Well, officially it will be (will have been?) tonight when the Monmouth County Board of Freeholders declare it so in a proclamation honoring Gerri’s nearly 30 years of public service. I never understood why the Freeholders honor people with a day in their name at the end of that day. Gerri has made a deep enough positive impact in Monmouth County in both her professional career and her political activism that the Freeholders should name an entire month or a building, at the very least a conference room, in her honor.
Popkin is retiring as Monmouth County’s Director of Purchasing after 28 years on July 1. As Director of Purchasing, she supervised a staff of 12 and was responsible for acquiring $100 million in goods and services annually. Prior to becoming Director of Purchasing, Gerri was the Director of Consumer Affairs. For two years in the mid-1980’s, she was a executive with the New Jersey Lottery.
Highly recognized in the government purchasing profession, Gerri has received numerous awards and honors for her integrity and commitment to excellence. She freely shared her considerable expertise with purchasing agents, businesses, and public officials, both elected and appointed, as a mentor, speaker and resource while holding the positions of President of the NJ Association of County Purchasing Officials, Secretary of the Northern NJ National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP) and President of the Governmental Purchasing Association of NJ. In 2009, the NGIP honored Gerri with its National Meritorious Service Award.
A ceiling breaker for women in government and politics, Gerri was the first Republican woman elected to the Neptune City Council in 1981. She served on the council from 1982-1988. In 1987 she was the first woman nominee for State Senate in the 11th legislative district, the seat now held by Senator Jennifer Beck. Gerri was the first female municipal chair in Neptune City, the youngest President of the Monmouth County Federation of Republican Women, the first female Vice President of the Monmouth County Affiliated Republican Club and Monmouth County’s first female purchasing agent.
Gerri served as Secretary to the Monmouth County Board of Health, was a member of the inaugural Child Advocacy Center committee and served on the county’s Strategic Plan, Working Group, Budget and Green Energy committees.
An inductee into the Neptune High School Alumni Hall of Fame, Gerri has served and been honored by the Freehold Chamber of Commerce, the Monmouth Council of Girl Scouts, the Monmouth Ocean Development Council. She was named “Outstanding Young Woman of America” by the Freehold Chamber and was twice recognized by the New Jersey Legislature as a “Woman in Leadership.”
If you live or work in Monmouth County, Gerri Popkin has contributed positively to the quality of your life.
MoreMonmouthMusings salutes Gerri for a distinguished career and thanks her for the many contributions she has made to Monmouth County, New Jersey and the United States of America.