Executive Director Emory A. Edwards of the Palisades Emergency Residence Corporation (PERC) in Union City was born in South Carolina and moved up north 25 years ago. His mother Susie lives in Georgia, and his father Foster is now deceased, and he is the only child. He has been married to his lovely wife Janet for 10 years, and because of his new position at PERC, he is now both living and working in Union City and Jersey City.
His wife works for a New York City law firm. A graduate of Washington and Lee University in Virginia with a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1984, he also achieved a Master of Arts Degree in Divinity at the Yale Divinity School in Connecticut in 1987. However, he did not become ordained in the religious life.
His early years in the private sector had him working as a writer for a public relations company for eight years in Manhattan, writing stories on business and health care. Life took a turn and he found PERC in Union City, through his later position as general manager for the Coach USA, Red & Tan Tours, Inc. in Jersey City. While learning the transportation business, he met someone from City Harvest in Manhattan, and they needed a person with transportation skills to deliver their food products, and he took the position with their firm. He then realized that he reconnected to his earlier spiritual life of helping people with the deliverance of food products to them on a non-profit basis with his acquired transportation skills. Recently, when a position opened-up in PERC for an executive director in 2010, he applied and was hired, and now feels that he has found his life’s work in performing his duties at PERC.
Mr. Edwards tells us that PERC has a Board of Directors whose members are President Daniel Henkel of Secaucus and Manhattan; the Reverend Birgit Solano, and Alberto Cabrera of Weehawken, who is also the Guttenberg Town Clerk; the Reverend Peter G. Wehrle, Thomas M. Venino, Jr., Esq., and William Koehler of North Bergen; and Norma Almanza, Mirta Cairo, and Beatriz Rea of Union City; all notable members of their communities.
Mr. Edwards tells us the key programs of PERC are an emergency shelter, soup kitchen, family shelter, food pantry, supportive housing, community center, and an after-school and summer camp. Moreover, they plan to build more housing through HUD, by taking out bank loans and doing fund raising. Their goal is to get and give people a chance to have a stable home, a roof over their heads, and help build for them a new life with less family stress.
Mr. Edwards also tells us that he has traveled to Africa and Honduras and thus has knowledge about other cultures. In his spare time, he likes to listen to country music, rock & roll, Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen. He likes to read religious books, and he is the president of the Trinity Church council in New York City, whose Pastor is the Reverend Anne Mallonee.
Mr. Edwards feels that he has found his “niche” in the type of work he wants to do in life, but he of course does not know where else life will take him. It is a continual journey for Mr. Edwards, but he knows that he looks forward to continuing to help people rebuild their lives! Mr. Emory Edwards…All the best!

United States Army National Guard Private Mahickol A. Velasquez Munoz of West New York has graduated from the Infantryman One Station Unit Training at Fort Benning, in Columbus, Georgia. Best wishes, Private Munoz!

Former Guttenberg Mayor Nicholas Cicco is being touted for doing a good job as Executive Director of the North Hudson Regional Council of Mayors, based in Union City. Good news is always appreciated! Meanwhile, former mayor Cicco is still a semi-retired chiropractor in the town, and still loves the field of medicine. Bravo!

BLIZZARD OF 2010! This snowstorm took many people and municipalities by surprise, but the local Departments of Public Works did their best to clear their streets. However, there were some problems that kept my telephone ringing, saving me from getting cabin fever. Here goes! Guttenberg’s Athletic Living Legend Brian Guaschino was holed up in Pennsylvania because of the storm. Roseann Fischer of Secaucus, who is the Hudson County Superintendent of Weights and Measures, had no heat at her residence for five days! Ditto this Columnist for three days! Some banks were closed, and no mail delivery by USPS! The Hudson Reporter offices were closed for one day! Union City Deputy Mayor, Saint Nick Mastorelli, we hear got stranded in someone’s chimney in North Hudson County. Was that the reason why we heard so many sirens coming-out of the North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue-Building in West New York, on a search mission led by NHRFR Board Chairman and Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner in full rescue regalia!?!? HAPPY NEW YEAR-2011!
And welcome back home safe and sound, Nicky Mastorelli!And away we go! …….

And so it goes… Until next time… See you around town…MATT

Readers who would like to contribute to this column can do so by mailing your news items and photographs, along with your name, address, and telephone to: Matthew Amato, columnist, c/o The Hudson Reporter, 1400 Washington St., Hoboken, New Jersey 07030.

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