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The Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders recently held its 2017 Italian Heritage Month Celebration. From left are Essex County Freeholder Patricia Sebold; Essex County Freeholder Leonard Luciano; Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr., labor leader Joseph Calabro and Essex County Sheriff's Office Business Administrator Julius “Jay” Coltre.

2017 Essex County Celebrates Italian Heritage Month

The Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders recently held its 2017 Italian Heritage Month Celebration at the Hall of Records to commemorate Italian culture and heritage. Freeholder President Britnee N. Timberlake began the program with welcoming remarks, embracing the vast diversity that exists in Essex County. Freeholder Leonard Luciano of District 4 led the program, celebrating each of the Board’s honorees, Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr., of Roseland; Essex County Purchasing Director Julius Coltre of Roseland and Joseph Calabro of East Hanover, Business Manager of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Union Local 1158 in Clifton.

Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. has managed Essex in a very efficient manner, turning the county into a model for good government and increasing the county’s bonds ratings to AA2. Under his leadership numerous county facilities have become widely recognized, allowing Essex to create recurring revenue streams through shared service agreements with other governmental entities. He has led the march to enhance the Essex County South Mountain Recreational Complex, modernized the Codey Ice Arena and vastly improved Turtle Back Zoo.

Julius “Jay” Coltre of Roseland was born and raised in Newark’s North Ward. For 25 years, he held various law enforcement positions with the Newark Police Department and in 1992 was appointed Essex County Emergency Management Coordinator. In 1995, he was simultaneously appointed Undersheriff of the Essex County Sheriff’s Office. After several years in the private sector, he returned to the Essex County Sheriff’s Office as Business Administrator in 2013. In 2015, he was appointed Deputy County Administrator, a position he holds concurrently with his position as Purchasing Director.

Joseph Calabro grew up in Bloomfield. As an advocate for workers’ rights, he has been recognized throughout the State of New Jersey as a dynamic and influential labor leader. Under his leadership, the Union membership has increased by over 65%. Additionally, he serves as Assistant Administrator of the IBEW Local 1158 Pension and Welfare Benefit Fund and is a Trustee on the IBEW Local 1158 Pennsylvania Pension Fund. In 2003, he was appointed to the IBEW First District International Executive Council. He has received numerous awards and accolades, including being named The Italian Tribune’s “Who’s Who List of Distinguished Americans of Italian Descent,” The Italian Tribune’s “Columbus Day Humanitarian” Award (2002) and a State Proclamation from NJ Governor James McGreevey for his humanitarian efforts. Mr. Calabro also established a Child Safe Program in Essex County and is Co-Chairman and Vice President of the Michael P. Calabro Foundation, named in honor and recognition of his late father.

Freeholder Leonard Luciano also welcomed representatives of the 35th Annual Nutley-Belleville Columbus Day Parade and Italian Heritage Committee, Inc., to the Freeholders’ event and recognized the following individuals, Rev. Thomas Nicastro (Committee Member); Edie Peters Liguori (Trustee); Pasquale Meola (Committee Member); Vito Matturro (Committee Member); Melissa Matturro (Secretary of the Parade Committee); Susan R. LaMorte (Committee Member); Bill Freda (Parade Chairperson); Vincent Cozzarelli (Committee Member and Belleville Councilman); Grand Marshal Al Lembo; Belleville Woman of the Year Cindy Sica; Nutley Man of the Year Nutley Police Chief Thomas Strumolo and Belleville Man of the Year Belleville Police Chief Mark Minichini.