Phenomenal Women Under 40
On Thursday, September 13, the Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore celebrated its third annual Phenomenal Women Under 40, recognizing the emerging women leaders of our community.
Phenomenal Women Under 40 is our way of celebrating young women professionals while they’re still ascending to the full height of their accomplishment. These leaders make a difference in the world today, and they’ll continue to make a difference for a lifetime.
Thank you to the more than 250 guests who joined us to celebrate our amazing honorees. The future is bright for future generations of girls because of people like you.
Our 2018 Honorees
Michelle J. Casserly
Hackensack Meridian Health
Meridian Health Foundation
The Rumson Country Day School
Pinelands Regional School District
St. Denis D.O.V.E.S & Seabrook
The Jay & Linda
Clean Cheats LLC
YMCA of Western
Samara Porter O’Neill
CG Healthcare Solutions
Jamie L. Sheridan
UBS Financial Services
Holman Frenia Allison, P.C.
Hackensack Meridian Health
Meridian Health Foundation
A die-hard sports fan all of her life, Michelle originally dreamed of being a broadcaster for ESPN. However, after gaining valuable experience at Elizabethtown College, she turned down a job offer from the network to pursue event planning as a career.
Following her position at Street & Smiths’ SportsBusiness Journal in Charlotte, North Carolina, she returned to her Jersey roots to work for the Lakewood BlueClaws baseball team. She then gained experience in other industries, including hotel and pharmaceuticals, before finding her calling in non-profit work.
Currently, as the Executive Director of Strategic Events for Hackensack Meridian Health Meridian Health Foundation, Michelle is responsible for the planning and execution of all logistics related to the annual fundraising events for the hospitals in the network’s southern region. In this capacity, she has increased the revenue total and strategic value of the activities each year during her 10-year tenure.
Michelle leads a team of committee members, volunteers, an event associate and an event assistant. She regularly presents to other non-profit organizations regarding strategically aligning events with the organization’s mission, including three times at the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP) International Conferences and at Raise - 2018 The Event Fundraising Conference.
Michelle is a resident of Belmar where she serves as a committee member for the Belmar – Lake Como St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee, the Belmar Democratic Committee and sits on the Zoning Board of Adjustments. She also volunteers for the Monmouth Park Charity Fund.
In her spare time, she enjoys spending time in flip-flops with her family including her two phenomenal nieces Molly and Morgan (ideally at the beach!) and following her favorite sports teams.
The Rumson Country Day School
Community outreach is especially important to Erin Chiaravalloti who has organized and directed multiple fundraising events. She is the Director of Operations for Costumes for Cancer, which is a fundraising event based around a Halloween costume party that takes place every October. All proceeds go toward endowing a scholarship at Christian Brothers Academy, known as the Vito J. Chiaravalloti, Sr. Memorial Scholarship. Chiaravalloti organized and managed Gracie’s Zumbathon in 2015 where she helped raised $8,000 in one day for Gracie West, a survivor of childhood cancer.
During her college years, Chiaravalloti attended Rowan University where she was a member of the Dance team, Admissions Ambassador, and involved in Phi Beta Kappa, an Education honors society. Chiaravalloti is constantly using her talents in dance, physical fitness training, swimming and the performing arts to help others. Today, Chiaravalloti works as the Co-founder and Operating Manager of The Anchor’s Edge Pool Management Company, which operates out of Beacon Hill Country Club.
“She leaves a positive legacy in the lives of all she meets. Her students love her and she is an asset to her school,” said nominator Samantha Rice, former Communications Manager at Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore. “Overall, Erin actively seeks the needs of others and finds way to help them. She is a star. She is a difference maker.”
Chiaravalloti is a leader and has taken numerous such roles in her community. She exemplified this role when she raised money for a fellow dancer at Count Basie, whose mother had passed suddenly during preparation for the show. Chiaravalloti’s heart leads her to give back to the community. She is currently a Beginner’s Teacher at Rumson Country Day School, where she has also authored, choreographed, and directed a children’s play 30 Days Has September for her Kindergarten students.
Courage is the leading characteristic used to describe Kimberly Clark through her endeavors thus far in her life and career. As a loving wife and newbie mother, she continues to thrive in her work, community leadership, and volunteering. Dr. Clark is an Assistant Principal & District Supervisor (of English, gifted and talented, special education and the media center), at the Pinelands Regional School District and Board of Education.
At her school, Dr. Clark has founded the “Golden Paw” Committee for staff recognition, created a Practical Leadership Experience (PLEX) program for aspiring administrators, and much more, truly embracing her role and stepping outside her duties in making a true difference in the school district.
“Kim strides above most, with relentless energy and passion. A go-getter whose sole focus is to make this world a better place for those who follow after her,” said nominator Jacqueline Stone, who work in the department under Dr. Clark. “She is not afraid of challenges, faces obstacles and daunting projects with fierce determination and set goals most wouldn’t have the stamina or determination to achieve or accomplish.”
Service to her community plays a big role in Dr. Clark’s life. She is a volunteer on the Dissertation Committee, Doctoral Student Mentor, Aspiring Administrator Mentor, weekly book reader for a student with multiple disabilities, and an Alliance for a Living Ocean Volunteer. Dr. Clark has shown her involvement in the community and appreciation of nature as the Coordinator of the Food & Clothing Center during Hurricane Sandy, and organized the “Walk a Mile in Our Shoes” Hurricane Sandy Awareness Event in 2012.
Dr. Clark is someone who encompasses traits such as authenticity, trustworthiness, kindness, commitment, savvy, fairness, appreciation, and respect, in an environment where people feel safe and loved.
Jessica Easton, was born and raised in Manasquan; she graduated Manasquan High School in 2012, as vice president of her class and varsity cheerleading captain. Upon graduating from Manasquan, she went on to obtain a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology from Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania.
Jessica works full time as a programs assistant at Seabrook Senior Living in Tinton Falls, while continuing her education at Rutgers University studying for her Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration. She enjoys working every day with the elderly.
While in high school, Jessica attended her first service trip with the St. Denis D.O.V.E.S. which means Dedicating Our Values Every Second through Catholic Heart Work Camp in Buffalo NY. Her team served an elderly woman in her home with painting, yard work and friendship, she left that service trip with a new outlook on life. Not knowing her career path, she knew that “she wanted to help people.”
Every summer since she has spent a week of her summer at Catholic Heart Work Camp, doing a variety of different work. Jessica has gone from camper to chaperone over the past 10 years. Last year when the directors and co-founders of DOVES decided to reduce their responsibility and involvement with DOVES, they approached Jessica with the opportunity to take over the reins of the group. Jessica believes so strongly in this program so along with her mother Ellen they decided to take over the responsibility. This past summer was the 2nd year that Jessica served as Co-Director of the St. Denis DOVES youth group as she along with 51 others traveled to serve the less fortunate in Dover Delaware.
Laura Grunin resides in Toms River with her husband of 18 years, Jeremy, and her three amazing children, Josh (17), Rebecca (15), and Emma (13). Laura makes her impact in the philanthropic endeavors of The Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation locally, with the goal of doing the same globally. She has helped implement school-based mental health services in the Toms River School system in order to benefit children in need. Laura is the Second Vice Chair of the Ocean County YMCA as well as a founding and active member of the 100 Women Campaign at Ocean County College, where she mentors nursing students. Although she is quite busy with her family as well as volunteering for non-profit organizations, she has recently gone back to school at NYU for her PhD in Nursing Research and Theory Development in order to maximize her nursing expertise in the same manner as her work at the Foundation - positive global impact. Although she does not necessarily believe she deserves this honor, her compassion, need to help others, and willingness to work hard all make it clear why she was nominated for this award.
Clean Cheats LLC
Since she was young, community service and the love of food had been a part of Meghan Kane’s life. With her great grandmother and her sister, Kane volunteered as a child preparing food baskets during the Thanksgiving season through the Freehold Open Door. After the devastation of Superstorm Sandy hit the Jersey Shore, Kane helped coordinate the adoption of homeless families who were in need of comfort and normalcy. Together with her family, Kane provided a luncheon for five families, including the presentation of gifts to all family members by Santa Claus.
During her last semester at Rutgers University, Kane fell in love with her fieldwork class at the Douglas Developmental Disability Center (a school for individuals with Autism), and found her professional calling. Now she is employed as a special education teacher in the New Brunswick School District teaching students with Autism at the elementary level.
“Meghan has been instrumental in developing vocational tasks taken for granted by most people, and in some cases the start of verbal communication,” said Kevin Kane. “Her character and integrity are well respected by those involved in the special needs community, especially parents of children with Autism.”
Through her day in the classroom and in-home after care sessions, Kane came across many children who had food allergies or specific dietary restrictions who could not enjoy delicious treats such as cookies. This inspired Kane to start baking cookies to reward and treat the children she was teaching. Her passion led to the creation of Clean Cheats Cookie Company in Spring Lake, 2017. Kane bakes 40-50 dozen cookies a week that are now sold in 16 locations across 4 states.
The courage, determination and confidence in her ability has allowed Kane to help make the world a better place for all, especially children.
Dance and movement have played prominent roles in the life of Shani Love and continue to provide her inspiration in life. Love graduated from Mason Gross Performing Arts School at Rutgers with her Bachelor’s Degree. Today she continues to work as a dance instructor and Zumba instructor, keeping her passion close to heart.
For the past 10 years, Love has donated her time volunteering to the Macedonia Debutante and Escort Cotillion, which is sponsored by the Macedonia Baptist Church. More recently she decided to take charge and become the Chairwoman of the event. Love felt strongly that she needed to strengthen the program and bring it back to its relevant purpose for the minority youth in the area. Her plans for the cotillion include making it a year-round program that would in return expose the youth to more opportunities, workshops, and trips so when high school is over, the youth feel more prepared for the next chapter of their lives.
“Shani is very passionate about the work that she is doing in all areas, especially the cotillion,” said nominator and mother Gwendolyn Love. “She sees so much value in pouring positivity into the lives of the youth who participate in her programs.”
Working full-time as Coordinator at the Western YMCA for the Before and After school care, Love exemplifies her leadership capabilities. She has lead people by gaining their trust to make the changes and take the risks that are needed to have a positive impact in the end. Love’s humble personality allows for the teachable moments that help not only herself, but her youth to grow to their full potentials. The hardworking Love seeks to find the best in each and every child that comes across her path, truly improving their lives.
From a young age Samara Porter O’Neill was encouraged to live a life built upon the foundation of values. Such values focused on the importance of education as well as living a life of purpose. After earning her Master’s degree from Drexel University in marketing, Samara began the climb up the Fortune 500 corporate ladder.
Before leaving the corporate world, to take over her fathers Real Estate legacy; she was an esteemed consultant, Director and Project manager. When her father passed away she walked away from corporate America and took on the challenging role of Real Estate broker while being a full time mom and heavily involved in her community. She has a passion for following in her family’s footsteps and showing her children the importance of risk taking and staying faithful to your roots.
From taking on the challenge of her daughters elementary yearbook, to being a youth basketball coach, board member of YMCA, a member of the rotary club, volunteer at the Jackson food pantry and more; there is nothing she can’t find the time for. This is because Samara believes in giving back to the community ten fold and that being a role model for the youth is of the utmost importance.
Samara’s positive attitude, strong work ethic, compassion, passionate drive and perseverance can be seen in all she takes part in. Everyone who knows her respects her for her ability to transcend challenges through perseverance and compassion.
“Samara has a genuine heart and is eager to jump to the call of service for her community,” said nominator Allison Niedrach. “She is a do all, take charge, and love all the people kind of woman!”
Samara plans on continuing to serve as a pillar in the community while instilling the important values she learned herself as a child. She also hopes that her company Porterplus Realty can continue to positively help the community while bringing the dreams of home buying for families to a reality.
Involvement in the community is a top priority for Kelly Servodio, as she is involved in Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore, and the Salvation Army. Servodio received her Bachelor’s degree in English and psychology from Felician College, which led her to her job today working as a Credentialing Coordinator at CG Healthcare Solutions.
“Kelly is a go-getter, she does not hesitate when asked for help, and is always ready with a recommendation or idea,” said nominator Danielle Bagdzinski. “She gives 100% all the time and is a role model for young women everywhere.”
Not only is she successful in her career, but also an incredible volunteer and philanthropist. The lists of organizations she serves is extensive and she is constantly getting involved in additional causes. Servodio is a shining example of what it means to be a woman of courage, confidence and character.
“Kelly Servodio is very dedicated to helping out in the community where she was raised and always looking to give back to make Toms River a better place for generations to come,” said second nominator Kelli Peterson. “Kelly is an outstanding example to women as to what it means to be a part of the community and exemplifies going above and beyond for those around her.”
Moving to Monmouth County in 2000 gave Jamie L. Sheridan the life she always hoped to lead. She attended Monmouth University, earning her degree in Marketing and Communications. After graduation, Sheridan set out to build a tremendous career as a young, female leader in the Financial Services Industry, which is predominantly a male-oriented industry. Today, Sheridan serves as the Branch Office Administrator for UBS Financial Services Wealth Management.
Sheridan's leadership ability was noticed when she lobbied the firm to purchase an automated external defibrillator machine for the office. She arranged for 12 employees to be trained in AED/CPR, including herself. At work, she leads an entire office of over 30 employees, and her commitment reaches beyond the office as she has immersed herself into the community.
“Jamie has been recognized by our firm as an outstanding leader and contributor,” said nominator and fellow employee Maria Farhat-Tanzola, who is also a member of the Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore's Board of Directors. “She is excellent at all she does while sometimes under the radar, makes a huge impact as a leader and role model for young girls and women. She is Phenomenal!”
Sheridan gives back to the community as a driver, contributor and supporter of many organizations. Her involvement in Clean Ocean Action, Holiday Express, Foodbank of Monmouth & Ocean (now called Fulfill), Ocean’s Harbor House and Operation Gratitude has given her the opportunities to give back that she sought out as a student. She makes a true impact in her community each and everyday.
In addition to her workplace, Sheridan has a loving husband, Tim, who she has been married to since 2015. She was lucky enough to grow her family immediately with her husband’s three wonderful adult children: Kate, Andrew and Kristen. Sheridan and her husband enjoy volunteering on their own time, helping St Luke’s Church and adopting families through Good Counsel. When Sheridan and her husband are not giving back to the community, they enjoy playing golf, traveling and listening to Bruce Springsteen music.
Having the Girl Scouts close to heart, Sarah Snell is an active member of the Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore where she holds the position of regional delegate to the Board of Directors and serves on the council's recruitment committee. She is also involved as a troop leader for not one, but two troops in the Shore Pines Region since 2015.
Snell attended Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, where she holds dual bachelor's degrees in Accounting and Finance. Snell works as chief operating officer at Holman Frenia Allison, P.C. When she started working in 2005 she became one of the fasted moving accountants; she rolled up her sleeves and shifted focus inward on the heart of the company she grew to love. Her ambition kept her working while growing her family, which is often not the choice for women in public accounting since it is such a demanding job.
“Sarah is a true role model for women not only in our firm, but in the workforce. She has proven that you can have an awesome career while at the same time being an amazing wife, mom, daughter and sister,” said nominator Lauren Holman, 2016 Phenom Award Recipient. “She does all of this with grace and elegance and honestly makes it look easy.”
Snell implements and oversees a wide range of activities in all phases of administration, personnel, finances, facilities, and marketing for an 80+ employee firm with four offices located throughout New Jersey. She belongs to the New Jersey and National Chapters of the CPA Firm Management Association where she received the designation of “PAFM” Professional Accounting Firm Manager and graduated from the CPAFMA Leadership Institute in 2017. She is a member of the New Jersey State Society of CPAs and serves on the Student Programs and Scholarship Committee. She is also a new member of the Junior League of Monmouth County, currently serving on the Community Impact Council.