FARMINGDALE – Freeholder Lillian Burry and Highlands’ own Valerie Montecalvo were two of the eight distinguished Monmouth County leaders honored by the Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore as Persons of Distinction and Community Leaders Friday evening at a dinner and gala at Eagle oaks Country Club.
Burry and Montecalvo, along with Maria Tanzola, Betty White, and Bertha Williams-Pullen were each honored as Women of Distinction for 2016; Kathy Ann Drake was cited as the Junior Woman of Distinction, Dr. Lisa Knight, Community Partner, and Jim DeAngelis of the Lakewood Blue Claws recognized as a leader “”man enough to be a Girl Scout.”
Freeholder Director Thomas Arnone introduced Freeholder Burry and presented her award, listing some of her achievements as both a community and county leader, and citing some of the lessons he has learned from serving with her on the Board of Freeholders. Arnone noted the former Freeholder Director, owner and broker-of-record for Colts Neck Realty, began her public life as a Matawan borough council member before serving as a Colts Neck township committeeperson and mayor and a freeholder since 2005. She has been the recipient of numerous awards for her historic and open land preservation efforts and achievements, as well as her dedication to the military, law enforcement and education. She has received the Marine Corps League Distinguished Citizens Award, the Person of the Year Award from the Sheriff’s Of the Monmouth County historical Association’s Person of the Year, the Latino American Association’s Outstanding Community Member award and the Eastern Monmouth Chamber of Commerce award Spinnaker Aware for Public Service. Most recently, Burry also had the honor of having the Monmouth County Lillian Burry Award named in her honor, an annual presentation to recognize outstanding achievements in historic preservation.
Montecalvo is founder with her husband Frank, and current president of Bayshore Recycling, the Belford firm recognized as a model for recycling companies throughout the county. The active and energetic mother of two grown children is an advocate for environmentalism, and a featured speaker at numerous vents, including the NJ Governors Conference for Women. A trustee of the NJ Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, Montecalvo also served as national president for the Construction and Demolition Recycling Association. She was named a Woman of Influence by the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey. In her free time, Montecalvo is an avid follower of her son’s Frankie’s award winning record as a championship ALMS professional race car driver, a snow skier, water sport enthusiast and rescue dog advocate.
Tanzola, who lives in Toms River and is a lifetime Girl Scout who has served as a delegate to the GSUSA’s national convention, is on the Scouts Jersey Shore Board of Directors, and the Monmouth Park Charity Fund and FoodBank of Monmou8th-Ocean Counties.
White, former president of the Cosmopolitan Association for Foreign Women and the MS Committee of Monmouth County, has worked tirelessly for ARC of Monmouth, and both Riverview and Centra State medical centers.
Williams-Pullen, a graduate of Neptune High School and Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn. before earning two master’s degrees and serving as principal of Gables Elementary School, is an active member of Pilgrim Baptist Church, Red Bank.