New Program Year Brings New Leadership and Esteemed Group of Honorees

At the 2019 New Jersey Municipal Management Association Awards Luncheon in November, a packed banquet hall at the Sheraton Atlantic City gathered to honor its 2019 award recipients and applaud the 2020 Officers and Executive Board, who took their oaths of office at the annual event held during the New Jersey League of Municipalities Convention.

Alex McDonald, from the Township of Millburn, became President of the NJMMA, and Raymond Codey, from the Borough of Madison, became Vice President. Rounding out the 2020 slate of officers are Anthony Ferrera, from the Township of Hillsborough, as NJMMA Treasurer, and Stephen LoIacono, from the Borough of North Arlington, as Secretary.

The 2020 Executive Board includes Kathleen Capristo, Township of Colts Neck; Matthew Cavallo, Township of Verona; Joseph Kostecki, Borough of South Toms River; Kathryn Monzo, Township of North Brunswick; and Matthew U. Watkins, Township of Bloomfield, continues as part of the Executive Board in his capacity as Immediate Past President.

The luncheon also included the Association’s annual awards ceremony, recognizing the achievement of members and friends of NJMMA, in their service to the professional management field, municipal government, and their service to their constituents. Recognized this year were:

  • Dean Kazinci, Manager, Township of Teaneck, was recognized with the Outstanding Manager Award, which is given to an Administrator/Manager who has successfully implemented a specific exemplary project or program, and/or such a body of work within the last three years. Kazinci recently completed the New Jersey Certified Public Manager’s program was recognized with the Askew Award from the American Academy of Certified Public Managers (AACPM).
  • Joseph Monzo, Deputy Manager/CFO (Retired), Township of South Brunswick, received the Distinguished Service Award, for his nearly four decades of local and state government service.
  • Gregory Poff, Administrator, County of Sussex, received the Dr. Thomas R Davy Academic Achievement Award, which recognizes outstanding educators, whether in or out of local government, in the general field of public administration.  Poff was recognized for his meaningful contributions to the training and education of professionals in local government and human resource management, along with his nearly 20 years of service to the field.
  • Michele Hovan, Administrator, Borough of Hopewell, was recognized with the Career Development Award, which acknowledges individuals who make significant contributions to the development and training of new municipal management talent. Hovan was recognized for her support and development of entry-level municipal employees and helping them to attain certifications that further their careers.
  • Mayor Robert Conley, Borough of Madison, received the Elected Officials Award, for his support of professional government management and the support of career development for their municipal staff.
  • Rod Hirsch, a reporter with Tapinto Hillsborough, was the recipient of the Press Award, which is given to members of the press corps for their objectivity, consistency and commitment to factual government reporting.
  • Kimberly Duva, Personnel Director for the Township of Bloomfield, received the New Professional to Local Government Award. The award is given to a NJMMA member who has no more than five (5) years in the profession and has demonstrated a commitment to excellence in local government service.

In addition, Charles “Chuck” Tahaney was recognized for his 50 years as a member of the NJMMA. Tahaney began his professional career in 1969 as the Assistant Township Manager in Livingston, following a period of esteemed military service. That position was followed by his appointment as Administrator of Montville Township in 1979, finally returning to Livingston in 1985 as Township Manager. Tahaney remained in Livingston until his retirement in 2005. Upon retirement, Tahaney joined the Livingston First Aid Squad, where he continues to serve the community. He is a Trustee of the Livingston Library and a member of the Livingston Golf Committee.

Rounding out the awards was a recognition of outgoing NJMMA President Matthew U. Watkins (Bloomfield). Service awards were also presented to a number of members acknowledging years of service to NJMMA and to the field. Congrats to all of this year’s honorees!

Pictured (L-R) are the 2020 NJMMA Officers and Executive board: Matthew Watkins, Immediate Past President; Kathryn Monzo; Kathleen Capristo; Anthony Ferrera, Treasurer; Stephen LoIacono, Secretary; Joseph Kostecki; Matthew Cavallo; and Raymond Codey, Vice President.