Ørsted, whose Ocean Wind project was selected by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities this past June to be the first commercial-scale offshore wind project in the state, names three founding board members to oversee the Pro-NJ Grantor Trust Fund. They are: attorney Beverly McCall, of Ocean City, board chair; Belinda Manning, of Pleasantville, a retired organizational development professional and community volunteer/activist; and Lori Pepenella, of Barnegat, the CEO of the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce.
The Pro-NJ Grantor Trust, to be formally launched this fall, is a $15-million fund established by Ørsted that will offer New Jersey-based small, women-owned and minority owned businesses support in re-tooling their businesses to enter the offshore wind industry. It will also provide funding for infrastructure resiliency improvements to New Jersey shore communities.
“The announcement of the board of trustees represents a significant step in launching the Pro-NJ Grantor Trust,” said Thomas Brostrøm, CEO of Ørsted North America, Offshore. “Beverly, Belinda and Lori are highly-respected individuals who bring a blend of business acumen, community involvement and the entrepreneurial spirit needed to develop and introduce the Trust to interested parties in New Jersey.”
The trustees are meeting regularly to oversee the development of the business plan and the building of a website, that when complete, will signal the formal announcement of the application process and availability of funds for 2020.
Additional community-based Advisory Committee members will be named to support the mission of the Trust.
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