’s work! Call 201-568-5608 or send an e-mail.