Published on March 23, 2023
“2023 Seeds of Change Award” & Proclamation Presented at Commissioners Public Meeting
The Morris County Board of County Commissioners continued to recognize Women’s History Month tonight by publicly honoring this year’s “Seeds of Change Award” winner and bestowing a proclamation to the Morris County Advisory Committee on Women.
“As we continue to celebrate Women’s History Month this evening, we recognize those individuals in Morris County who work hard to support the advancement of women and serve as inspiration in our community. These women are shining examples of Morris County citizens making a difference,” said Commissioner Deborah Smith.
Commissioner Director John Krickus presented a framed proclamation on behalf of the board declaring March 2023 Women’s History Month to Joann Bjornson, Vice Chair of the Advisory Committee on Women. The board had officially adopted the proclamation on March 8.
In turn, Ms. Bjornson presented the Morris County “2023 Seeds of Change Award,” an honor that praises Morris County women whose work on the grassroots level have motivated other women to become active in their communities. This year’s recipient, Alice Cutler of Morris Plains, was acknowledged for the many years of volunteerism and leadership she has provided to a wide variety of community organizations.
Ms. Cutler was unable to attend the ceremony, but her friend and former husband, Tim Cutler—who nominated her for the award—accepted it on her behalf.
“This is an extraordinary honor for a girl who doesn’t like appearing in public. The Cutler (name) has been in Morris County for quite a long time, and each of my female ancestors have done something that I’m proud of,” said Mr. Cutler.
Those community organizations Ms. Cutler has supported include: Morristown Green Trustees (current President); Macculloch Hall Historical Museum (past president and volunteer for 34 years); Garden Club of Morristown (past president); Junior League of Morristown (past president); United Way of Northern New Jersey; Grow it Green Morristown (first vice president); Morris Education Foundation; Patriots Path Council of the Boy Scouts of America; and the Vestry at St. Peter’s Church in Morristown.
Ms. Cutler helped many of these organizations address budgetary shortfalls and diminished membership. Her cheerful demeanor has always motivated others to share her vision, and her influence throughout Morris County is boundless.
This is the fourth “Seeds of Change Award” to be issued since 2018, as the COVID-19 pandemic temporarily interrupted the Advisory Committee activities for two years before public presentations resumed again in 2022. However, the Morris County Commissioners have made recognition of Women’s History Month a yearly tradition.
“The award is named ‘Seeds of Change’ to reflect the concept of planting seeds, nurturing seedlings and cultivating real change over time. The Women’s Committee solicited nominations for a woman who had planted seeds to benefit other women in our community and selected a winner after carefully reviewing the candidates,” Bjornson said.
The Advisory Committee on Women, established by the former Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders in 2004, is comprised of eleven members who serve to study the needs and opportunities for women who reside and work in Morris County. The committee researches and centralizes information regarding resources, issues, events and programs that involve women’s concerns and promotes their interests. They also advise and seek reform in the law, public policy and public attitudes towards women, in addition to recommending programs to help meet the needs of women in Morris County.
Top Center: Joann Bjornson, Vice-Chair of the Morris County Advisory Committee on Women with Morris County Commissioner Director John Krickus.
Center Right: Tim Cutler, who accepted the Morris County “2023 Seeds of Change Award” on Alice Cutler’s behalf with Advisory Committee on Women members Sydney Ugalde, Vice-Chair Joanne Bjornson and Pam Bennett-Santoro.
Bottom Left: Morris County Commissioners Douglas R. Cabana, Tayfun Selen, Commissioner Deputy Director Christine Myers, Joanne Bjornson, Vice Chair of the Advisory Committee on Women, Tim Cutler, who accepted the award on behalf Alice Cutler, his friend and ex-wife, Morris County Commissioner Director John Krickus, and Commissioners Deborah Smith, Stephen H. Shaw and Thomas J. Mastrangelo.