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Meet The Advisors

From every Ventnor neighborhood and many walks of life and professions, these are your nine neighbors who comprise the inaugural group of Fund Advisors. They will guide the Ventnor Community Fund and Endowment as it grows corpus for our collective future benefit, raises funds for current projects with both short and long-term goals, and makes decisions about spending donated funds for stated purposes.

Jean Antolini
Jean is a Theater and Stage technician, filmmaker and a community organizer in the city of Ventnor. She attended Philadelphia College of Art and Stockton State College along with studies at WHYY’s Media Center. Jean has been active in Ventnor for many years, holding community cleanups under the group, The Pickup Posse. She armed groups of volunteers with gloves, brooms, bio-degradable bags and maps of targeted areas. The local merchants contributed coffee and discounts to all the volunteers to make it a true joint effort. Jean is also an organizer of the Nights in Ventnor: Go Green fossil fuel free flotilla. Costumed and non-costumed kayak paddlers enjoy the back bays with the watery parade ending at the Dr. John Holland Boathouse where prizes are awarded to the most colorful entrants. The Downbeach merchants, specifically Ventnor, contribute all the prizes to make it another all inclusive community event. Jean is happy to be a part of a team that wants to move Ventnor forward.

John Battista
John is one of our four Ventnor business owners tapped to serve on the Fund Advisory board. A graduate of Virginia Tech with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, he worked for one of the largest global companies in the chemical industry, providing internal management consulting services and technology solutions spanning three continents with a large amount of time spent working in Paris. After 10 years, he decided to become his own boss and founded a small technology company which was a “cloud?company before anyone called it the cloud (or iCloud). He purchased the now well-regarded and highly-ranked Carisbrooke Inn B&B in 2003 and later bought a popular fixture along Ventnor Ave. renaming the frozen dessert establishment Carisbrooke Ice. A second generation Italian-American, John has both lived in, and traveled around, Europe extensively and applied the hospitality that is an integral facet of the European way of life to the operations of Carisbrooke Inn. That sensibility is reflected in its near-perfect 4.9 rating out of 5.0 on travel websites. His Inn has played host to numerous social and civic gatherings. John’s keen eye for architecture is reflected in the restoration and complementary refurbishing of the Inn. ?and, he makes an enviable meatballs in sauce! .

Barbara Berman
Barbara, a graduate of Temple University with a B.A. degree, and her husband Don (David) have a Ventnor home near the VECC and the location of the proposed Dog Park, which is one of the four projects the Fund has on its slate. But apart from her puppy love (Samantha), her major contribution to the board is expected to arise from her professional career. She brings a wealth of executive experience in non-profit management through her 27 years with the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America's Philadelphia/Delaware Valley Chapter, where she served as its Executive Director.

Don (David) Berman
David (but everyone calls him “Don? is a graduate of Philadelphia University and Temple University, and holds both B.S. and M.B.A. degrees. After working for several decades with the Internal Revenue Service, and winning an award for design and implementation of the first mass automated payment processing system, he entered private practice as a C.P.A. and had licensures in both PA and NJ. Since 1977, he has also taught business and accounting in Philadelphia. Now retired from active practice as an accountant, he continues as a teacher and is Adjunct Professor in the Business Administration Department at Community College of Philadelphia.

Mike Carr
Mike a/k/a “the Candyman? is another of the Ventnor business owners tapped to serve as a Fund Advisor, and is a well-known fixture of the Downbeach business community. A native of Ocean City, a former Atlantic City lifeguard, a graduate of Glassboro State College (now Rowan University) with a major in Marketing, and owner of a landscaping business, he stepped into the role of candy maker as owner of Jagielky’s in the early 1990’s as an outgrowth of a personal tragedy. The original candy store founded by George Jagielky in Philadelphia in the 1930’s had opened a store in Ventnor which Mike’s brother Arthur ran. After his brother’s untimely death in a 1990 boating accident, Mike stepped in to reopen the Ventnor store in 1992. He expanded the business with a shop in Margate at a time when Ventnor’s plans to pursue eminent domain in connection with urban redevelopment in the North Beach section of town made the future of the Ventnor store, opened in 1972, uncertain. A favorite quote from Mike: ““George [Jagielky] always said one of the requirements of the candy business was a strong back and a weak mind. You don’t want to do too much thinking.? The success of Mike’s two stores as he also expanded from two locations to vibrant online marketing and internet sales suggests that he brings more than just a strong back to guiding his businesses. And his bottom-line business sensibility is a welcome addition to the tasks of the advisory body. A 2014 article in the AC Press profiled Mike and Jagielky’s.

Tim Kriebel
Tim is another of our four Ventnor business owner members. A graduate of ACHS (1985) and of University of the Arts with a B.S. in Industrial Design (1989), he has 24 years as a small business owner in construction and kitchen design, including the last 20 years in Ventnor. His past includes working as a construction project manager in Miami, Palm Beach and Philadelphia before he returned to Ventnor in 1995. He is a member of the Viking Rowing Club Foundation in Ventnor Heights and the Ventnor Zoning Board. Tim is the founder of Downtown Ventnor, dedicated to the revitalization of Ventnor’s business districts, and he was invited to become a Fund Advisor because one of Ventnor’s pressing needs is to improve the commercial cores of our town.

Anthony Morgano
Tony was born and reared in Ventnor. And after pursuing his education, he’s returned to Ventnor where he lives in the Heights. He earned his B.A. magna cum laude from Rutgers University in 2009. He went on to earn his J.D. with honors in 2012 from Rutgers University School of Law before becoming admitted to practice in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. While in law school, he interned with the Honorable Ann Marie Donio, United States Magistrate Judge for the District of New Jersey. Afterward, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Steven F. Nemeth in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Civil Division, Special Civil Part, in Ocean County. Now in private practice with the law firm of Levine, Staller, Sklar, Chan & Brown, P.A. in Atlantic City, he concentrates his practice in the areas of Commercial Litigation and Employment Law. His contributions in tailoring the standard by-laws for CFSJ-affiliated Community Funds to the specific needs of Ventnor and this group as it embarks on its mission have already been enormous.

Cheryl Netkin Venezia
Cheryl and her husband Dave have a home in the Heights and she is yet another business proprietor serving on the advisory board. She is a graduate of University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and has applied her business skills to running the ever-popular Annette’s which she expanded from its traditional breakfast and lunch operations to evening dinner service during the summer busy season. Under her ownership, the shop became a de facto cheery harbinger of visitors?arrival in Ventnor with its full-scale wall mural facing incoming traffic. The advisory board will benefit from her insights and support as it embarks on its ambitious goals.

Mike Wiesen
Mike is a pillar of the Ventnor business community and its civic life. After attending college in Tampa, Florida, he worked at AAAA Bike Shop in 1979 at its original location in Atlantic City, and later moved the shop to its Ventnor Avenue location in 1992. He originated the Tour de Ventnor (now the Tour de Downbeach) in 2008, helps run the Nights in Ventnor: Go Green summer regatta, is the force propelling the annual Polar Bear Plunge every New Year's Day, served as longtime president of the Ventnor Merchants Association, and has served on civic boards. He brings a wealth of knowledge to the tasks at hand.

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  • The "job" of the Fund Advisors is as follows:

    1. to fund-raise on behalf of the Fund to grow its permanent Corpus (endowment) which is to be prudently invested by CFSJ to produce dividend and interest "yield" for future benefit of Ventnor's residents
    2. to select short-term to long-term projects which are to benefit Ventnor more immediately than accumulation of corpus/permanent fund does, and to allow donors to contribute toward specific projects they wish to be actively pursued
    3. to welcome suggestions from Ventnor's stakeholders who wish to see future projects pursued and who are willing to commit some of their own 3T's of Time, Talent or Treasure
    4. to approve invoices payable for goods and services which fulfill a project goal under active execution. PLEASE NOTE: to assure the integrity of all funds entrusted to VCF's care, and in accordance with CFSJ’s customary practices in working with funds such as Ventnor’s, the fund will not reimburse individuals directly for expenses they claim to have incurred on behalf of a project, nor is it an endeavor which will issue "blanket checks" to any other organization nor unit of government in the hope that they will do what they promise with the funds.
    5. to contribute in ways that bring each advisor’s special skills, experience, and insights into play in establishing goals and organizing the all-important people resources who wish to work as members of various Project Committees.