Heather Barberi / The Grunin Foundation
Heather Barberi / The Grunin Foundation 2020 Winner Leader
Heather Barberi / The Grunin Foundation

Heather Barberi / The Grunin Foundation

Distinguished Service Award

Heather Barberi is currently the Executive Director of the Grunin Foundation – a private family philanthropic foundation whose mission is to improve the quality of life for all members of our community by using philanthropy to drive economic excellence at the Central Jersey Shore.  Since 2013, the Foundation has been thoughtfully investing in the arts, education, health care and nonprofit capacity.

With a background in fundraising, marketing, strategic development, and management, Heather uses her experience to lead innovative projects at the Foundation, such as the Catapult Institute, and partnerships that bring meaningful, transformative change in the community. In addition to her role at the Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation, Heather is an active member of the community serving on Boards and committees with organizations such as the Ocean County College Foundation, Community Medical Center Foundation, Ocean County YMCA, Ocean Partnership for Children, Impact 100 Jersey Shore, Monmouth-Ocean Development Council, and the Greater Toms River Chamber of Commerce. Heather is a graduate of York College of Pennsylvania, and currently resides in Ocean County, NJ.

The Governor’s Awards in Arts Education began in 1980 to promote awareness and appreciation of the arts, recognizing the creativity, talent and leadership of the award winners. Each year, awards are presented to approximately 20 educators and 80 students. National and statewide organizations select the students for their exemplary work in creative writing, speech, dance, music, theatre and visual arts and the leaders for their exceptional commitment and contribution to arts education. The program also recognizes arts educators and arts education advocates, whose leadership has helped nurture the development of students in the arts across the state.

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The Governor’s Awards event is a partnership of the Arts Ed NJ, the Department of Education, Art Pride New Jersey Foundation, the Department of State and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Additional support is provided by: the Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics; Art Educators of New Jersey; Art Administrators of New Jersey; Dance New Jersey; New Jersey Council of Teachers of English; New Jersey Speech and Debate League; New Jersey Music Educators Association; New Jersey Performing Arts Center; Writer's Theatre of New Jersey; Speech and Theatre Association of New Jersey; New Jersey Thespians and Young Audiences of New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. The cooperating organizations, award sponsors and individual members of the planning council dedicate their time to make sure that excellence in the arts is rewarded, and work tirelessly throughout the year to plan this special event. The Governor's Awards in Arts Education ceremony are a major collaborative effort of the arts, education and state government.