Jersey City Women’s Advisory Board & The SHEROS of the Pandemic

The Jersey City Women’s Advisory Board was founded in 2022 by City Council President Joyce Watterman, who created the Board to provide women a seat at the table where their voices, thoughts, and opinions are acknowledged. The Board will meet ten times yearly and recommend policies to the city council addressing equal pay, health, childcare and more. The group has done an incredible job reaching out to hear from the women in the community and creating opportunities to connect and celebrate. For example, they recently honored seven local SHEros who have uniquely impacted the community at their Women’s History Month event. Keep reading to learn more about these inspiring SHEros and how you can get involved with the Jersey City Women’s Advisory Board!

Stacey Flanagan 

Stacey Flanagan, the Director of Health and Human Services in Jersey City, worked tirelessly during the pandemic to engage and reach out to communities, especially Black and Brown neighborhoods, that needed vaccine access. Her efforts led to a 90% vaccination rate in Jersey City. Before joining the Fulop Administration, she was the Director of Neighborhood WIC at Public Health Solutions. She worked to bring innovative programming to the organization’s Women, Infants, and Children supplemental food program (WIC) and the WIC Vendor Management Agency. She was also a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer providing training and technical assistance to local municipalities, developing small enterprise businesses with women, and planning programs supporting alternative education for adults.


Carmen Munoz

Carmen is a dedicated and compassionate nurse who has served in nursing for 53 years. She graduated from the Puerto Rico University Hospital Nursing School in 1970. Carmen found her way to Jersey City in 1981, on the frontlines of the AIDS Pandemic, as the first case in the United States was reported. Later in her career, her work focused on-the-ground outreach to the homeless population throughout Hudson County. For the past 20 years, she has worked in Case Management, ensuring that patients have all they need when they are discharged to heal and recuperate successfully. During the pandemic, Carmen remained dedicated to the people of Jersey City despite all the unknowns she faced. Carmen always puts her patients’ well-being and health first and foremost. One of her trademark sayings is, ” As a nurse, you have a time to clock in, but you don’t have a time to clock out.”


Jalesse Munoz

Jalesse Munoz studied nursing at Saint Peter’s University and obtained her Master’s in Advanced Practice Nursing. She has been a board-certified adult and gerontology nurse practitioner for five years specializing in Stroke Neurology at Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center and urgent medicine at Urgent Medical Care and MRI. Jalesse is now the co-owner of S&J Esthetique and Drip Bar, a New Jersey concierge IV hydration aesthetic company. During the pandemic, she worked tirelessly to heal the sick and console the families of Jersey City residents using ten years of nursing experience.


Tal Shuster

Tal Shuster is an activist and developer who worked tirelessly to ensure women had a place to connect and unify Jersey City after the Kosher Market Tragedy. She was born and raised in Israel. Tal arrived in the United States after serving three years as an Officer in the Israeli Army to complete her studies and obtain a Master’s degree. She has worked in many companies specializing in Human Resources and Marketing. She now works at Shuster Management, a leading real estate development company in New Jersey.


Jennifer Casson Tripucka

Jennifer is a local Hudson County resident and the founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Montclair Girl and The Hoboken Girl. She’s also the founder of The Local Girl Media Group, a hyperlocal news and media network and coaching platform for entrepreneurs. Before she worked as a media entrepreneur and publisher, she was an editor at Condé Nast and previously a school counselor in the Bloomfield Public Schools for five years. Jen has always wanted to give back and help others in her current and former fields through education and content creation. As a heart surgery and Congenital Heart Defect survivor, she advocates and volunteers with the ACHA, the Adult Congenital Heart Association. She also has a passion for rehoming and rehabilitating rescue dogs. Jen is a volunteer with Wise Animal Rescue. During the pandemic, her team worked tirelessly to keep the residents informed and engaged.


Ta-Tanisha Y. Wright

Ta-Tanisha was born and raised in Jersey City. She became a licensed etiquette instructor and started her etiquette school in 2007. The school instructs children and adults on etiquette, manners, and social graces. Her work at the etiquette school allowed her to form a bond and passion for teaching, inspiring her to enroll at St. Peter’s University to complete the master’s degree program in teaching. Since then, Ta-Tanisha has been an educator for the past decade, teaching Kindergarten at the Martin Center for the Arts, PS #41 in Jersey City. Ta-Tanisha has made a lasting impact and continues to through her service. For example, she went above and beyond during the pandemic to ensure families had food. In addition, she has hosted monthly food distributions and year-long community events such as annual coat drives, Easter Egg Hunt, Monthly Family Packs to local schools and more.


Claudia Wheeler

Claudia Wheeler is the founder and Executive Director of the nonprofit SALT Foundation. The organization works with a wide range of partners to provide New Jersey families in need with thousands of pounds of healthy food that would otherwise go to waste. As a nonprofit pioneer, public school teacher, and U.S. Navy veteran, Claudia Wheeler has inspired many New Jerseyans in her tireless efforts to fight food insecurity across the state. She has collected and delivered over 330,000 pounds of fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins, and other food products, as well as clothing and supplies, to food pantries, homeless shelters, hospitals, churches, schools, mobile pop-up pantries, women’s shelters, other community groups, food drives, and special events. In addition, she has driven over 200,000 miles in partnering with supermarkets and retail stores across the state. Each week, SALT picks up and distributes an average of 7,600 pounds of healthy food that would otherwise go to waste.


How to get Involved and Upcoming Events 

To learn more about upcoming events and how you can get involved, visit The Jersey City Women’s Advisory Board website and follow them on Instagram for the latest updates! In addition, the group will have meet-and-greet events working to hear from the women in the community. 

Arati Patel
Author: Arati Patel

Arati is a professional immersed in the environmental and animal welfare field. In her free time, she enjoys walking and spending time with shelter dogs, exploring the outdoors, and always ready to find a new coffee shop. A born and raised Jersey City local, she considers herself a life-long learner who is ready to write and craft inspiring stories to share with everyone!