By BONNIE GRAHAM
Ocean Grove residents and homeowners were introduced to the new operating officer of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association at a meeting Sat., Jan. 25.
J.P. Gradone, who assumed the post of Camp Meeting Association Chief Operating Officer on Nov. 5, told homeowners he grew up in Wanamassa and is a 1976 graduate of Ocean Township High School. He met his wife, Cheryl, while attending college and worked for 23 years in corporate positions in Florida and Kentucky.
During the last decade, Gradone was an executive pastor in large churches in Sarasota, Florida, Birmingham, Alabama, and Memphis, Tennessee, during which time he ran the ministries and operations of these churches.
Gradone and his wife are “empty nesters”, with five adult children, and they live at the old CMA president’s house on Ocean Pathway.
He said he is very excited about being in Ocean Grove.
“It’s really good to be home”, he said.
Gradone said he is a community-minded person, but never lived long enough in one location to be involved.
“I am excited with the diversity of this community and the challenges. I am not a ‘maintaining’ guy’, “ he added.
Bill Bailey, who continues to serve as the Camp Meeting Association’s Director of Operations, said he believed the CMA trustees made the right choice in hiring Gradone.