Anthony J. Perno III, Esq., CEO
Anthony Perno is the CEO of Cooper’s Ferry Partnership, a non-profit real estate development corporation based in Camden, NJ. Joining Cooper’s Ferry in 1999, Anthony developed and administered several major infrastructure initiatives throughout Camden, including the Interior Gateway Initiative, the extension of Wiggins Waterfront Promenade, and the Camden GreenWay. Other significant initiatives developed by Anthony included the historical rehabilitation of Johnson Park and the Camden Home Improvement Program (CHIP).
In 2005, Anthony was promoted to Vice-President and COO of Cooper’s Ferry, where he assisted in expanding the mission of the organization from a single purpose mixed-use development company focused on the development of the downtown waterfront into a city-wide economic and community development corporation. In 2009, the Board of Directors named Anthony the President & CEO to succeed Tom Corcoran, the founder of the organization. In his new role Anthony continued to lead the transformation of the company’s mission to include a focus on both community and downtown development as well as strategic programming.
In 2011 Anthony completed another major milestone for the company, when he along with Dave Foster completed the merger of Cooper’s Ferry Development Association, Inc. and the Greater Camden Partnership to create Cooper’s Ferry Partnership. The new corporation is focused on a city-wide development strategy that leverages Camden’s cultural, natural, and institutional anchors to create transformative change throughout the neighborhoods and downtown through a targeted development and civic programming strategy.
Recognizing the importance of community service, Anthony serves as a board member for the St. Joseph’s Carpenter Society and the Battleship New Jersey. Anthony was appointed in 2005 to the Camden County Open Space Commission. In 2011, Governor Chris Christie appointed Anthony to serve on the UMDNJ Advisory Committee to evaluate the medical education system in New Jersey. He is also the Assistant Director for both the Burlington and Camden County YMCA Model United Nations and New Jersey Youth & Government Programs. Anthony participated in both of these programs as a high school student and sees his continued involvement as an opportunity to give back to the next generation of leaders.
Admitted to the bars of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Anthony is a Truman Scholar who received a Law Degree from Rutgers University Camden Campus in 2005. He studied Economics and Political Science in the Honors program at The College of New Jersey and received a B.A. degree with Honors from the Political Science Department in 1998. He graduated valedictorian of Overbrook Regional High School in 1994.
A third generation New Jerseyan, Anthony grew up in the suburbs of Camden in the Borough of Lindenwold. In 2000 Anthony and his wife Jennifer moved to the City of Camden, where they lived in the Cooper Grant Neighborhood for the next six years. Today, Anthony and his wife Jennifer live in Merchantville with their sons A.J. and Nicholas, where he serves as a volunteer firefighter to the local Niagara Fire Department. In 2010, Anthony was re-elected to a three-year term on Merchantville’s Borough Council. During his term on Council, Anthony championed the adoption of the Abandoned Properties Act and supported investment in the Borough’s aging infrastructure.
David Foster, President
David Foster is the President of Cooper's Ferry Partnership. From 2008-2011 he served as the President and CEO of the Greater Camden Partnership, where he led the organization through a period of significant growth and was responsible for the implementation of a deep portfolio of projects aimed at revitalizing Camden through targeted partnerships with the city's anchor institutions.
Previous to his position at GCP, David practiced law as an attorney in the Philadelphia office of Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP, and worked as a commercial real estate development associate with the Hutchison Whampoa Property Group in Shanghai, China. In both of these positions, David's work included the financing and development of several large mixed-use urban development projects.
Before law school, David served for four years as an infantry officer in the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division, and currently serves as a Reservist in the Army's Stability Operations Division at the Pentagon.
David is a member of the Board of Directors of Camden's Symphony in C, the New Jersey Division of the Salvation Army, the Walter Rand Institute for Public Policy, and the Philadelphia Chapter of the Urban Land Institute. He has spoken and written on a variety of topics related to urban and international development and was recently named Washington & Lee University's Distinguished Young Alumnus and one of the Philadelphia Business Journal's "40 Under 40."
He received his B.A. from Washington and Lee University and his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He also holds a Certificate in Business and Public Policy from the Wharton School. After law school, he was selected as a Henry Luce Scholar.
Joseph Myers, Vice President & COO
Joseph graduated with a Bachelor of Political Science from the College of New Jersey in 1998 and from the University of Pennsylvania with a Master of Governmental Affairs and a Master of Political Science in 2000. Joe began working at CFP as a graduate intern in 1999, became a full-time project manager upon graduation in the spring of 2000, and was promoted to COO/VP in October of 2009 and tasked with overseeing the development and neighborhood operations in the office. Joe has dedicated his time working on several downtown projects, which include the Camden Children's Garden, new infrastructure around Adventure Aquarium, and the Aquarium Fountain Park. Joe works closely with the private sector on planning the build out of the remaining downtown waterfront and also in North Camden with Save Our Waterfront on park design and neighborhood planning. He serves on the board of CAMConnect and Heritage Collaborative as well as volunteering with Sacred Heart Athletics. He is also a graduate of Leadership NJ and the Rutgers University's Center for Strategic Urban Leadership Institute.
Meishka L. Mitchell, AICP, PP, Vice President of Neighborhood Initiatives
Meishka joined the CFP staff as a graduate intern in 2003 and worked as a project manager until 2005. In 2010 Meishka was promoted to Vice-President of Neighborhood Initiatives. Meishka has a Bachelor of Political Science from William Paterson University in Wayne, NJ and a Master of City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania. Meishka has played a key role in broadening CFP's mission to address planning and redevelopment efforts in Camden's neighborhoods. Utilizing her experience as a life-long Camden resident, Meishka has managed the implementation of several key neighborhood projects with a high level of community input and participation. Meishka also works closely with many of our neighborhood partner organizations providing technical assistance in the areas of capacity building, mission, and policy development. Meishka has served as the project manager for several historic restoration, park, streetscape, and infrastructure projects throughout the City of Camden. Meishka is certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners and maintains a Professional Planners license with the State of New Jersey.
Jacob A. Gordon Esq., Vice President of Policy and Downtown Initiatives
Jacob graduated from University of California, San Diego in 1999 with a Bachelor of Communications and received his law degree from University of Pennsylvania in 2003. A native of New Jersey, he moved to Camden in 2007 after almost three years in Los Angeles as an attorney with O'Melveny & Myers LLP. Jake began in 2007 as a project manager before being promoted in 2009 to General Counsel.
In 2011, Jake assumed Vice President responsibilities as well as Executive Director of the Camden Special Services District (CSSD). The CSSD is a traditional business improvement district with an expansive clean and safe program designed to improve the physical appearance of Downtown Camden in order to provide an enhanced sense of safety and hospitality to visitors, residents, employees and students.
In addition to his other duties, Jake continues to serve as legal counsel to the corporation and has managed numerous development projects including park restoration, streetscape improvements, and infrastructure rehabilitation. Jake currently oversees numerous initiatives related to the Downtown including Waterfront Special Events, Policy Initiatives as well as Housing Initiatives such as the Camden Program Offering Widespread Energy Recovery (POWER) and Camden Home Improvement Program (CHIP), both of which award funding and manages construction on essential home-repair loans for Camden's low-income homeowners. Jake has also worked to advocate and implement a network of connected pedestrian and bicycle access improvements, known as the Camden GreenWay, which would offer safe non-motorized transportation options for residents and visitors.
Sue Brennan, Senior Project Director, Broadway Main Street & POWER
Sue has a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies from Rutgers University, was a member of the honors college, and currently serves as the project director of the Broadway Main Street program, a commercial revitalization program that is a designated Main Street New Jersey affiliate in Camden. Her current activities include overseeing a district overall for the Broadway commercial corridor, restoration and revitalization of historic commercial properties, and implementation of an arts district initiative in the downtown. Sue is also the current Director of the Program Offering Widespread Energy Recovery (POWER). Additional relevant policy work includes urban and regional revitalization, urban public policy, community and leadership training, and urban and regional ecology.
Caren Fishman, Director, Camden Special Services District
Caren Fishman holds a B.S. in Recreation and Leisure Services from Fairleigh Dickinson University, a M.Ed. in Public Recreation Administration from Temple University and certification as a Public Manager from Rutgers University. Caren joined CFP in May 2011 after retiring from the Camden County Parks Department where she worked for 35 years, serving as director since 2005. She was responsible for park and facility development including Challenge Grove, Timber Creek Park, the Camden County Boathouse and a Silver LEED certified Environmental Center as well as improvements in many parks in the City of Camden. Caren is now responsible for the overall management of the Camden Special Services District, including the Associated Neighborhood Improvement Program, Neighborhood Stabilization Program, the Vacant Lot Stabilization Program and the Graffiti-Free Camden Program. She is currently President Elect for the New Jersey Recreation and Parks Association.
Sarah Bryant, Project Manager
Sarah Bryant joined CFP in early 2010 following graduation from the Master of City Planning program at the University of Pennsylvania. Sarah is primarily responsible for CFP's ongoing efforts in the North Camden neighborhood, managing infrastructure development projects, providing technical assistance to neighborhood partners and identifying funding sources for the implementation of the North Camden Neighborhood and Waterfront Park Plans. Sarah's projects in North Camden range from the development of a master plan for the former Riverfront State Prison to the rehabilitation of Pyne Poynt Park and the 7th Street Gateway. Outside of North Camden, Sarah manages the implementation of the Camden Pedestrian Wayfinding Signage System. Sarah's prior experience includes working as an operations analyst at a Boston-area telecommunications firm and as a project coordinator at a non-profit organization dedicated to land preservation in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Sarah holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Boston University and is a member of the American Planning Association.
Shahid Rana, Project Manager
Shahid earned his Masters in Real Estate Development (MRED) from the University of Maryland's Colvin Institute of Real Estate Development (2009). He also received a graduate certificate from Harvard's Graduate School of Design in Charrette Management in 2009. Shahid is also a proud alumnus of Morgan State University, where he received his Bachelor of Science in Architecture and Environmental Design in 2007.
Before joining CFP, Shahid worked for Baltimore County's Office of Planning as a design manager in the Community Design Team. Shahid participated in three community charrettes during his tenure in Baltimore County. The Turner Station Charrette in Dundalk, Maryland, received an American Planning Association Honorable Mention Award for Outstanding Project in 2009, in which he served as Design/Graphics Team Manager.
AJ Jensen, Project Manager
AJ has a Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies from St. Lawrence University in New York. AJ developed an interest in economic and urban development through her internships at ASHOKA in Cairo, Egypt and The National Executive Service Corps in New York City. AJ is working on the Employer Assisted Housing program and spearheading the Local Sourcing Initiative, which seeks to get local businesses to double local procurement within the next five years.
Kathy Cullen, Project Manager
Kathy Cullen joined CFP in January 2012 as a graduate intern and became a full-time project manager in June 2012. Kathy is currently completing a Master of Public Administration degree with a Certificate in Non-Profit Management from Villanova University. She is currently the manager of Residential POWER (Program Offering Widespread Energy Recovery), which provides energy efficient retrofits to Camden homeowners. Kathy has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Boston College.
Maurie Smith, Project Manager
Maurie Smith joined CFP in the fall of 2012 after completing a Masters in City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania. Maurie worked as a graduate intern at the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) on a Master Plan for the Lower Schuylkill. She provided mapping, economic analysis, and graphic support to PIDC. At CFP, Maurie is working on various downtown and neighborhood economic development plans. Maurie is also a member of the Camden SMART Team, a coordinating group that spearheads stormwater management initiatives in Camden. Maurie holds an undergraduate degree in Economics and minor in Hispanic Studies from the College of William and Mary.
Marilyn Santana-Martinez, Business Manager
Nakia Maxwell, Receptionist