Ocean County Cultural & Heritage Commission
Cultural adn Heritage Commission is a division of The Ocean County Department of Parks and Recreation

Commissioners - Five Year Terms

Bahiyyah Abdullah (1992/appointed to 2018) Senior Director of Membership and Marketing for the Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore; active in the community, serving as President of the Toms River Area Branch of the NAACP, Commissioner for the NJ State Martin Luther King Commission; serves also as a board member for Big Brothers Big Sisters and the American Conference on Diversity; member of various other civic and social organizations; resident of Barnegat.

Alison Amelchenko (1985/appointed to 2020) A Pratt Institute graduate teaching and painting in the Ocean County area for over 30 years. Alison is past president of the Ocean County Artists Guild and presently coordinates the Guild’s children’s art department, in addition to directing the Kid’s Art Studio, Sea Girt, NJ. Alison has exhibited at the Ocean County College, Georgian Court University, and the Ocean County Artists’ Guild.

Duane Grembowicz (1986/appointed to 2019) Professor in the Department of Mathematics, Science & Technology at Ocean County College, teaching courses on the Pine Barrens, Ecology, Biology, Environmental Science, Marine Biology, and Human Anatomy & Physiology; background and interest in local Russian-American communities and their history, art and folk culture; member of the Ocean County Cultural & Heritage Commission since 1986; member of the Cattus Island Advisory Council; graduate of Drew University in Madison, NJ, and Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ; resident of Toms River.

Roberta Krantz (1986/appointed to 2020) Director of the Arts and Community Center at Ocean County College; has worked for Ocean County College for the past 35 years; coordinates the Ocean County Teen Arts Festival and is an active board member of the Jewish Federation of Monmouth County, the Axelrod Performing Arts Center, the Ocean County Cultural and Heritage Commission.

Zarita F. Mattox-Wright (2013-appointed to 2016) Holds a doctorate in clinical Christian Counseling and is Chief Librarian at the Toms River Branch of the Ocean County Library. She holds masters degrees in both Library & Information Sciences and Biblical Theology. She is the former Supervising Librarian at the Lakewood Branch of the Ocean County Library. She has earned numerous professional and civic awards. She resides in Toms River.

Kevin W. Pace (1997/appointed to 2019) Born and raised in Toms River; graduated from Toms River High School North in 1976; worked in the printing business for over 30 years; a past trustee with the Ocean County Historical Society as well as past president of the Navy Lakehurst Historical Society; co-wrote a book in 1997 detailing the history of Naval Air Station Lakehurst; has assisted in the production of over 3 dozen documentaries and video productions on Naval Aviation; as historian for U.S. Coast Guard station Manasquan Inlet, has set numerous displays pertaining to this and Shark River stations; an officer in the US Coast Guard Auxiliary since 1976, resident of Toms River.

Lori Pepenella, (2009/appointed to 2019) Director of Development for the Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore. Prior to joining the girlscouts she was the Destination Marketing Director at the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce; has received state funding to work with nonprofit organizations to develop programs to strengthen their mission and establish funding for projects to promote the Long Beach Island Region of the Jersey Shore; from Eco-Tourism, Cultural programming and Historic Projects, provides consultation in preparing, writing and reporting on various proposals; She also previously served as the Marketing and Development Manager for United Way of Ocean County ; currently serves on the board of directors for several regional non-profit organizations, is past chair of the Ocean County Tourism Advisory Board, a featured lecturer the Center for Non Profit Success and an advocate for local historic preservation; resident of Barnegat.

Jennifer J. Sancton (2010/appointed to 2016) A project consultant to various arts and non-profit organizations throughout New Jersey. From 2001 – 2004 she was the Director of Development, Division of Libraries, at New York University. Prior positions were with The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The Metropolitan Opera, and The Museum of Modern Art. Jennifer has a Masters Degree in Visual Arts Administration from New York University. She is married and resides in Point Pleasant, NJ.

Linda Starzman (1997/appointed to 2019) Educator, artist and community leader; an accomplished veteran art educator in the Brick Township School District for 34 years, retired in 2005; appointed Brick Township High School Fine Arts Department Head in 1995; received the National Teacher of the Year Award 1984-1985 from the Brick Township Board of Education; appointed by the Pt. Pleasant Borough Council as chairman of the Cultural Affairs Advisory Committee in 1999; past President of New Jersey State Teen Arts Festival ( FOTA) NJPTA, past local unit president. Ocean County Council PTA, Cultural Affairs, Chairman and National PTA "Reflections" Chairman; local president of Sigma Chapter and NJ ADK State Chaplain and NJ ADK State Historian; member of the following organizations: Alpha Delta Kappa Honorary International Outstanding Women Educators Fraternity, Ocean County Federation of Republican Women, Ocean County Historical Society, Brick Chapter UNICO National Italian American Service Organization, currently serving on the Scholarship Committee; Ocean County Artist Guild, Laurelton Art Society, Montclair State University Alumni Association. Patron Circle Member of the American Museum Of Natural History, New York City, NY; contributor member of the Museum of Modern Art, New York City, NY Sustaining Fellow Member. Resides in Point Pleasant.

Commission Alternates - Two Year Terms

Camille Crane (2014/appointed to 2016) Camille Crane has considerable experience in non-profit administration and development. She is currently with the Ocean Inc. Head Start Program. Camille brings to the Commission many years of experience working with the diverse community of Lakewood. She is the former director at the Strand Theatre and Ocean County program director for Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Trenton. She has also served as program director of SHRAP, Sandy Homeowner Renter Assistance Program and is responsible for supervising Disaster Case Management operations in Ocean County. She is a certified social worker with Board of Immigration Appeals Accreditation and she is fluent in Spanish. She is a resident of Toms River.

Jeremy Grunin (2014/appointed to 2017) Jeremy Grunin brings over 20 years’ retail sales and management, business development, investment and leadership capacity building experience to the Commission. Jeremy is actively engaged in Ocean County’s arts, education, and healthcare communities through grassroots activities and membership on the boards of the Ocean County College, Community Medical Center, the Ocean County Vocational Technical School, and the Toms River – Ocean County Chamber of Commerce. He and his wife Laura have three children and live in Toms River.

For a list of past Commissioners from 1969 - 2014 click here

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