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Hometown: Red Bank    
Introduced by Gov. Chris Christie at New Jersey Chamber Congressional Dinner, Jan. 31    

Mike Hernandez built a business in Red Bank called Sounds to Go DJs, providing event planning and music for weddings, corporate parties and the like. Things were going well – then Sandy hit in October and suddenly Mike and his colleagues are in a different business.

They transformed their store on East Front Street into a collection center for donations, and unleashed their social media savvy to let everyone know about it. Within days they became a major distribution hub for the area – having collected $300,000 in funds and $25,000 in food, clothing, blankets, toys, and toiletries. Even entertainer Jon Stewart got into the act and sent a truck load of goods.

Nobody asked Mike to do this. And Mike didn’t ask for permission either. He saw what needed to be done and he did it. And he did it extremely well.


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