New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy recently joined a crowd of over two hundred at the Ocean Place Resort to honor Long Branch Councilman John Pallone as the Amerigo Vespucci Society (AVS) Man of the Year. This annual event recognizes an individual who has contributed significantly to the community and includes past recipients such as retired West Long Branch Chief of Police Arthur Cosentino, Freeholder Tom Arnone, Joseph Valentino and USMC Major Carlo Brancato.
In addition to the Governor, the list of dignitaries in attendance was extensive and included Congressman and AVS member Frank Pallone; Senator Vin Gopal; Freeholder and AVS member Tom Arnone; Freeholder John Curley; Long Branch Mayor Adam Schneider and Former Senator and AVS member Tom Gagliano.
The evening included live music from New Jersey’s Jazz entertainer Sandy Sasso. Proclamations were read and presented from various local organizations and political offices as well as internal awards to several other AVS members. Honoree John Pallone’s father and grandfather were both members of the AVS. The Man of the Year was born and raised in Long Branch, where he remains a proud resident. John earned his Bachelor’s degree from New York University and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the City University of New York, John Jay College. Since 2010, John has been a member of the Long Branch City Council, currently serving as Council President. He is the Vice President of the Long Branch Public Library Board of Trustees, Board member of the Long Branch Urban Enterprise Zone and a trustee of the Church of the Seven Presidents Museum. He is also an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and active with many civic organizations.