Monday, June 27, 2011


For all of us who live north of exit 98 on the Garden State Parkway, there is always a landmark that we have that makes us officially down the shore. Growing up it was always the Edison Bridges; didn’t matter  how far south I was going.  Spending most of my 40 or so summers in Lavallette, as soon as we  hit the light on 35 in Point Pleasant, I just wanted to get out and walk the rest of the way. Now there’s actually a reason to. At the corner where the highway meets the beach is, the best cup of coffee and most amazing collection of rock and roll memorabilia that any WRAT (95. FM) fan could ask for. That place is Rock n Joes at Point Pleasant Beach.

Inside the doors, ( and sometimes the line is all the way outside) once you order from their excellent menu of coffees and culinary treats, your eyes are drawn to a vast collection of vinyl originals from the Sex Pistols, the Go- Go’s, Elvis and Oingo Boigo to name a few. Also adorning the walls are several gold records including Bon Jovi’s25th and a collection of autographed guitars; a music fan’s paradise. There is also a collection of black and white paintings of such famous artists as Ray Charles and Jim Morrison, all for sale by a local artist.

The collection of memorabilia is from the owner, Dave Terra Nova’s personal collection.  Long time local resident, Dave celebrates 2 years this month, of serving a great cup of coffee in a casual atmosphere in view of the ocean he grew up with. Listening to the great Matt Pinfield’s radio show, Terra Nova heard about the Rock n Joe franchise opportunity. The 15 yr business started in Cranford, and began franchising 7 years ago. Being a coffee and a music enthusiast and just looking for something new to do, he saw a need for a local hang out, different from the bar scene. The weekly event calendar is almost as diverse as the menu, ranging from local artists to family nights and ladies nights.

Aside from my personal love of an iced Americano in the summer, and the music memorabilia, what draws me there is the local feel. Terra Nova is life long Jersey shore resident, raising a family and giving back to the community he was raised in. A closer look at the rock and roll walls also reveals information and business cards of several local business owners, as well as support of charities and fundraisers. Most recently, Rock n Joes supported “The Cohesion Project” a documentary in production about the effects of Cerebral Palsy on some folks who live life in spite of their condition.
Something I not only supported, but wait eagerly for the release of.

As we begin the summer of 2010, when you find yourself in Point Pleasant, stop in, say hi to Dave and celebrate 2 years of great coffee and great fun, and tell him we sent you. If I happen to be there (which I am most weekend mornings and weekday afternoons) the coffee is on me.

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The Cohesion Project

Monday, June 20, 2011




Whoever said Twitter is just people talking about what they ate for lunch, truly has no idea of the magnitude of Social Media. While tweeting about my New Jersey roots, with fellow Jersey Boy (part time, now since relocated),Bruno LoGreco,  creator of the famed,  “Ask The Coach” chat and blog ( hope to have the chance to write about  you soon) I met an amazing woman; Pam Stanton. Her website,  is impressive. It boasts of a long career in project management with some big name corporations.  However, it is her passion and communication expertise that knocked me out of my seat.

Meeting for coffee (one of my favorite things to do) in mid May, Pam told me her story of working under leadership that was fear-driven and destructive in a shaky and getting worse economy. As Director of IT for a huge NJ based company, she realized this short-term thinking and “at all cost” style of leadership opposed her core values. After a vacation, a “moment of clarity’ and some timely advice from life coach and good friend Bruno Logreco, she reframed the question Why to Why not. Shortly after that, she knew it was time to leave the big corporate arena and start out on her own, hence, The Project Whisperer was born.

Pam likens herself to “the sweeper” in the sport of Curling; she gets the team where it needs to go. She helps people find their gifting. I found it amazing that in a short period of time, I was talking about my last job before I became a mother. She knew even with out me saying it that it was a passion in my life. She enabled me to communicate that to her. It is this perception and communication that awards her success with every team and project she has embarked upon in her vast 25 year career. Very nice  statistics. 


Her book, “The Project Whisperer” outlines a 7 step process for a project team’s journey. From stage 1 “shiny happy people’ to the final stage “movin on” Pam offers excellent tactics along with real life experience and a splash of humor to keep the reader interested and the project manager excited to get started. It is an encouraging, easy read;  perfect guide to not only successfully execute projects, but to understand that projects are about people. Pam’s gifting is finding peoples passions and putting them to work. Something some of us may spend a lifetime trying to figure out.

As if our meeting was amazing up to this point, Pam shared her heart with me and told me the amazing story of her adopted daughter. She had me at “hello” but this peek into her soul showed me just how much she cares about people. Pam Stanton is more than a NJ great she is outstanding. Please go to her website and buy her book. Check her out and join her chats on Twitter and Facebook. It will be life changing.


Monday, June 13, 2011


Please indulge me for a moment as we approach Father’s Day. I wrote this awhile back. I  love the way the words flow, as it is an expression of the love I have in my heart.

Man is God’s most beautiful creation. By design he is complex, created in God’s own image.
A man is an example of strength, not just physical, but mental and moral.
A man is faithful to his word, and his family.
A man speaks with conviction. His words are truth.

A man is a comforter, because just being in his presence brings feelings of safety and security.
His children go to bed at night knowing all is well because Daddy is home.
A man is driven. There is no challenge too great for him, yet, he knows that his courage and strength come from God.
When you look into his deep brown eyes, you see strength, you see a life lived with a purpose and you see the endless possibilities of the future.
A man has a vast mind. He thinks through each move, sometimes, each word, because his words are powerful, effective and life changing.

A man comes home at night and lays his head on the pillow, knowing he did his job that day, ready to be refreshed and start again in the morning.
A man has the most amazing, powerfully sculpted arms, that when you are held by them, time stands still, there is no fear or concern. Your world is wrapped up and safe in them.
A man is the most complex creature, sturdy and unwavering, and yet, sometimes childlike and uninhibited.

A man loves his woman. When he looks at her, she becomes more beautiful.
He provides her with a wonderful life, the blessings of children, hope for the future, and love unconditional.
A man is a leader, a teacher, and advisor and an example.
He lives the legacy he will leave the future generations.
A man does have a soft side, but even that is powerful.
A man is the center of his family, he builds them up, is their strength and provider. He showers them with love and support. He is their past, present and their promise of the future.

This isn’t every man.
This is my man, who made me a wife, a mother and the woman I am today.

Share this with the man you are honoring this Father’s Day.
Happy Father's Day from NJGreats

Copyright 2011
All Rights Reserved

Friday, June 3, 2011


A group of girls from Mendham, tied together by a deadly disease decide to fight back with a little Dancing and Dessert. Four 12 year olds, Meaghan, Analisa, Ally and Katie all have family members with cancer.   “We all hate cancer because it has affected all of us personally in some way”.  Breast cancer took Meaghan’s mother.  Analisa’s mother fought breast cancer and is a 3 year survivor.  Ally has a history of different cancers in her family and” we lost my aunt to Neurofibromatosis Type 2 (NF2) last year” she said.  That’s a disorder that causes tumors to grow anywhere in or on the body. “ Tumors are terrible no matter what,” said Katie. 

The four friends put their heads together and got to work. They wanted to help raise money for cancer research and thought a 6th grade dance would be a great way to do it. In Mendham, 6th graders are rarely included in school or recreation sponsored dances. The Brookside Community Club, generously donated the perfect location and the girls  selected the Susan G Komen North Jersey Chapter as the beneficiary of the proceeds of their event.  “We did not want it to be expensive or to have our parents pay for everything.  “We wanted everyone to come and have fun and spread the message about breast cancer awareness.  For a little more than the $5 ticket price, people could make a donation or bid on one of our donated auction items,” Analisa  added.

Word spread fast. Kids were talking about it all over town and the girls collected several donated items for a silent auction, including a beautiful ruby heart pendant that adorns my neck, a Mother’s Day gift that gave back.  Pink attire was suggested and quickly the “pink and white party” was born. Weeks leading up to the big event included numerous trips to the mall, planned meetings at the nail salon and pre-dance picture parties.sw

While this was not a school sponsored event, Mendham Township Middle School Principal, Patrick Ciccone allowed the girls to hand out flyers in their homeroom classes and the 6thgrade teachers donated a highly coveted auction item. Several local businesses and families donated auction items and refreshments. Sal Biondo of 7pm DJs signed on to spin the music for the party. The girls really put together a wonderful event, driven by their passion to spread the news and help find a cure for cancer.

 After a tough week of NJ state testing in the schools, over 100 students and parents turned out from Mendham Township.  They were joined by a group from the St. Joseph School in Mendham Boro who heard about the event and wanted to participate. With admissions and generous donations, the girls were able to donate over $3300.00 to the Susan G Komen North Jersey Chapter.  A major success and super effort put forth by the four young ladies with huge hearts. 

It is an honor to write about these wonderful girls and their families. They understand the gift of giving back, to live life to the fullest, to stare down adversity and keep moving forward. To live these principles at such a young age, I know they are destined for greatness.
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