NEWARK, NJ — Courtney Gaccione, a West Orange resident and the current counsel and county adjuster for Essex County, was recently named among this year’s "Stellas della Contea di Essex" (Stars of Essex County) during the 2019 Essex County Italian-American Heritage Month celebration in order to recognize her community involvement and commitment to improving the lives of all Essex County residents.
Decorated in the festive Italian colors of red, white and green, the cultural festivities were held at the 29th in the lobby of the Essex County Hall of Records, where Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo Jr. also honored Robert R. Detore, Chief Executive Officer of Turning Point, Inc.
"Our celebration is an opportunity to recognize the contributions that Italian-Americans have made to the history and culture of Essex County,” said DiVincenzo. “Today, we are honoring two proud Italian-Americans who have positively impacted our world and our County. Courtney Gaccione and Robert Detore each have made an impact on their communities and have continuously improved the quality of life for our residents.”
Gaccione, a seasoned attorney with an expertise in employment litigation and labor relations, is an 18-year veteran of the Essex County team. Prior to assuming the role as Essex County Counsel in 2015, Gaccione served as assistant county counsel and Chief of Labor and Employment.
In her current position, Gaccione is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Office of Essex County Counsel, supervising attorneys and staff, and representing Essex County Departments and Divisions in all legal matters impacting the county.
Gaccione has previously served as a seminar speaker for the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education multiple times, speaking about Civil Service Disciplinary Actions and leading an Administrative Law Forum. She has also been a member of the New Jersey Association of County Counsels, the New Jersey Women Lawyer's Association and served as the Labor and Employment Committee Chair for the New Jersey Bar Association.
She earned her Juris Doctor degree from Seton Hall University School of Law with a concentration in Labor and Employment Law, including Employment Discrimination and Labor Relations, and a Bachelor of Science degree in business management with an Organizational Management concentration from Rutgers University.
"I am so touched by this honor,” said Gaccione. “I am so proud to represent women in the legal field and proud to represent Italians. I have been given an incredible opportunity in my position with the County to have the ability to impact the lives of people every day.”
Detore, a resident of Verona, currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of Turning Point, Inc., a 137-bed, licensed and nationally accredited substance use disorder company providing detox, short-and long-term residential and outpatient services with facilities in Passaic, Essex, Ocean and Hunterdon Counties.
He is the founder and former chief executive officer of Correctional Health Services, Inc., which was the major provider of healthcare services to 17 county juvenile and adult correctional facilities and private correctional facilities in New Jersey.
Since 2011, Detore has served as president of the Board of Trustees of The Robert Treat Academy Charter School in Newark. He is also a former board member of Community Education Center, LLC, Mellon Bank FSB, Cathedral Healthcare Services, Inc., East Orange General Hospital and Wynona M. Lipman Child Advocacy Center.
Detore is a graduate of the George Washington University and holds master's degrees from New York University and Seton Hall University.
He is also no stranger to government, serving as the Mayor of Verona from 2001-2005 and as council president and Councilman-at-Large in the City of Orange from 1980-1988.
"Every immigrant group that arrived in the United States encountered its own set of unique challenges,” said Detore. “What is unique about the Italian migration is the importance our heritage placed on family, faith and patriotism.”
Father Edwin D. Leahy, St. Benedict's Preparatory School Headmaster gave the invocation. Jasmine Ramos from the Essex County Clerk's Office sang the National Anthem. Anthony Tabish performed during the musical interlude.
The Essex County Italian Heritage Celebration is part of a yearlong series of programs initiated by DiVincenzo to raise awareness about and celebrate the diversity of Essex County.