Citizen of the Year Award Dinner

Bridgewater Marriott | Bridgewater, NJ
May 2 | 5:00-8:00 pm

Every May since 1950, the Citizen of the Year award has been given to honor an outstanding member of our community. Recipients of the award are nominated by the community and demonstrate creativity, vision, leadership, and citizenship. Their services include creating programs and activities that positively impact the welfare of the residents and businesses in Somerset County.

This year, we announce that Paul Grzella is Citizen of the Year. Paul served at the Courier News, Home News Tribune, and for more than 35 years.

The evening provides the opportunity to reflect on Somerset County’s rich history and the people who have provided the leadership that contributed to that success. We invite you to join us for this prestigious community and networking event.

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2019 Citizen of the Year

Paul Grzella

Paul Grzella

Paul Grzella, born in Somerville and a native of Warren, has spent his entire professional career working in, writing about and volunteering for different organizations in Central Jersey.

For 35-plus years, he had a variety of roles in the USA TODAY Network New Jersey properties, as a reporter, editor and manager. In those roles, he was part of an award-winning team which chronicled how people live, work and play in Somerset, Hunterdon, Middlesex and Union counties. Grzella is proud of the stories he wrote, photographed and shared over the years, because they painted an evolving picture of how our region has changed and grown, and continues to be transformed by an increasingly diverse population. While doing his job, Grzella ensured that his journalistic work was fair, complete and accurate. He retired as general manager / editor of the Courier News, Home News Tribune and on Feb. 1, 2019.

His work also was informed by a passion for helping others. Influenced by his parents’ example of faith, family and community, he has been deeply involved with a number of community organizations over the years, including the United Way of Northern New Jersey, the Somerset County Business Partnership and Roman Catholic and Episcopal churches in Dunellen and Somerville. He has been a member of the Greater Raritan Workforce Development Board since 2011, and began a new chapter in his professional life on Feb. 19, 2019, when he became interim director of the board. His goal is to ensure that employee training being provided in Somerset and Hunterdon counties puts workers on a pathway to sustainable, well-paying careers. Visit to learn more.

For this year’s Citizen of the Year event, he invites people to get involved, too! He asks attendees to consider bringing a food-donation item for the Food Bank Network of Somerset County, or a roll of quarters or a bag of washer pods for use by Laundry Love, a ministry of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Somerville. Each month, volunteers from the church gather at a laundromat and provide quarters for people to do their laundry – no questions asked. Your support of these efforts, which help some of the neediest in our community, will be deeply appreciated.

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