Women of Distinction and Community Partners Gala
Gallery 4.17.24
Gallery 4.17.24

Watch all honoree videos!
Watch all honoree videos!


Diane Lee Brock, a dedicated professional and community leader, brings over three decades of invaluable experience in financial management and leadership. As the only child of Shirley R Lee, she was raised with a strong foundation of values and a passion for service. After graduating from Monmouth Regional High School in 1978, she pursued higher education at Hampton University, earning her degree in 1982.

Entering the workforce with a commitment to excellence, Diane embarked on a distinguished 33-year career with the Department of Defense. Her journey led her through various critical financial roles across key defense locations, including Fort Monmouth, Pentagon in Virginia, and Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. Her remarkable tenure culminated as the Chief of Policies, Programs, & Budget Analysis, a testament to her expertise and leadership in financial management.

Beyond her professional endeavors, she is a pillar in the community, serving in multiple capacities. As a dedicated member of several esteemed organizations, including the Monmouth County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., where she held pivotal roles as Past President, Vice President, Financial Secretary, Treasurer, and Corresponding Secretary. She is also a Life Member with the NANBPWC, Inc., and NCNW. It is evident that she has left an indelible mark through her unwavering commitment and leadership.

Dedicated to nurturing the next generation, Diane actively contributes to the growth and development of young minds as a devoted volunteer with the Girl Scout Jersey Shore, serving on the Board Development Committee, Silver/Gold Award Committee and participating in outreach troop activities.

Her heart for community service extends to various organizations, such as The Center in Asbury Park, where she serves as a dedicated board member and volunteer, contributing to their noble mission. Additionally, Diane is a valued member of Pilgrim Baptist Church, actively engaged since 1990, and assuming vital roles as a Trustee and Treasurer since 2004.

Diane Lee Brock married the love of her life, Anthony J. Brock, Sr., in 2017. The two reside in Neptune Township.

Carolyn Cannon is the Manager of Educational Programming at New Jersey Natural Gas (NJNG), where she has worked for more than two decades. 

Hailing from the great state of Indiana, Carolyn left the Midwest to attend Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU), receiving her B.A. in Broadcast Communications with a concentration in political science. While at FDU, Carolyn was a host and reporter for the campus television studio (which is where she honed her skills in speaking to a crowd of 20 or an auditorium of 400).

Carolyn coordinates NJNG’s Project Venture mentoring program. This long-standing initiative – in its 34th year having served nearly 450 students – is a collaboration with Big Brothers Big Sister of Coastal and Northern New Jersey (BBBS) and provides youth from Asbury Park and Lakewood Middle Schools with hands-on workshops on life skills, personal finance, self-esteem and STEAM projects. Carolyn has been a regional board member for BBBS for the past five years.

Currently, Carolyn oversees NJNG’s Speakers’ Bureau and gives an average of 40 presentations per year. She has been tapped to emcee and serve as a moderator for various organizations and events across New Jersey. She has a love for public speaking and truly enjoys meeting new people and listening to each person’s journey in life.

As a lifelong learner, Carolyn holds a certificate in Leadership Development for Early Career Women from Rutgers University’s Center for Women and Work, is a graduate of the Stand & Deliver executive coaching program from New Jersey Public Television’s Steve Adubato, and received the Psychology of Leadership Certificate through eCornell in April 2022.

Carolyn is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated, an international organization dedicated to public service and social action, where she has also served in various leadership roles within her local chapter. An active member of Impact 100 Jersey Coast chapter, Carolyn also serves on the board of the Monmouth Ocean Development Council and is co-chair of their educational foundation.  She is currently the co-chair of NJNG’s African American employee business resource group.

Carolyn is married and the proud mother of a teenage daughter who also loves to power walk and explore new restaurants. She is chocoholic and her favorite city is Chicago.

Jody is an accomplished lobbyist, fundraiser, association executive, and entrepreneur with broad, bi-partisan reach. Jody leverages a diversified strategic and tactical expertise in support of client priorities. She is also responsible for day-to-day operations of the firm.

Jody has built deep and lasting relationships with officials from both parties at all levels of government that allow her to effectively navigate the halls of power for her clients. She is a trusted confidant to corporate and industry leaders who call on her for her honest, keen and candid counsel.

Jody is an effective spokesperson and community outreach professional who is frequently called on to articulate client priorities. She has served as the public outreach lead for numerous infrastructure clients, responsible for coordination of various outreach functions including public hearings, direct engagement of local business and community leaders, coalition building, and dispute resolution. In this capacity she has adroitly served statewide public infrastructure agencies as well as prominent regulated public utilities.

Jody has developed a strong reputation as a leader in the corporate, charitable, non-profit and political action committee development and fundraising profession. She is also a logistics and management expert who is a highly regarded events and conference manager. Jody has successfully organized and executed events and conferences of all sizes and types within New Jersey and nationally. Jody is a Professional Campaign Fundraiser registered with the State of New Jersey. She is frequently called upon to provide compliance counsel on matters related to the Federal Election Commission and the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission.

Prior to launching NorthStar Strategies with Joe Fiordaliso in 2016, Jody owned and operated her own consultancy that served clients in New Jersey and throughout the region. She also served as a senior staff member with one of New Jersey’s oldest and most established government affairs firms. Jody began her career serving in several government positions including as a top aide to the Executive Director of the Majority Office of the New Jersey General Assembly. She has served as New Jersey campaign finance director for the national Republican Party, as finance director for the New Jersey Republican Party and finance director for various county level Republican Committees. Jody has also served as finance director for Republican candidates for United States Senate and Congress.

Jody’s leadership has been sought by philanthropic, business, and political organizations alike. She presently sits on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee for the Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore; serves as a Board Member and Development Officer for the WeDance Foundation, Chair of the Ocean County Employers Legislative Committee (ELC); and is Vice Chair of NEW JOBS PAC, New Jersey’s largest and most influential ideological business political action committee.

Jody is a true Jersey Girl, born and raised along the Jersey Shore. She is a proud University of Delaware Blue Hen who learned the importance of public service from her father, a retired Lieutenant with the New Jersey State Police. When she is not spoiling her niece and nephew at Disney World, she is a competitive ballroom dancer.

As the Executive Director of College Relations at Ocean County College, Jan Kirsten is responsible for marketing programs, brand management, special events, and alumni. Prior to joining OCC in 2002, she worked in strategic marketing and promotional initiatives at Benetton Sportsystems Inc., Prince Division. In addition to management and marketing in both higher education and the corporate realm, Jan’s areas of expertise traverse the spheres of conference and event planning, public and media relations, and publicity.

Jan thrives on challenges – particularly those that expand the College’s strategic initiatives – and responds to all responsibilities and undertakings with her strengths: creativity, drive, leadership.

She currently serves on multiple boards, including the United Way of Monmouth Ocean County, the Greater Toms River Chamber, and 21 Plus.  She is also the Chair of the Institutional and Advancement Affinity Group for the New Jersey of County Colleges and a member of the committee for the District 1–NCMPR Executive Council. Also, of note are her two years as president, and then as an executive board member, of the Howell Women’s Club, as well as her volunteer work for Bright & Beautiful Canine Hospice.

Jan holds a bachelor’s degree from Georgian Court University and an MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and her spoiled golden retrievers, Buoy and Teak.

Born and raised in Toms River, NJ, I am a native of the Jersey Shore. At home, I am supported by the most incredible family.  My husband Greg and I have been married for 13 years and we have two amazing sons, Mason (12) and Gavin (9).  I am proud to be involved in my boys’ academic careers and extracurricular activities by being an ice hockey mom/manager and PTA President of their school district.  I find so much joy in supporting my family in all of their endeavors and helping them to pursue their goals and dreams, as they also help me pursue mine.

I received a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD, then earned both a Master’s Degree and Post Master’s Certificate in Psychological Counseling from Monmouth University, West Long Branch. Most of my career was spent working in Psychiatric Emergency Screening Services (PESS) out of Kimball Medical Center, Robert Wood Johnson Behavioral Health.  In January 2022, my career shifted from emergency crisis to community mental health, through Bright Harbor Healthcare in a program called Keeping Families Together (KFT). KFT is a long-term program aimed to assist families challenged with homelessness/housing instability putting children at risk for out of home placement or delaying reunification. The goal of our program is to assist families in achieving housing stability, greater family functioning, child well-being, community integration, work readiness, peer support, mental health and substance abuse services, socialization, access to resources, and other skills and opportunities and foster increased self-sufficiency. It is through KFT that I was afforded the opportunity to provide the gift of Girl Scouts to a troop of 15 girls, whose ages range from 6-15 years old, and whom otherwise would not have the ability to experience all of the amazing opportunities Girl Scouts has to offer.

Bob McLane, General Manager with the Jersey Shore BlueClaws, comes to the shore by way of northeast PA, where he was born and raised. As a graduate of Scranton Preparatory School and the University of Pittsburgh, he credits these institutions, along with a loving and supportive family, with helping to shape him into the person he is today.

He joined the BlueClaws Front Office as the Senior Vice President – Ticket Sales & Service in September of 2018 after a long stint with the Yankees AAA-Affiliate in northeast PA. Although athletics and a competitive nature having always been in his blood, it was his relationship with Shore Town Baseball that drew him to this new opportunity. The possibility to bring his family to the Jersey Shore and the amazing local communities that make up the region were perfect for his family. This same passion for community and family is what drew him to pursue relationships with JB MDL, the Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore, the Greater Toms River Chamber of Commerce, and others. These relationships, particularly with the Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore, mean a great deal to him and his family.

Bob, his wife, Amy, and his daughters, Charlotte (7 and a proud member of Troop 60276), Lucy (5), and Stella (3) reside in Brick, NJ where they enjoy going to the beach, having fun at the boardwalk, and visiting as many local parks as they can. Bob and his family are proud to be in the BlueClaws and GSJS families!

Since 1902, OceanFirst Bank N.A. has helped families and businesses realize their financial dreams. OceanFirst was formed as the Point Pleasant Building and Loan by a small group of business leaders interested in providing financing to their neighbors so they could build homes. The Bank initially offered traditional savings deposit and mortgage loan products to neighbors in our local communities; however, this has grown over the years to include personal checking and savings accounts, commercial banking and treasury management services, along with digital banking services and loans for various stages of life.

At OceanFirst, we are very proud of our 120+ year history and long-standing commitment to the communities we serve. Although our name has changed several times throughout our history to reflect our growth and mission, one thing remains the same – OceanFirst’s commitment to helping our neighbors. We do this by providing competitive products and services to meet our customers’ ever-changing financial needs and delivering these products with extraordinary, personalized service.

The Bank also encourages employee volunteerism and, when our staff is out supporting non-profit organizations and helping our neighbors, we call our employees the WaveMakers. The OceanFirst WaveMakers volunteer thousands of hours every year to help in our communities.

In 1996, in conjunction with our initial public offering (IPO) OceanFirst became the first bank in the country to establish a Foundation at the time of conversion from mutual to stock ownership. OceanFirst Foundation is an independent nonprofit organization, and since established 27 years ago, has provided over 9,000 grants totaling more than $45 million to local charities and has become the template for over 90 banks throughout the country who have followed this IPO model: thereby resulting in millions of people in need benefitting from this OceanFirst initiative.

Today, OceanFirst has more than 900 employees and is a $13.5 billion regional bank providing financial services throughout New Jersey and the major metropolitan markets of Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore, and Boston. OceanFirst is one of the largest and oldest community-based financial institutions headquartered in New Jersey. For more information, please visit www.oceanfirst.com.

Gala Committee Breakfast 1.24.24
Gala Committee Breakfast 1.24.24

Gallery 4.19.23
Gallery 4.19.23