From the Maplewood Civic Association:
On Sunday, May 5, 2019, Mike David, Robert McCoy, Mike Summersgill, and, in memory, Bardin Levavy, Esq will be honored as recipients of the Maple Leaf Award for volunteer and community service.
“This year’s Maple Leaf Award recipients includes both relatively long time and more recent residents of Maplewood. Whether the volunteer work of this year’s recipients has been given to maintain and enhance the character of Maplewood and its traditions, like the July 4th celebration; or for the support and enrichment of opportunities for young people including anti-bullying programs; or for the environmental protection, conservancy. and beautification of Maplewood and its surrounding areas; or for the care and well-being of Maplewood’s seniors and adults; or for the safety and well-being of our community, these volunteers are exceptional individuals whose dedication and service have made Maplewood a better place to live,” said Mary Devon O’Brien, Chairman of the Maple Leaf Awards.
The 51th Annual Maple Leaf Award Ceremony and brunch, which will be held at Pantagis Renaissance (Route 22 in Scotch Plains), is open to all, and will begin promptly at 12:30 PM, so people should plan to arrive earlier in order to find seating. The cost is $45.00 per person, (make check payable to Maple Leaf Fund and mail to Maplewood Civic Association at P.O. Box 3, Maplewood, NJ 07040), and reservations and payment in advance are required. For attendance information call: Mary Devon O’Brien at 973-763-4135.
Mike David grew up in several locations in the South, including New Orleans, Louisiana; Mobile, Alabama; Atlanta, Georgia; and Boca Raton, Florida. After graduation from High School, Mike studied architecture at Georgia Tech after which he attended the Ecole des Beaux Artes in Paris. Adding to his international experience and understanding of other cultures, before moving to the New York area, Mike spent a year working in Isfahan, Iran, leaving in 1979 just before the Islamic revolution that ousted the Shah.
In 1980, 39 years ago, Mike married Cecilia Weiss, and in 1985 Mike and Cecilia moved to Maplewood, drawn by its charm and access to transportation. Mike and Cecilia have two grown children, Kate 29, who lives in Huntsville, Alabama, and Melissa 28, who lives in New York City. Both Kate and Melissa grew up in Maplewood, attended the Maplewood schools, and they both ran Track and Cross Country at Columbia High School. Mike was an actively involved volunteer parent, helping and participating in all of the kids’ school activities.
Mike is a Professional Engineer who works for Plaza Construction, one of the largest construction companies in New York. Currently Mike is the Senior Project Manager for the tallest building in New Jersey, at 99 Hudson Street in Jersey City.
Mike and Cecilia are members of St. Georges Episcopal Church, where Mike, over the years, has been a very active volunteer in local church activities and in the Episcopal Diocese of Newark. Mike served on the Vestry, the governing body of St. Georges Church, for six years and headed the Property Committee for nearly ten years. Mike also served on the Board of the Ward-Herbert Fund, a capital improvement management organization of the Episcopal Diocese, whose mission is to help the less endowed parishes.
Shortly after moving to Maplewood, Mike became an active with the Maplewood Civic Association and the 4th of July Committee, where he has spent countless hours serving as a volunteer in various capacities of the Maplewood Civic Association’s activities. Appreciating both Mike’s dedication for volunteer service and his professionalism, under the guidance and encouragement of Bruce and Winnie Conley, Mike took over the financial responsibilities of the Maplewood Civic Association’s July 4th Committee and began his decades long service as the 4th of July Committee Treasurer.
Acknowledging his dedicated volunteer service and leadership for the July 4th activities, Mike then served as the 4th of July Committee Chairman from 1998 to 2000. Following his chairmanship, Mike resumed the very important management, reporting, and financial oversight responsibilities as the Maplewood Civic Association’s 4th of July Committee Treasurer, a dedicated volunteer activity he held for decades. When the time comes, Mike and Cecilia plan to retire to Asheville, North Carolina. The Maple Leaf Award expresses Maplewood’s appreciation for decades that Mike has dedicated his volunteer service for the benefit of his fellow residents and the extended community.
Bob McCoy was born in Midland, Michigan, home of the Dow Chemical Company, and its impact on the environment was an early motivator for Bob. His family moved to Hong Kong when Bob was in 7th grade, and there he graduated from Hong Kong International School. Growing up in Hong Kong, in the shadow of China’s turbulent Cultural Revolution, established Bob’s lifelong commitment to social justice, and his family’s hosting of US soldiers and sailors on R&R from the Vietnam War, gave him a perspective on the best of American values as well as the perils of a challenging foreign policy involvement.
Bob graduated from Swarthmore College with a BA in Economics in 1977. He added a Diploma in Machine Tool Operation after moving to Atlanta where he was certified as a Journeyman Toolmaker and worked for a contact lens manufacturing company for a decade. There he was also actively involved organizing voter registration drives through the DeKalb County NAACP.
Drawn by its diversity and broader aesthetics, Bob and his wife, Laurel, and two-year old daughter moved to Maplewood in 1994, when Laurel took a position as a Professor at Drew Theological School/University in Madison. Bob chose to stay home with their daughter (who earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and now works in the solar industry) and son (who earned a degree in International Relations from Tufts and works in policy advocacy communications), who was born in 1996. Both children attended Seth Boyden School (where Bob monitored SOMA district budget issues for the PTA), Maplewood Middle School, and Columbia High School, where they were active in sports including soccer, baseball, and ultimate Frisbee and Bob helped as an assistant coach. During this time, Bob completed his Masters of Engineering degree in Design Management from Stevens Institute of Technology.
Aware of both global warming and the advances in energy technologies, in the fall of 2002, Bob and Laurel became one of the first hundred solar installations in New Jersey. Later they also replaced their gas boiler with a geothermal heat pump system
Bob’s initiative and interest in solar led to his appointment to the Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC) in 2004 by the Township Committee, where Bob served as Chair. In 2006, Bob led an effort to inventory Maplewood’s greenhouse gas emissions and to develop a climate action plan to reduce that impact. Bob was also involved in designing and managing two programs to encourage residents to take advantage of New Jersey’s attractive solar funding options which led to his active participation on the Sustainable Jersey Energy Task Force, and on climate change and energy transition panels at annual gatherings of Sustainable Jersey, the
Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions (ANJEC), and the NJ League of Municipalities.
Bob also worked to correct the harm of over-browsing by deer in South Mountain Reservation by helping to coordinate Maplewood’s government, the South Mountain Conservancy, and Essex County Parks Department which concluded that culling deer from the Reservation was the best option to restore the South Mountain Reservation ecosystem. Bob also works on the EAC’s annual spring cleanup of the East Branch of the Rahway River, removing tons of sunken or snagged trash, and he is also working on designs and funding to establish a Rahway Greenway (an off-road link between the middle schools in each town and the various parks and playing fields in between) and to improve the quality of the township playing fields for team sports while maintaining the natural grass aesthetic quality.
Bob enjoys his fairly large extended family in the US and overseas, taking care of his parents in North Carolina, international travel, and continuing to camp and hike with family including snowshoeing to mountain huts, backpacking to remote mountain lakes, and proving that a family of four can indeed drive and camp from Maplewood to northern Newfoundland out of the back of a Prius. On most Sunday mornings above 50o, Bob and Laurel and maybe a friend or two, can be found biking to the closed-to-cars Brookside Drive in the Reservation. The Maple Leaf Award thanks Bob for his dedication to the environment, conservancy and service to enhance Maplewood, its Parks, and its Public Places.
Mike Summersgill was born in Monterey Bay, California and moved with his family to South Jersey when his father was transferred to Fort Dix. He graduated from Moorestown High School where he was active in Student Government and Varsity Sports. He graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Operations Research and Industrial Engineering, and his first job after graduation was with Airborne Express in South Plainfield, New Jersey, where he supervised 20 Union drivers.
Mike earned roles of increasing responsibility and transferred to Manhattan when DHL acquired Airborne Express. His final role with DHL was to oversee the outbound operations for New York City. After working for DHL, Mike took a role with Williams Lea, a Business Process Outsourcing firm, and moved to Maplewood, where he and his wife Devon were drawn by its beauty, diversity, and access.
Appointed by the Maplewood Township Committee, Mike served for two years on the Pool Advisory Committee where he helped re-write the concession RFP and advocated for lower rates for families and seniors.
He was also an inaugural member of Senior Advisory Committee, and he continues to serve on that committee as a strong advocate for seniors. Mike also helped to write the Age Friendly Event Guidelines for Maplewood. Prior to serving on the Senior Advisory Committee, Mike was a volunteer with Two Towns For All Ages, where he served on the Governance Subcommittee.
Mike serves on the South Mountain YMCA Board of Managers and is a member of their Chairman’s Club. In his service for children, he is a Program Champion for the YMCA and funds a 3 year Anti-Bullying Program for elementary schoolers in the South Mountain YMCA after care program.
Mike also serves on the South Mountain YMCA’s Community Programming Committee, where he focuses on extending the Y’s reach into the community, and he is also a perennial sponsor of the Duck Race.
Mike is a long-time supporter of the Columbia High School Cougar Boosters and can be spotted at their Golf Outing every year. He has donated and coordinated the printing of the Columbia High School Cougar Boosters programs and tee signs for several years.
Mike lives in the Hilton neighborhood with his wife Devon and their three daughters – Bree, Kate, and Maggie. He is member of the Hilton Neighborhood Association, has served on their Executive Board, and he has led their Women’s History Month Program. Mike and his family are part of the St Joseph’s parish.
Mike is also active with the Maplewood Civic Association. His volunteer service includes serving on the 4th of July Committee Executive Board and Co-Chairing the Car Show. He was also a Holiday Decorations Captain as part of the Maplewood Civic Association’s Holiday Decorations Celebration Program.
Outside of Maplewood, Mike volunteers through his current employer, Salesforce. He volunteers monthly at the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen and does Probono consulting for the Professional Women In Construction organization.
Maplewood and the extended community thank Mike for his significant volunteer service in many community activities, and his leadership and dedication to both children and seniors as well as the community at large.
Bardin Levavy, Esq. – In Memory
Born and brought up in Perth Amboy, Bardin “Bardy” Levavy earned a BA with Honors in English Literature from Johns Hopkins University, after which he earned a J.D. from Harvard Law School. While working as a lawyer during the day, he attended New York University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in the evening, achieving the status of ‘All but Dissertation’ for a PhD in English Literature.
Bardy’s early practice of law in New York City included his interest in Intellectual Property, focusing on movies and music. He also developed an expertise in Trusts and Estates and general corporate law. After practicing law in NY for 15 years, he moved his practice to New Jersey, where he practiced for the rest of his career.
Charmed by the community and its activities, in 1972, Bardy and his wife, Sue-Ellen, moved to Maplewood, where they raised their children Rafi and Sara.
Almost as soon as Bardy and Sue-Ellen moved to Maplewood, Bardy became involved in numerous community organizations. He was an active and long-time member of the Citizens Budget Advisory Committee, lending his expertise to provide suggestions to benefit Maplewood and its citizens. This led to his further involvement as an active member and officer in numerous organizations in town.
He donated his time and lent his expertise to the Maplewood Civic Association and its many activities as Treasurer and legal counsel, a position he held for decades.
He was also actively involved in many aspects of Arts Maplewood, and then Friends of the Burgdorff Cultural Center, using his love of music and the arts to enrich cultural activities in the Maplewood and the extended community. He also was a long-time member of Friends of Maplewood Recreation, serving as its President.
As a member of Oheb Shalom Congregation, Bardy used his journalistic skills to serve as Editor of the Oheb Shalom Review, and he also served on the Oheb Shalom Board of Trustees. In addition, he served as Bulletin Editor and President of The Unity Club of Maplewood.
Bardy also kept connected to his childhood roots in Middlesex County as an Officer of the Friends of Preservation of Middlesex County Jewish Cemeteries and Friends of Perth Amboy Jewish History.
Bardy’s death last year was not only a personal loss to many but also a loss to the organizations and community he served. His volunteer service both touched and improved the lives of many, not only Maplewood, but also the extended community, and all are grateful for his service.