Senator Cory Booker’s Sweet Tour in Hackettstown
As part of his 7-day push to visit each of New Jersey’s 21 counties, U.S. Senator Cory Booker visited the Mars Chocolate North America Headquarters in Hackettstown, N.J. This is the second time Senator Booker toured the Headquarters, after first visiting the site as the Mayor of Newark in 2012. Mars Chocolate North America Associates greeted Senator Booker with a digital welcome sign in the lobby, which he posted to social media, and the Senator took selfies with Associates as he walked through the halls. Senator Booker first met with Tracy Massey, President of Mars Chocolate North America, and Tim LeBel, VP of Sales, to get reacquainted.
Following the meeting with Massey, Senator Booker addressed outgoing sales interns on their last day at the Headquarters. The Senator expressed how proud he is to have Mars in New Jersey, and he described his experience sitting in Clinton’s box at the Democratic National Convention, and sharing that experience with his mom.
Senator Booker then toured the Sensory Lab, where the Senator and his staff learned firsthand what it takes to be a chocolate “taste tester.” Following the taste testing, Senator Booker spoke to over 300 Associates, describing the opportunities he has been given in New Jersey and how one small act can have lasting, positive repercussions for individuals going forward.
Hackettstown Mayor Maria DiGiovanni and Warren County Freeholder Edward Smith were also in attendance, meeting with Associates and participating in the tour. As the day came to an end, Massey presented Senator Booker with personalized M&M’S® candies, depicting the Senator’s face, the outline of the State of New Jersey, and “Made in NJ.”
Banfield Grand Opening In Vancouver
In June, BANFIELD® Pet Hospital Associates moved into the company’s new three-story campus style facility located in Vancouver, Washington. To celebrate the grand opening of the campus, Banfield hosted over 45 state and local government officials at the site in May. Vincent Bradley, Banfield’s CEO, spoke at the event and introduced Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt, who were strategic partners in the move.
Following the introductions, Bradley led government officials on a tour of the new headquarters. Additional government officials in attendance included State Senator Ann Rivers, State Representatives Liz Pike and Brandon Vick, Schuyler Hoss, Director of International Relations & Protocol from Governor Inslee’s office, staff from U.S. Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, and staff from Congresswoman Jamie Herrera Beutler’s office.
A number of academic, business and community groups, as well as city and regional economic development officials, including Brian Bonlender, Director of the WA Department of Commerce, and Bryan Slinker, Dean of Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine, were also in attendance.
Governor Inslee and staff from Senator Cantwell’s office expressed interest in returning to the new headquarters to speak with Associates. Banfield’s charitable arm, the Banfield Foundation, capped off the event by announcing the donation of a preventive care clinic in the City of Vancouver, which was gladly accepted by the Mayor.
SEEDS OF CHANGE® grants awarded in Ft. Smith, AR and Compton, CA
On June 3, 2016, Mars Food and the SEEDS OF CHANGE® brand presented a $20,000 grant to the Antioch Community Garden, located in Ft. Smith, Arkansas as part of the 2016 SEEDS of CHANGE® Grant Program, the annual program designed to provide grants to school and community gardens around the U.S. Mars Food Associates, as well as Mars Petcare Associates from Ft. Smith, hosted various government officials at the event including Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin, Mayor Sandy Sanders, City Director Andre Good, City Director Tracy Pennartz, Deputy City Manager Jeff Dingman, and CEO of the Ft. Smith Chamber Tim Allen. In addition, all three of Mars’ Federal stakeholders – Senator Boozman, Senator Cotton and Congressman Womak – sent a district representative. Lieutenant Governor Griffin fully experienced the garden with a tour and “tasting” – sampling one of the jalapeños. Mayor Sanders also thanked the Mars Petcare Fort Smith Site, recognizing the significant contributions and impact of the site and its Associates on the community.
Mars Food and the SEEDS OF CHANGE® brand also awarded one of the Grant Program’s $10,000 grants to the Compton Community Garden in California. James LaFourche from California State Senator Isadore Hall’s office attended, along with representatives from the Compton City Council, including Emma Sharif, District 4 Councilwoman; and Tana McCoy, District 3 Councilwoman.
Mars Sponsors Congressional Black Caucus Institute Policy Conference & Participates in Health Panel
For the sixth consecutive year, Mars sponsored the Congressional Black Caucus Institute’s Policy Conference in Tunica, Mississippi, held on August 11-13th. The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Institute is a non-partisan, non-profit organization whose mission, in part, is to educate today’s voters and train tomorrow’s leaders. This year, Jair Cole, VP of Manufacturing for Mars Food North America, joined Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence (D-MI) on a panel focusing on health and wellbeing in the African American community - highlighting Mars Food’s Health and Wellbeing Ambition and their new partnership with Partnership for a Healthier America.
Mars Associates also met with Congressional members and their staff including Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, Congresswoman Gwen Moore, Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, Congresswoman Alma Adams, Congressman Sanford Bishop, Congressman Jim Clyburn, Mississippi State Senator Derrick Simmons and Greenville Mayor Errick Simmons during the Conference.