The “Sharks”

The “sharks” comprising the panel for the ArtsTank competition are creative placemaking experts and business people, including:

Jeremy Grunin, President, Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation

Jeremy Grunin has more than 20 years of leadership experience in the private sector where he managed teams of 1000+ employees responsible for over half a billion dollars in revenue.  Since 2013, Jeremy has been actively engaged throughout the community as President of the Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation; a proactive grantmaker focused on economic growth at the Central Jersey Shore. Jeremy is a Partner of Grunin Holdings, LLC., a New Jersey Partnership specializing in the development and management of commercial real estate, as well as investing in third-party commercial ventures. Also, Jeremy is the host of Topic A talk radio show every Sunday morning on 92.7 WOBM from 7 AM to 11 AM.  Jeremy resides in Toms River with his three beautiful children, Joshua, Rebecca, and Emma.


Meishka Mitchell, AICP, PP, Vice President, Coopers Ferry Partnership

Meishka Mitchell joined the Cooper’s Ferry Partnership staff as a graduate intern in 2003 and took the helm as the Vice President of Neighborhood Initiatives in 2010. Ms. Mitchell has played a key role in broadening Cooper’s Ferry Partnership ‘s mission to address planning and redevelopment efforts in Camden’s neighborhoods, overseeing the development of plans and implementation of key neighborhood projects with a high level of community input and participation. She has managed the implementation of numerous critical infrastructure and park improvement projects and is instrumental in Camden’s innovative sustainability and placemaking initiatives.

Ms. Mitchell has a Master of City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania. Meishka is also certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners and maintains a Professional Planners license with the State of New Jersey.


Vincent M. D’Alessandro, President of Southern Region of OceanFirst Bank

Vincent D’Alessandro is the President of OceanFirst Bank’s Southern Region, which currently includes branches and administrative offices located throughout Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Burlington, and Camden Counties in New Jersey. He graduated from Rutgers University in 1989 with a degree in Business Administration, Political Science, and Education and then completed his MBA at the Stonier School of Banking at University of Pennsylvania with a leadership certificate from the Wharton School of Business. His professional career began in 1989  which included various commercial, credit, and leadership roles at First National Bank of Toms River, Summit Bank, PNC Bank, and Shore Community Bank. Since 2008, he has been with OceanFirst Bank and currently holds the title of First Senior Vice President and Regional President of the Bank’s Southern Region. Vincent has had extensive involvement with various non-profit organizations and is currently involved on the Boards of the Shore Medical Foundation, Atlantic Cape Community College Foundation, the HERO Campaign, South Jersey CEO Group, MBCA of Atlantic City, Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey, and Businesses Committed to South Jersey.


Michael Cagno, Artist; Executive Director, Noyes Museum of Art of Richard Stockton University

During his tenure as the Executive Director for the Riverfront Renaissance Center for the Art in Millville, New Jersey, Michael worked with government and community organizations to revitalize its downtown by using the arts as a catalyst for economic development and social transformation. Since 2006, Michael has served as Executive Director of The Noyes Museum of Art of Richard Stockton University. This partnership has allowed the museum to increase its capacity to make the arts more accessible and inclusive for residents of southern New Jersey. Today the Noyes Museum operates facilities in Hammonton and Atlantic City. Michael currently serves on the Board of Trustees as Vice-President for the Mid-Atlantic Association of Museum, Cumberland County Cultural and Heritage Commission, Ducktown Neighborhood Association, Chairman of the National Building Museums Symposium and has served as board member for the New Jersey Association of Museums, Art Pride NJ and the South Jersey Cultural Alliance as Vice President.   Having a Bachelors Degree in Fine Art from Rowan University, a Masters Degree in Museum in Management and a Graduate Certificate in Arts Administration from Seton Hall University has allowed Michael to follow his passion for the arts.  He also shares this passion as an adjunct arts professor at Cumberland County College and Stockton University.

About Our Presenting Partners

South Jersey Cultural Alliance

The South Jersey Cultural Alliance (SJCA)is a nonprofit organization serving artists and arts, history and cultural organizations in the eight southern counties of New Jersey. SJCA supports a vital cultural community which, in turn, transforms the southern region’s individuals and communities by improving the quality of life. SJCA provides leadership, networking opportunities, professional development, marketing, advocacy, technical assistance and other resources to over 100 cultural members. SJCA’s programs are sponsored and carried out in partnership with the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.


New Jersey State Council on the Arts

New Jersey State Council on the Arts supports, encourages, and fosters public interest in the arts; enlarges public and private resources devoted to the arts, promotes freedom of expression in the arts; and facilitates the inclusion of art in every public building.  The Council receives direct appropriations from the State of New Jersey through a dedicated, renewable Hotel/Motel Occupancy fee, as well as competitive grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. To learn more about the Council, please visit


Ocean First

The OceanFirst Foundation has been enriching lives since 1996. The foundation takes pride in helping various organizations, including local schools and charities, receive over $37 million in grants to meet community needs. The OceanFirst Foundation has established four core priorities: Housing, Youth Development and Education, Improving the Quality of Life, Health and Wellness, and the Arts.


National Consortium for Creative Placemaking

The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking is a nonprofit that believes creative placemaking can make sustainable, prosperous, equitable, inclusive, and resilient places. NCCP builds connections, capacity, and community in the field. The programs bring people from all walks of life together through webinars, summits, and trainings. NCCP strives to influence the levers of power in communities.


Noyes Museum

The Noyes Museum of Art of Stockton University offers several locations in Southern New Jersey, providing access and support to the arts and artists of the region and beyond. A source of inspiration and enjoyment for enthusiasts of the arts, from residents of the community, students and faculty of the university, to visitors to the shore and Pine Barrens, the Noyes Museum serves the entire South Jersey area.


Stockton University

The Arts and Humanities (ARHU) are thriving at Stockton University! They have a dedicated and accomplished faculty of scholars and artists who love the arts and humanities just as much as you do! The department prides itself on giving students opportunities to expand and apply their knowledge beyond the classroom. Their programs include the Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Communication Studies, Historical Studies, Languages and Culture Studies, Literature, Philosophy and Religion Studies, and American Studies.


Atlantic City Arts Foundation

The mission of the Atlantic City Arts Foundation (ACAF) is to foster an environment where diverse arts and cultural programs enrich the quality of life for residents of and visitors to Atlantic City, New Jersey. The ACAF envisions Atlantic City as a community in which residents, businesses, government, employees, and visitors value arts and culture as a means to stimulate economic development, encourage civic engagement, and promote community well-being.


Promotional Partners