About JANJ - JA of New Jersey Staff

Name Position Email
Angela CelesteSr. Manager, Capstone
Stephanie Rae ChouProgram
Ashley DoneckerSr. Development Director
Nel EdwardsOffice
Alicia FuscoAVP, Student Leadership
Celeste HardrickSr. Program
Stephanie Karpowicz Sr. Director, Capstone
Gioia KennedySr. Manager,
Rebecca L. MamroshDevelopment
Mia MoaresManager, Capstone
Krystin PeitzDevelopment
Dawn SchwartzSVP, Development &
Christy TigheDirector, College & Career

JANJ Staff Bios

Angela Celeste
Sr. Manager, Capstone Education

Angela Celeste joined Junior Achievement in January 2015 as a JA BizTown Program Associate. She graduated from Indiana University in 2011 with a degree in International Studies and soon set off to South Korea where she lived for three years. While residing in South Korea, Angela taught English to elementary and middle school students. Angela enjoys traveling, reading, and cooking. Angela is very much looking forward to helping BizTown grow and reach more students each year.

Stephanie Rae Chou
Program Associate
After graduating with honors from Rutgers University in 2017, Stephanie Rae has assumed the role as Project Associate, holding responsibility for New Jersey’s central counties. Her passion for service can be attributed to the experiences of living in various countries throughout Europe, Africa and Asia. Starting in Ghana Stephanie was under the mentorship of Esi Sutherland-Addy who holds office as the Deputy Minister of Higher Education, and Amowi Phillips a lawyer, professor, and native of Ghana. It was here that Stephanie decided she would devote herself to the progressive, innovative, and critically important educational initiatives powered through non-profit programs. Going forward with her tenure at Junior Achievement she hopes to share her contagious passion for the love of learning and to inspire students to be capable of more than they originally thought.

Stephanie enjoys spending time at flea markets, riding her horses and reading memoirs. Other interests include re-watching Wes Anderson films, competitive card games and summertime hikes in Maine.

Ashley Donecker
Sr. Development Director

Ashley Donecker joined Junior Achievement of New Jersey (JANJ) in January 2013 to launch the new nationally recognized capstone program in the state of New Jersey. Ashley has spent more than 14 years working in the non-profit industry in the areas of programming, fundraising, marketing, and communications. Ashley began her non-profit career working with America SCORES, the nation's largest soccer, health, and literacy program serving youth in urban, low-income communities. During her tenure, she held a broad range of responsibilities including program and curriculum development, fundraising, marketing, and communications. In 2009, Ashley joined Carnegie Sports & Entertainment, an agency dedicated to cause marketing and philanthropy. As a Senior Vice President, Ashley specialized in non-profit start-up, fundraising, and marketing. Prior to joining JANJ, Ashley was the Development and Communications Manager for Minds Matter National, Inc., a college access program for accomplished, low-income high school students.

Ashley graduated from Messiah College in 2000 with a degree in Sport & Exercise Science and resides in New Jersey with her husband and two children, Noah and Haidyn.

Nel Edwards
Office Administrator

A NJ native, Nel joined JANJ in May of 2013 as the Operations Associate. As the Office Manager, she oversees the daily activities of the busy JA office. While raising her three children, she ran a small income tax practice and spent over 14 years as a Corporate Trainer at three community colleges - Middlesex County College, Mercer County Community College, and Raritan Valley Community College - teaching Workforce Development courses. The classes she taught encompassed a broad range of subjects including English as a Second Language, Pronunciation, Spanish for Managers, Basic Computer Skills, Business Writing, and Resume Writing. Concurrently she spent 7 years at Princeton Review teaching SAT Prep courses and tutoring. Nel currently works part-time for Mercer County Community College in the Excelling at Princeton program, teaching computer skills. A graduate of Rutgers College and the Graduate School of Management at Rutgers, Nel enjoys traveling, music and spending time with friends and family.

Alicia Fusco
AVP, Student Leadership Programs

Alicia Fusco is from Lawrenceville, New Jersey and began working for Junior Achievement of New Jersey in September 2005 as a program manager for Northern New Jersey. Prior to working with Junior Achievement of New Jersey she worked at Journal Register Company and Summit Bancorp in Human Resources. Alicia volunteered with JA at Journal Register Company as the lead coordinator for the JA Central Bowl-A-Thon, recruiting teams to raise funds that helped support classroom programs.

Alicia established a strong relationship with Ron Richter of Franklin High School and began the JA High School Heroes Initiative in 2007, with 30 JA High School Heroes reaching over 700 students in the Franklin Township School District. In the past school year, it has grown to include more than 200 JA High School Heroes who taught approximately 5,000 students. In 2007, Alicia also started the internship program at Junior Achievement of New Jersey, helping high school and college graduates learn skills that they can use in their future careers. Alicia has a unique and positive attitude with her contagious laugh.

Alicia currently resides in Middlesex County with her husband Anthony Fusco Jr. and her son Anthony III.

Celeste Hardrick
Sr. Program Director

Celeste Blackmon- Hardrick hails from Trenton, NJ. She began at JANJ on October 2002 as a Senior Education Manager. As a Senior Education Manager she was responsible for the internal management of the day to day operations and processes including recruitment, implementation, development and training of volunteers and educators. She also developed and cultivated the first community-based initiative in Washington Township (Gloucester County) and through this pilot was able to expand and establish strong JA High School Heroes partnerships throughout South Jersey.

As Sr. Program Director, she is responsible for implementation and management of all JA programs including daily operations and management of support staff in the southern district of New Jersey which consists of eight counties.

Celeste also brings extensive business knowledge to the program team. Prior to working at JANJ, she was a physician underwriter at MIIX Insurance Group located in Lawrenceville, NJ where her responsibilities included writing new and renewal business policies for individual and group physicians as well as preparing and presenting detailed account data for management approval for major accounts over $250,000. She was also the liaison for five major broker agencies responsible for servicing their accounts and training new hires and underwriting assistants.

She is a graduate of Hightstown High School ’80, the Cittone Business Institute ’93, and the George C. Weiss Insurance School ’02. She has since obtained a Professional Certification in Business Administration.

She currently resides in Burlington Township, NJ with her husband, David Hardrick III, and has three children, and she loves to travel.

Stephanie Karpowicz
Sr. Director, Capstone Programs

Stephanie began working with JANJ on July 16, 2012 as a Development Associate. Now, Stephanie is the Sr. Director, Capstone Programs, overseeing all program operations for JA BizTown and JA Finance Park. She graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in Environmental Policy, and a desire to work in the nonprofit sector. After graduation, Stephanie served as an AmeriCorps member at the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, assisting with volunteer coordination and client services. She has a passion for education and is proud to be a member of the Junior Achievement of New Jersey team.

Stephanie resides in Bordentown, New Jersey, and enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and cat Bowie. In her spare time, she loves to read, go to the beach and enjoy nature.

Gioia Kennedy
Sr. Manager, Programs

Gioia joined Junior Achievement in September 2015, as a Program Associate in North and Central New Jersey. Prior to joining Ja of New Jersey, she graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in History and French Cultural studies. While at university, most of her free time was spent contributing to and editing her school’s arts and culture magazine, The Rutgers Review. Through her role at Junior Achievement, Gioia looks forward to inspiring and preparing more of New Jersey’s youth to reach their full potential each and every year.

Currently, Gioia resides in Jersey City, and volunteers as the Sustainable Schools Project Lead for Sustainable Jersey City, a collaborative network of grassroots organizations dedicated to making the city a more sustainable place to live and work. In her free time, Gioia enjoys reading, traveling, and hanging out with her ever-snoozing, 13 year old cat, Tommy.

Rebecca Mamrosh
Development Associate

Rebecca Mamrosh joined Junior Achievement of New Jersey as Development Associate in October of 2017. She graduated with honors from The College of New Jersey in 2015 where she majored in Communication Studies and minored in Spanish. Prior to attending TCNJ, Rebecca earned her Associate’s in Social Sciences from Brookdale Community College as a member of the New Jersey Stars Program. She later interned at The Council of County Colleges where she worked directly with the team whom created the program that awarded her the BCC scholarship. As a student at TCNJ, Rebecca volunteered teaching English to adult ESL students and co-founded an on-campus club dedicated to assisting transfer students in their transition between colleges. Rebecca’s personal experience as a student, intern and volunteer prompted her interest in not only the non-profit sector but helping students and individuals reach their fullest potential. She looks forward to pursuing this passion at JANJ as part of the Development team.

Rebecca enjoys spending time with family, friends and her two cats Elly and Julia, reading and drinking coffee. Other interests include watching documentaries and reality TV (balance!), and, of course, eating Chipotle.

Catherine Milone

Catherine Milone, President, Junior Achievement of New Jersey (JANJ), has 26 years of business experience in the corporate and nonprofit sectors. Prior to JANJ, Catherine worked at ADP and had also served as the Vice President of Marketing for Junior Achievement of New York, where she began her post college career. In 2004, the Board of Directors representing Junior Achievement of New Jersey appointed Catherine as President, where she is charged to manage statewide operations that impact more than 68,000 students in 3,500 classrooms annually. Headquartered in Edison, she reports to the statewide Board of Directors consisting of senior-level executives.

In her tenure, Catherine and her team have turned JANJ into a thriving, fiscally-responsible nonprofit organization, and were awarded their ninth Star Award in 2016, and fourth JA USA Peak Performance Team Award in 2015. Catherine and Team received the 2014 Charles R. Hook Award, Junior Achievement USA’s most prestigious honor that recognizes an area president and staff whose professionalism and performance has promoted the growth and development of JA.

Catherine serves as Co-Chair of the Education and Workforce Development Committee for New Jersey Business and Industry Association (NJBIA), is a member of the JA USA HR Committee, and an Independent Director for the KearnyBank Foundation. Most recently, Catherine was appointed and confirmed as a Commission Member for the New Jersey State Employment and Training Commission, known as SETC.

Acknowledgements include NJBIA Leonard C. Johnson Award; NJBIZ Best 50 Women in Business; South Jersey Biz Magazine’s 25 Women to Watch; Muriel Siebert Financial Literacy Partnership of the Year Award (presented by New Jersey Coalition for Financial Education), and Christ the King Prep School (Newark) President’s Award. Catherine is a graduate of Lead New Jersey, Class of 2011.

Catherine earned her B.S. in Business and Marketing at Utica College of Syracuse University. Formerly of Rockville Centre (Long Island, NY) Catherine resides in historic Mill Hill, a community of Trenton, NJ.

Mia Moares
Manager, Capstone Programs

Mia Moares began working for JANJ in 2016 and is currently the Program Manager for the Capstone Programs. She graduated from Seton Hall University with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and has worked in various nonprofit settings throughout her career. Mia has served as an after-school program coordinator, a counselor and a residential home manager. She utilizes her interpersonal and creative skills to assist individuals in reaching their goals of self-sufficiency and has a passion for creating opportunities to help others grow and thrive. Mia is drawn to Junior Achievement because she deeply believes in financial literacy and teaching children real life skills (while having fun)! When Mia is not working, she is either hiking with her dog, Gunther, or re-watching episodes of The Office. She has a love for chit chat and connecting with students, staff and volunteers!

Krystin Peitz
SVP, Development Associate

Krysti Peitz joined Junior Achievement of New Jersey as a Development Associate in December of 2017. She graduated from The College of New Jersey in 2015 where she majored in Communication Studies and minored in Marketing. She is a member of the Communication Studies Honor Society, Lambda Pi Eta – Alpha Xi Chapter, and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. As a student at TCNJ, Krysti interned at Susan G. Komen of Central and South Jersey as a special events intern. Also, Krysti co-authored an academic journal about genetically modified organisms that was published in a special issue in Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly in April of 2017.

Krysti’s passion for working in the nonprofit sector originated in high school; she was a volunteer for the Howell Township Police Athletic League. She spent her time giving back to her community, and traveling to New Orleans to rebuild destroyed homes after Hurricane Katrina hit. She later worked for the PAL as an assistant supervisor at an elementary school site in September of 2013. Krysti looks forward to pursuing her passion for the nonprofit sector further at JANJ as a part of the development team.

In her spare time, Krysti loves to spend time with her family and friends and her three cats, Lilly, Sophie, and Mia. Her ideal day is spent on the beach, with a book and a cup of coffee (and snacks, of course)!

Dawn Schwartz
SVP, Development & Communications

Dawn Schwartz is the senior vice president of development and communications for Junior Achievement of New Jersey (JANJ), and has been working for the JA cause for 16 years. Her nonprofit career began when in college at Arizona State University serving as a volunteer instructor at a local Boys and Girls Club where she first became passionate about helping children. She then pursued a career in the nonprofit sector working for Junior Achievement of New York, first as a program manager, and later, managing various fundraising efforts.

After leaving Junior Achievement of New York, Dawn worked and consulted for other nonprofits such as ORT and JCC MetroWest in such areas as capital campaigns, annual appeals, special events, board management, business development and grant writing. Under her current leadership role with JANJ, she is responsible for managing the company’s revenue-base, three regional boards, and the communications department.

Some of Dawn’s most noteworthy accomplishments in her development career include securing JANJ’s largest contribution to date in the amount of $1M to fund the JA BizTown capstone program, which is now housed in the JA Education Center next to JA Finance Park and the company’s headquarters; creating JANJ’s signature fundraising event, the New Jersey Business Hall of Fame™, which is the state’s premier platform in recognizing top business leaders; and rolling out Women’s Future Leadership Forums for promising high school girls throughout the state, which became a nationally recognized JA event, replicated around the country.

Dawn is a graduate of Arizona State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Communications with a minor in Psychology. She grew up in Bergen County, New Jersey but now resides in Livingston with her husband David, daughter Samantha and son Nathan. To follow Dawn on LinkedIn

Christy Tighe
Director, College & Career Readiness

Christy Tighe is Director, College & Career Readiness at Junior Achievement of New Jersey. JANJ inspires and prepares New Jersey’s youth to be the next generation of leaders through real world relationships with business, government and education partners who can help them develop the entrepreneurial and financial literacy skills to succeed in the global economy. The program team reaches over 68,000 students statewide with educational programs and leadership opportunities. Christy brings extensive knowledge of the challenges facing public education and the needs of New Jersey’s students. Most recently, she worked for the New Jersey School Boards Association facilitating leadership development through regional programming for local board of education members throughout the state of New Jersey, developing and presenting informational workshops for students and volunteers alike. As a member of the Leadership New Jersey class of 2011, she helped coordinate their successful class project, “Emerging Leaders,” an inspirational mentoring conference serving over 180 high school students from across the state. She is a former member of the Greenwich Township Board of Education, PTA chairperson, and active community volunteer. Christy is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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