Alison Ertl: Beyond The Grant Member Spotlight

Meet Impact 100 Jersey Coast Member Alison Manser Ertl

By Janet Mazur Cavano

Alison Manser Ertl
Alison Manser Ertl

Where do you live?
Brielle, New Jersey

Tell us about what you do for a living
I’m the publisher of Star News Group, a family-owned business. We publish two weekly newspapers, The Coast Star and the Ocean Star, and Night and Day Magazine. We cover local news in 16 communities and our reporting staff is one of the largest in New Jersey! I oversee the day-to-day operations, everything from changing the light bulbs to picking up the mail and keeping everything running from circulation to ad sales. We have offices in Manasquan and in Point Pleasant Beach.

When did you join Impact 100 Jersey Coast and how did you discover us?
I joined in October, 2018. I had heard about Impact from the press releases that were sent to our newspaper, and I thought “Wow! This is really interesting. What a great concept!” I had done research beforehand and then all it took was one meeting!

A representative from 180 Turning Lives Around, Impact 100 Jersey Coast’s inaugural grant recipient, made a presentation about the Family Justice Center and I was struck by the fact that Impact made that happen! Also, the members were a smart, knowledgeable, friendly and caring group – that just sold me. I joined on the spot!

How active are you in Impact Jersey Coast?
What’s funny is that the “no-guilt” aspect is very appealing to me. I’m pressed for time – I have a young family and I’m running a business, plus I’m involved in Chamber of Commerce activities. Yet, when they were looking for someone to host a membership event, the energy and excitement caught me off guard and I said, “I’ll do one!” We hosted it at a restaurant, invited a bunch of friends, and had a really nice turnout!

What would you tell a woman who is thinking about joining?
It’s the best bang for your buck! It’s a great opportunity to maximize your dollars and your time to truly make a difference in your community. You can make your voice heard, make your contribution and network with like-minded women -it’s all that rolled into one!

Your favorite Impact 100 moment?
My first annual meeting – that night really solidified it for me. Hearing all the applicants making their pitch and being so passionate! And I could not believe how packed those rooms were with members…it keeps getting bigger and bigger, like a groundswell, picking up more and more women as we go along. I even got my mother to join!

What’s the best life advice you’ve gotten?
My dad has been my mentor; we work together and he’s given me a lot of practical advice over the years and the one thing he has instilled in me, is that “You’re more capable than you realize!” It’s an underlying theme to the way we run our organization. You can always exceed your goals and expectations. You are capable of so much more than you think!

What keeps you sane and balanced?
I try to carve out small amounts of time for myself every day. I also have a weekly yoga practice and I recently started a 21-day meditation practice. It’s led by Oprah and Deepak Chopra and you do it on your phone. I also try my best not to add to a plate that’s already so full, but I don’t always succeed!

Tell us something people may not know about you!
I’m involved in the gluten-free and celiac disease community as a mom to two girls with celiac disease. My girls and I enjoy baking and re-creating dishes as gluten-free at home. I’ve become passionate about educating myself about autoimmune disorders, such as celiac disease, as well as being an advocate for better research and options for those who have an autoimmune disease.

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