Belmar, New Jersey
The seaside town of Belmar, New Jersey was devastated in 2012 by Superstorm Sandy that sent water rushing into homes and businesses and shredded the town’s important 1.3-mile long boardwalk. Afterwards, Kathleen Koch, who had yet to create LeadersLink, partnered Mayor Matt Dougherty with Mayor Chipper McDermott of Pass Christian, Mississippi. Pass Christian’s harbor and most of its homes and businesses were destroyed in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina. The two men had frequent conversations and Dougherty traveled to the Gulf Coast to get ideas from Pass Christian’s recovery that he could apply back in Belmar.
“The most important lesson was to be aggressive about getting things done,” said Mayor Doherty. “At some point, you’ve got to make decisions on things. Otherwise issues linger for years.”