HOPEWELL VALLEY: Candidates for local offices introduce themselves

By Ruth Luse, Managing Editor
   The names of the following candidates for seats on the three local governing bodies will appear on Nov. 8 general election ballots.
   In Hopewell Township, two seats (three-year terms) on the Hopewell Township Committee will be filled. The four candidates for the two seats are (in alphabetical order):
    — Todd Brant (Republican) has over 20 years experience in marketing research and strategic consulting, specializing in evaluation of marketing programs and resource allocation, for Fortune 100 companies. He has built a reputation “as a problem solver, continuously searching for innovative ways to create and enhance value for his clients.” He works in Global Director Syndicated Research and Market Sciences at Pfizer in the Nutrition Business Unit, focusing in emerging markets. He started his professional career with Nielsen Marketing Research in Stamford, Connecticut, where he spent 15 years “providing insights and guidance to clients on advertising and marketing effectiveness.” He rose to the position of group director, Toronto office, managing the Canadian team in a North American relationship with Kraft Foods. He has since been vice president, Advanced Analytics — Healthcare vertical for Information Resources, Inc., and later as vice president with Marketing Management Analytics.
   He is a member of the Hopewell Township Planning Board and on the Board of Directors for Pennington Presbyterian Nursery School, serving as treasurer. In addition, he previously served as a representative on the Hopewell Elementary School’s PAC. He resides with his wife, Paula, and their three children, two daughters who attend Hopewell Elementary School, and son who attends Pennington Presbyterian Nursery School. He has a bachelor’s degree in marketing/MIS from Clarkson University and an MBA from Auburn University.
    — Allen Cannon (Democrat) is a 25-year Army veteran. He served his country with honor in Afghanistan, Iraq, Grenada, Czechoslovakia, South Korean, the European borders and Desert Storm I and II. He was serving at the Pentagon during 9/11. In his long career as an Army program officer, laboratory manager and management analyst, he received the Meritorious Service Medal, four Commendation Medals, 10 Achievement Medals, and the New Jersey Military Service Award, the highest military award given by the State of New Jersey.
   He managed 40 Casualty Affairs Centers, overseeing over 3,000 case files as well as administering $50 million in benefits to family members of deceased soldiers. He planned and directed quality assurance policies, programs and initiatives for the Army’s Wounded Warrior Program. He supervised and coordinated more than 60 Army personnel in an operations center dealing with highly sensitive military information.
   He is chief operations officer for Mary Thomas, Inc., which provides childcare, early education and special programs for children from 6 months to 5 years. He is married and lives in Titusville.
    — Ashley Kerr (Republican) is an environmental scientist, with experience in consulting and nonprofit management. Much of her time as a consultant was spent securing and managing USEPA Brownfields grants for various counties in Hawaii. The Brownfields program “is set up to identify potentially contaminated sites, and then rate them in terms of community redevelopment.”
   She graduated from Hawaii Pacific University in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in environmental science. Then, in 2008, she pursued a master’s degree at the University of Hawaii in the field of natural resource and environmental management. She is a 2003 graduate of Hopewell Valley Central High School, and after graduation served in Alaska as a Habitat for Humanity Global Village volunteer. While growing up in Titusville, she was a member of the Children of the American Revolution Association. She returned to the Valley in 2009 to stay at home with her young son.
    — Vanessa Sandom (incumbent Democrat) first joined the Hopewell Township Committee two weeks after 9/11 when she was appointed to an unexpired term of a committee member. During her tenure on the Township Committee, she has served as liaison to Public Works, Traffic and Safety, Board of Health, Planning and Zoning, Affordable Housing, Environmental Commission, Historic Preservation Commission, Agricultural Preservation and Open Space Preservation committees.
   She served as mayor in 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.
   As a retired Fortune 100 executive, she has 15 years general management experience at General Electric, Johnson and Johnson and Travelers Insurance in areas such as operations, human resources, marketing and venture capital.
   She has a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Connecticut and a master’s degree in public and private management from Yale University. She and her husband have lived in the township for 25 years with their two sons, both away in college.
   In Pennington, there is one race for an unexpired term on Pennington Borough Council. The two candidates for that one seat are (in alphabetical order):
    — Dina Dunn (incumbent Democrat) is a stay-at-home mother. She has lived in the borough for over 10 years with husband, David, and two sons, 7 and 4. She has served as a member of the Pennington Parks and Recreation Commission for several years. She has been a member of the Pennington Historical Society and a volunteer at Pennington Day. She is a Toll Gate room parent, volunteer, co-producer of the PTO Directory, and guest instructor for the science enrichment program. She also assisted in the recent analysis of the NJASK test score data that was presented to the Hopewell Valley superintendent. At St. Matthew’s nursery school, she is a member of the board of directors and finance committee. As an appointed member of Pennington Borough Council, she is a member of the Public Works, Finance, and Historic Preservation committees.
   She spent 14 years as a scientist in the areas of cancer research and drug discovery. She worked at the Genetics Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, after graduating from Pennsylvania State University with a bachelor’s degree in biology/physiology. She also pursued courses in molecular biology at Harvard University’s extension program. After accepting a laboratory managerial and research position at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Biomedical Research Facility, she continued to take courses at the University of Pittsburgh in economics and other business-related fields. She returned to Boston to assist in the set up of a High Throughput Screening facility for AppliedBiosystems. She transitioned to role as a scientific product manager with worldwide responsibilities for several cellular assay technologies and instrumentation.
    — Eva Kaplan (Republican) has represented New Jersey on the Presidential Roundtable in Washington D.C. She also has been involved as: coordinator of NJ State House and other tributes to Raoul Wallenberg; designer and coordinator of events for New Jersey Arts for the Handicapped; member of Soroptimists International; conference developer for The Association for Humanistic Psychology; designer of regional ecumenical events; co-organizer of Parents of Children with Learning Disabilities; consultant for Gifted and Talented Education; chairwoman of Children’s Entertainment (Pennington Day); key presenter for Trenton Computer Festival since 1976; and member of Pennington Business and Professional Association. She has been on the faculty of Mercer County Community College and The College of New Jersey.
   She earned a bachelor’s degree from Hunter College and a master’s degree in interrelated arts from NYU and took course work at Rider University. As founder and director of Computers + Kids, her endeavors have been recognized in Who’s Who in Science and Engineering and in Who’s Who in U.S. Executives. She is the mother of three and grandmother of six. She has resided in Pennington Borough for 17 years.
   CANDIDATES who are running uncontested in Pennington Borough are:
    — Tony Persichilli (incumbent Democrat) is seeking re-election as mayor (four-year term). He and his wife have been residents of Pennington since 1977. After graduating from Rider University with a bachelor’s degree in secondary education, he taught seventh grade before returning to Rider for an MBA in marketing. He still holds an active teaching certificate. He retired from AT&T in 1999 and then worked for five years as a vice president of human resources at Prudential Financial. His career has been “devoted to promoting and leveraging human capital, skills and capabilities within larger organizations.”
   He has been mayor of Pennington since 2007 and previously served as a member of the Pennington Borough Council (from 2005). During his two years as a councilman, he served as the chairman of the Personnel Committee, a member of the Public Safety and Parking committees, liaison to the Shade Tree and Pennington Business & Professional Association committees, and participated in contract negotiations with employee unions. He represented the borough during budget negotiations with the school board.
   In his retirement, he has helped raise funds for St. Francis Medical Center, Catholic Charities and the American Heart Association.
    — Glen Griffiths (incumbent Democrat) is seeking one of two open seats (three-year term) on Borough Council. He was appointed to council in 2008 and was chairman of the Finance Committee. He was elected to council in 2009.
   A self-employed businessman, he is a graduate of DePaul University, Chicago, with a bachelor’s degree in new business planning. He formed Patient Relationship Marketing, Inc. in 2004 to serve the pharmaceutical and managed care industries. The firm helps patients with chronic disease lead a high quality of life by providing information tailored to each patient’s needs. He also has worked for Procter & Gamble (international sales and brand management), Johnson & Johnson (vice president strategic promotion and advanced communication); and Publicis Healthcare Group (Nelson Communications, Inc., (company group chairman of Nelson Communications, Inc. from 1998-2004).
    — Edwin Weed Tucker (incumbent Democrat) is seeking his fourth three-year term on Pennington Borough Council. A former mayor and three-term council member, he has been a Pennington resident for about 55 years. Now retired, he has been a fundraising consultant and grant writer with The Canon Group and Edwin W, Tucker & Associates and director of Corporations and Foundations/Corporate Communications for The Lawrenceville School’s $132 million capital campaign.
   He was executive secretary and general manager of the New Jersey Press Association and secretary of the New Jersey Press Foundation directing daily operations while also serving as lobbyist and chief spokesman for the statewide newspaper trade association. He rose though the ranks from reporter to second in command as assistant general manager, business manager, and associate editor of The Princeton Packet, Inc. He also was an adjunct instructor in journalism at Rutgers University. A graduate of Hobart College, he served as an Army newspaper editor and as an overseas correspondent with the U.S. Army in Korea. He has held leadership positions in many professional and civic organizations, including the Newspaper Association Managers, Inc., Pennington Jaycees, the Hopewell Valley Democratic Club, and the Pennington Point Condominium Association.
   He lives at Pennington Point with Beverly, his wife of more than 50 years. They have a grown son and two grandchildren.
   CANDIDATES who are running uncontested in Hopewell Borough are:
    — Paul Anzano (incumbent Democrat) has been mayor since 2008. He is seeking re-election to a four-year term. He was a member of council from 2005-2007. He is a practicing attorney (since 1995) and partner with Pringle Quinn Anzano. He has served as a special deputy commissioner at the New Jersey Department of Insurance and as counsel to the State Senate. He has been the president of the Glen Afton Civic Association of Trenton; a Democratic County Committee member from Trenton’s West Ward and the president of the Brain Injury Association of New Jersey. He is married to Christine O’Brien. They have two daughters, Bridget and Maeve.
    — Robert Lewis (incumbent Republican) is seeking re-election to a three-year term on Hopewell Borough Council. Raised in Rocky Hill, he attended the Montgomery School system. He has lived on West Broad Street in the borough for more than 12 years. He is a computer network administrator by day and a musician by night. He is the father of four children (Michael, Amy, Lloyd and John) and has been married to Jan for over 25 years.
    — Schuyler Morehouse (incumbent Republican) is seeking re-election to another three-year term on council. He was born in Morristown. A process automation engineer, he is founder and owner of Morehouse Engineering, Inc. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, he has served on the Hopewell Board of Fire Commissioners and as a member of the board for the Stony Brook Regional Sewerage Authority. As an engineer, he has worked with the FIRST robotics program at Hopewell Valley Central High School.