Citizen of the Year: Vivian Cleffi

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Vivian Cleffi has been a member of UNICO National, Montville Chapter since 1997. She currently serves as Chair of the Charitable Goals Committee, which oversees a budget in excess of $50,000 to fund the Chapter’s various charitable works. Vivian brings her limitless energy into a very demanding position in the Chapter.

Vivian was blessed with three children ­– Jim Jr., Vincent, and Jason. In 1975, Jim Jr., at the age of eight, was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia, and lost his battle with the deadly disease a year later. Vivian realized there were 32 cases of a rare form of cancer in a small geographical area and blew the whistle, creating a firestorm, which was covered by radio, television, and print media. Vivian, along with other concerned parents, created a group called We Who Care and fought the state to remediate the toxic causes of the cancer in the area known as Cancer Alley.

Vivian has lectured at more than 140 colleges, imparting her experience and wisdom in career development for students. She worked with the N.J. Department of Labor and the National Association of Trade and Technical Schools, and became president of Adults and Children with Learning Disabilities, lending her expertise to that endeavor.