Press of Atlantic City: Conversations


Conversation with veterans advocate Donna Clementoni, Thursday Feb. 21, 2013, in Pleasantville. The EHT resident is a spokesperson for the NJ Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve program, trying to get jobs for returning vets. (The Press of Atlantic City/Staff Photo by Michael Ein)

A Conversation With: Donna Clementoni, a veterans advocate inspired by correspondence with members of military

Donna Clementoni, 55, of Egg Harbor Township, serves as employer outreach director for the New Jersey Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, or ESGR, a division of the U.S. Department of Defense.

  • icon Updated: May 04

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Sunday 12/30/2012
A Conversation With... Stewart Farrell, Director of Richard Stockton College's Coastal Research Center
Posted: December 30, 2012 - 12:00 am

In the days after Hurricane Sandy struck the Jersey Shore, Stewart Farrell and his researchers at the Port Republic-based Coastal Research Center were among the first on the scene in flood-ravaged beach towns. Farrell spoke with The Press of Atlantic City about how life at the shore will be affected by Sandy and its aftermath, and what effects climate change will have on the region’s future.

Sunday 11/25/2012
A conversation with: New Jersey Turnpike Authority Executive Director Veronique Hakim
Updated: November 25, 2012 - 7:21 am

Veronique “Ronnie” Hakim, 52, has been executive director of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority since September 2010. The Queens, N.Y., native heads the North Jersey-based agency that has overseen the Garden State Parkway during a heavily criticized tree-clearing effort and the removal of the security fence on the Great Egg Harbor bridge. Hakim insists the agency has South Jersey’s best interests in mind.

Sunday 09/30/2012
A conversation with...John Palmieri, executive director of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority
Updated: October 16, 2012 - 8:23 pm

John Palmieri, 61, took over as executive director of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority one year ago — just months after the state agency took control of planning and development in the Atlantic City Tourism District. The Hoboken, Hudson County, native said he wanted to return to New Jersey because he saw the city’s challenges, as well as opportunities to overcome them.

Sunday 09/09/2012
A Conversation With... Jerry Blavat, "The Geator With The Heater"
Updated: September 10, 2012 - 8:26 am

Jerry Blavat, who has the nickname “The Geator With The Heater,” (CQ) is a southern New Jersey music institution. Since the 1950s, Blavat has been coming to Wildwood to host dance parties, which he still does to this day until the start of fall. Blavat commemorated his 50th year on the radio two years ago and celebrates his 40th year owning the Memories in Margate club this year. He talked about his vast experience in southern New Jersey and how he sees the entertainment scene now and in the future.

Sunday 09/02/2012
A Conversation With... Bill Elliott, founder of the HERO campaign
Updated: October 30, 2015 - 9:23 am

Bill Elliott, of Egg Harbor Township, is creator of the Ensign John R. Elliott Hero Campaign for Designated Drivers. The campaign is named for Elliott’s son, who was killed by a drunken driver in July 2000. Elliott also just recently retired as executive director of the Shore Medical Center Foundation.

Sunday 08/19/2012
A Conversation With... Mitchell Etess, CEO of Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority
Updated: September 11, 2012 - 5:09 pm

A new management agreement will combine the operations of Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City with the Mohegan Sun casino resort in Connecticut and the Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs racetrack casino in Pennsylvania. Mitchell Etess, CEO of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, discusses the deal and the new Margaritaville-themed expansion project at Resorts.

Saturday 07/07/2012
A Conversation With ... retired Atlantic City superintendent Fredrick P. Nickles
Updated: June 14, 2016 - 10:22 pm

Atlantic City Superintendent of Schools Fredrick P. Nickles retired June 30 after a sometimes tumultuous 12 years heading the district.

Saturday 06/16/2012
A Conversation With... Ron Jaworski, former Eagles quarterback and new owner of Blue Heron Pines Golf Club
Updated: September 08, 2012 - 5:46 pm

Former Eagles quarterback and current ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski, 61, recently purchased Blue Heron Pines Golf Club in Galloway Township for an undisclosed price. The Voorhees Township resident now owns four South Jersey golf courses — Blue Heron Pines, RiverWinds Golf and Tennis Club (West Deptford Township), Running Deer Golf Club (Pittsgrove Township) and Valley Brook Country Club (Gloucester Township) — as part of Ron Jaworski Golf Management Inc.

Saturday 05/19/2012
A Conversation With... Diane Wieland, director of tourism and the Division of Culture and Heritage for Cape May County
Updated: September 08, 2012 - 5:46 pm

Diane Wieland, 57, started working for Cape May County in July 1975 and today serves as the director of tourism and the Division of Culture and Heritage. The Middle Township resident oversees a department with a $300,000 operating budget that is responsible for marketing the county to potential visitors in the U.S. and Canada.

A Conversation With ... Diane Wieland
Updated: May 19, 2012 - 3:46 pm


Sunday 05/06/2012
A Conversation With... Tilman Fertitta, owner of the Golden Nugget Atlantic City
Updated: September 08, 2012 - 5:46 pm

Tilman Fertitta is a Houston billionaire who owns two corporate jets, two helicopters, a 164-foot yacht and a Bentley luxury automobile dealership.

Saturday 04/21/2012
A conversation with... Bart Mueller, outgoing South Jersey Transportation Authority executive director, talks about untapped potential
Updated: September 01, 2012 - 6:35 pm

Bart Mueller, 61, has been the executive director of the South Jersey Transportation Authority since 2007. He heads the organization that operates the Atlantic City Expressway and Atlantic City International Airport. Mueller announced Thursday that he will step down as the agency’s head in July.

Sunday 04/08/2012
Conversation With .... Joe Kelly, Greater Atlantic City Chamber president, sees value in helping startups, casinos
Updated: September 01, 2012 - 6:35 pm

Joe Kelly, 58, runs the Greater Atlantic City Chamber, the nonprofit that serves as the voice for the Atlantic County business community.

Sunday 04/01/2012
A Conversation With... Mainland Principal Mark Marrone discusses tragedy, healing and a sense of community
Updated: September 08, 2012 - 5:46 pm

Mark Marrone, 36, of Northfield, became principal of Mainland Regional High School on July 1, 2011, just as a $40 million renovation was being completed and just before four members of the school’s football team were killed in a Garden State Parkway crash.

Sunday 03/11/2012
A Conversation With... Dave Rebuck, Director of New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement
Updated: September 08, 2012 - 5:46 pm

David Rebuck, director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, serves as the chief government regulator of Atlantic City’s $3.3 billion casino industry. He has been overseeing an unprecedented overhaul of the state’s gaming regulations.

Sunday 02/26/2012
A Conversation With... Linda G. Steele, president of Atlantic City chapter of NAACP
Updated: September 08, 2012 - 5:46 pm

Linda Steele was named president of the reinstated Atlantic City branch of the NAACP in December, after the national headquarters suspended operations for several months because of infighting and discord.

Sunday 02/05/2012
A conversation with ... the new owners of the Steel Pier
Updated: September 08, 2012 - 5:46 pm

After leasing the famous Steel Pier on Atlantic City's Boardwalk for 20 years, the Catanoso family and partners bought the amusement property in August.

Sunday 01/22/2012
A Conversation With ... Carl Redding: Restaurant owner sees unrealized potential for Atlantic City business
Updated: September 08, 2012 - 5:46 pm

Chef Carl Redding opened Southern-themed Redding's Restaurant at the corner of Atlantic City's Pacific and Kentucky avenues in fall 2010 and has since engaged in community improvement efforts that have included feeding the hungry on Thanksgiving and hosting fundraisers for local charities.

Saturday 01/07/2012
Conversation With .... Liza Cartmell: New alliance's leader looks to market Atlantic City as unique package
Updated: September 08, 2012 - 5:46 pm

Liza Cartmell is the recently named president of the Atlantic City Alliance, a new nonprofit organization that will market and promote the city using $30 million annually from the casino industry. The ACA is the "private" part of a public-private partnership orchestrated by Gov. Chris Christie to help pull Atlantic City out of a five-year tourism slump. Cartmell discusses the ACA's marketing campaign and the challenges that lie ahead.

Sunday 10/23/2011
A Conversation With ... Joel Naroff, U.S. economic forecaster, of Margate and Pennsylvania
Updated: September 08, 2012 - 5:46 pm

Joel Naroff, of Margate and Holland, Pa., is president of Naroff Economic Advisors and this year’s most accurate U.S. forecaster, as determined by the National Association for Business Economics.

Sunday 10/02/2011
A Conversation With ... Robert McDevitt, President of Local 54
Updated: September 08, 2012 - 5:46 pm

Robert McDevitt heads Local 54 of UNITE-HERE, Atlantic City’s largest casino union.

Saturday 09/17/2011
A Conversation With... Herman J. Saatkamp Jr., president of Richard Stockton College
Updated: September 08, 2012 - 5:46 pm

Herman J. Saatkamp Jr. became the fourth president of Richard Stockton College in June 2003. As the college prepares to celebrate its 40th year of teaching, he discusses the challenges of the present and plans for the future.

Saturday 09/03/2011
A Conversation With ... John Siciliano, executive director of the Greater Wildwoods Tourism Improvement and Development Authority
Updated: September 08, 2012 - 5:46 pm

John Siciliano has worked inside both the old Wildwoods Convention Center, a worn and dated facility built in 1971, and inside the new Wildwoods Convention Center, which opened its doors in 2002.

Saturday 08/13/2011
A conversation with ... Don Marrandino, eastern division president of Caesars Entertainment
Updated: September 08, 2012 - 5:46 pm

Don Marrandino was born in Atlantic City and grew up on Madison Avenue before his parents moved the family to neighboring Brigantine.

Sunday 07/24/2011
A Conversation With... Stephen Prakash, general manager of Seaview resort
Updated: September 08, 2012 - 5:46 pm

When Stephen Prakash took over as general manager of Seaview resort in Galloway Township, the historic compound known for its charming hotel, wedding venues and hosting the ShopRite LPGA Classic, had lost the tournament and was struggling so badly for so long that owner LaSalle Hotel Properties brought in new management, including Prakash.

Saturday 07/02/2011
A Conversation With ... Curtis Bashaw, hotel developer and tourism advocate
Updated: September 08, 2012 - 5:46 pm

Curtis Bashaw may be the New Jersey shore’s ultimate innkeeper.

Saturday 06/18/2011
Conversation: Would a BYOB policy tarnish Ocean City's wholesome image?
Updated: September 08, 2012 - 5:46 pm

A group of Ocean City restaurant owners and operators recently started a petition drive that, if successful, would result in residents voting on changing local laws to permit patrons to ‘bring your own bottle' when dining in the city. They say a BYOB policy could boost business.

Saturday 05/21/2011
A Conversation With ... Susan Ney Thompson, CRDA's interim executive director
Updated: September 08, 2012 - 5:46 pm

ATLANTIC CITY - With the creation of the Tourism District, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority is the most powerful entity in Atlantic City. And the person wielding that power is Susan Ney Thompson, the authority's interim executive director.

Saturday 05/14/2011
A conversation with ... Joel Ballesteros, director of LGBT marketing at Resorts Casino Hotel
Updated: September 08, 2012 - 5:46 pm

As Resorts Casino Hotel co-owner Dennis Gomes attempts to revitalize the city's oldest casino, he is experimenting with different strategies.