Two Hillsborough women recognized for local efforts

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Two Hillsborough Township women were honored recently at a township committee meeting for their efforts in the area.

On Feb. 12, Pamela Borek and Melissa Almendinger were joined by the township committee and the Somerset County Commission on the Status of Women in saluting the two Hillsborough residents.

The women were honored for their dedication being presented with a proclamation at the meeting.

Borek is to be honored with the “Government/Public/Social Service” award at the Annual Outstanding Women in Somerset County awards dinner on March 29 in celebration of Women’s History Month.

Borek has served as the Hillsborough Township Municipal Clerk since December 2012. She graduated from Scranton University in Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and obtained a Masters in Business Administration from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

She has served on the Hillsborough Millstone Municipal Alliance since 2012 and has been vice chair since 2015. The Municipal Alliance is dedicated to substance abuse prevention and education with a particular focus on awareness for school age children. She has also been involved in Boro Suicide Awareness for Everyone (BOROSAFE) since 2015.

She is the OEM Deputy Coordinator, Public Information Officer and Communications Director and has also served on the Credit Card Advisory Commission since 2012 and has been vice chair since 2014. The commission administers the Hillsborough Rewards Visa Credit Card program grant application process which provides grants to local, non-profit organizations serving youths and senior citizens.

Borek has been involved in Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) since 2016. CERT is a program that educates volunteers about disaster preparedness and trains volunteers in basic disaster response skills.

She has also taken active and lead roles in supporting township students. She is active in the Hillsborough High School REACH Internship Program, the Hillsborough High School Sub-Team and the Hillsborough High School “Shop 2” Program.

She leads the collaboration with administration in implementing the REACH Internship Program with over 13 Hillsborough Township Departments and the Board of Education. The mentoring program provides work experience to students. The Shop 2 program is led by Borek as well and involves members of the shop class designing and building various project upgrades for the municipal building.

While Borek was awarded for the “Government/Public/Social Service” award, Almendinger for was selected for the “Environmental Initiatives” award.

Almendinger is to be honored with the “Environmental Initiatives” award at the Annual Outstanding Women in Somerset County awards dinner on March 29 as well in celebration of Women’s History Month.

She is currently the Community Garden Coordinator at Duke Farms and graduated from Cook College, Rutgers University with a degree in Natural Resource Management.

Almendinger was the former Executive Director of the N.J. Invasive Species Strike Team. She has served as the Coordinator of the Duke Farms Community Garden since 2014, a five-acre allotment style community garden.

She manages almost 500 individual garden members and runs an extensive education program teaching approximately 50 classes per year on organic gardening. She created a donation program whereby organic produce is donated to local food banks and shelters providing over 4,100 pounds in 2018 and over 12,000 in the last four years.

Almendinger also created accessible gardening spaces for gardeners with physical challenges. She  maintains a mini homestead growing vegetables, berries, fruit trees and native plants and raises a flock of backyard chickens.

She instituted the Hillsborough iRun program at Triangle School and was a former board member of “Steps Together” as well. In furtherance of her sustainable initiative efforts, Almendinger and her husband will be contestants in an upcoming episode of HGTV’s “Flea Market Flip” which showcases repurposing flea market items.