Matthew DeNafo 

Matthew DeNafo is President of the Atlantic County Utilities Authority (ACUA).

DeNafo leads a team of more than 300 employees in providing environmentally and economically responsible waste management services across ACUA’s Wastewater and Solid Waste Divisions. This includes a 40 million-gallon-per-day wastewater treatment facility and regional sewage collection system serving 14 municipalities as well as a state-of-the-art solid waste and recycling Environmental Park that serves all 23 municipalities in Atlantic County and a regional collection fleet.

DeNafo oversees an annual operating budget exceeding $60 million and an annual capital budget exceeding $20 million.

DeNafo most recently served as Vice President of Centralized Maintenance and Asset Management at ACUA where he was responsible for overseeing all Centralized Maintenance and Asset Management activities throughout the Authority. This included a staff of more than 60 employees across the fleet, facilities, electrical and instrumentation, mechanical services, IT and research and development departments. In this position, DeNafo provided strategic and tactical leadership, in addition to assisting with project development and management. He oversaw asset selection and procurement, repairs, maintenance, research & development, MIS and external shared services.

DeNafo joined the organization in 2007 as an Associate Engineer and was promoted to Senior Engineer in 2011. Throughout his career, he has contributed to many of ACUA’s integral infrastructure and engineering projects, including the construction of its compressed natural gas (CNG) station, wastewater facility protective seawall, green vehicle wash, pump station improvements, emergency power upgrades, and landfill cell construction.

DeNafo graduated from the Rowan University College of Engineering with a degree in Civil & Environmental Engineering in 2006, and earned a Master’s in Environmental Engineering from Rowan in 2007. He also holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Rutgers University, which he completed in 2018. 

DeNafo is a New Jersey Licensed Professional Engineer and a Certified Municipal Engineer. He is Board Treasurer of the Atlantic County Economic Alliance (ACEA), a Board Member of the Solid Waste Association of North America’s New Jersey Chapter (SWANA NJ), President of the Waterford Township Board of Education and sits on the Advisory Board for the Atlantic County Institute of Technology (ACIT).  DeNafo is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), New Jersey Water Environmental Association (NJWEA) and the American Public Works Association.


Linda Bazemore
Vice President of Administration and Finance / CFO  
Linda Bazemore is the Vice President of Administration and Finance/CFO at the Atlantic County Utilities Authority (ACUA).  She joined the organization in January 2016 with more than 14 years of experience in administration, finance management and policy development. 

In her current role at the Authority, Bazemore oversees the operations of the Finance and Human Resources departments.  Her role includes advising on developing, coordinating, and carrying out administrative and financial policies, procedures, and plans. In addition, she provides advice necessary to make management decisions, establish organizational goals and objectives within the organization.

Before joining ACUA, she served as the Deputy Executive Director of Administration for the Atlantic City Municipal Utilities Authority (ACMUA) —  a position she held for nine years. Bazemore was responsible for managing finance and capital projects; interpreting and implementing administrative and financial policies;  preparing and managing budgets; contract and vendor negotiations; developing and reviewing RFPs; strategic planning; overseeing the accounting, personnel and customer service divisions; and regulatory compliance, among other duties.  Prior to joining the ACMUA in 2001, she served as a Senior Accountant and Senior Rate Analyst at the South Jersey Gas Company.  

Bazemore is Treasurer for the Executive Board of the Atlantic Cape Community College Foundation Board. 

Bazemore is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Municipal Finance Officer. She holds a Masters of Business Administration from Rutgers University and a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting from Stockton University. 

Gary Conover
Vice President of Solid Waste

Gary Conover is the Vice President of the Solid Waste Division at the Atlantic County Utilities Authority (ACUA). Gary oversees all operations within the Solid Waste Division, which includes ACUA’s state-of-the-art landfill, recycling center, transfer station, compost facility, and collections department that serves more than 100,000 homes and businesses in Atlantic and Cumberland Counties. He is responsible for overseeing all administrative duties within the division as well as EcoProduct marketing and solid waste enforcement throughout Atlantic County.

Conover has more than 30 years of experience in the solid waste industry, all of which has been with the ACUA. His experience with the Authority ranges from his initial position as a Material Handler, Baler Operator, Scale Master, Transfer Station Group Leader, Safety Coordinator, Administrative Analyst, Project Manager and Solid Waste Director.

Conover is an Advisory Board Representative of the Solid Waste Association of North America’s New Jersey Chapter (SWANA NJ), a member of the Nomination Committee for the Association of New Jersey Recyclers (ANJR), and a member of the Sustainable Jersey Waste Task Force. He was also a proud member of the NJDEP “Reducing Air Pollution Together” Air Quality Initiative.

Conover graduated from Richard Stockton State College in 1986 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration. Gary has received a Certificate from the Rutgers Center for Management Development Mini-MBA Business Essentials Program. Gary is a SWANA Certified Manger of Landfill Operations since August 2003.


Tom Ganard
Chief Engineer
Tom Ganard is Chief Engineer for the Atlantic County Utilities Authority (ACUA).  He is responsible for long range planning, design, permitting, and construction of infrastructure for ACUA’s Wastewater and Solid Waste Divisions. In addition, he provides overall strategic and policy planning in conjunction with the other Executive Team members for the ACUA.

Ganard has managed over $100 million of capital improvement projects for ACUA. He is responsible for overseeing funding requests made through various agencies including the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank (NJ I-BANK).

Ganard began his career at ACUA in 1990 as a Project Engineer. He was later promoted to Senior Engineer in 2000 and Deputy Chief Engineer in 2006. 

Prior to joining ACUA, Ganard worked for Fellows, Read and Associates as well as L.J. Rusciani Associates, where he worked on both municipal and land development civil engineering projects including site plans and subdivisions.

Ganard holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Structural Design and Construction Engineering from Penn State University and a Master’s Degree in Engineering from Widener University. He is a New Jersey Licensed Professional Engineer and a Certified Municipal Engineer. 

Ganard is a member of the Water Environment Federation (WEF), Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and New Jersey Society of Professional Engineers (NJSPE). He has served as President of the Atlantic United Soccer Club, coached Volunteer Youth Soccer and Baseball (AUSC and GTAA) and is a former member of the Atlantic Cape Cumberland Soccer Officials Association (ACCSOA).

He resides in Galloway Township with his wife Susan.

Joseph C. Pantalone
Vice President of Wastewater 
As Vice President of the Atlantic County Utilities Authority (ACUA) Wastewater Division, Joseph C. Pantalone oversees the 40 million gallon-per-day wastewater treatment plant in Atlantic City, NJ, and regional collection system that serves approximately 225,000 residents of Atlantic County.

Since joining ACUA in 2013, Pantalone has concentrated his leadership efforts on the improvement and sustainability of the wastewater treatment plant, collection system and its employees. He has implemented a revitalization plan to ensure the replacement of essential equipment and infrastructure as well as the general maintenance and organization of the facility, which is visited by thousands of travelers annually. He has also overseen the development of several resiliency projects that will protect the crucial facility during a flood or severe storm.

He has also undertaken the creation of an Operational Management Plan (OMP) that incorporates strategic planning, continuity planning and asset management to manage quality control of the entire operation. The program requires a yearly evaluation, review of standard operating procedures and goal-setting established with input of the entire staff.

With an eye to the future, Pantalone looks to further improve ACUA’s environmental impact by partnering with the local community in beneficial wastewater reuse projects and capturing the heat generated from biosolids incineration for electricity. While other priorities at the NJDEP have reduced attention to wastewater reuse initiatives, ACUA remains committed to continue to push for a demonstration project. 

Over the past 3 years, Pantalone was instrumental in fostering a strategic plan which involves the upgrade of the facility's 40-year-old solids handling process (Phase 1) and proposed incinerator upgrades (Phase 2). When completed, these projects will ensure and guide reliable and environmentally sound wastewater treatment and disposal over the next 20-30 years. 

Pantalone served as the Public Engineering Department Head/Human Resources Director for more than 20 years at Adams, Rehmann and Heggan (ARH) Associates, a civil engineering and planning firm serving both municipal and county governments in Hammonton, NJ. In this position,  Pantalone was involved in numerous water and wastewater projects throughout South Jersey totaling more than $145 million dollars in infrastructure improvements.

Prior to joining Adams Rehmann and Heggan, Pantalone served as the Executive Director of the Hamilton Township Municipal Utilities Authority in Mays Landing, NJ, from 1981 through 1988.

Pantalone currently serves on the Association of Environmental Authorities (AEA) Legislative Committee and was elected to their Board of Trustees in 2021. He serves on the Atlantic County Groundwater Advisory Committee and serves as Vice President of the New Jersey Water Environment Association, South Section. He has served on the Hammonton Chamber of Commerce for more than 20 years, including three years as its president, and is a recipient of the Chamber’s outstanding service to the community award. He is also a former member of Atlantic County’s Solid Waste Advisory Council and  the Atlantic County Economic Advisory Committee. He currently serves as the NJWEA South Section President and is a Board Member of the Association of Environmental Authorities (AEA). Within the AEA, he is the current Chair of the PFAS Sub Committee.

Pantalone is a graduate of James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology/Sociology and a Master of Arts in Personnel Administration. He resides in Hammonton, NJ. 

James B. Rocco
Vice President of Centralized Maintenance and Asset Management 
James B. Rocco is Vice President of Centralized Maintenance and Asset Management for the Atlantic County Utilities Authority (ACUA).

Rocco leads ACUA's efforts to efficiently manage assets and plan for maintenance, repairs, and improvements to its facilities, infrastructure, vehicles, and equipment. He oversees a staff of more than 60 employees from the Authority's facilities, fleet, electrical and instrumentation, mechanical services, and IT departments.

Rocco holds more than 30 years of engineering and project management experience, and has a specific understanding of local environmental utilities authorities. Prior to joining ACUA in September 2023, Rocco served as the Solid Waste Engineer for the Cape May County Municipal Utilities Authority (CMCMUA) and previously served as the Vice President of Engineering for The Authority in Cumberland County for 13 years.

In these roles, Rocco was responsible for overseeing landfill operations, managing equipment, and implementing key capital projects, such as leachate treatment and landfill gas to energy systems. Rocco is well-versed in preparing bid specifications, contracts, and equipment procuring processes. He is knowledgeable in state and federal environmental regulations, developing efficiency standards, and working with the community.

Rocco earned a Master of Science in Engineering Management and a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Widener University. He holds certifications in Manager of Landfill Operations and Leachate Recirculation and Bioreactor Landfills from the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA). He is trained as an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Hazardous Waste Site Investigator, is a US Department of Transportation (USDOT) Hazardous Material Certified Instruction Trainer and has undertaken Dupont Safety Audit and Accident Investigation Training.

Rocco currently serves on the Board of Directors for the SWANA NJ Chapter. Rocco currently resides in Mays Landing. ​


Rick Dovey Retires from ACUA in July 2023 After 33 years of Service

Richard S. Dovey served as President of the Atlantic County Utilities Authority (ACUA) for 33 years. 

Under Dovey’s leadership, ACUA was nationally recognized for excellence in innovation, efficiency and environmental stewardship. As a strong proponent of renewable energy and sustainability, he initiated many of ACUA’s green projects, including: landfill gas-to-electricity, a 500-kilowatt solar installation, South Jersey’s first compressed natural gas (CNG) station, New Jersey’s first wind farm at ACUA’s Wastewater Treatment Facility, and most recently, the installation of the state’s first  and largest energy storage battery project. His continued focus on delivering excellent customer service and engaging with the community has made ACUA a highly regarded agency both locally and throughout the state.

Dovey’s career was decorated with leadership roles at numerous environmental and community organizations. He currently serves as Treasurer of the Atlantic County Economic Alliance; Supervisor of the Cape Atlantic Conservation District Board; a member of the Sustainable Jersey Board of Trustees; Chair of the Egg Harbor City Industrial Commission; a member of the Stockton University Foundation Board; a member of the Board of Directors for Coastal Conservancy, Inc.; and as a member of the Board of the NJ Association of Conservation Districts. He is also a member of several advisory boards at Stockton University, Rowan University of Engineering, Atlantic Cape Community College and Atlantic County Institute of Technology.

Thank you, Rick, for your many years of contributions to the ACUA and our community!