While the Top 40 Under 40 features professionals from all walks of life, one can’t help but notice that a substantial number of them — seven to be exact — come from the restaurant business. The list includes Richard Alverio of Funky Cow Café, Jorge Barreto of Assaggio!, Michael Brennan of Cardinal Bistro, Elvis Cadavid of Vagabond Kitchen and Tap House, Alvin Cintron of Chickie’s and Pete’s, Mathew Kenkelen of Ruth’s Chris Atlantic City and Robert Levinson of Resorts Casino Hotel.
When you think about it, this fact may not be surprising, after all, restaurant workers deal directly with guests on a daily basis, and by the nature of the business have many opportunities to impress their customers time and again with their service.
But beyond just great service, the people who made the Top 40 Under 40 have shown an ability to go above the norm, connecting with the community on another level altogether.
“We get to be a part of people lives every day. It’s truly an amazing and special privilege,” Kenkelen says. “Ronald Reagan once said ‘all great change in America begins at the dinner table.’ That’s probably my favorite quote of all time.”
Change seems to be an important factor for many of the Top 40 crowd. Barreto seems to thrive as a chef who can make a change for the better.
“Through Assaggio I am able to volunteer for events such as the Atlantic City restaurant gala, Chefs at the Shore, Manna at the Shore, hosting Salvation Army dinners and also supporting the GLBT Alliance by hosting gatherings for them as well. All in an effort to do my part and support our community,” Barreto says.
Cintron may not prepare the food, but his leadership at Chickie’s and Pete’s is remarkable in its own right. A heavy supporter of the concept of giving back to where you came from, Cintron goes out of his way to remember his roots.
“I always said that if I had the opportunity to come home I would make sure we would give back on a more localized scale. About three years ago I got my chance. As a company we are very generous, and I am proud to be a small part of that.”
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Richard Alverio, 34, an entrepreneur from Hammonton, is the proud owner of R.A. Designs and founder/owner of Funky Cow Café located in downtown Hammonton. His creativity and flair for design began during his childhood, when a neighbor inspired his love for design. Learning from his abuela sparked his culinary interest. In her honor, he has named a waffle sandwich “Lola’s Cuban” after her on his menu at the Funky Cow Café. Alverio serves on several committees in his hometown. He is an active member of Mainstreet Hammonton Outreach Committee, Hammonton’s Third Thursday Steering Committee and the Sesquicentennial Gala Committee, for which he co-chaired the 150 Anniversary Gala. Alverio is a proud supporter and volunteer for Hammonton First, which only enhances his strong devotion to his community. His hope for the future is to continue his passion and inspire people of all ages to pursue their dreams.
Dr. Jennifer R. Baldwin, 38, is director of special education for the Galloway Township Public Schools. Baldwin earned her Bachelors in Special Education, a Masters in Educational Leadership, and her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Rowan University. Baldwin has served as a special education teacher at Oakcrest High School. At the age of 26, she was appointed as the first sixth-grade vice principal of the Davies Middle School, and within three years, she was named principal of the Hess School, one of the largest elementary schools in New Jersey. During this time Baldwin was privileged to study at Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, Columbia University where she further developed her abilities to support teachers in reading and writing instruction. She currently works at the district level of the Galloway Schools where she feels the district’s commitment to excellence is a perfect match. Baldwin attributes her success to the support from her family, friends and colleagues.
Jorge Barreto, 35, is the executive chef at Assaggio! restaurant in Egg Harbor City. A graduate of Hammonton High School and a former student of The Academy of Culinary Arts, Barreto has worked at Assaggio! for 15 years. He previously worked at Caesars and The Forks Inn at Sweetwater, where he honed his skills as a chef. He is active in the community and has volunteered for numerous events including Chefs at the Shore, The Atlantic City Restaurant Gala, The Salvation Army dinner, Manna at the Shore, Brigantine Farmers Market and others. Barreto attributes his success to his family. He strives to make his parents proud and be a role model to his two sons by teaching them that helping others and doing good will bring you true happiness. Barreto plans to continue to make people happy through food, advance his skills and strive for greater heights.
Michael Brennan, 24 is the chef and co-owner of Cardinal Bistro in Ventnor City, which he opened in July 2016 with his father Thomas. A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and an alumnus of Le-Bec Fin and Lacroix at the Rittenhouse Hotel, Brennan has an extensive culinary pedigree. Brennan has organized several charitable events including one “pop-up dinner” in Philadelphia to benefit the NEDA and a charity called “To Write Love On Her Arms.” As a student, Brennan helped local food banks and participated in charitable events including that of a 500-person Veterans Day banquet in Hyde Park, N.Y. Together Cardinal Bistro and the Brennan father-son duo manage to source locally grown food to showcase the beautiful bounty of the Garden State.
Marquay Cherry, 33, is the father of two beautiful children, Joshuah and Bryanna. After graduating from Egg Harbor Township High School in 2001, he began his military career in the U.S. Army Reserve, with training at Fort Knox, Fort Sam Houston, Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Sheppard AFB. Cherry was deployed to Wurzburg, Germany, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom with the 348th General Hospital, and volunteered to deploy to Ballad AFB, Iraq, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Cherry earned two Associate Degrees: one in general studies from Atlantic County Community College and one in health sciences from George Washington University. Presently, he is a student at Stockton University working on a Bachelors in Economics and Business. Cherry is currently working as an Atlantic City police officer and a sergeant in the Aircraft Armament Section in the New Jersey Air National Guard. In addition, Cherry coaches and is in the process of developing his own business.
Alvin Cintron, 35, is currently the general manager of Chickie’s and Pete’s in Egg Harbor Township, where over the past three years he has focused on localizing the Philadelphia-based concept. Along with highlighting local beer, music and events, his location is known for giving back to local charities, such as co-hosting an annual golf outing for the Humane Society of Atlantic County, starting a company-wide Breakfast with Santa benefitting local Toys for Tots, showcasing local musicians in an annual Battle of the Bands as well as focusing proceeds of the company’s annual Boardwalk 5K to local charities such as the Archway School Programs. Before Chickie’s and Pete’s, Cintron oversaw the Boston-based Lyon’s Group properties in Atlantic City. He attributes his success to those around him. He takes pride in recognizing talent, and cultivating leadership from it.
Liza Costandino, 30, is the director of communications for Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa where she oversees public relations opportunities encompassing media communication, strategic partnerships and special events. A life-long Atlantic County native and graduate of Mainland Regional High School, Liza received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from The Pennsylvania State University and has flourished within her various roles at Borgata; assisting in the opening of a $200 million property expansion in 2006 as well as Borgata’s $400 million Water Club hotel in 2008, and furthermore, helping launch several of Borgata’s projects, venues and amenities throughout her career. In 2015 she championed the property’s OUT at Borgata initiative, supporting diversity and embracing the LGBT community through partnerships with organizations such as the Greater Atlantic City GLBT Alliance, Independence Business Alliance, and the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association. As a result of the casino-resort’s commitment to inclusivity, Borgata received a perfect score of 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2016 and 2017 Corporate Equality Index (CEI) and is now recognized as one of the “Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality.”
Brittany Czekai, 33, is the creator and owner of Anchor Arts, a full-service, mobile, art studio that was founded in 2013, becoming the first step-by-step, instructed, canvas painting studio in the area. It first opened its doors in Ventnor, then expanded to Margate in 2014. After three years in Margate, Anchor Arts decided to take the business on the road. While the dynamics of the business have changed over the years, Czekai’s goal remains the same, to share her love of art with the community. She partners with many local businesses and organizations, striving to bring creativity and positive, new ideas to the area. Czekai is passionate about raising money for numerous charities and dedicates her time volunteering at schools, centers and community functions, creating art with local children and adults. She was recently appointed to the Ventnor Board of Education, and resides in Ventnor with her husband and son.
Taylor Egan, 31, is a peer specialist for Helping Hand Behavioral Health in Galloway. Egan is currently aiming for her BA in Psychology at Rutgers University-Camden. Learning is important to Egan and she makes educating those who may stigmatize mental illness her passion in life, which includes speaking for the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Egan previously worked in group homes for eight years as a residential counselor. She started her annual Dare2Share drive in 2015 and has collected over 200 new coats, blankets and hats for clients to open on Christmas morning. Egan, who has been diagnosed as schizoaffective, was honored as a Donald J. Sykes award recipient for her work helping the mentally ill in their recovery. Egan’s father always called her his “brave lil’ soldier” because she takes on many battles but keeps fighting on, believing that empathy is the sweetest gift. She thanks her family, friends and Dr. Chang-Gyu Hahn for their everlasting support.
Chris Filiciello, 35, is the chief of staff to Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian. Prior to running Mayor Guardian’s successful mayoral campaign in 2013, he was the research and development assistant to the executive director of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority in Atlantic City. From 2009 until 2012, Filiciello was the political director for the Ocean County Republican Organization, helping numerous candidates win elected office on every level of municipal, county and state government. He spent 2005 through 2008 in Washington, D.C., as presidential appointee during the George W. Bush Administration serving at the White House, the Pentagon and the U.S. Department of Labor. Filiciello graduated from the University of Kentucky, majoring in Integrated Strategic Communications with a focus on Public Relations, and will earn a master’s degree in public administration from Saint Peter’s University in May. He resides in Atlantic City in the South Inlet with Lorena Chicas and is the proud father of two young sons — Nicholas, 5, and Mateo, 8 months.
Ed Foresta, 29, a realtor with Marketplace Realty in Margate, has been involved in many organizations since age 16. Foresta has most recently worked with the Community FoodBank and Public Relations Committee of Atlantic City and County Board of Realtors in their annual food drive. Other organizations include Habitat for Humanity, South Jersey Aids Alliance, Columbus Day Committee of A.C., Bonnie Blue Foundation and National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals. He is also an advocate for non-discriminatory housing policies nationwide. Foresta also sits on the Greater Atlantic City GLBT Alliance Board. Foresta will be marching to raise awareness and funds in the upcoming AIDS Walk. While helping the organizations and charities, Foresta maintains a stellar career in real estate, having been awarded New Jersey Realtor’s Circle of Excellence Award in 2015.
Peter Fu, 30, is an associate at the Atlantic City branch of Cooper Levenson, Attorneys at Law, working primarily on estate planning, tax and cyber issues. A 2014 graduate of the Rutgers School of Law in Camden, Fu has authored numerous pieces regarding the interactions between law and his community. While at law school, Fu was a fellow at the Eagleton Institute of Politics and worked on community outreach programs dealing with landlord-tenant disputes. In 2016, he was appointed by the city council of Atlantic City to the Atlantic City Commission, becoming one of the youngest commissioners ever to serve on the historic committee. Fu has also been involved with the Atlantic-Cape May County Court Appointed Special Advocate services for at-risk youth, the Boys & Girls Club of Camden County, the AtlantiCare Young Professionals Steering Committee and was a founding member of the Ducktown Neighborhood Association. Fu attributes his achievements to the support of his parents Chester Fu and Polly An, and his closest friends that have made Atlantic City home, the Salad family. Fu hopes to continue to serve Atlantic City professionally and as a volunteer, and welcomes the opportunity of being one of A.C. Weekly’s Top 40 Under 40.
Meredith Godfrey, 38, is the director of entertainment and nightlife for Haven Nightclub at Golden Nugget Atlantic City. A 2001 graduate of Philadelphia University with a B.A in Marketing and Management, Godfrey began her career in the entertainment and casino industry in 2003. She is a member of two non-profit organizations, Women In Music and the National Association of Female Executives, which advocate for the empowerment of women professionals. With both parents cancer survivors, Godfrey is an active supporter of cancer research and has established a partnership with a cancer foundation for which she organized an event in Haven Nightclub that raised money to help victims and their families. Godfrey is most inspired when promoting local and national musicians and events that bring business into Atlantic City. Her passion to be successful comes from her philosophy that when you work in a high volume, high energy, competitive industry, there is little room for failure.
Joseph Johnston, 37, is the administrative director of oncology services at Shore Medical Center in Somers Point. Since joining Shore Medical Center in October 2014, Johnston has worked diligently to position the Shore Cancer Center as a premier community-based cancer program. His passion for cancer care in the community reaches far beyond the walls of Shore. He works closely with the American Cancer Society, including their Cancer Action Network, where he advocates to make cancer issues both a local and national priority. Johnston is a graduate of Ball State University and received his MBA from the University of Notre Dame. He is an active member of the community holding multiple board positions, including St. Joseph Regional Catholic School, where he chairs the finance committee. Johnston resides in Linwood with his beautiful wife, Cori, and their one year old son, Samuel.
Paul Juliano, assistant vice president of hotel operations at Tropicana Atlantic City, grew up in Northfield in a gaming and hospitality family who had great influence on his career path. Early on, Paul gained an unwavering dedication to quality, service and attention to detail. Prior to his work at Tropicana, Juliano was responsible for luxury hospitality operations at several Four Seasons Hotel and Resort properties touting Forbes 5-Star, AAA 5-Diamond ratings in Jackson Hole, Bora Bora and Palm Beach. Just prior to Tropicana, his most recent luxury hospitality experience was with the AAA 4-Diamond rated Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Biloxi. Juliano has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from The College of William & Mary, where he also captained the Tribe’s Division 1 baseball team. Juliano is married to Tiffany and the two enjoy outdoor sports, traveling, dining and spending time with friends and family.
Courtney Keim is a seventh-grade mathematics teacher at Texas Avenue School. She started her tenure in Atlantic City schools as a chemistry and physics teacher at the alternative high school prior to her transfer last year. At Texas Avenue, she expanded the school’s Urban Garden with the support of A Work in Progress Foundation, ACPD and ACFD, instructs a successful after school SAT math program and is a member of the Data, Leadership and Digital Implementation teams. Keim operates a successful photography and design studio where her work is sold through Offset by Shutterstock and Getty Images. In her spare time, she volunteers at Saint Joseph Regional School where her children attend. Having co-chaired the school’s 2016 spring gala, she is responsible for the school’s marketing materials in addition to photographing as many school events as she can attend. Keim resides in Atlantic City with her husband and three children.
Matthew Kenkelen served his country for eight years in the United States Air Force as a Staff Sergeant. A devoted father of four, he holds degrees in Business Management and Hospitality and he is currently the youngest general manager of Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, where he is a dedicated host and has brought many customers to Ruth’s Chris. Kenkelen is presently pursuing a partnership with Atlantic Cape Community College and the Academy of Culinary Arts to place graduates and aspiring chefs. He also participates in the Greater Atlantic City Chamber and Junior Chamber of Commerce. Giving back as often as he can to organizations like The Walk for the Wounded, Operation First Response and Breast Cancer Awareness comes naturally to him. His dedication to his community, his children and his employees sets a positive example to all those around him.
Alexis Kull, 34, is a sales consultant for Gallo Wine Sales of New Jersey. A 2005 graduate of Stockton University, Kull first began her career in Atlantic City as a management intern for Tropicana Atlantic City. She then landed her first job as a restaurant manager for Phillips Seafood in 2006 and went on to work for Phillips for eight years, during which time she was very invested with her staff and her community. In 2014, Kull took up her current position with Gallo for whom she is a sales consultant for restaurants from Atlantic City to Cape May. Kull and her husband purchased their first home in Atlantic City in 2015 in a newly developed area called Snug Harbor. She believes in Atlantic City and is incredibly committed to the future of the city. Kull enjoys spending time with her family and her rescue dog Peaches.
Robert Levenson, 35, is the executive chef of Resorts Casino Hotel. A 2004 graduate of the Academy of Culinary Arts here in South Jersey, Levenson’s culinary roots span the states, yet he is most at home right here in Atlantic City where he started. He has worked at the former Trump Marina Hotel as a sous chef and worked his way up to banquet chef at Harrah’s Resort. He worked for Caesars Entertainment for seven years then went to work with Guillermo Tellez to open the Red Owl Tavern in Center City Philadelphia. Levenson then took his current position working alongside Edward Batten at Resorts. One of Levenson’s biggest contributions is supporting the local South Jersey Chefs chapter at various fundraising events such as Chefs at the Shore and cooking for disabled veterans. Levenson attributes his success to his family, two beautiful daughters and his peers.
Richard Moore, 29, is the owner of Teal Cruises in Margate, the fourth generation of a 70-year legacy of Moore-owned businesses in the New Jersey boating and fishing industries. When not on the high seas, Moore is active in his community, participating in projects that lay the groundwork for a better future. A graduate of Montclair State University, Moore moved to Austin where he became a board member of It Starts With Soccer, a nonprofit benefitting orphans in Africa. He spent two summers in nine African countries providing relief and aid to orphanages while spreading the love of the universal sport of soccer. He is currently the captain and sitting board member of a soccer club with over 500 athletes that hosts various community service projects. As a member of Margate’s green teams, Moore has helped develop ideas and execute green events. He co-organized Absecon Island’s back-bay clean up initiative that successfully collected and disposed of over 7 tons of debris from the area’s estuaries and marshlands. A 2016 board member for the Margate Business Association, Moore is an avid volunteer for Ventnor Tourism.
Kelly Morris, 27, is the assistant director of annual giving at Stockton University. A 2011 graduate and collegiate athlete of The College of New Jersey, Morris continued her academic advancement at Monmouth University. Morris began her career at Stockton University in the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs as annual giving coordinator in 2013 while completing her master’s in public policy from Monmouth. In her current role at the university, she leads the annual giving and communications strategy for Stockton’s alumni and donor initiatives. Additionally, she supports campus community initiatives such as Toys for Tots, Alternative Spring Break and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. Outside of the university, she and her family support the Melanoma Research Foundation. Morris attributes her personal and professional success to her inspiring and supportive family, friends and colleagues. Her career aspirations are to continue to find innovative and meaningful ways to support future generations.
Heather Murray, 35, has her MBA as well as being a licensed CPA in the state of New Jersey. Murray’s true passion is non-profit accounting. Currently employed at Bacharach Institute for Rehabilitation, a non-profit rehabilitation hospital in Galloway, in a short time Murray has risen from an accountant, to the accounting manager, and is now the director of accounting. Her most notable work at Bacharach Institute for Rehabilitation was when she developed the hospital’s first-ever online bill pay system, where patients can now pay bills online. Murray was selected and featured in Bacharach’s employee spotlight recognition program in September 2016. She is a member of the New Jersey CPA Society, the American institute for Certified Public Accountants and a member of the New Jersey chapter of the Healthcare Financial Management Association. Murray’s true joy stems from her beautiful daughters and her loving husband.
Anthony Panetta, 29, is a CPA and senior tax accountant at Capaldi, Reynolds, & Pelosi, P.A. A 2008 graduate of Villanova University, Panetta began his career in Philadelphia at Capaldi, Reynolds, & Pelosi before returning to work in his hometown of Northfield. Panetta also helped to co-found Atlantic County’s first craft distillery, as he works with his family at Lazy Eye Distillery at their Richland and Wildwood locations throughout the year. Panetta is active in his surrounding community, serving as treasurer of the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Egg Harbor Township. His main passion is mentoring the youth of his community, as he volunteers in a number of capacities, including as the boys’ basketball coach for the Greek Orthodox Youth of America team at Holy Trinity, and also serves as a member of the Hellenic Hearts Educational Guidance Program for the Delaware Valley.
Michael Rello, 32, of Philadelphia, is the beverage operations manager at Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City. He is a 2002 graduate of Holy Spirit High School and a 2007 graduate of the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey with a degree in Business Management. Rello has worked for Caesars Entertainment for the past nine years within various capacities in food and beverage. His previous positions within Caesars include casual dining manager at Harrah’s and restaurant manager for the Crossroads at House of Blues Restaurant in Showboat. During his career for Caesars, he has been fortunate to work with an awesome team, grow professionally within the organization and perform a job that he truly enjoys. Rello’s goals are to continue to develop and advance his career within Caesars Entertainment.
Brooke Sacco, 34, of Hammonton, created an earth-friendly shopping experience as the former owner of Behind the Moon Children’s Shop. From organic and American-made products to featuring local designers and upscale resale, she introduced the community to a new way of shopping. As the vice chair of the Hammonton Environmental Commission, Sacco works to preserve Hammonton’s natural resources and to educate the community about sustainability. Sacco serves as vice president of the Hammonton Mothers’ Club, a position that includes coordinating community service projects and fundraising events for the club’s scholarship. Her favorite work is done with MainStreet Hammonton, where she manages their social media accounts in an effort to boost local business and tourism. She’s also the marketing specialist for her husband Jim’s new brewery, Vinyl Brewing Co. in Hammonton. Her commitment to getting people involved in the community, in any capacity, is remarkable. Sacco and her husband have two young daughters.
Michael W. Salerno, AIA, LEED AP, 32, is a registered architect at SOSH Architects in Atlantic City and has been an instrumental member of the SOSH team, contributing to projects in the hospitality, entertainment, retail, civic and educational fields. Outside of the office, Salerno shares his passion for architecture with The Covenant House in Atlantic City and with local intermediate and high school students through career fairs and classroom presentations. A lifelong resident of Linwood, Salerno graduated from Mainland Regional High School in 2002, received his B.S. (‘07) and M.Arch. (‘08) from Northeastern University, and returned to Linwood, where he currently resides with his wife and two pets. With unwavering optimism and determination, Salerno’s professional goals are to continue contributing to the growth of Atlantic City and its surrounding areas, as well as to continue educating others on the value of architecture to change the world around us in a positive way.
Sean Patrick, 40, is the mid-day host for 103.7 WMGM Rocks and promotions director for Longport Media in Linwood. A South Jersey resident for his entire life, Patrick previously worked for Atlantic Broadcasting and Equity Communications throughout his 18-year radio career. Over the last nine years, Patrick has been a part of Operation Help and the Stuff the Bus programs, initiatives for which Longport Media and WMGM partners with the Community Food Bank of New Jersey Southern Branch to help families right here in South Jersey. Patrick also donates annually to the Atlantic and Cumberland County Humane Societies and the Vietnam Veterans Association. Sean lives in Galloway with his wife Heather DeLuca, a past recipient of the Top 40 Under 40 award.
Sholler Dave Sholler, 32, is vice president of communications for the Philadelphia 76ers. A 2006 graduate of Stockton University, Sholler returned to South Jersey last year after eight years with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, where he mostly recently served as vice president of public relations, athlete marketing and development. During his time at UFC, he oversaw a team that was responsible for developing stories and campaigns to elevate the UFC brand and top stars such as Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor. In his role in Philadelphia, he manages all communications for the iconic Sixers franchise across both the basketball and business operations. Along with his wife, Tiffany, Sholler works to give back to the South Jersey community through programs benefiting the Atlantic City Rescue Mission, Stop the Heroin organization and South Jersey Youth in Need.
Erica Slotter, 31, is the owner/director of Beginners First Academy, child care center in Weymouth Township. She obtained a Bachelors in Early Childhood Development while growing her family with her husband. She devoted 14 years to early childhood education and works closely with charities such as Family Promise of Atlantic County. Slotter has hosted “trike–a–thon” fundraisers to support CHOP, plus an annual coat drive and is a registered drop off location for A Million Thanks that support active military. She sponsors local little league teams and adopts families for Christmas. Her academy hosts fundraisers such as pajama day for Children’s Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and March-a-Thon for pediatric cystic fibrosis. She participates in Grow N.J. Kids, a new state program which is a quality improvement rating system. Slotter’s mission is to raise the quality of child care and early learning by educating her staff and supporting families.
Tracey Triniwell, 36, is the director of maternal fetal medicine at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center. A 2002 graduate of Howard University, Triniwell is an experienced accounting professional with over 12 years of management experience. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Accounting from Rutgers University. At AtlantiCare, Triniwell chairs the African American Employee Resource Group, LEGACY and was awarded the 2014 AtlantiCare Diversity award. In Atlantic City, she serves on the executive board of the Boys & Girls Club, is a mentor with the Champions of Youth program, a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and a member of the CARE AC coalition’s steering committee. Triniwell attributes her professional and personal successes to her education and support from her family and friends.
, 38, is the
vice president, Southern Branch, at the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, having served in a myriad of roles during nearly 16 years with the organization. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication from Kean University and an MBA from New Jersey Institute of Technology. In 2010 Uniacke was a fellow of LeadNJ and served as co-chair of the recruitment and selection committee last year. He is responsible for leading the FoodBank’s efforts in Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland counties where, through their network of more than 300 partner charities, the Southern Branch distributed 9 million pounds of food last year. Uniacke is extremely passionate about his focus on these three New Jersey counties that have the highest percentages of child hunger in the state and is working to revolutionize the ways in which we help our neighbors in need. He lives with his wife Denise and sons John and Brendan.
Cornelios Wilson, 39, married with five kids, is the CEO/founder of Clean Lines Painting and Power Washing. For the past 13 years his hard work, dedication and discipline have built a successful business and made Clean Lines a top painting contractor in Atlantic County, receiving many awards from Angie’s List, PDCA and APC Top Job. Giving back to the community is important to Wilson and with his Paint It Forward program, each year one deserving family gets their home painted free of charge. He also founded of Mano Amiga Nicaragua (Helpings Hands Nicaragua) a nonprofit organization in his home town that gives food and clothes to struggling families and the elderly. He was awarded the Humanitarian Award from PDCA Painting & Decorating Contractors of America. He attributes his success to his discipline, dedication and love for what his work and family.
Ricardo R. Belgrave, a husband and father of four boys, was born and raised in Atlantic City. After graduating from Atlantic City High School in 2003, Belgrave graduated from Stockton College (now University) with a B.A. in Business Management in 2008. While completing his final year at Stockton, Belgrave began substitute teaching in Atlantic City and was reunited with his original passion — educating children. During fall 2008, Belgrave was honored with a classroom teaching position at Texas Avenue School in the Atlantic City School District. Currently Belgrave is the president and founder of a community-based non-profit organization — The Anna Murray-Douglass Foundation — that is planning, funding and developing the opening of the first all-boys charter school in the state of New Jersey — The Frederick Douglass Charter School for Boys — which is slated to open in 2018.
Elvis Cadavid, 38, born and raised in the Atlantic City area, is a co-owner of Vagabond Kitchen and Tap House. He leads by example that hard work pays off. Cadavid brings with him a wealth of experience and passion for the restaurant industry from busing tables at local breakfast spots when he was 14 years old to serving and managing A.C.’s finest restaurant establishments, including Knife & Fork Inn, Dock’s Oyster House and Borgata’s Bobby Flay Steakhouse. Following the tragedy of Hurricane Sandy, Cadavid decided to pursue his dream of becoming a restaurant owner, along with his business partner, Tom Harris. Together they rebuilt and opened the doors to Vagabond Kitchen and Tap House in 2013. Since then, Vagabond has received 10 A.C. Weekly Nightlife Awards and has even been featured on the Food Network’s hit show Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives with world famous chef Guy Fieri. On top of operating a successful business, Cadavid makes philanthropic efforts a top priority. Vagabond’s fundraising endeavors support local charities, police/fire departments and grant scholarships to children within the local community. Thanks to Cadavid’s passion, hard work and determination, Vagabond remains one of the top-rated local eateries serving up craft beers and pub food classics with a twist.
Fauntleroy Jeffree M. Fauntleroy II, 32, a millennial at heart, is the co-founder of #Love AC movement and a Council at Large candidate who is dedicated to his wife and children, his community and the betterment of the city where he was born and raised. In summer 2016, Fauntleroy coordinated a book bag drive where he and the #LoveAC team hand delivered book bags to neighborhood kids in all city wards, promoting the importance of education; leading peace walks in support of slain members of his community and jump starting the #LoveAC movement. Fauntleroy is the epitome of putting his words to action and has become well known for his community activism; transparent human nature, someone who is approachable to the residents of all ages; and a man who can confidently walk into any room and freely share his plans to change many of the antiquated systems in policy in Atlantic City.
Tim Jones, 38, is the director of operations for the Sheraton Atlantic City. A 2000 graduate from the University of East Anglia, England, he trained in Culinary Arts at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and apprenticed at The Greenbrier in West Virginia. At 23, Jones became an executive chef with Hilton Hotels before joining Starwood Hotels in 2006. He was the Executive Chef at the Sheraton Philadelphia Triplex then Director of Food and Beverage at the Sheraton Atlantic City. Locally he sits on the Board and Membership Committee for the Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce, the Marriott NJ Business Council, is engaged with the Big Brothers Big Sisters “Over the Edge” event, and is an active volunteer with American Cancer Society events Southern NJ. In 2006, Jones was a founding member of the NEPA affiliate of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, whose efforts supported the signing into law of The Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act. Jones proudly became a United States citizen in 2015.
With an outstanding reputation as a medical physician and dedicated communicator with her patients as well as audiences nationwide, Nina Radcliff, M.D., is devoted to helping people live healthier lives and gain wise understandings about health and wellness. A board-certified anesthesiologist and member of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, she serves on committees for Young Physicians and Communications. Author of more than 200 textbook chapters, research articles, medical opinions and reviews, she is often called upon by national, regional and local media to provide medical expertise on impacting lives, today. Radcliff is a regular medical contributor to newspapers and magazines with her health and wellness column: “Dr. Nina’s What You Need to Know” and a Physician Legislator Ambassador for New Jersey. Dedicated to her profession, patients, family and community, she is passionate about community involvement and sharing medical truths for greater understanding; healthy, balanced living; as well as wise preventive health measures.
Evan Sanchez is an entrepreneur with his sights set on the long-term renaissance of Atlantic City. While an undergraduate at Columbia University, Sanchez joined the founding management team of Olo. For nearly a decade he worked in leadership positions including sales, business development, operations and account management helping to build it into the industry leader in online and mobile ordering for over 30,000 restaurants including national chains like Chipotle, Baskin-Robbins, and Applebee’s. Evan also served as President and Board Member of the Columbia Venture Community, the largest Columbia University-based entrepreneurship organization. Sanchez recently returned to his hometown, and in his efforts to promote positivity in Atlantic City co-founded ThisIsAC, a non-profit grassroots community movement. He also serves as secretary of the Atlantic City Arts Foundation. Sanchez co-founded Authentic City Partners to create development projects in Atlantic City with a singular commitment: to better the lives of those in our community.
Kate Warden is the Chief Humane Law Enforcement Officer for Atlantic County SPCA, and a security specialist at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa. In addition to investigating complaints of animal cruelty, Warden coordinates fundraisers and community outreach events for Atlantic County SPCA. Her passion for animals and community involvement extends beyond her career, as she volunteers with Atlantic County Disaster Response Team, Atlantic County Hoarding Task Force and Wildlife Aid. Warden’s most notable achievements include writing an Extreme Weather Ordinance for animals that was endorsed by Atlantic County Board of Chosen Freeholders, creating and hosting a goal workshop for women, and acting as mentor to Girl Scouts in Troop 42422. Warden resides in Egg Harbor Township, where she is proud to support her daughter’s endeavors in cheer, theatre and the Medical Science Academy.
Michael C. Martirone is a social studies teacher at Egg Harbor Township High School. Known for his hands-on classroom style and cross-curricular lessons, Martirone creates an energetic and creative learning environment to increase literacy and develop citizenship among his students. He has combined his passion for learning and leadership to partner with other Teachers of the Year and co-founded “PD on Wheels,” a program that provides teachers with skills necessary to develop leadership within the profession. He has been awarded over $4,000 in education grants and his innovative learning methodologies — from creating and implementing an annual academic challenge competition for the freshman class to infusing literacy and STEM into his class. “Why study history when you can make it?” Martirone asks. Martirone was the 2015 Atlantic County Teacher of the Year. He earned his B.A. in Political Science from Stockton College and his M.A. in Teaching from Rowan University.