MORRIS COUNTY, NJ – A long-time Morris County employee and a Morris County Commissioner were both honored at the Annual Transportation Awards Breakfast of the Newark Regional Business Partnership (NRBP), a business organization supporting economic growth around the Greater Newark region.
Charles Wilkerson, a Morris Area Paratransit System (MAPS) driver, and Commissioner Kathryn DeFillippo were both issued awards during the annual event held at the Newark Public Library last month.
Wilkerson, who has worked for Morris County since July 22, 1998, was honored as a front-line employee who served with distinction throughout the pandemic.
“Charles and his colleagues provide essential services that make Morris County what it is, and we are all so proud of Charles for the honor he deservedly received and the effort he puts forth every day,” said County Administrator John Bonanni.
Commissioner DeFillippo was issued a 2022 Leadership Award for her two-year service as chair of the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) from 2020 through 2021.
NJTPA Executive Director Mary Ameen accepted the award on the Commissioner’s behalf, and she stood with Mr. Wilkerson as he was presented his honor by Theresa Fallon, the New Jersey Project Leader for the engineering and architectural firm, HDR Inc.
During the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, when everything about the virus was uncertain, MAPS drivers such as Mr. Wilkerson continued to provide Morris County’s most vulnerable residents with life sustaining transportation to reach services such as dialysis and chemotherapy. As the pandemic stabilized, MAPS also provided trips for seniors and individuals with disabilities to other medical appointments, and they began providing trips for grocery shopping by August 2021.
Wilkerson and four other MAPS drivers also assisted Morris County’s Nutrition Program in delivering meals to people who are homebound. The need for home-delivered meals increased substantially during the pandemic, with the program quickly reaching capacity. MAPS drivers stepped in to take on many routes to eliminate a waiting list.