LaDaena D. Thomas
LaDaena Thomas became a resident of Penns Grove NJ in 1990. She attended Penns Grove High School from 1990-1991.
LaDaena has always had a passion for building stronger communities and Business. In 1999 at the age of 25, she opened a beauty supply store and a salon in Lindenwold, NJ and a record store in Clementon, NJ. In 2005 she moved to Los Angeles, CA where she met her husband Waiverly. She and her husband were members of Family of Victory Church and remained members until they moved to Penns Grove, NJ in the summer of 2018.
LaDaena has been working in information technology project management for over 20 years with a focus in healthcare and telecommunications. She and her husband coached pee wee football, basketball, and tee-ball for Inglewood Park and Recreations in Inglewood, CA and in Rialto, CA from 2007 to 2017. She supported her husband and the team as he coached youth baseball at Whitman Park in Camden, NJ in 2018.
LaDaena also worked at Health Care Dual Diagnosis as a counselor for at-risk youth, developing and implementing substance abuse, anti-gang, and tutoring programs for LA Unified School District. She currently sits on the board of Phenomenal Women of Delaware and actively participates in developing community pro grams for the youth and elderly within the Dunleith Community.
LaDaena is in her second year of her first term as Mayor of Penns Grove, NJ. She was elected in November of 2019 (defeating a 20-year incumbent) as the first female mayor of Penns Grove and the first African American woman to be elected mayor in Salem County. During her first year, she managed to dismantle a system that no longer works for the borough, held community events for the children and residents, demolished 5 abandoned properties, and brought $150,000 of extra revenue to the borough. During her second year, she implemented the NJ state DCA Recovery Plan to manage Penns Grove being financially self-sufficient.
Because of the work that she and her administration did the first half of 2021, the state of New Jersey awarded $1,263,000 for Barber Avenue Park Revitalization, demolition of abandoned properties, Covid relief, and transitional aid . The mayor also worked with grant writers and the engineer to ensure storm water management needs are met with infrastructure grants. The mayor hired five new officers to the 16 member department. The mayor has worked with political independents, Republicans, and Democrats to support all these initiatives.