COURT HOUSE - At the annual board meeting of the Coast Guard Community July 22, Freeholder Jeffrey L. Pierson was elected by the Board of Trustees to serve as the chairman of the foundation.
According to a release, Pierson replaces Freeholder Will Morey, who has served as the founding chair since 2015. He will serve a two-year term. Vicki Clark, president of the Cape May County Chamber of Commerce, was elected to serve as vice-chair, and Eli Massood was reelected as treasurer.
The Coast Guard Community Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in 2015. The mission is to nurture the relationship between members of the Coast Guard at the Training Center, in Cape May (TRACEN), and their families and the residents of Cape May County. The foundation partners with the 16 county-wide municipalities, organizations, and businesses to sponsor activities to education and foster a deeper connection between the Coast Guard and the community.
Freeholder Pierson, a retired brigadier general, has been active with the Coast Guard Community over the past five years and most recently worked on the renewal of the Coast Guard Community application to extend the designation for Cape May County to continue to be an official Coast Guard Community. The application is currently being reviewed by the Coast Guard and, upon approval from the Commandant, will be submitted to Congress for their final review.
Outgoing Chairman Will Morey congratulated his colleague on his election and is encouraged about the direction Pierson will take the foundation.
"I'm pleased that Jeff has advanced to the chairman position and am confident that he will lead the foundation into meeting its mission and goals to cultivate an even stronger relationship with the men and women of the Coast Guard and Cape May County TRACEN hometown," Morey stated.
Under Freeholder Morey's leadership, the Coast Guard Foundation has experienced continual growth and have expanded their reach throughout Cape May County.
Since the inception of the foundation and Coast Guard Community designation, they have sponsored annual Coast Guard Community festivals, held the first weekend in May. They hosted the Southern New Jersey Coast Guard Ball, in 2018 and 2019, and have sponsored family-friendly community events, such as art shows and exhibits, that showcase the history of the Coast Guard.
"It is an honor to be elected serve as the chairman of the Coast Guard Community Foundation. The work that has been done over the past five years is impressive and we should all be proud of the accomplishments made to date to acknowledge the men and women of the Coast Guard. It is so important for us, as a county, to recognize and reach out to the local Coast Guard personnel and show our appreciation to them for the service they provide to our residents, visitors, and our country.
"I can't say enough about the work that has been done under Chairman Morey, the trustees, local elected officials, and volunteers to bring this organization this far in just a few years. The events and programs have been outstanding and have highlighted the pride and the appreciation we have for those serving in the Coast Guard," stated Pierson.
The Coast Guard Community is a designation that is earned through building a relationship and acknowledging the efforts of the Coast Guard men and women and their families who are assigned to the training base, in Cape May. Cape May County first received the five-year designation, in 2015, and are anxiously awaiting the renewal of the prestigious Coast Guard community designation.
"I look forward to continuing the work of the foundation and expanding the programs and projects as we move forward. The designation as a Coast Guard community is not to be taken lightly, we have a responsibility to strengthen our relationship with the men and women of the Coast Guard and ensure them they are all welcomed members of the Cape May County community," Pierson added.