Women of Wonder League

Women of Wonder

2021 Women of Wonder Luncheon

Please join us on Wednesday, November 10 at The Flanders Hotel in Ocean City for the 2021 Women of Wonder Luncheon!  This charity luncheon, co-sponsored by Atlantic Cape Community College and the Cape May County Women's Commission, will honor Cape May County women who have made ongoing positive contributions in the community through their professional and volunteer work.  These superheroes selflessly go above and beyond to help others reach their full potential, support critical community endeavors, and serve as positive role models.

Do you know a Woman of Wonder?  Please take a moment to nominate a deserving woman for this pretigious award!  Atlantic Cape and the Cape May County Women's Commission are accepting nominations for this award through Friday, August 27.

For additional information about the 2021 Women of Wonder Luncheon or the nomination process, please contact Maria Kellett at mkellett@atlantic.edu or (609) 463-3670.

About the Women of Wonder Award

The Women of Wonder League℠ recognizes influential women for their outstanding and selfless dedication to helping others reach their full potential.  The Women of Wonder League℠ is committed to serving at-risk high school students by providing support and tuition assistance to attend Atlantic Cape Community College so they may transform their lives.  The League stands by the notion that building a child’s confidence in academic environments will allow them to succeed both in the classroom and in everyday life.

For more information about the Women of Wonder, please contact Maria Kellett by email at mkellett@atlantic.edu or phone at (609) 463-3670.

Previously Honored Women of Wonder

2019 Women of Wonder

Stormy Freese, Cape May County Department of Mosquito Control

Stormy Freese is the Microbiologist at the Cape May County Department of Mosquito Control where she oversees the Biosafety Level – 3 laboratory and tests mosquito collections for arboviruses. Stormy graduated from Stockton University in May 2014 and plans to pursue her master’s degree in the next few years.

Ms. Freese began her career as a seasonal laboratory assistant at the Mosquito Control in May 2014 and became a full-time employee in January 2015.  Since Stormy’s full-time career began, she has been actively involved with promoting STEM careers. She organized a Super Mosquito Scientist class for the Girl Scouts, attended several career and STEM days at Dennis and Lower Township schools, and more recently assisted two young ladies with their Girl Scout Silver Award project. 

Stormy is also actively involved with the New Jersey Mosquito Control Association (NJMCA) where she is currently serving as Secretary and participates on several committees. In 2019, she created and became the Chair of the Young Professionals Committee for NJMCA to help get new professionals more involved with the organization. She also currently serves as the Chair for the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) Young Professionals Group and organized AMCA’s Education Day in Orlando, Florida in 2018.

Karen Mahar, Ocean City Free Public Library

Karen Mahar is well known in Ocean City as a dedicated community leader and involved supporter of many local organizations.  As the Library Director of the Ocean City Free Public Library, Ms. Mahar has been instrumental in maintaining key partnerships with the City of Ocean City, the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Ocean City School District, Atlantic Cape Community College, and a variety of local businesses. 

Karen attended Villanova University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 1986 and two years later, a Master of Science in Library Science.  Karen’s long tenure of devoted service at the Ocean City Free Public Library dates back to 1989, first serving as a library page.  Over the years, Karen climbed the career ladder and served as the library director from 1993-2004.  She returned to the library in 2012 as a senior librarian and was named library director again in 2015, where she hires, trains, and supervises a library staff of over 45 employees.

Karen’s countless community-based endeavors include serving as a member of the Board of Directors for Literacy Volunteers of America, Cape-Atlantic, Inc., member of the Board of Directors of the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce, Board of Trustees member for the Friends of the Ocean City Pops, and former director of the Miss New Jersey Parade from 2014-2018.  In 2017, Karen was presented with the “Working Woman of the Year” award by the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Shirley “Becki” Wilson, Delaware River and Bay Authority Commission

Long-time Cape May County resident, Shirley “Becki” Wilson, has served as a commissioner on the Delaware River and Bay Authority Commission since her appointment in 2012.  Before that, the Temple University graduate worked as a social worker with the Division of Youth and Family Services and for 27 years as a certified school social worker and Child Study Team case manager at her high school alma mater, Lower Cape May Regional High School, where she graduated as class valedictorian in 1964.  Additionally, Ms. Wilson has worked as a local realtor since 2011 and is a co-owner of The Creative Touch, a home staging company in Southern New Jersey.

Ms. Wilson is the president and founder of Everything Is Attitude, a New Jersey non-profit corporation that provides funding for character education programs.  Becki has served as an active member of many organizations including the Atlantic/Cape May Supreme Court Committee on Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement, Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities, Concerned Citizens of Whitesboro, Inc., NAACP, Cape May County Art League, and the Board of Directors for the Center for Community Arts in Cape May.

Ms. Wilson’s state and local appointments include the NJ State Supreme Court- District I Attorney Ethics Committee, Human Services Advisory Council for Cape May County and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Commission.

 Vicki Clark Head Shot - Atlantic Cape

Vicki T. Clark, IOM
President, Cape May County Chamber of Commerce

Vicki Clark is the President of the Cape May County Chamber of Commerce, a position she has held for the past 14 years.  Prior to that, she served as the Chamber’s Marketing and Membership Director for 13 years.  She oversees the daily business operations, advocacy positions, and membership programs with a staff of 4 year round and 2 seasonal employees. 

Clark holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from VA Tech in Marketing Management and is a graduate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Organization Management as well as both the classic Dale Carnegie Course and Dale Carnegie Sales Training.

She is President of the New Jersey Tourism Industry Association, serves on the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the Board of the New Jersey Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (NJACCES), the Atlantic Cape Community College Foundation Board, and served on the Lower Cape May Regional Board of Education for eleven years. 

In 2016 she became a founding member of the Business Alliance for the Protection of the Atlantic Coast and currently serves as the organizations first President.  In July 2018, Clark became a member of Court Appointed Special Advocates of Atlantic and Cape May Counties.

She and her husband Bruce have three married children and five grandchildren.

E. Marie Hayes

Biography

Freeholder Responsibilities: Board of Elections, County Clerk/Adjuster, Culture and Heritage, Fare Free Transportation, Library, Museum, Park/Zoo, Print Shop, Surrogate, Tax Board and Tourism & Public Information

Freeholder Liaison: Advisory Commission on the Status of Women, Chamber of Commerce, Culture and Heritage Commission, Jersey Shore Partnership, Library Commission, New Jersey Association of Counties - 1st Alternate, Ocean City Chamber of Commerce, Park Advisory Board, Tax Board, Member - Atlantic Cape School Board of Estimate, Member - Special Services School Board of Estimate and Member - Technical School Board of Estimate

Biography: E. Marie Hayes was sworn-in on February 1, 2013 to fill the unexpired term of M. Susan Sheppard, Esq. on the Board of Chosen Freeholders. Hayes was re-elected in November 2014 to her first three year term and will serve until December 31, 2016.

In late 1970's, Marie was hired by the Cape May County Prosecutor's Office as an Investigator. During the majority of her career, she was assigned to Child Abuse and Sexual Assault Investigations. She rose through the ranks being promoted to Sergeant of Detectives to Lieutenant of Detectives, retiring as Captain of Detectives in 2009.

Hayes received her Associate Degree from Atlantic Cape Community College, where until this year; she was an Adjunct Professor teaching Criminal Investigation. Hayes received a Bachelor Degree in Human Services, with a concentration in Criminal Justice from Thomas Edison State College and is a 1996 graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia.

Hayes resides in Ocean City with Lloyd, her husband of 32 years, and their son Lloyd. Also, she has two grown daughters, Megan and Danielle, a son-in-law Vince and six grandchildren.

 

The 2013 Woman of Wonder, Noel R. Hiers, is the director of School Based Youth Services at Cape May County Technical High School. Noel began to build this vibrant school program in 2006…from scratch. Now, Cape May Tech has a meaningful program with outstanding counseling services for all its students. The multi-focus program includes activities like field trips, student clubs and support groups like the diabetes support club and the GLBT club, among others.

The school based youth services program has become one of the most highly valued, highly utilized programs of the school. In others words, this super hero built a world of good from literally nothing.

Some of the outcomes from this super hero's unsung work have been building tolerance for all, creating a sense of community for the diverse group of students attending tech, and a safe haven for students when they are at their most vulnerable moments.

Noel Hiers

Noel Hiers, Director, School Based Youth Services at Cape May Tech High School.

Whether it is at noon on a school day or midnight on a weekend - Martina Singleton is there when you need her! Martina is employed by the Coalition Against Rape and Abuse - CARA - as the Sexual Assault Program Director. But that is just her cover story for her life of heroic actions. She has not only risen up from her own personal history of abuse, she helps to raise our children up out of their situations of abuse and helps them learn to cope with the life altering consequences of violence. For her support, love and work with the COMPACT students, Martina takes her place in the WOW Hall of Fame.

Atlantic Cape WOW EVENT 10-26-11

Tracey Staab, principal COMPACT, Martina Singleton, recipient, and Amanda Paris, former COMPACT student.

 

Myra Belasco, Counselor, Lower Cape May Regional School District exemplifies an unsung super-hero among us who quietly and without much fan fare is making a huge difference in the lives of our at-risk children. Myra works closely with Cape Educational COMPACT to recommend and support students from her high school to the program. According to her nominator, she consistently goes above and beyond in supporting her COMPACT students. Myra's dedication earned her a place in the WOW Hall of Fame.

WOW Event

Vicki Clark, Foundation VP, Diane McKoy, Foundation President, Myra Belasco, recipient, Tracey Staab, COMPACT, Freeholder Sue Sheppard, Dr. Pat Gentile