Monday Morning Meet Your Leaders – Marshall Kern

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Marshall Kern
Chairman of the Toms River Community Art Project (CAP)

1. What is one of the most important qualities of a great leader?

There are certainly more than one quality for a great leader, especially if you’re leading volunteers. However, if I have to pick one quality, I’d say passion as it’s one of my three Leadership “P’s” – Passion, Persistence & Patience. You have to be passionate about the goals of any organization you’re leading, but for volunteers passion is paramount.

2. How does your organization take our community to the next level?

The mission of the Toms River Community Art Project (TR CAP) is to facilitate & provide leadership and guidance, advocacy and support for the arts and cultural development in Toms River Township. Toms River’s newest Master Plan, passed in 2017, created an Arts and Culture element focused on making Toms River the center for the Arts and Culture in the county for both artistic and economic development. We are very fortunate to have a diverse group of passionate volunteers who are interested in improving our quality of life and assisting in the economic development of Toms River. The CAP has benefited from individuals, for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, as well as Ocean County and Toms River Township entities. To name a few, the Toms River Artist Community (TRAC), Exit 82 Theatre Company, Garden State Philharmonic, TR Business Improvement District (BID), Greater Toms River Chamber of Commerce, Toms River Regional Schools, Ocean County Library, Ocean County VoTech, Friends of Ortley Beach, numerous local businesses and of course, the Jay & Linda Grunin Foundation and the Jay & Linda Grunin Center for the Arts. To take Toms River to the next level, our Goals Committee is working on the possibility of an Arts & Culture/Makerspace center for Toms River. This would be a family-oriented space to create and learn about art. This could offer facilities and equipment for pottery, sculpture, painting, dance, theater, photography, film, and last but not least – music. What a wonderful addition to our community to add to our other extensive recreational facilities! Our Marketing Committee is focusing on CAP Branding with the goal being to let people know that Toms River is the place for Arts & Culture. We have so much going on in Toms River, but too often I here people say “there is nothing to do here,” or “I didn’t know that. Why didn’t they advertise?” Our logo, created by the Marketing Committee, is quite literally gaining a higher profile as a result of community-minded companies like Suez Water who recently placed our logo on the Hooper Avenue water tower. The more you see the logo, the more you’ll identify Toms River with the arts. And here it is…

The Summer Projects Committee brings together and helps to coordinate different groups to provide activities related to Arts and Culture. The Committee is coordinating a wonderful number of summer events for families from Huddy Park to Ortley Beach.

3. What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?

Long walks, travel, reading and photography, all with my wife.

4. What is your favorite food/recipe and why? I’d have to say chicken.

I love so many chicken dishes – whether barbecued, broiled or stir fried. And chicken prepared as parmigiana is tough to beat. It’s incredibly tasty and versatile.

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