Posthumous Honor - Hon. James J. Florio
Governor James Florio was a Founding Partner of Florio Perrucci Steinhardt Cappelli Tipton & Taylor based in the Cherry Hill, New Jersey office. Mr. Florio was Chairman of the firm’s energy, environmental law, government and regulatory affairs and the healthcare law groups. A Senior Fellow for Public Policy and Administration at the Edward J. Bloustein Graduate School of Public Policy at Rutgers University, Mr. Florio also served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Federal Home Loan Bank New York, as Chairman of The Pinelands Commission in New Jersey, and on the Board of Directors of NJ Future. Mr. Florio was the founder and CEO of XSPAND, an asset management company based in Morristown, New Jersey. Mr. Florio served on the Board of Directors of the NJ Health Care Quality Institute, was Co-Chairman of the Regional Plan Association’s New Jersey Committee, and was a member of the Board of Trustees Fund for New Jersey. Mr. Florio entered public service in 1969 serving three terms in the New Jersey General Assembly. He served as the 49th Governor of the State of New Jersey from 1990 through 1994 and in the United States House of Representatives from the 1st Congressional District from 1974 – 1990.
In addition, Mr. Florio had a number of other professional, civic, and political accolades. An authority on international trade, energy, environment, health care and transportation issues, he served on the Secretary of Energy’s Advisory Board during the Clinton administration. Mr. Florio was a member of the Trade and Environment Policy Advisory Committee (TEPAC) to the U.S. Trade Representative. Mr. Florio also served as a member of The Bretton Woods Committee which is a private bipartisan group committed to international economic leadership. Mr. Florio held numerous honorary degrees and was the 2019 recipient of the Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award at the Hughes Center Honors. In 1993 he received the “Profile in Courage Award” by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. In 2008, he was designated as a Lifetime Honoree Member of the New Jersey Short Line Railroad Association. Mr. Florio was a veteran of the U.S. Navy. He served four years of active duty and 18 years in the Active Naval Reserve and retired with the rank of Lieutenant Commander in 1975.
Hall of Fame Honorees
Hon. Rev. Chris Collins
Chris Collins is a native of Camden, NJ. He is a member of the clergy in Camden, a Chaplain for New Jersey State Department of Corrections, Camden County Office of the Sheriff and former Chaplain for the United States Marine Corps Reserve Toys For Tots Foundation.
In 1995, he started what is known today as the nation’s premier faith-based and professional weekly newspaper for winners, Anointed News Journal (ANJ), which is distributed in 28 states and has been distributed in 11 countries. Anointed News Journal (ANJ) provides positive people interest stories and resources that uplifts and empowers its readers.
In 2004, he served as a consultant for the NFL (National Football League) Retired Players Association and helped to write the exit strategy for retired players. In 2006, he was fortunate to coach professional football and made an appearance in the 2007 Arena Championship Bowl.
Chris Collins is the 2019 recipient of the Congressional Martin Luther King, Jr Freedom Award. Anointed News Journal was voted #21 in the Top 100 Small Businesses in NJ as a result of his hard work and dedication to providing quality services to Camden and surrounding communities. In 2021 Chris Collins was recognized by CIO Bulletin as one of the nation’s Top 50 Innovators of the Year.
Rev. Collins currently serves as a member of Camden City Council 2nd Ward and a Commissioner for Camden Redevelopment Authority. He is a member of the Penn State University Alumni Association, and also has a masters in theology with biblical leadership from Belford University.
Corinne Bradley Powers, Entreprenur
Mrs. Corinne Bradley Powers was born and raised in Camden, New Jersey, educated in the Camden Public School System and received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology from Rutgers University. For several years she worked as Bookkeeper for the City of Camden, Family Intake Officer for Department of Probation, and Counselor for Juvenile Resource Center. Although she enjoyed her work with the City of Camden, there remained a deep desire to one day own and operate her own business. The desire was finally realized in October 1989, when she and her family joined forces to open a full service restaurant. They combined hard work and extremely long hours to create the renowned restaurant “CORINNE’S PLACE.” Mrs. Bradley Powers has successfully owned and operated Corinne’s Place for over 30 years. This is quite an accomplishment given she operates in an industry that often sees a great deal of failed ventures in the first five years. The restaurant services not only City residents, but also Government Officials and celebrities. Her customers come from far and wide to not only dine in, but to also experience her Southern Soul Food Cuisine through catering. Corinne’s Place has received praise throughout the State of New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware.
Corinne has utilized her platform to not only turn a profit, but also to help her community. She willingly shares her God given gift in culinary skills with her staff of employees. She has worked with High School students to provide Co-Op opportunities for youth considering Culinary Arts as a profession and supports Camden’s Sports Teams by providing free meals as a reward for victories on the field. She has provided “second chances” for men and women who many have deemed unemployable. Mrs. Corinne has dedicated her life being of service to the youth and has been recognized for her achievements by many organizations, most recently, the James Beard Foundation Award given to locally owned restaurants that have timeless appeal and are beloved regionally for quality food that reflects the character of its community.
Chief Gabriel Rodriguez
Chief Gabriel Rodriguez assumed command of the Camden County Police Department on December 31, 2020. An East Camden native Chief Rodriguez has served the City of Camden as a police officer for more than seventeen years. Chief Rodriguez graduated from the prestigious Senior Management Institute for Policing in 2019, earned his bachelor’s degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University, and is currently completing a master’s degree in public administration. Chief Rodriguez is recognized as a plank-holding member of the department, playing a key role in the creation and successful stand-up of the department in 2013. Throughout his career Chief Rodriguez has served in many capacities including uniformed operations, investigations, community leadership, and executive commands.
Pamela Grayson-Baltimore, MSW, LCSW
Ms. Pamela Grayson-Baltimore is a native of Camden, New Jersey. She is a product of the Camden City Public School System and is a graduate of Eastside High School (formerly Woodrow Wilson High School). Ms. Grayson-Baltimore earned her bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Rutgers University – Camden which helped her enhance her natural gift of helping others. She continued on to earn her Master of Social Work degree from the same university to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). Ms. Grayson-Baltimore also became a Certified School Social Worker through the State of New Jersey.
Ms. Grayson-Baltimore has spent the past thirty years working in various positions within the social service industry; she has worked for The Department of Children and Families, The Center for Family Services, as a coordinator for several programs within the Camden educational system and community. Ms. Grayson-Baltimore has spent the last twenty years as an Attorney Assistant for the State of New Jersey Office of the Public Defender – Camden Division; her persistence, compassion and dedication to the work shows in all of her interactions with justice involved youth, their families, community providers and her peers.
In April of 2008, Ms. Grayson-Baltimore took her passion and purpose for the people to the next level by creating a comprehensive mentoring program entitled I Dare to Care Association. Ms. Grayson-Baltimore’s I Dare To Care Association (ID2C) equips and empowers individuals to establish strong beginnings, develop healthy and solid relationships with their peers and others, and gives them the opportunity to become valuable members of their community.
In August 2019 Ms. Grayson-Baltimore partnered with several other Camden leaders and formed Dare Academy which is located on Kaighn Avenue in the Parkside neighborhood of the city. Ms. Grayson-Baltimore founded The I Dare to Care Family Life Center on the Dare Academy Campus which she uses as a physical space for her work with the community. The I Dare to Care Family Life Center houses the I Dare To Care Mentoring Program and, in addition, provides a space for trauma healing workshops, EDU+ (Homeschool cohort), support groups and other services geared towards supporting children and their families.
She is a mother of three and a citadel part of the Camden community. Having been diagnosed with Breast Cancer in September 2000 and having it return in October 2014 after 13 years of remission, Ms. Grayson-Baltimore is free of Cancer.
Ms. Grayson-Baltimore is a member of the New Jersey National Association of Social Workers, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. New Jersey Garden City Alumnae Chapter, The Camden County Chapter of the NAACP and The Eastside High School Alumnae Association.