Council President deJong Biography
Heather deJong is the Community Relations Specialist for Meals on Wheels of Ocean County, a non-profit organization which is driven by a passionate belief that senior citizens deserve to lead happy, healthy and above all, meaningful lives while remaining in their own homes. Meals on Wheels is More than Meals and offers Ocean County seniors home delivered meals, the Community Café (onsite meals), benefit screenings, nutrition and health education, recreational and social activities as well as wellness checks and reassurances.
In this role, Ms. deJong is responsible for all fund-raising initiatives, including grant procurement. As Community Relations Specialist, Ms. deJong out in the community talking Ocean County seniors about all that Meals on Wheels has to offer. She is also involved in cultivating corporate and government relationships with local, state, and federal representatives.
Ms. deJong is in her third term as a member of the Township Council and she currently serves as Chair of the Business & Finance Committee as well as a member of the Recreation and Land Use Committees. She is also the Council Liaison to the Brick Township Chamber of Commerce, Brick Township Housing Authority, and the Mayor’s Senior Advisory Committee.
As Chair of the Business & Finance Committee, Councilwoman deJong works with Mayor Ducey and maintain stable taxes, continue to pay down debt and keep the Brick on a strong fiscal footing. Recently, she was appointed by the Mayor to the Electric Vehicle Committee which will oversee the Townships plan to begin using electric vehicles along with the integration of charging stations at various locations for the publics use. This committee’s goal is to steadily implement the use of these vehicles while utilizing grant money and programs for municipal governments. She also is an advocate for the Buy in Brick Property Tax Rebate Program and looks for ways to help promote revitalization and growth of small businesses within the Township.
Councilwoman deJong enjoys her work on the Brick Township Council and looks forward working with the Mayor and her fellow Councilmembers in continuing to make Brick Better.
Council Vice President Zapcic Biography
Andrea Zapcic is currently employed as Prevention Director for the New Jersey Prevention Network, where she oversees evidence-based substance use prevention services including Tobacco Free for a Healthy NJ, IMPACT NJ Coalition focused on marijuana/cannabis and tobacco, a Military Program for military personnel and their families, and WISE (Wellness Initiative for Senior Education) which is a nationally recognized evidence based program developed by NJPN and implemented across NJ and the US. Through a collaborative process, NJPN provides training and technical assistance to the Regional Prevention Coalitions across the state, and is supporting the establishment of a network of Prevention Hubs hosted by prevention agencies delivering services in each county. She has over 20 years’ experience in the field of substance use prevention and nearly 15 years working as a municipal recreation professional in Brick and in Rahway.
Andrea is a graduate of Monmouth University with a BA Communications. She is a Certified Recreation Administrator, has certificates in Volunteer Management and Human Services Management from Rutgers School of Social Work which included coursework in personnel issues, grant preparation and long-range strategic planning, and is a 2001 graduate of Leadership Shore, a year-long program designed to cultivate public sector leaders by exposing them to all aspects of community development. She and her husband Bill have lived in Brick for 33 years, where they raised their two children, Erin, 38 and Ian, 35.
Andrea chairs the Recreation Committee, is the liaison to the Brick Municipal Anti-Drug Coalition (BMAC) and sits on the Public Safety and Business and Finance committees. She has also served on the Economic Development, Public Works and Land Use committees.
Councilman Albanese Biography
Councilman Ambrosino Biography
Councilman Ambrosino is a lifelong resident of Brick, being raised here by his parents (who are still residents). He graduated from Brick Township High School and after leaving for a few years to attend college and start his career within the technology and software industries, he returned, with wife Kat to raise their young family. Their kids – Harper, Portia and Leo – attend Brick public schools.
Councilman Ambrosino is active in local groups and youth activities, including sports and the PTA, and as a parent is committed to making sure Brick is a great place to raise kids. Like most of our local community, he cares about preserving the Shore and has served as a Captain for Beach Sweeps and with Clean Ocean Action. He has served on the Board of Commissioners as Assistant Secretary/Treasurer for the Brick Township Municipal Utility Authority.
Councilman Ambrosino believes that, first and foremost, effective municipal government requires diligent fiscal responsibility, so that we can continue to deliver services that our community needs. He is a strong proponent of supporting our outstanding Police Department, supporting local businesses, providing services to our senior citizens, improving our parks and public spaces and sponsoring public events such as Summerfest, Farmers Market and Trader’s Cove Concerts that make Brick a fantastic community. He is committed to continuing the policy of transparency and the cost-effective approach to delivering services to Brick residents that Mayor John Ducey and the Town Council have demonstrated over the past eight years. Together with the community, we can continue to build on past achievements, and keep Brick “on the right track”.
Councilman Minichino Biography
Vincent Minichino is a lifelong Ocean County resident and has lived in Brick since 1989. He is the proud father of two grown children, both of whom graduated from Brick Memorial High School, and is a devoted grandfather.
Council President Minichino began his professional career 30 years ago as a Teamster for Local #102 in Springfield. In the past three decades he served as Shop Steward, Chief Steward and Vice President. Over the past three decades, he has risen through the ranks, understanding the challenges that come with effective management and encouraging environments that support employees and management.
He currently is the Business Agent and is an executive Board member for Teamsters Local # 469. As a business agent, Minichino negotiates contracts for both the private and public sector and has an intimate knowledge of workforce issues, personnel matters and workplace standards.
Council President Minichino has a long history of volunteerism and community service. He has completed incipient fire training at the Middlesex County Fire Academy and was a core member of a first response team in a chemical facility in Fords section of Woodbridge. His comes from a military family with generations of service as volunteer firefighters.
His love for Brick Township’s recreation programs and youth activities stems from his time coaching his son and other Brick children for Brick American Little League.
Aside from community programs for our families, Council President Minichino is also completely dedicated to supporting and serving members of the military, particularly veterans and disabled veterans. He has ridden with Brick American Legion Post 348 Legion riders for a host of Charity rides to support their efforts.
His passion is ensuring our disabled veterans have resources and support to live independently and with honor. He is committed to providing military families with programs and services to help them and supports the Township’s request to be the new home for a VA Hospital.
As a local guy who has lived in Brick most of his life, Council President Minichino supports local businesses that have become an essential part of our community. He supports the Vacant Storefront incentive and is a big supporter for mom and pop stores that are so essential to Brick Township.
Councilwoman Pontoriero Biography
Councilwoman Marianna C. Pontoriero, Esq. was born in Belleville, New Jersey. She resided briefly in Newark, New Jersey and was raised by parents Giuseppe and Susan Pontoriero in Colonia, New Jersey with her siblings, Anthony Pontoriero and Susan Pontoriero, Esq.
Marianna attended St. Cecelia’s grade school in Iselin, New Jersey and Bishop Ahr High School in Edison, New Jersey. Marianna went on to attend Adelphi University in Long Island, New York and graduated Cum Laude with a degree in Psychology and Minor in German. Marianna then attended Rutgers University School of Law and graduated in 1998. She was a Law Clerk to the now retired Hon. Anthony J. Mellaci, Jr., J.S.C.
Marianna now practices law with her sister, Susan Pontoriero, Esq. at the Pontoriero Law Firm located in Brick, New Jersey, where she specializes in family law. She serves as an Early Settlement Panelist, Certified Economic Mediator, and Guardian Ad Litem for children in divorce, as well as a Parenting Coordinator and Law Guardian for children. Marianna also serves as the Chairperson of the District IIIA Supreme Court of New Jersey Fee Arbitration Committee, is a member of the Family Law Committee, the Women’s Committee, the Scholarship Committee, is a member of the Ocean County Superior Court Board of Trustees, a member of the American Bar Association, Member of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts and the Trial Lawyers of America. Her specialty is advocating for the needs of children in high conflict divorces.
Marianna is a first generation Italian American and is extremely proud of her Italian American Heritage. She is also a member of UNICO, an organization of Italian Americans focusing on service to the community. She and her family march every year in the annual Columbus Day Parade.
Marianna has been awarded the Greater Women of Central New Jersey Business Woman of the Year (2005) along with the Brick PAL of the year award. The Pontoriero Law Firm has also been a main event sponsor for the Stronger Than The Storm car show every year in Brick, which benefits the Monmouth/Ocean Food Banks.
Marianna gives back to the community by serving as Vice President of Harbor House which provides care for the area’s homeless and abused youth. She also volunteers as a Mock Trial Judge for the annual Vincent J. Apruzzese Mock Trial Competition in Ocean County and has done so since 2004. She also regularly mentors local youth with an interest in law and has provided some of our local youth with internships in her law office. She is a business supporter of both school and recreation teams in Brick as well.
In her personal life, Marianna has resided in Brick for nearly twelve years. Marianna has been a foster parent for ten (10) years, taking in homeless and abused children. She resides with her wife, Crystal, and their three children, Antonio, Bella and Lola along with their pet dogs, Sergio and Louie, and cats, Mazzie and Snickers. Her family are members of St. Dominic’s Church in Brick, where their son, Antonio, attends school.
Councilwoman Travers' Biography
Melissa Travers is a resident of Brick and Registered Nurse at Jersey Shore Medical Center.
Melissa is a young mom and health care professional. Melissa brings a lot of fresh ideas to enhance the great services already being offered in Brick Township to children and families.
Melissa and her husband, Ryan, live in the Herbertsville area with their two boys, Will, age 7, and Bruce, age 5, both of whom are students in the Brick School System. The educational experience in Brick Township is exceptional, and goes hand-in-hand with the Township’s efforts to offer recreation programming and refurbished parks.
Melissa was first inspired to get involved in public service several years ago when her son needed medical attention after choking. The response by the first responders from the Brick Township Police Department saved his life. The caring and compassion shown by the Brick Police Department’s first responders was equally exceptional and inspired her to look to ways to give back to the community.
Melissa has been a registered nurse for 12 years, is finishing her Master’s Degree in nursing and is on the Family Nurse Practitioner tract, which she expects to complete this October.
As a health care professional, Melissa plans to get involved in the Mayor’s Wellness Campaign and will be an active participant in recreation programs and activities that benefit Brick Township’s youth.
Her Council responsibilities will include serving on both the Recreation and Public Works Committees. In this role, Melissa will play an important part in continuing to develop programming and plan events for Brick Township families. The Recreation Committee will continue to take the lead on investing in a series of park renovation projects. Under the Committee’s guidance, the Township renovated Bernie Cooke Park, one of the few skateboard parks in Ocean County. The Committee also spearheaded the renovation of Bayside Park, a beautiful bayfront park on the Barrier Island. The Committee is now working on plans for a bicycle/scooter park at Emma Havens, and is expecting to break ground this spring on the renovation of Cedar Bridge Manor Park.
She will also focus on infrastructure in the Public Works setting, making sure the sanitation and recycling needs of the Township are met and that the staff has the necessary manpower equipment to care for our roads and stormwater system. She will be involved in developing a 5-year capital plan to ensure the acquisition and maintenance of equipment needed for sanitation, recycling and the road crew. The Public Works Committee is currently developing a Master Site Plan to upgrade the facilities at Public Works, including the construction of a Vehicle Wash Station to properly collect runoff from all of our equipment.
Brick Township is a great place to raise a family with a variety of outdoor parks and recreational activities that make this community a great place to live. From Herbertsville Park, to hikes, to Brick Beach and Windward beach in the summer, Melissa and her family have enjoyed, and continue to enjoy, all that Brick Township has to offer.
The Township Council is the governing body of the township and serves as the legislative branch. As the legislative body, the Township Council plays an integral role in the operations of the government. Functions of the Council include but are not limited to the review and approval of the Mayor’s Annual Budget, the advice and consent of Mayoral appointments, the enacting of Township ordinances and resolutions, the appointment of the Township Clerk and appointments to the Brick Township Municipal Utility and Housing Authorities.
The Township Council approves all expenditures by the township.