bizHub Leadership

The working group that created the Cape May County bizHub, including members representing Cape May County government, Atlantic Cape Community College, and the County’s business community, continue to serve in an advisory capacity. A paid director staffs the Cape May County bizHub, while Atlantic Cape and Cape May County government provide in-kind services.

Cape May County Government:

Leonard C. Desiderio

Board of County Commissioners
Title: Commissioner Director
Phone: 609-465-1065

len.desiderio@co.cape-may.nj.us

Leonard C. Desiderio, mayor of Sea Isle City since 1993, was elected what was then known as Freeholder in 2002, but the position was renamed to Commissioner in 2021. Desiderio is a member of the South Jersey Transportation Planning Organization, Sea Isle City Planning Board, Sea Isle City Ambulance Corps, Elks Lodge BPOE 1290, Southern New Jersey Commissioners’ Association, New Jersey Association of Counties and past president and current member of the Cape May County League of Municipalities. Desiderio is a member and current Chairman of the South Jersey Transportation Planning Organization. Commissioner Desiderio was recognized by the New Jersey Conference of Mayors as Freeholder of the year 2004 and 2015. Desiderio’s community involvement includes sponsoring both the St. Patrick’s Day and Columbus Day Parades in Sea Isle City as well as sponsoring numerous charitable events and playing Santa Claus for needy children in the county since 1997. Desiderio received his BA degree in Social Sciences and History from Thomas Edison College. A native of Nutley, New Jersey, Desiderio became a full-time resident of Sea Isle City in 1983 and is president of Sea Isle Inn, Inc., a family owned and operated business. Desiderio is married to wife Carmela and they have 1 daughter, Carmela.

Andrew Bulakowski

Board of County Commissioners
Title: Commissioner Vice-Director
Phone: 609-465-1065

andrew.bulakowski@co.cape-may.nj.us

Andrew Bulakowski was first elected to the Cape May County Board of County Commissioners in November 2022. He is a Senior Council Representative with the Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters. Bulakowski also serves as a member of the Cape May County Planning Board, and the County Development Review Board. He was also the Vice-chairman of the Lower Township Planning Board and Cape May County Representative with New Jersey Planning Board Officials’ Executive Board. In 2015, he received the United States Presidential Award for lifetime, achievement, and dedication to volunteer service.

Bulakowski has also donated time towards construction of the Vietnam Veterans Wall Wildwood, Coast Guard Enlisted Memorial Cape May, Air Advisors Memorial McGuire Air Force Base, Disabled American Veterans Club, and various home repair or remodels throughout the County for charity.

Bulakowksi served as Committee Executive Board Member and Chairman of Charity Golf Tournament of Burlington County Military Affairs; Past Chairman of High Tides Stryper Tournament to benefit Brendan’s Fund and children’s pediatric cancer; Past Chairman of Special Olympics golf tournament; and also volunteered with the Children’s Fresh Air Home in Wildwood.

Andy holds a 100-ton Master Captain’s license and has completed coursework in labor law, construction psychology and estimating at Rutgers University and Gloucester Community College, respectively.

Andy is a long-time resident of Lower Township, where he resides with his partner Michelle McCusker, and his German shepherd, Hanz.

Will Morey

Board of County Commissioners
Title: Commissioner
Phone: 609-465-1065

will.morey@co.cape-may.nj.us

Will Morey is President and CEO of Morey’s Piers, a family owned business started in 1969 and recognized as a premier regional entertainment destination located in Wildwood, NJ. Morey’s Piers encompasses commercial recreational attractions: rides, waterparks, midways games, miniature golf, etc.; hotels and properties, including a realty office and property management; and food and beverage establishments, from full service dining experiences to quick casual counter service.

Will and his brother, Jack, were recipients of the 2009 NJ Family Business of the Year award selected by The Rothman Institute of Entrepreneurship at Farleigh Dickinson University. Also, in 2009, they received the prestigious New Jersey BIZ Hall of Fame Family of the Year award which honors individuals who have devoted their time and energy to improving and revitalizing business in New Jersey.

He participates in the leadership of the amusement industry through the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA). He has served as the Government Relations Committee Chairman, the Audit Committee Chairman, Chairman of the IAAPA Governance Committee, and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Executive Committee. In 2013, he served as Chairman of the Board for the global association.

Elected to the Cape May County Board of Chosen Freeholders (County Commissioner) in 2011, Will oversees the Department of Planning, Economic Development, Engineering and Public Infrastructure and is liaison to the County’s Open Space, Farmland Preservation and Planning Boards. Will was reelected to the New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors in January 2018.

Will supports many charitable and community initiatives and has served on the Board of Education for both Wildwood and Wildwood Crest, the Boardwalk Special Improvement District and the Atlantic Cape Community College (ACCC) Foundation Board where he completed a role as County Chair for the Capital and Scholarship Campaign. He is also a past Founding Board Member and Trustee of Cape Volunteers in Medicine. Beginning in 2015, Will is the Chair of the Cape May County Coast Guard Community Foundation.

Will is a graduate of Auburn University where he received his B.S. in Business Administration with emphasis in Finance. He is a licensed, commercial rated pilot and Certified Flight Instructor. He resides in Wildwood Crest with his wife of 35 years, Janice. They have two sons, Will B. and Kyle.

Leslie L. Gimeno

Planning Department
Title: Planning Director
Phone: 609-465-6875

LGimeno@co.cape-may.nj.us

Leslie Gimeno, PP, AICP, MPA is a Professional Planner, licensed by the State of New Jersey and the American Institute of Certified Planners since 1999.

She is the Director of the Cape May County Planning Department, which hosts the functions of Land Use Planning, Economic Development Workforce Development, and Open Spaces & Farmland Preservation.

Leslie holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Dickinson College and a Master of Public Administration from Lehigh University.

Joe Molineaux

Planning Department
Title: Economic Development Program Coordinator
Phone: 609-465-1085

Joe.Molineaux@co.cape-may.nj.us

Joe Molineaux leads the Economic Development Program for Cape May County and brings over twenty years of experience in business development and a lifetime of southern New Jersey consulting and economic development knowledge to the role. Molineaux has worked and focused on assisting thousands of entrepreneurs and individuals in growing business and project development through his career that includes working closely with federal, state, county and municipal governments and agencies along with lending and educational institutions.  Along with active involvement in regional groups and business associations, Molineaux has maintained a strong presence promoting South Jersey businesses and economic development through television, radio, digital and print mediums.

Atlantic Cape Community College:

JEAN MCALISTER

Chief of Staff & Chief Advancement Officer Mays Landing Campus, J Building, Room 250
Email: mcaliste@atlanticcape.eduPhone: (609) 343-4901

A seasoned leader with more than 30+ years of experience in community college operations, strategic planning, community engagement, workforce development, and advancement. I love when students make it to the finish line to graduation whether from a short term certificate program leading to a career or in one of our 40+ degree programs. I am in awe at the investments our community, sponsors and individual donors make to help ensure we level the playing field so that any student who wants to attend college has access to a quality education in Atlantic and Cape May Counties.
As the Executive Director of the Atlantic Cape’s Foundation, we are engaging with our alumni and community to help raise awareness about Atlantic Cape and raise the much-needed funds for our neediest students. Come join me and together we will make dreams a possibility.

KRISTA MCCONNELL

Director, Cape May County Campus and Community Outreach Cape May Campus
Email: kfitzsim@atlanticcape.edu Phone: 609-463-3670

CHRISTOPHER STENGER

Director, Cape May BizHub Cape May Campus
Email: cstenger@atlanticcape.edu Phone: 609-463-4774 ext. 4586

Christopher Stenger is the Director of the Cape May County bizHub, the county’s free small business resource center located in the Cape May Court House Campus of Atlantic Cape Community College.

Christopher is a southern NJ born and raised US Army veteran with experience in business, sales, leadership, and consulting. In addition to being the director, he is a small business owner in the county and is really passionate about working with community and governmental leadership to support business growth in Cape May County.

SHERWOOD L. TAYLOR
Senior Director, Workforce Development, MBA
Atlantic City Campus, Room 104
Email: staylor@atlanticcape.edu Phone: (609) 343-4816

 Mr. Taylor currently serves as Atlantic Cape’s Director of Workforce Development. The Workforce Development Division provides training programs to the residences, businesses, and organizations in Atlantic and Cape May County. Mr. Taylor’s areas also include the Casino Career Institute, the Health Professions Institute, Computers, Technology and It Certification Programs, Workforce Solutions (training solutions for business and organizations), Culinary Arts & Cooking Programs, Retail, Customer Service and Hospitality programs, Profession Development Programs and Community Education. Mr. Taylor also provides leadership and oversight for over twelve grant and funded programs. Mr. Taylor holds a BS degree in Management and Leadership, and an MBA, and Graduate Certificate from Capella University.

KARL GIULIAN

Associate Professor Mays Landing Campus, A Building, Room 137
Email: kgiulian@atlanticcape.edu Phone: (609) 343-4996

My name is Karl Giulian. I am an Associate Professor of business at Atlantic Cape Community College and an adjunct professor at Stockton University. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from The Pennsylvania State University (1987) and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Monmouth University (1990) and an EdD from Stockton University (2019) in Organizational Leadership. I have been teaching for more than 20 years, and during that time I have taught many of the business classes. However, I am more focused on the management and entrepreneurship sections.
Also, since 1989, I have been running a small business that is based in Stone Harbor, NJ. It is a property management business with our primary focus on managing the common areas in condominium associations. The business coordinates the repairs to the complex, maintain the pool and pool area, coordinates the landscaping, etc. In managing my complexes, I would be responsible for all of the finances of the complex which included budgeting and planning. I would have anywhere from 1 employee to 15 employees (in the summer). In recent years, I have made a business decision to make the business smaller so that I could focus more on my teaching. I have only one employee (Me).

I am married (since 1997) to my wife, Amy. She is a high school teacher. I have 4 children (Robert, Catherine, Karl and David) and two dogs (Ridley-a mix of a Shepard and hound and Mugsy who is a shih tzu). We live in Stone harbor.
I consider my life to be very rewarding as I enjoy my family. I truly enjoy being a member of the faculty here at the college. I LOVE teaching. It is my passion. I am confident in my teaching style as I am able to bring life to the text books and classrooms.

Community Leadership:

Edward Savino
Crest Saving Bank
SVP, Chief Lending Officer
3301 Pacific Avenue
Wildwood, NJ 08260
edward.savino@crestsavings.com
direct 609.522.5490 | main 609.522.5011 | fax 609.522.4421

Vesna Palifrova
Crest Saving Bank
VP, Senior Commercial Loan Officer
3301 Pacific Avenue
Wildwood, NJ 08260
vesna.palifrova@crestsavings.com
direct 609.522.6139 | main 609.522.5115 | fax 609.522.5362 I NMLS#1876712

With 25+ years of experience in commercial lending and business banking, Vesna possesses a

profound understanding of fostering financial success for her customers. Her skill in identifying and comprehending customer needs, along with her extensive expertise.

Louis C. Joyce, PP, AICP
Executive Director

South Jersey Economic Development District
2745 S. Delsea Drive
Vineland, NJ 08360

ljoyce@sjedd.com

Lou Joyce is currently the Executive Director of the South Jersey Economic Development District, Inc.  The SJEDD is a USEDA certified economic development district whose territory encompasses Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland and Salem Counties.  The SJEDD provides a direct link to USEDA and other government agency funding sources and provides directed technical assistance in development and administration of economic plans for the region.  The District maintains the regions Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy which is updated annually.

Mr. Joyce is a licensed New Jersey Professional Planner (PP) and holds the American Institute of Certified Planner (AICP) designation from the American Planning Association. Prior to his current position Mr. Joyce served and the County Planning Director for Salem County.  Additionally, he has held positions in local government administration and planning in addition to work in the private sector.

Lou currently is a member of the Salem County Economic Development Advisory Committee and serves on the Executive Committee of the Salem County Chamber of Commerce where he is Chair of the Government Relations and Economic Development Committee.  He has recently completed a long-standing role as an adjunct faculty member at Rowan University where he taught courses in Environmental policy and NJ Planning Practice.

Jim Rutala

Mr. Rutala is a Principal of James M. Rutala Associates LLC, a consulting firm which assists communities to plan their futures.  Rutala Associates is a multifaceted firm that provides planning, energy, economic development and management services.

Mr. Rutala has a Master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from The Ohio State University and a Master of Business Administration from Rutgers University.  He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and holds a New Jersey Professional Planners License.

Rutala Associates has secured over $300 million in grant funds over the last six years primarily for coastal resiliency projects and has completed numerous plans for coastal communities.  An active member of the community, Mr. Rutala is the past chair of the American Red Cross, Chairman of the Atlantic Cape Community College Foundation and Vice Chair of the Atlantic City Community Fund.

Barbara Jones
President
Cape May County Chamber of Commerce
(609) 465-7181 ext. 102 President@cmcchamber.com

Barbara is currently President & CEO of the Cape May County Chamber of Commerce.
Prior to the Chamber, Barbara was co-owner of Servpro of Cape May & Cumberland Counties. Cape May was established in 2003 and Cumberland County was established in 2004. Servpro is a premier cleaning and restoration company, specializing in fire, flood and mold remediation, and offers 24 hour
emergency services for both commercial and residential customers. Other services include odor removal, move outs, duct cleaning and sealing, carpet, upholstery, drapery and floor cleaning and maintenance, post construction clean-ups, and biohazard cleanups.
Prior to Servpro, Barbara worked in the insurance industry in South Jersey, and prior to that, the executive search industry in Philadelphia, PA.
Originally from Ireland, Barbara holds her Producers Licenses in Life and Health Insurance, and numerous IICRC certificates in WTR, ASD, Health & Safety, FST, CCT, and AMRT. Barbara holds an Asbestos license in the State of NJ and Pennsylvania, has a NADCA Certification in Duct Cleaning, and is an ABRA-certified crime scene cleanup Master. She also has her OSHA 30 hour. Barbara is Treasurer of the American Bio Recovery Association. She serves on the Coast Guard Community Foundation Board. She formerly served on the Board of the Greater Vineland Chamber of Commerce and also served on the First Legislative District Economic Development Task Force formed by then-Senator Jeff Van Drew. She was a Board member of the Cape May County Chamber of Commerce for many years and actively served on the Women in Business Committee.
Barbara resides in Cape May Courthouse, NJ.

Mr. Neil J Abitabilo

SCORE Certified Mentor and Presenter

Cell Phone: (609) 475-2096

A SCORE Certified Mentor since 2018; following a 35-year career as a Corporate “C” level Officer, Board Director, and Turnaround Executive, Neil transitioned into Consulting for the next 15 years. Neil has taught MBA Courses online since 2016.

Chief Financial and Operations Officer, board director, and corporate turnaround expert with over four decades of experience driving business transformation, restructuring financial operations, managing companies through Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganizations, and negotiating refinancing and debt-equity conversions with counterparties. Adept at developing customized models to drive growth and reduce costs for industrial manufacturing, logistics, and business services companies. Expertise includes strategic planning, risk assessment and mitigation, private equity, M&A, divestitures, startups, public markets, SEC reporting, Sarbanes-Oxley, and operations improvement. Dedicated to building effective relationships and providing support to investors, executive teams, and boards of directors.

Laura Gaffney

Arc of Cape May County
Chief, Marketing, Development
and Admissions Officer
609-861-7100 x119 laura.gaffney@arcofcapemay.org

Perry Mays is the chairman of the Coalition for a Safe Community in Atlantic County, based in Atlantic City and Pleasantville. The coalition works to educate and promote safe communities by hosting events and outings while also tackling the issue of violence, which has made headlines throughout the area.

RALPH PADILLA

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO)

P.R.A.C. of Southern N.J. is led by a nationally recognized Hispanic leader who has a lengthy resume dedicated to public service, community and Hispanic initiatives. His resume includes a twenty five year law enforcement and criminal justice career.

During this time he held a multitude of supervisory and management positions and on January 5, 2005 was the first Hispanic in the history of New Jersey to be appointed Chief of a County Prosecutor’s Office.

After retirement he become the President of The Padilla Group LLC a consulting firm specializing in media, marketing, translation services and risk management, safety and security consultation for governmental and corporate clients.

In 2013 he became the first Hispanic ever elected to public office for a municipality in the history of Salem County. He broke another barrier by being unanimously appointed as the first Hispanic Mayor in Salem County history in the Township of Pittsgrove.

A dynamic visionary leader who speaks throughout the nation on topics ranging from Hispanic Empowerment Initiatives, Cultural Diversity and Police Accountability practices he has brought a clear and precise plan to P.R.A.C. to further its commitment to the community.

He has held a multitude of positions on national, state and local boards, commissions and authorities. He previously served as the Chairman of the Board of the United Way of Salem County, President of the N.J. Chiefs’ of Det.’s & Inv.’s Association, Board of Directors for Salem Community College Foundation, Salem County Vocational & Technical Career Center, Calvary Development Corporation and currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of the Memorial Hospital of Salem County.

At P.R.A.C. he has created a vibrant housing program to improve the quality of life of families from throughout the area along with creating a Hispanic Cultural, Heritage, Arts, Entertainment and Sporting Initiative component which has made PRAC the leader in the region for events such as these.

He is the son of Rosa Padilla from Villaba, Puerto Rico and the late Rafael Padilla from Jayuya, Puerto Rico. He currently resides in Pittsgrove Township with his wife Elba of nearly thirty years. He is the proud father of Ryan Padilla, Rutgers University-New Brunswick graduate, Ray, Rowan University graduate and Gabriella a ninth grade student at Arthur P. Schalick High School.

He enjoys spending time watching his daughter playing soccer throughout the nation and quality time with his yellow Labrador Retriever Luna and Black Labrador Retriever Layla.

Nancy L Sittineri

Grants & Economic Development Director

Township of Middle

Born and raised in Cape May County. Married to my husband, Joseph Sittineri for 26 years with 3 adult daughters.

Previously a Real Estate Broker in Cape May County with over 20 years’ experience.

AAS in Paralegal Studies from Rowan College of South Jersey

Presently enrolled in Thomas Edison State University studing for my Masters’ in Business Administration/Marketing.

I never miss a chance to enjoy a good girls softball game!

Original Working Group Members Not Listed Above:

Vicki T. Clark

Vicki Clark is the President and CEO of the Cape May County Chamber of Commerce and serves in a dual capacity as Executive Director of the Chamber’s Education Foundation.

Vicki is an Alumni of Virginia Tech with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing Management. She considers herself a lifelong learner and is a graduate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Organization Management as well as both the classic Dale Carnegie Course and Dale Carnegie Sales Training.

She is the Immediate Past-President of the New Jersey Tourism Industry Association, serves on the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the Board of the New Jersey Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (NJACCES), the Atlantic Cape Community College Foundation Board, the Board of Court Appointed Special Advocates of Atlantic and Cape May Counties and served on the Lower Cape May Regional Board of Education for eleven years. She is a founding member of the Business Alliance for the Protection of the Atlantic Coast and currently serves on their Board of Directors.

Vicki has received numerous recognitions for her work over the years, including the 2018 Cape May County Woman of Wonder Award, 2015 Boy Scouts of America Garden State Council Woman of Achievement Award, the 2013 South Jersey Business People Impact Award, Literacy Volunteers Association Atlantic-Cape Community Service Award, and the Cape May County Tourism Whelk Excellence in Tourism Award.

Vicki and her husband Bruce have 3 married children and 6 grandchildren with number 7 on the way!

Nancy E. Cleaver

Nancy E. Cleaver is Senior Vice President and Chief Lending Officer of Crest Savings Bank, headquartered in Wildwood, NJ. She is charged with responsibility for the Loan Department, including the nineteen people who originate, process  and service commercial, residential and consumer loans in the Bank’s primary marketplace: Cape May County.  The loan portfolio is $410,000,000 outstanding and 2000 customers. She has been at Crest since 2010. Her banking career started in the early 1980’s at Heritage Bank, Cherry Hill, NJ. She stepped away from banking for the ten years prior to joining Crest  in pursuit of the dream of being an entrepreneur. She had four gift stores called Shore Designs at the peak of her retail adventure.

Nancy believes in giving back to the community that has provided her with so many opportunities. She is an active supporter of the Cape May County Chamber of Commerce as a member of the Board of Directors, and member of the Finance Committee, Women in Business Event Committee and Chair of the Annual Dinner. She also volunteers her time and banking expertise for Habitat for Humanity-Cape May County, including a two year term as President of the Board. She supports the Boy Scouts of America originally in the role of Chair for the annual Distinguished Citizens Reception in Cape May County 2014-2016. More recently, she has advanced  to a position on the Executive Board governing six counties in Southern New  Jersey known as the Garden State Council. Nancy  also accepted a seat on the Atlantic Cape Community College Foundation Board  in 2017, recently joining the Finance Committee.

Her formal education includes earning an undergraduate degree in cultural anthropology from Colgate University, Hamilton, NY and an MBA-Finance from the University of Connecticut, Storrs, Conn.  After spending 23 wonderful years living in historic Cape May City, she recently moved to Ventnor City where she enjoys her free time on the boardwalk with her other half, Jim.

Maria Kellett

Maria Kellett is the former Dean of the Cape May County Campus of Atlantic Cape Community College. In this role, she provides executive leadership and direction for all college efforts in Cape May County, and serves as the primary liaison between the college, Cape May County government and the community at large. Over her thirteen years at the Cape May campus, she has built strong relationships with the Cape May County Board of Commissioners, and business and civic leaders. In her role as Associate Dean of Resource Development, she oversees the execution of all fundraising activities including Atlantic Cape Foundation events, alumni engagement, and grant development. As the Associate Director of the Atlantic Cape Foundation, Maria managed the college’s first Comprehensive Capital Campaign that raised over $3 million.

Since mid-2019, she has also overseen the implementation of an Innovation Challenge Grant awarded by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, and a subsequent USDA grant, partnering with Cape May County on efforts to spur new economic development and the creation of a local business resource center known as bizHub that will benefit new and existing businesses, complement current economic development projects and offer centralized access to vital educational and informational resources.

Prior to working at Atlantic Cape Community College, Maria worked at The Wetlands Institute coordinating the Wings & Water Festival and other fundraising initiatives. She led several nonprofit organizations as Executive Director in New York City and San Francisco. Maria currently serves on the board of the Cape May County Chamber of Commerce as well as the Cape May County Women’s Advisory Committee.  In addition to over thirty years of education, management, non-profit and fundraising experience, Maria holds a BA in communications from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and an MBA from San Francisco State University. Maria is a New Jersey native and has lived in Cape May County for the past 20 years.

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