Distinguished Foundation Board Members

About the President's Distinguished Foundation Board Member Award

Since 2011, Atlantic Cape has annually presented the President’s Distinguished Foundation Board Member Award to a current or past member of the board who has demonstrated leadership, advocacy and support on behalf of the college and its students.  This special recognition serves as a token of appreciation for the hard work and dedication of Foundation board members that strive to do all they can to support Atlantic Cape Community College and its students, staff, and faculty.

Meet Our Distinguished Foundation Board Members

Ed Blake of Ventnor was recognized as the 2022 President’s Distinguished Foundation Board Member for his years of dedicated service to Atlantic Cape Community College. 

Blake was a Restaurant Gala Committee member from 1985 to 2020 and served on the Foundation Board from 2006 until 2008, a time when the Foundation engaged in planning its first capital campaign and continued to grow the Restaurant Gala.

Blake’s other service ventures include Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City, A.C.O.R.A. (Just for Kids), Seashore Gardens Foundation, Workforce Investment Board, Chaine des Rotisseurs and Epicurean Society of Southern New Jersey.

Atlantic City resident and philanthropist Gary Hill received the 2021 President’s Distinguished Foundation Board Member Award for his years of service and contributions that have supported the college and the Foundation’s mission of providing access to a quality, affordable education for students.

Hill served as a Foundation Trustee from 1995-1997 and an Atlantic Cape Board Trustee from 1996-1997. He was previously named an honoree for the 2006 annual Restaurant Gala.

Hill is involved in many organizations throughout Atlantic City. He is the co-founder of the Schultz-Hill Foundation, which promotes and supports arts, history, and education in South Jersey, as well as the Metropolitan Business and Citizens Association, a nonprofit civic and business organization.

Atlantic Cape Community College Foundation awarded Mr. Thomas “FX” Cakert with the 2019 Distinguished Foundation Board of Trustees in June 2019. Mr. Cakert served the Foundation Board as Vice President and Treasurer for 11 years from September 1989 to November 2000. Mr. Cakert’s earliest critical fiscal accomplishment was forming a committee to determine the types of
investment accounts in which the Foundation should invest its assets to grow from events such as the Restaurant Gala and golf tournaments, as well as annual gifts and endowments.

Diane Donio, Atlantic Cape class of 1983, served on the Foundation Board of Trustees from 2008 to 2017 in various capacities including as the chairwoman of the Alumni Committee and guiding the annual process of selecting the President’s Distinguished Alumni.  She also served on the Ad-Hoc By-Laws Committee in 2008, in addition to many years as a member of the Restaurant Gala Committee.

Donio’s connection to Atlantic Cape Community College is deep as her late husband, Samuel Donio, was one of the original members of the college’s Board of Trustees.

After obtaining her bachelor’s  in psychology at Stockton University, Donio became a social worker and worked for the Mental Health Association in Camden. 


Stephen Nehmad graduated from Atlantic Community College (now Atlantic Cape Community College) in 1968.  While in attendance at ACC, Steve played for the baseball team as a third baseman.  He remains active with Atlantic Cape's baseball team and is currently serving as a key member of the Baseball Field Restoration Planning Committee.

After attending Atlantic Cape, Steve went on to attend Temple University's School of Law.  After graduating from law school, Steve and his wife Dianne, a fellow graduate of Atlantic Cape, reestablished their roots in the community, raising two sons and being active in local organizations and initiatives.  They have resided in Egg Harbor Township continuously since 1978. 

Steve is an executive board member of the Atlantic Cape Community College Foundation, serving as the non-profit’s secretary.  Steve also serves on the board for the HERO Campaign for Designated Drivers and was actively involved in establishing the Egg Harbor Township Nature Reserve.

Steve is a member of the law firm of Nehmad Perillo Davis & Goldstein with offices in Egg Harbor Township and Avalon.  He is widely recognized throughout New Jersey as one of the leading attorneys in land use and real estate development law. 

Steve and Dianne have remained committed to Atlantic Cape and have awarded scholarships in memory of Dianne’s mother, Catherine F. McGowan, every year to current students at the college.

Matthew D. Moeller is a life-long resident of South Jersey who began his professional career as a business teacher at Audubon High School. He then continued his career in the real estate business, serving as Director and Senior Adjunct Instructor of the Real Estate program at Atlantic Cape Community College.

Moeller has served on the board of many charitable organizations including as president of Interfaith Caregivers of Haddonfield, vice president of the trustees of the First Presbyterian Church of Haddonfield, and the Atlantic Cape Foundation Board of Trustees for more than 10 years. Moeller was the Board Gifts Chairman of the Create Opportunity Campaign Leadership Cabinet, which was the first-ever major gifts campaign at Atlantic Cape that raised over $3.65 million. 


Atlantic Cape Community College conferred the fifth President’s Distinguished Foundation Board Member Award to Dennis Stacy of Northfield at the college’s 48th annual commencement on May 21, 2015.

Dennis is a retired Certified Financial Planner and Private Wealth Advisor with Ameriprise Financial in Linwood. In his practice, Dennis focused on helping his clients bring their dreams to life and he did the same for the students at Atlantic Cape Community College through his work on the Foundation board.

He joined the board in 2000, and served as the board’s treasurer for nearly 15 years. He led the effort to develop the board’s investment policies and oversaw the financial health of the organization as the chair of the Foundation board’s Finance Committee. He also served on the Restaurant Gala and Golf Tournament committees. Last year, and his wife, Judy, an alumna of Atlantic Cape’s nursing program, retired to Vermont.

Diane T. McKoy, CPA, of Mays Landing, received the President's Distinguished Foundation Board Member Award at the college’s 47th annual commencement on May 22, 2014.  

Diane, a local Certified Public Accountant, has been a member of the Atlantic Cape Community College Foundation Board since 2002. During her tenure, she has chaired the Restaurant Gala Committee and served on the Finance Committee,  Scholarship Selection Committee and the cabinet for the college’s first major gifts campaign, Create Opportunity—The Capital and Scholarship Campaign for Atlantic Cape Community College. McKoy also volunteered for the college and Foundation for many years prior to joining the Foundation Board.

She has served with distinction as both president and vice president of the Foundation.  Diane remains a strong advocate and supporter of Atlantic Cape and continues to serve on the Foundation Board as an honorary member.

Atlantic Cape Community College presented the third President’s Distinguished Foundation Board Member Award to Robert Mullock of Cape May, owner of the Cape May National Golf Club and The Chalfonte Hotel in Cape May, at the college’s 46th annual commencement on May 23, 2013.

Bob has been a member of the Atlantic Cape Community College Foundation Board since 2005. During his tenure, he has supported many of the Foundation’s charitable activities, including the annual Scramble ‘Fore’ Scholarships Golf Tournament held at the Cape May National Golf Club and the establishment of a number of scholarship opportunities for students of Cape May County. 

In November 2016, Atlantic Cape Community College dedicated its Cape May County Campus library to Robert Mullock and his family for their long-time generosity to the college. In a brief ceremony, college officials renamed the library the Mullock Family Library and expressed their deep appreciation to Mullock family members for their generous contributions to student scholarships. 

In addition to supporting Atlantic Cape, Mullock has dedicated his efforts to several humanitarian causes around the world. He has helped build orphanages in Somalia, Uganda, Kenya, Honduras, Haiti, Chile and Ecuador, and served as First Lieutenant in the United States Army.  Since 2013, Bob has served on the Cape May Point Borough Commission as the Commissioner of Public Works, Parks, and Public Property.  Additionally, Bob is the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Harriet Tubman Museum in Cape May and has been instrumental in the massive renovation of the historic building that will house the museum.

Atlantic Cape Community College conferred the second President’s Distinguished Foundation Board Member Award to Charles Pessagno of Galloway, regional executive vice president of Marsh & McLennan Agency, at the college’s 45th annual commencement on May 17, 2012.

Charlie has been a member of the Atlantic Cape Community College Foundation since 2001 and served as president from 2008-2009. He has chaired the annual Scramble “Fore” Scholarships Golf Tournament committee and serves on the Atlantic Cape Community College Restaurant Gala committee. He was also a member of the college’s Board of Trustees and a cabinet member for the “Create Opportunity: The Capital & Scholarship Campaign for Atlantic Cape Community College.”  Pessagno earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Drexel University and a Bachelor of Science degree at Bethel College.

Charlie said of the award, “as a graduate of a community college, I am truly honored and humbled to receive this award. I accept this award on behalf of my fellow board members who have generously given of their time, talent and treasure to this institution."

On May 19, 2011 during Atlantic Cape's 44th annual commencement ceremony, James Cooper Esq. of Margate, president emeritus of the Atlantic Cape Foundation, received the first President’s Distinguished Foundation Board Member Award.

Jimmy, an Atlantic City native, graduated from Atlantic City High School, Rutgers University and Rutgers Law School, where he was editor of the Law Review.  He was a founding partner of the Cooper Levenson law firm in Atlantic City and a life-long proponent of civil rights and an advocate for the elderly and those in need. 

Jimmy generously gave both personal and financial support to economic, cultural and civic development projects in the region over the years, most notably, the redevelopment of Historic Gardner’s Basin and the building of the Ocean Life Center Atlantic City Aquarium.  His charitable nature also led him to establish the Let Us Eat Please organization to provide food to those in need.

A visionary and driving force behind the Atlantic Cape Community College Foundation, Jimmy was a long-standing champion of the college's mission and a strong supporter of the Restaurant Gala.  Jimmy passed away peacefully at the age of 87 on April 15, 2017.