October 14, 2021
ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–A grand opening was held this morning for New Jersey’s newest Wawa at 1220 Route 130. As part of the celebration NJ Native, Ari Shiner who is Wawa’s first ever supported employment associate was honored for being with the company for 40 years. Wawa has a longstanding partnership with Eden Autism Services and Ari Shiner led the way in opening the door for individuals with Autism to gain employment.
“At Wawa, our core purpose is to fulfil lives and that starts with providing a meaningful experience for our 37,000 associates across 940 stores,” said Chris Gheysens, President & CEO of, Wawa. “This new store opening also marks the 40th year of our supported employment program with Eden Autism Services, a very important and valued partner. Eden’s emplyment program for adults with autism (WERCS) started in 1981 when we hired Ari Shiner in our Princeton store. Today, we are thrilled to honor Ari on 40 years of service and all that he has provided to our company and to our customers though the years. Happy 40th Wawaversary Ari!”
Today, Wawa’s supported employment program includes over 750 associates across the company and partnerships with dozens of supported employment programs.
“Ari was truly a pioneer in the field of supported employment,” said Scott Kent, Area Manager for Central New Jersey Wawa stores. “When customers come in and see Ari in the store, they immediately smile and go over to say hello!”
The Wawa Foundation presented Eden Autism Services with a $100,000. grant to support their ongoing expansion of services to the autism community.
Wawa’s Hoagies for Heroes hoagie-building competition was held between the Robbinsville Township Police Department and the Robbinsville Township Fire Department. $1,000 was presented to each departments charity of choice. The Robbinsville Township Police chose Robbinsville Township C.A.R.E and the Robbinsville Fire Department chose Robbinsville American Legion Post #530.