The Greater Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce has announced seven new members to its board of directors, including a representative of Ørsted wind energy and two leaders at Stockton University.
The new members are Dr. Leamor Kahanov, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Stockton University and Brian Kowalski, General Counsel at Stockton University; Barbara DeMarco, Governmental Affairs Consultant and Vice President at Porzio Governmental Affairs; Matt Levinson, AtlantiCare Government relations Officer and Corporate Director of Real Estate and Construction; Tom Suthard, Stakeholder Relations Lead at Ørsted; Derrick Benns, Senior Vice President for the Southern New Jersey Market in Business Banking at Bank of America; and Jake Perskie, a partner at Fox Rothschild LLP.
Each new member brings their talent to help support the work of the chamber which is to create a favorable economic climate with meaningful services for the business community.
Dr. Kahanov serves as the Chief Academic Officer for Stockton University, where she oversees seven academic schools and all academic support services for nearly 10,000 full- and part-time students.
Professionally, she served as an Athletic Trainer for several institutions as well as the Olympics. She earned a Bachelor in Exercise Science and Athletic Training from Indiana University; a Master of Science in Exercise and Sports Sciences from the University of Arizona and a Doctorate in Education, Curriculum, and Instruction from the University of San Francisco.
Dr. Kahanov completed the Institute for Management and Leadership in Education at Harvard University.
Kowalski is an experienced General Counsel with extensive higher education and law firm experience.
Kowalski is responsible for managing all legal matters for Stockton University and providing legal services to the President, the Board of Trustees, Cabinet officials, Deans, administration, faculty, and staff.
He serves as a strategic thought partner to the President, the Board of Trustees, and the Cabinet on institutional objectives and priorities.
DeMarco looks forward to providing public service as a Board Member and Co-Chair of the Greater Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce Policy and Economic Development Committee.
A native of Hammonton, her family owned one of Ocean Spray’s largest and most successful cranberry farms.
Since 1997, she has lobbied and advocated for farm families and farmland preservation through her work with the equine and livestock industries. She made herself available to the New Jersey Farm Bureau when strong advocacy was needed to preserve South Jersey’s agrarian interests.
DeMarco, a seasoned public affairs professional, specializes in gaming, education, technology, and agricultural policy as well as procurement and corporate development.
She has been a keynote speaker and author on the issue of women in atypical professions and mentors young women entering the realm of policy and politics.
DeMarco advocates for education reform and school choice and chaired the New Jersey School Choice and Education Reform Alliance subcommittees on preschool education and special education.
In 2019, she was the business development lead on a project that resulted in the opening of a world-class data center for gaming-related interests within the Atlantic City Convention Center. The project was done in a public/private partnership with the New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority and her client, Continent 8 Technologies.
In September, Continent 8 Technologies plans to open its “Mobile Data Center” (MDC) adjacent to the current structure. The new addition will provide additional capacity and will help keep Atlantic City the leading “host” for regulated internet gaming and sports wagering in the United States.
She received the Spirit of The Arc Award for her work with individuals with special needs.
Resolve of New Jersey named DeMarco the Spirit of Resolve Award recipient for her advocacy on behalf of couples struggling to start a family.
She previously served as Commissioner of the Mercer County Improvement Authority.
Levinson is an experienced Chief Executive Officer with a history of working in the government administration industry, casino industry, and construction.
He served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission from 2012 to 2017.
Levinson also was Chief Financial Officer for SOSH Architects in Atlantic City from 2006 to 2012 and Chief Operating Officer for Cirignano Contracting Inc. from 2018 to 2019.
Levinson is a graduate of Villanova University and holds a degree in Accounting and Finance and Thomas Edison State University where he obtained a Master of Business Administration.
He is a graduate of Mainland Regional High School in Linwood.
Suthard has been with Ørsted since August 2021 and previously served as Chief of Staff to State Senator Chris A. Brown for more than 9 years.
Suthard also served as Chief of Staff to Assemblymen John Amodeo and Vincent Polistina and Chief of Staff for Assemblyman Jack Gibson.
He was Executive Director of the Atlantic County Republican Committee from 2006 to 2007.
Benns is Senior Vice President for the Southern New Jersey Market in Business Banking at Bank of America.
In this role, Derrick manages a Portfolio of Business Banking clients with $5 million to $50 million in annual revenues.
He is responsible for leading a team of specialists focused on understanding each client’s unique needs, to deliver strategic financial guidance and solutions.
With more than 20 years of experience, Derrick joined Bank of America in 2021. He also spent 16 years at the New Jersey Economic Development Authority as the Director of Business Banking.
Derrick has volunteered with several nonprofit organizations focused on hunger, including New Jersey Farmers Against Hunger.
He served as president of recreation soccer and as a youth coach at Mount Laurel United Soccer Association.
Derrick is a U.S. Army veteran.
He holds an Associate of Arts and Sciences in Business Administration and Management from Rowan College at Burlington County.
Perskie is a partner at Fox Rothschild LLP. based out of the firm’s Atlantic City Office.
Jake is a skilled litigator and business counselor who represents clients across the country in diverse industries, including gaming, real estate, technology, construction, retail, action sports, media, and professional services. He has experience representing private equity-backed ventures.
He serves on the boards of the New Jersey Affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, The Leadership Studio, and the Boys and Girls Club of Atlantic City.
Perskie also serves as pro bono counsel to the Atlantic City Arts Foundation, Skate AC, Inc., and the South Jersey Boardriders. An alum of the University of Pennsylvania, Jake earned his law degree from the University of Miami School of Law.
He graduated magna cum laude before serving as a law clerk to New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Roberto A. Rivera-Soto.
About the Greater Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce:
Since 1914, the Greater Atlantic City Chamber has provided the local business community with meaningful services to create a favorable economic climate. The Chamber works together to foster growth in the region’s economy and create a higher quality of life. Visit acchamber.com for more information.