Businesspeople celebrate spring, and working women

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Maria Marinelli, Mary Ellen Danser, Rose Savastano, Gloria Votta and Kathy Sykes arrive at Chamber of Commerce luncheon. Maria Marinelli, Mary Ellen Danser, Rose Savastano, Gloria Votta and Kathy Sykes arrive at Chamber of Commerce luncheon. It was a bright sunny day when guests arrived at the Ocean City Yacht Club for the Ocean Regional Chamber of Commerce’s annual Salute to Working Women Luncheon.

Everyone was thinking spring on this beautiful day when Barbara Brown and Shawnda McGinnis, sporting pastel color jackets, greeted me at the door and gave me a door prize ticket. I enjoyed chatting with honoree Cricket Frank, who arrived early to check out the microphone and table for her guests. Bob Adams took time out of his busy tax season schedule to attend the luncheon and we talked about how the years seem to fly by. Carolyn and Stephen Nicoletti took a stroll around the block when they arrived at the luncheon early. Gloria Votta introduced me to her dear friend Mary Ellen Danser, who recently returned to Ocean City after living in Colorado for 25 years. Gloria was beaming when she told me about her 15-year old grandson, Joey, who plays bagpipes in a band. Maria Marinelli gave me her new business card with Long & Foster Real Estate in Longport, which will be opening another office in Ocean City soon. I caught up with Chamber President Bill McMahon looking over his notes at the podium and he told me he was looking forward to younger brother, Patrick’s wedding the next day at The Reeds in Stone Harbor. Patrick is the last of the McMahon siblings to get married. Rody O’Rourke worea black and white print jersey dress and she and Patti Smith represented the United Methodist Homes. Brian Broadley joked with Carol Heenan and this columnist about wearing the same color lime green jackets to the luncheon.

Michele Gillian wore a green sheath dress and black cardigan as she and Bill McMahon welcomed guests to the luncheon and introduced dignitaries. Even the Mayor, Jay Gillian, was ready for spring, sporting a pink shirt and tie with his suit. I enjoyed the quiche lorraine luncheon chatting with Val Reyes, John Shirk, Jane Davis, Carol Heenan, Winnie Piriano and Janet and Tony Galante. Val Reyes, who owns the luxury B&B, Atlantis Inn, at 6th and Atlantic, told us he lived in an apartment one block from the World Trade Center in New York on Sept. 11. Jane owns Johnny B Goode and Carol’s sister has the Hobby Horse Ice Cream Parlor. Janet and Tony are looking forward to the warm weather when their bike rental business picks up. Our table did well in the raffle with Winnie winning a golf foursome at McCullough’s Emerald Links and John Shirk walking off with a gift certificate to Snap Fitness and a pink T-shirt he’s giving to his wife. Everyone sang “Happy Birthday” to Stephanie Santangelo, Ocean City High School class of’91, who celebrated her 41st birthday at the luncheon with Denise and Gary Jessel, John Daley, Betty Ray, Angela Foggdon, Rebecca Dolinsky and Kendall Becher.

Former Working Women Honorees, Jean Jacobson and Kim Davidson, enjoyed the luncheon with Ocean City Home Bank co-workers, Debbie Clark, Tricia Ciliberto, Janet Bossi, Dawn Brodton, Renee Garr and Kathy Rubba. Jean sported a python skin jacket with matching python heel shoes. Jean, Kim and this columnist were lamenting the loss of our favorite shoe store, La Bottine Boutique, which recently closed on Asbury Avenue. I enjoyed meeting Tracey Wiser and Lori Link of WiserLink Advertising who have quite a list of Ocean City clients, O.C. Home Bank, The Tabernacle, O.C. Chamber of Commerce and City of Ocean City, to name a few. I hurried back to my table when Bill McMahon introduced keynote speaker Janet M. Wagner, dean of the School of Business at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. Working Women Honoree Cricket Frank, Corporate Vice President of Ocean City Hotels and Property Management, was joined by her husband of 49 years, Tony Frank, however their two daughters and three granddaughters couldn’t make the luncheon.  Family and friends, David Frank, Betsy Connelly, Janet and Dick Young, Barb and “Doc” Doctorman and Pauline Brady, joined the Franks for lunch and Joe Ney had the honor of introducing the honoree.  After being introduced by Bill McMahon as John Ney, Joe read a list of organizations Cricket belongs to as Cricket “never says no.” After posing for pictures with her gift and flowers Cricket joked she never dreamed she would be standing here accepting this honor 50 years ago when she started out as a chambermaid at the Impala Motel. Caitlin Greene took pictures for the chamber while Ann Richardson and Kristin Kelleher covered the luncheon for their newspapers.  

Guests enjoyed coffee and dessert, cheesecake topped with fresh fruit and whipped cream. I caught up with Kathy Sykes who promised to distribute Miss Ocean City applications at the high school again this year. While talking with Karen Mahar I told her it was hard to believe she and my son, Jimmy, who went all through school together, are celebrating the big five-O this year.  Meanwhile Melissa Wilson is having a hard time accepting the fact that her son will be in high school in September.  Cecelia Gallelli missed me at the PTA Carnival this year.  The bright cyclamen plants that were centerpieces on all the tables from Mark and Linda Videtto at Spinning Wheel Florist were taken home by many women, including this columnist, to plant in their gardens.      

Members of St. Peter’s United Methodist Church, especially the children, got a special treat when they arrived at the Palm Sunday services when they were greeted by two friendly donkeys on the front lawn, Jasmine and Ariel, provided by Barnyard Friends in Dorothy. Sandy Engstrom posed families for pictures with the donkeys while they grazed on bales of hay. Jill and Christian Chin have been members of St. Peter’s for one year and posed for a picture with their 3-year old daughter, Sydney. Julie and Christian Bickings lined up children with their parents for pictures and even found time to pose with their daughters, Caroline, Alice and Rose. Katie Grim was glad to find son, Kaiden, who wandered outside to see the donkeys. Pat and Gregg Matis and Meredith Neely handed out Easter Week schedules to members. Dorothy and Homer Gerken stopped to watch the fun before heading inside where Robie McKinnon, Pat Custard, Ginny and Dick Strang and Della and Cork Ostein greeted members as they entered the sanctuary for the Palm Sunday traditional worship service.  Bill Woods had his usher team on duty handing out bulletins while John Bate had the great Mollar Pipe Organ wide open with music for the season.

Carol Heenan and Cathy Finnegan show off their lime green spring jackets to Winnie Piriano and Tony and Janet Galante. Carol Heenan and Cathy Finnegan show off their lime green spring jackets to Winnie Piriano and Tony and Janet Galante. Honoree Cricket Frank (center) poses for a picture with Jay and Michele Gillian, husband Tony Frank, Bill McMahon and Brian Broadley. Honoree Cricket Frank (center) poses for a picture with Jay and Michele Gillian, husband Tony Frank, Bill McMahon and Brian Broadley. Ocean City Home Bank women Kim Davidson, Janet Bossi, Tricia Ciliberto, Jean Jacobson and Debbie Clark, enjoy the chamber luncheon. Ocean City Home Bank women Kim Davidson, Janet Bossi, Tricia Ciliberto, Jean Jacobson and Debbie Clark, enjoy the chamber luncheon. Caitlin Greene, Val Reyes, Jane Davis, John Shirk and Sally Huff get together for a picture at chamber luncheon. Caitlin Greene, Val Reyes, Jane Davis, John Shirk and Sally Huff get together for a picture at chamber luncheon. Cecilia Gallelli, Bill McGinity, Ann Richardson, Ken Cooper and Shawnda McGinnis line up for a picture after chamber luncheon. Cecilia Gallelli, Bill McGinity, Ann Richardson, Ken Cooper and Shawnda McGinnis line up for a picture after chamber luncheon. Jill, Sydney and Christian Chin pose for picture with donkeys at St. Peter’s United Methodist Church on Palm Sunday. Jill, Sydney and Christian Chin pose for picture with donkeys at St. Peter’s United Methodist Church on Palm Sunday. Brian Roberts and Kaiden Grim check out the donkeys on Palm Sunday with Julie and Christian Bickings and their children, Caroline, Alice and Rose. Brian Roberts and Kaiden Grim check out the donkeys on Palm Sunday with Julie and Christian Bickings and their children, Caroline, Alice and Rose.


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