West Essex: About Us

Jackie Schatell and Jessica Marrone Parkes are excited to be the new owners of TAP into West Essex (formerly West Essex TAP) and bring professional, objective, original reporting back to residents of the West Essex area.  Before franchising TAP into West Essex, they successfully franchised and continue to own and operate TAP into Livingston, and partner with Cynthia Cumming to own and operate TAP into West Orange.  Both sites have won awards for journalism and service to the community and have become the go-to place for news and information for Livingston and West Orange residents.

Jackie and Jessica are no strangers to West Essex.

After graduating from George Washington University in Washington DC in 1990 with a B.A. in English, Schatell resided with her parents in North Caldwell. They have lived there for 22 years. Her sister is also a resident of the town, with a son attending Grandview Elementary School.

Schatell has also worked in West Caldwell and Roseland, and the law firm of her father, Martin "Champ" Goldman, Harkavy, Goldman and Gerstein is located in West Caldwell.

Schatell has also spent a lot of family time at Grover Cleveland Park, swimming at the North Caldwell pool; seeing flicks at the Caldwell Cinema; supporting local businesses at the the local street fairs and by shopping in the towns; and dining at Franklin Steakhouse with her parents, as well as at the Cloverleaf, Caldwell Diner, Rockin' Joes, and a host of others.

Schatell began her career locally in the public relations department of Saint Barnabas Medical Center. She is a seasoned writer and also specializes in promoting small to mid-size businesses, companies and people. Her media placements, photographs, and by-lined articles have graced the pages of many major local and national publications, magazines, trades, websites, and other forms of media including radio, TV and the internet. Throughout her career, she has developed countless comprehensive public relations and strategic marketing plans, written and produced internal and external communications, videos, newsletters, brochures, collateral materials, and press releases, She has also helped launch start-up companies, built websites, run social media campaigns, and planned and run events.

Jessica Marrone-Parkes graduated from the University of Miami with a degree in International Studies and Communication Studies.  After school Jessica started her professional career as a B2B Sales Manager for an International News Monitoring Organization based in Miami and Washington DC. She then went on to manage an employment agency in North Dakota and returned home to Livingston New Jersey to be close to family and friends. Jessica has written professionally and photographed events for various local establishments. Jessica currently sits on the Board as acting Secretary of the Livingston Area Chamber of Commerce and is also an active member of the North Essex Chamber of Commerce. She and her husband Cary live locally and serve as welcome hosts for The Crossing Church of Livingston.

Marrone-Parkes is also no stranger to the West Essex community--where many locals know her and her father and mother, Mary and Johnny Marrone, of Johnny's on The Green.

TAPinto.net  was founded in October, 2008 by Michael and Lauryn Shapiro, residents of New Providence, New Jersey, who sought to provide their town’s residents with an all-online, objective, independent, daily local newspaper.   Months earlier, Michael and Lauryn learned that their one-year-old son would need open-heart surgery and Michael, a graduate of Rutgers College and Stanford Law School and a lawyer at a large firm in New York City, decided it was time to work close to home, spend more time with the family, and help the community at the same time.  Shortly after the site’s launch, he left his firm to lead TAP full-time.

At first, the site covered just two towns.  A few months later another was added and just seven years later, TAPinto.net covers more than 100 towns in New Jersey and New York and is accredited by the New Jersey Press Association.  Now, TAPinto is being franchised to businesspeople, entrepreneurial journalists, public relations professionals, and sales and marketing professionals, who would like to start a newspaper in their own town, using the TAPinto site, business model and expertise. 

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Today, TAP has over 5,500,000 absolute unique users and is growing rapidly. 

TAPinto's Executive Board includes advisor Gary Kapner, New Providence small business owner (Creative Wallcoverings & Interiors) and former President of the New Providence Business and Professional Association.  Diane Klaif, TAPinto's President of Marketing, has a newspaper background, having worked for The Wall Street Journal, Asian Wall Street Journal, and International Herald Tribune. 

In addition to providing an opportunity for scores of businesspeople, talented writers, editors and marketing representatives to work close to home, TAPinto is proud to support all things local and charitable causes.  During the past year, TAPinto has donated over $250,000 in marketing and advertising to charitable organizations including Susan G. Komen North Jersey, Relay for Life, March of Dimes, Family Promise, and the Housing and Community Development Network of NJ, among others. TAPinto's employees and franchisees are also members of dozens of community organizations including Rotary and the Chamber of Commerce.  TAPinto sponsors community events in its coverage towns, provides scholarships to local high school students, has booths at local Street Fairs, markets itself in Booster programs for the high schools, and holds local networking events.   

In addition, TAPinto’s Executive Board members are actively involved in the community starting at the top.  Michael Shapiro, TAPinto’s CEO and Publisher, serves as President of the Suburban Chamber of Commerce and on the Board of the Madison Chamber of Commerce and the Board of the New Providence Business & Professional Association.  He is Past President of the Rotary Club of Berkeley Heights and Past President of the Board of the Millburn-Short Hills Chamber of Commerce.  Gary Kapner, TAPinto's adviser, is the past President of the New Providence Business and Professional Association and currently serves on New Providence's Borough Council.  Diane Klaif, TAPinto's President of Marketing, is the former Council President of Summit, New Jersey. 

We are committed to all things local.  TAP into your Town with TAPinto.net

TAP into West Essex offer a variety of ad sizes and options, and very reasonable ad rates that have been developed in consultation with business and community leaders. For more information, please contact Jackie Schatell at jschatell@tapinto.net or 201-618-7444.


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