Staff

Meet Our Team

Get to know the dedicated staff behind New Jersey Conservation Foundation’s important work.


Erica Arlès |Land Program Coordinator & Policy Assistant

Erica provides administrative support to the Assistant Director/Director of Statewide Land Acquisition and the Land Acquisition & Stewardship Departments. Before coming to NJCF, Erica worked in New York state as an Arts-in-Education Coordinator. She has also worked for the Blue Fish Clothing Co. as a textile artist in Frenchtown and an art teacher at the Katherine Gibbs School in Piscataway. Her studies include a BFA from Kutztown University and courses at the Universities of Paris and New Mexico in art and music....read more


Mark Barrick |Information Technology / Office Manager

Mark serves as Information Technology / Office Manager keeping current with the latest techniques in supporting, improving and maintaining IT infrastructure, as well as handling various office management duties. Mark has over two decades of IT experience from education to large corporate settings. He was born in Stuttgart, Germany and grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. His love of the outdoors translates through his interests in photography, arts and a degree in Landscape Architecture from Louisiana State University....read more


Nicole Ceballos |Development Associate

Prior to joining NJCF’s development team, Nicole worked as an Event Manager with the Council on Foreign Relations, where she managed both social and corporate events. After graduating from Fairleigh Dickinson University's International School of Hospitality and Tourism Management in 2017, she began her career with The Related Companies’ event marketing and hospitality programs in New York City. Nicole grew up in Bergen County and is an avid rock climber in the tri-state area with a passion for accessibility and representation within our outdoor community. ...read more


Aria (Beth) E. Davisson |Regional Manager, Black River Greenway

Beth provides consulting services to the Township of Bedminster in implementing its open space and farmland preservation goals by coordinating land and conservation easement acquisition projects from inception to completion. Beth also provides land acquisition services to the Tewksbury Land Trust through NJCF’s innovative shared staffing program, which she helped develop and manage between 2000 and 2002. Beth is a key player on our land acquisition team and serves on the Board of Lamington Conservancy. Beth received her BS in Environmental Engineering from Northwestern University....read more


Richard Dodds | Black River Project Coordinator

Richard provides consulting services to the Township of Bedminster in implementing its open space and farmland preservation goals by coordinating land and conservation easement acquisition projects from inception to completion. Richard also provides land acquisition services to the Tewksbury Land Trust, Raritan Headwaters Association and Peapack Gladstone Borough through NJCF’s innovative shared staffing program and coordinates stewardship projects and outreach events in the Black River Greenway. Richard has served as the President of the Hunterdon Land Trust, Mayor of Kingwood Township, and currently serves as the Chairperson of the Lower Delaware Wild and Scenic Management Committee (a partnership program with the National Park Service as well as river communities and nonprofit organizations from south of the Delaware Water Gap to north of Trenton)....read more


Rob Ferber |Project Manager, Delaware Bay Watershed

Rob has nearly 30 years of experience in agriculture, outdoor recreation, and education. He most recently served as founding director of Pineland Adventures, a nonprofit enterprise designed to expand low-impact recreational opportunities and innovative educational programs in New Jersey’s Pine Barrens. Previously, he was business operations and strategic marketing director at Linvilla Orchards in Pennsylvania, a 300-acre family farm dedicated to agriculture, education and entertainment. He is a graduate of Neumann University in Aston, Pa., and attended the New Jersey Agriculture Leadership Development Program. Rob has resided in Salem County for over 25 years. In his free time you will find him crabbing on the Delaware Bayshore or traveling. ...read more


Tom Gilbert |Co-Executive Director

At the end of 2021, Tom became one of three co-executive directors of the organization, and oversees our policy, communications & engagement, and finance teams. Prior to that, Tom served since 2015 as Campaign Director for Energy, Climate and Natural Resources. In this role he led the statewide “Rethink Energy NJ” campaign to stop unneeded fossil fuel infrastructure, including the PennEast pipeline, and to advance landmark new clean energy and climate policies. Previously, he served as Senior Conservation Finance Director with the Trust for Public Land where he chaired the NJ Keep It Green Coalition and led successful campaigns to secure approval of a $400 million bond measure in 2009 and constitutional amendment in 2014 that created a stable source of funding for New Jersey’s land and historic preservation programs. Tom also previously served as Director of Eastern Forest Conservation for the Wilderness Society, and Executive Director of the NY/NJ/PA/CT Highlands Coalition, where he led successful campaigns to pass both federal and New Jersey state legislation to protect critical lands and waters in the Highlands region. Tom earned his B.A. in History and M.S. in Natural Resources Planning from the University of Vermont. He was a founding board member of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters and currently serves on its board....read more


Amy Hansen |Policy Manager

As policy manager, Amy evaluates and analyzes legislation, regulations and public policy in New Jersey pertaining to land and natural resources conservation and management. She also prepares and provides testimony to the legislature and other state agencies. She specializes in farmland policy, and is a member of NJ Conservation's justice, equity, diversity and inclusion committee and internship committee. She has served on the Board of Trustees to the Musconetcong Watershed Association and the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey (NOFA-NJ) Board of Trustees. Prior to joining the NJCF staff, Amy worked at NOFA-NJ, the Delaware Riverkeeper Network and for the Land Use Committee in Solebury, PA. Amy also helps manage the organic fruit and vegetable farm on which she lives in Asbury, Hunterdon County. Amy holds a BA in Fine Art with emphasis in Natural Science Illustration from the University of California, Santa Cruz....read more


Jalisa Hernandez |Camden Urban Parks Coordinator

Jalisa Hernandez is a Camden native and a graduate of Urban Promise Academy, where she was a leader in the Urban Trekkers program and participated in a boat building program and a water quality monitoring program. She is also a recent graduate from William Paterson University with a bachelors in integrated math and science and a concentration in environmental science as well as a minor in legal studies. She is now a member of New Jersey Conservation Foundation as the Camden Urban Parks Coordinator. ...read more


Russell Juelg |Senior Land Steward

Russell is senior land steward for New Jersey Conservation Foundation, and has developed a trail system and educational programs for the Franklin Parker Preserve. He has a BA degree in Religion-Studies from Texas Christian University. Past work experience includes three years as managing director of Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge and 11 years as director of outreach at the Pinelands Preservation Alliance. His favorite areas of research include Pine Barrens vegetation communities, field botany, and threatened and endangered species....read more


Stephanie Kreiser |Director - South Jersey

Stephanie has worked at NJCF for nearly 20 years. As Director for South Jersey, she works to advance land acquisition, stewardship and outreach in the region. She previously worked as Program Coordinator of Drew University’s Environmental Studies and Sustainability Program, Associate Director of Development and Alumni Affairs at Drew Theological School, and Program Coordinator and Development Director at the Conservation Trust for North Carolina. Stephanie holds a BA in Political Science, concentration in Urban Affairs and Planning from Virginia Tech, and a Masters of Public Administration, with a concentration in Environmental Policy, from North Carolina State University....read more


Melanie Mason |Land Steward

Melanie joined NJ Conservation Foundation as a Land Steward in 2018. She is responsible for management and development of NJCF’s preserves in the northern region of the state. Her background includes stewardship and monitoring of NJ’s natural resources for New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife and Morris County Park Commission. Most recently she administered the Farmland Preservation Program and County Agriculture Development Board for Hunterdon County. She holds a B.S. in Ecology and Natural Resources from Rutgers University and a certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) from Penn State....read more


Tim Morris |Director of Stewardship

Tim oversees NJCF's Stewardship Program, and directly manages NJCF's conservation easements. He also contributes to the acquisition program by assisting with the drafting and negotiating of new conservation easements, and works with government and non-profit groups to strengthen easement stewardship practices. Before joining NJCF, Tim worked for the University of Washington, USDA Forest Service, and several non-profit groups, conducting wildlife research and monitoring. He serves on the Board of Trustees of the Washington Township Land Trust of Morris County. Tim has a BA in Biology from Rutgers College....read more


Rudisha Okezie |Outreach Manager, Camden Parks and Greenways

Rudisha manages outreach efforts for the Camden region with a focus on improving community health and livability by engaging residents and community partners in the region, to enhance access to parks, gardens, rivers, trails, programming, and community green spaces. Prior to joining New Jersey Conservation Foundation, Rudisha worked in the city of Camden for several years as a project manager of Community Initiatives. Rudisha holds a B.S. in Planning from Rowan University as well as an A.A.S. in Architectural and Civil Engineering technology from the Pennsylvania Institute of Technology. ...read more


Karen Richards, CPA |Director of Finance & Administration

Karen has managed NJ Conservation Foundation's finances for over 20 years. As Director of Finance and Administration she is responsible for the accuracy and integrity of all financial information and assets. She assists the Director of Human Resources and oversees the office management. She is a certified public accountant with 30+ years’ experience in private and public accounting. Karen previously served as a trustee for the Washington Township Land Trust. She holds a BS in Accounting from the University of Delaware. ...read more


Bill Scullion |Land Steward

Bill manages the South Jersey preserves. His previous experience includes working as a field biologist and land steward for the Nature Conservancy, and as a park naturalist at Cattus Island County Park in Ocean County. He holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Richard Stockton College of New Jersey....read more


John S. Watson, Jr. |Co-Executive Director

At the end of 2021, Jay became one of three co-executive directors of the organization, and oversees our Statewide Land Protection team and leads the organization’s Urban Action agenda. Prior to being appointed as co-executive Director in January 2022, he served as Senior Director for Statewide Land Protection and Community Relations. Jay’s priority objective is to accelerate the pace of land protection across the State, preserving high quality lands for their natural resource, habitat and climate resiliency values. Jay is also working to ensure that the organization advocates for and creates ‘green projects’ in cities throughout New Jersey to make sure that everyone, everywhere, has access to quality open spaces, tree lined streets and a high quality environment. Before joining the nonprofit sector, he spent nearly 30 years in the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, most of it as Administrator of the Green Acres Program. He was then appointed as Assistant Commissioner for Natural and Historic Resources and soon after was appointed as the Department’s Deputy Commissioner, the title from which he retired from State Service in 2010. Jay is a proud graduate of Mercer County College and holds a BS Degree from Florida A&M University, one of the nation’s premiere HBCUs. He has served on many nonprofit boards including the Princeton Area Community Foundation and Isles Inc.; and is currently a Bunbury Fund Advisor and board member of Truehart Productions. ...read more


Alix Bacon |Regional Manager, Western Piedmont

Alix became Manager of the Western Piedmont Region in 2004 and is responsible for coordinating NJCF's acquisition, stewardship, outreach, and fundraising activities in this region. She brings local expertise to her work in the Western Piedmont project area, where she is working on the Wickecheoke Creek and Delaware River Bluffs. Before coming to NJCF, she worked for the South Branch Watershed Association and the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions. Alix served on the Delaware Township Environmental Commission, and was chair for four years. She is also a member of the Delaware Township Open Space Committee, a founding member of the Hunterdon Land Trust Alliance Board of Trustees, and a landscape painter. She has a BA from Yale University....read more


Tim Brill |Regional Manager, Central Jersey

Tim Brill joined New Jersey Conservation Foundation as Central Jersey Project Manager in October 2015, to advance the preservation of open space and farmland and the development of parks, trails and greenways in the area. Tim served the NJ State Agriculture Development Committee as its Agricultural Retention Program / Planning Manager from August 1999, until July of 2015, supervising the New Jersey Farmland Preservation Program and the State Transfer of Development Rights Bank. He also coordinated the Farmland Preservation / Agricultural Retention Program with State and regional planning efforts as well as county, municipal, open space/recreation and historic preservation initiatives. In more recent years, Tim was responsible for the development of the Planning Incentive Grant program currently involving 18 counties and 47 municipalities, targeting the preservation of more than 5,600 farms and 300,000 additional acres. From 1988 through the first half of 1999, Tim worked for the Cumberland County Department of Planning and Development as the Assistant Planning Director. He also served as the President of the NJ County Planners Association in 1997. Tim started his career in 1980 with the City of Bridgeton, New Jersey’s largest National Register Historic District, serving as Planning Director, Downtown Revitalization Project Manager, Historic District Officer and Planning Board Administrator. He received a B.A. in Geography from Glassboro State College (now Rowan University) in 1980, and is a New Jersey licensed Professional Planner....read more


Erica Colace |Assistant Development Director

Prior to joining NJ Conservation Foundation as Development Manager, Erica served as Executive Director of Grow it Green Morristown, where she led the organization's work to provide fresh, local produce to the Morristown community. Erica's previous work experience includes time as Executive Assistant at the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference and as the Outreach and Education Director for the New Jersey Highlands Coalition. She also represented the Coalition while working with NJ Keep it Green to secure long-term funding for New Jersey's preservation programs. Erica began her career as an Environmental Educator at the Meadowlands Environment Center teaching science-based content to students and adults with disabilities. Erica grew up in Sussex County, where she learned to love nature and New Jersey, and is a graduate of Ramapo College of New Jersey's Institute of Environmental Studies....read more


Emile D. DeVito, Ph.D |Manager of Science & Stewardship

Emile has been the Manager of Science and Stewardship at the New Jersey Conservation Foundation since 1989. He received a doctorate in Ecology in 1988 for research on bird communities and vegetation landscapes in New Jersey’s Pine Barrens. Dr. DeVito develops management plans for NJCF’s 20,000+ acres of holdings designed to protect and enhance biological diversity. Emile educates government officials, advocacy groups, land trusts, teachers and students on forest-interior habitat and migratory stopover needs of Neotropical songbirds. He is a trustee of the Pinelands Preservation Alliance and the NJ Natural Lands Trust. He serves on the Endangered and Non-Game Species Advisory Committee within the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife, the New Jersey Invasive Species Council, and the Science Advisory Committee of the NY-NJ Trail Conference....read more


Jess Fasano |Communications Manager

Jess joined NJCF in 2022 after spending several years working in higher ed communications where she helped elevate expert voices speaking on global issues. At NJCF, she collaborates with colleagues to implement the organization's communications strategy and also supports its media relations, social media presence, publications, and website. The Monmouth County native started her career as a weekly newspaper reporter covering everything from environmental initiatives to elections, the restoration of a local landmark to the origin of a local love story....read more


Jane Gardner |Policy & Development Assistant

Jane joined the NJ Conservation Foundation team in December 2016 to work on the Pipeline Campaign. She has almost 20 years of experience working at non-profit organizations, specifically in government affairs/public policy and public health, and worked as a research analyst and state reporting associate at a large insurance company. Jane earned a B.S. in Public Health from William Paterson University....read more


Jane Halsted, CPA |Accounting Manager

Jane joined New Jersey Conservation Foundation as the accounting manager.   She previously owned a small CPA firm for over 15 years where she served small businesses and a number of nonprofit clients.    She later worked as the Finance Director for two nonprofit organizations.   She holds a BS in Accounting from Bucknell University. She enjoys hiking, biking, cross country skiing, and music....read more


Maria Hauser |Director, Human Resources & Board Liaison

Maria joined NJ Conservation as Personnel Manager & Executive Assistant in 2001 and served in that role for almost 20 years before becoming Director of Human Resources and Board Liaison. She also served as Administrative Assistant to Land Acquisition for a short period of time.  Prior to joining NJCF, Maria was with Champion International, a large paper manufacturing company, serving as the Personnel Manager for over 12 years. Maria holds a BS degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Management from the College of St. Elizabeth....read more


Steven Jack |Land Steward

Steve works with the Stewardship department to take care of the Franklin Parker Preserve in Chatsworth, Burlington County. He is a former firefighter with the Collingswood Fire Department....read more


Bill Lynch |Director of Engagement & Communications

Bill joined New Jersey Conservation Foundation in February 2014, planning and managing all fundraising and member cultivation events. As Director of Engagement & Communications he also manages NJ Conservation’s outreach and environmental education programs, including the Step Into Nature series. He oversees the organization's social media presence as well as its newsletters, annual reports, and other communications. He also works to engage new constituencies by building partnerships and offering education and engagement opportunities in both well-established and new settings. Bill received his Master of Science degree in Ecology and Evolution from Rutgers University, and has worked for various conservation organizations. He is a passionate environmental educator, birder, and photographer....read more


Lisa MacCollum |Director - North & Central Jersey

Lisa assists the Co-Executive Director responsible for land acquisition in directing and coordinating the activities of the land program including directing and coordinating the regional managers in North and Central Jersey in all aspects of land acquisition within their regions. She is responsible for negotiation and acquisition of both fee and easement properties in various regions of the state with primary focus in the Sourland/Hopewell Valley Project Area. As a member of the management team, Lisa also consults with all departments on various issues relating to acquisition. She began as a volunteer at NJCF monitoring easements in 1992 and joined the staff in1993. Lisa received her BS in Natural Resource Management at Cook College, Rutgers University....read more


Alison E. Mitchell |Co-Executive Director

At the end of 2021, Alison became one of three Co-Executive Directors of the organization, and oversees stewardship, development and administration. Alison has worked for New Jersey Conservation Foundation for 30 years. Before becoming Assistant Director, she spearheaded the development and management of the Conservation Foundation’s public policy program for over a decade as the Policy Director. In earlier years, Alison also worked on land acquisition initiatives and led NJ Conservation’s Conservation Assistance Program, and played a leadership role in the organization’s farmland preservation efforts and farmland policy work. She is the author of two of the Conservation Foundation’s major publications – The New Jersey Highlands: Treasures at Risk and Gaining Ground: a farmland policy report. In addition to her work at the Conservation Foundation, Alison’s past accomplishments include serving as a founding trustee and former president of the Hunterdon Land Trust, and a member of the Board of Trustees of Isles in Trenton. She was appointed by Governor McGreevey to serve as a public member of the Delaware and Raritan Canal Commission. A graduate of Lead New Jersey, she also served as a member of the advisory committee of the NJ Agricultural Experiment Station Board of Managers at Rutgers University. In the 1990’s, she joined the U.S-German Environmental Policy Exchange Program sponsored by the Heinrich Boll Foundation. The program fostered transatlantic meetings and site visits to share information and ideas among nonprofit and high level government agency staff. Prior to joining NJ Conservation Foundation, Alison interned with the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and The Wilderness Society. More recently, she served on the Board of Trustees of Buckingham Friends School. She holds an MA in Urban and Environmental Policy from Tufts University and a BA in International Relations from Connecticut College. ...read more


Tanya Nolte |Conservation Information & GIS Manager

Tanya is responsible for all aspects of NJCF’s GIS mapping program. Before coming to NJCF, Tanya worked as a grant writer and publications manager at Reeves-Reed Arboretum in Summit. Prior to that, she was the GIS Director for seven years at Morris Land Conservancy, where she helped develop and implement the GIS program. Tanya has a Bachelor of Arts degree in geography and politics from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, where she was born and raised....read more


Sandy Stuart Perry |Staff Writer

Sandy coordinates NJCF’s communications and public relations program. Her responsibilities include editing and writing press releases, columns, newsletters and annual reports; providing content and updates for the NJCF website; raising public awareness of NJCF by publicizing newsworthy events such as land acquisitions and public policy initiatives; and responding to inquiries by the media. Sandy holds a bachelor’s degree in communications/journalism from the University of Bridgeport (Conn.), and worked for more than 25 years as a newspaper reporter, editor and occasional photographer before joining NJCF. She enjoys nature, hiking, kayaking, gardening and other outdoor activities....read more


Heidi Roldan |Corporate & Foundation Relations Coordinator

Heidi joined New Jersey Conservation Foundation in November 2016. She manages foundation and corporate grants, including grant writing, reporting, and compliance, as well as identifying new opportunities. Heidi also administers the Franklin Parker Conservation Excellence Grant Program. Prior to joining NJ Conservation, Heidi was an Environmental Engineer for a consulting firm, where she managed remediation projects and specialized in regulatory compliance. Heidi holds a bachelor's degree in Environmental Engineering from Rutgers University, and a master's degree in Environmental Management from New Jersey Institute of Technology. ...read more


Ingrid Vandegaer |Regional Manager, Highlands

Ingrid became the Highlands Regional Manager in 2004. This position entails coordinating NJCF's acquisition, stewardship, outreach, and fundraising activities in the region. She established GIS capacity for the organization, worked extensively on Garden State Greenways, and has handled land donations and easement stewardship responsibilities. Ingrid brings 10 years as a lease finance negotiator, a BS in Business Administration, and GIS / Cartography coursework at Rutgers University to NJCF. Ingrid serves on the steering committee of the Morris County Green Table and was previously active in the Mountain Lakes Environmental Commission....read more


Allison Williams |Stewardship Coordinator

Allison is responsible for monitoring and stewardship of all easement properties held by NJCF. As a New Jersey native, her previous experience includes habitat restoration, endangered species monitoring, and volunteer management with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy in California, as well as with Delaware State Parks. Allison has a B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Delaware....read more


Erica Arlès |Land Program Coordinator & Policy Assistant

Erica provides administrative support to the Assistant Director/Director of Statewide Land Acquisition and the Land Acquisition & Stewardship Departments. Before coming to NJCF, Erica worked in New York state as an Arts-in-Education Coordinator. She has also worked for the Blue Fish Clothing Co. as a textile artist in Frenchtown and an art teacher at the Katherine Gibbs School in Piscataway. Her studies include a BFA from Kutztown University and courses at the Universities of Paris and New Mexico in art and music....read more


Alix Bacon |Regional Manager, Western Piedmont

Alix became Manager of the Western Piedmont Region in 2004 and is responsible for coordinating NJCF's acquisition, stewardship, outreach, and fundraising activities in this region. She brings local expertise to her work in the Western Piedmont project area, where she is working on the Wickecheoke Creek and Delaware River Bluffs. Before coming to NJCF, she worked for the South Branch Watershed Association and the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions. Alix served on the Delaware Township Environmental Commission, and was chair for four years. She is also a member of the Delaware Township Open Space Committee, a founding member of the Hunterdon Land Trust Alliance Board of Trustees, and a landscape painter. She has a BA from Yale University....read more


Mark Barrick |Information Technology / Office Manager

Mark serves as Information Technology / Office Manager keeping current with the latest techniques in supporting, improving and maintaining IT infrastructure, as well as handling various office management duties. Mark has over two decades of IT experience from education to large corporate settings. He was born in Stuttgart, Germany and grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. His love of the outdoors translates through his interests in photography, arts and a degree in Landscape Architecture from Louisiana State University....read more


Tim Brill |Regional Manager, Central Jersey

Tim Brill joined New Jersey Conservation Foundation as Central Jersey Project Manager in October 2015, to advance the preservation of open space and farmland and the development of parks, trails and greenways in the area. Tim served the NJ State Agriculture Development Committee as its Agricultural Retention Program / Planning Manager from August 1999, until July of 2015, supervising the New Jersey Farmland Preservation Program and the State Transfer of Development Rights Bank. He also coordinated the Farmland Preservation / Agricultural Retention Program with State and regional planning efforts as well as county, municipal, open space/recreation and historic preservation initiatives. In more recent years, Tim was responsible for the development of the Planning Incentive Grant program currently involving 18 counties and 47 municipalities, targeting the preservation of more than 5,600 farms and 300,000 additional acres. From 1988 through the first half of 1999, Tim worked for the Cumberland County Department of Planning and Development as the Assistant Planning Director. He also served as the President of the NJ County Planners Association in 1997. Tim started his career in 1980 with the City of Bridgeton, New Jersey’s largest National Register Historic District, serving as Planning Director, Downtown Revitalization Project Manager, Historic District Officer and Planning Board Administrator. He received a B.A. in Geography from Glassboro State College (now Rowan University) in 1980, and is a New Jersey licensed Professional Planner....read more


Nicole Ceballos |Development Associate

Prior to joining NJCF’s development team, Nicole worked as an Event Manager with the Council on Foreign Relations, where she managed both social and corporate events. After graduating from Fairleigh Dickinson University's International School of Hospitality and Tourism Management in 2017, she began her career with The Related Companies’ event marketing and hospitality programs in New York City. Nicole grew up in Bergen County and is an avid rock climber in the tri-state area with a passion for accessibility and representation within our outdoor community. ...read more


Erica Colace |Assistant Development Director

Prior to joining NJ Conservation Foundation as Development Manager, Erica served as Executive Director of Grow it Green Morristown, where she led the organization's work to provide fresh, local produce to the Morristown community. Erica's previous work experience includes time as Executive Assistant at the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference and as the Outreach and Education Director for the New Jersey Highlands Coalition. She also represented the Coalition while working with NJ Keep it Green to secure long-term funding for New Jersey's preservation programs. Erica began her career as an Environmental Educator at the Meadowlands Environment Center teaching science-based content to students and adults with disabilities. Erica grew up in Sussex County, where she learned to love nature and New Jersey, and is a graduate of Ramapo College of New Jersey's Institute of Environmental Studies....read more


Aria (Beth) E. Davisson |Regional Manager, Black River Greenway

Beth provides consulting services to the Township of Bedminster in implementing its open space and farmland preservation goals by coordinating land and conservation easement acquisition projects from inception to completion. Beth also provides land acquisition services to the Tewksbury Land Trust through NJCF’s innovative shared staffing program, which she helped develop and manage between 2000 and 2002. Beth is a key player on our land acquisition team and serves on the Board of Lamington Conservancy. Beth received her BS in Environmental Engineering from Northwestern University....read more


Emile D. DeVito, Ph.D |Manager of Science & Stewardship

Emile has been the Manager of Science and Stewardship at the New Jersey Conservation Foundation since 1989. He received a doctorate in Ecology in 1988 for research on bird communities and vegetation landscapes in New Jersey’s Pine Barrens. Dr. DeVito develops management plans for NJCF’s 20,000+ acres of holdings designed to protect and enhance biological diversity. Emile educates government officials, advocacy groups, land trusts, teachers and students on forest-interior habitat and migratory stopover needs of Neotropical songbirds. He is a trustee of the Pinelands Preservation Alliance and the NJ Natural Lands Trust. He serves on the Endangered and Non-Game Species Advisory Committee within the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife, the New Jersey Invasive Species Council, and the Science Advisory Committee of the NY-NJ Trail Conference....read more


Richard Dodds | Black River Project Coordinator

Richard provides consulting services to the Township of Bedminster in implementing its open space and farmland preservation goals by coordinating land and conservation easement acquisition projects from inception to completion. Richard also provides land acquisition services to the Tewksbury Land Trust, Raritan Headwaters Association and Peapack Gladstone Borough through NJCF’s innovative shared staffing program and coordinates stewardship projects and outreach events in the Black River Greenway. Richard has served as the President of the Hunterdon Land Trust, Mayor of Kingwood Township, and currently serves as the Chairperson of the Lower Delaware Wild and Scenic Management Committee (a partnership program with the National Park Service as well as river communities and nonprofit organizations from south of the Delaware Water Gap to north of Trenton)....read more


Jess Fasano |Communications Manager

Jess joined NJCF in 2022 after spending several years working in higher ed communications where she helped elevate expert voices speaking on global issues. At NJCF, she collaborates with colleagues to implement the organization's communications strategy and also supports its media relations, social media presence, publications, and website. The Monmouth County native started her career as a weekly newspaper reporter covering everything from environmental initiatives to elections, the restoration of a local landmark to the origin of a local love story....read more


Rob Ferber |Project Manager, Delaware Bay Watershed

Rob has nearly 30 years of experience in agriculture, outdoor recreation, and education. He most recently served as founding director of Pineland Adventures, a nonprofit enterprise designed to expand low-impact recreational opportunities and innovative educational programs in New Jersey’s Pine Barrens. Previously, he was business operations and strategic marketing director at Linvilla Orchards in Pennsylvania, a 300-acre family farm dedicated to agriculture, education and entertainment. He is a graduate of Neumann University in Aston, Pa., and attended the New Jersey Agriculture Leadership Development Program. Rob has resided in Salem County for over 25 years. In his free time you will find him crabbing on the Delaware Bayshore or traveling. ...read more


Jane Gardner |Policy & Development Assistant

Jane joined the NJ Conservation Foundation team in December 2016 to work on the Pipeline Campaign. She has almost 20 years of experience working at non-profit organizations, specifically in government affairs/public policy and public health, and worked as a research analyst and state reporting associate at a large insurance company. Jane earned a B.S. in Public Health from William Paterson University....read more


Tom Gilbert |Co-Executive Director

At the end of 2021, Tom became one of three co-executive directors of the organization, and oversees our policy, communications & engagement, and finance teams. Prior to that, Tom served since 2015 as Campaign Director for Energy, Climate and Natural Resources. In this role he led the statewide “Rethink Energy NJ” campaign to stop unneeded fossil fuel infrastructure, including the PennEast pipeline, and to advance landmark new clean energy and climate policies. Previously, he served as Senior Conservation Finance Director with the Trust for Public Land where he chaired the NJ Keep It Green Coalition and led successful campaigns to secure approval of a $400 million bond measure in 2009 and constitutional amendment in 2014 that created a stable source of funding for New Jersey’s land and historic preservation programs. Tom also previously served as Director of Eastern Forest Conservation for the Wilderness Society, and Executive Director of the NY/NJ/PA/CT Highlands Coalition, where he led successful campaigns to pass both federal and New Jersey state legislation to protect critical lands and waters in the Highlands region. Tom earned his B.A. in History and M.S. in Natural Resources Planning from the University of Vermont. He was a founding board member of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters and currently serves on its board....read more


Jane Halsted, CPA |Accounting Manager

Jane joined New Jersey Conservation Foundation as the accounting manager.   She previously owned a small CPA firm for over 15 years where she served small businesses and a number of nonprofit clients.    She later worked as the Finance Director for two nonprofit organizations.   She holds a BS in Accounting from Bucknell University. She enjoys hiking, biking, cross country skiing, and music....read more


Amy Hansen |Policy Manager

As policy manager, Amy evaluates and analyzes legislation, regulations and public policy in New Jersey pertaining to land and natural resources conservation and management. She also prepares and provides testimony to the legislature and other state agencies. She specializes in farmland policy, and is a member of NJ Conservation's justice, equity, diversity and inclusion committee and internship committee. She has served on the Board of Trustees to the Musconetcong Watershed Association and the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey (NOFA-NJ) Board of Trustees. Prior to joining the NJCF staff, Amy worked at NOFA-NJ, the Delaware Riverkeeper Network and for the Land Use Committee in Solebury, PA. Amy also helps manage the organic fruit and vegetable farm on which she lives in Asbury, Hunterdon County. Amy holds a BA in Fine Art with emphasis in Natural Science Illustration from the University of California, Santa Cruz....read more


Maria Hauser |Director, Human Resources & Board Liaison

Maria joined NJ Conservation as Personnel Manager & Executive Assistant in 2001 and served in that role for almost 20 years before becoming Director of Human Resources and Board Liaison. She also served as Administrative Assistant to Land Acquisition for a short period of time.  Prior to joining NJCF, Maria was with Champion International, a large paper manufacturing company, serving as the Personnel Manager for over 12 years. Maria holds a BS degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Management from the College of St. Elizabeth....read more


Jalisa Hernandez |Camden Urban Parks Coordinator

Jalisa Hernandez is a Camden native and a graduate of Urban Promise Academy, where she was a leader in the Urban Trekkers program and participated in a boat building program and a water quality monitoring program. She is also a recent graduate from William Paterson University with a bachelors in integrated math and science and a concentration in environmental science as well as a minor in legal studies. She is now a member of New Jersey Conservation Foundation as the Camden Urban Parks Coordinator. ...read more


Steven Jack |Land Steward

Steve works with the Stewardship department to take care of the Franklin Parker Preserve in Chatsworth, Burlington County. He is a former firefighter with the Collingswood Fire Department....read more


Russell Juelg |Senior Land Steward

Russell is senior land steward for New Jersey Conservation Foundation, and has developed a trail system and educational programs for the Franklin Parker Preserve. He has a BA degree in Religion-Studies from Texas Christian University. Past work experience includes three years as managing director of Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge and 11 years as director of outreach at the Pinelands Preservation Alliance. His favorite areas of research include Pine Barrens vegetation communities, field botany, and threatened and endangered species....read more


Bill Lynch |Director of Engagement & Communications

Bill joined New Jersey Conservation Foundation in February 2014, planning and managing all fundraising and member cultivation events. As Director of Engagement & Communications he also manages NJ Conservation’s outreach and environmental education programs, including the Step Into Nature series. He oversees the organization's social media presence as well as its newsletters, annual reports, and other communications. He also works to engage new constituencies by building partnerships and offering education and engagement opportunities in both well-established and new settings. Bill received his Master of Science degree in Ecology and Evolution from Rutgers University, and has worked for various conservation organizations. He is a passionate environmental educator, birder, and photographer....read more


Stephanie Kreiser |Director - South Jersey

Stephanie has worked at NJCF for nearly 20 years. As Director for South Jersey, she works to advance land acquisition, stewardship and outreach in the region. She previously worked as Program Coordinator of Drew University’s Environmental Studies and Sustainability Program, Associate Director of Development and Alumni Affairs at Drew Theological School, and Program Coordinator and Development Director at the Conservation Trust for North Carolina. Stephanie holds a BA in Political Science, concentration in Urban Affairs and Planning from Virginia Tech, and a Masters of Public Administration, with a concentration in Environmental Policy, from North Carolina State University....read more


Lisa MacCollum |Director - North & Central Jersey

Lisa assists the Co-Executive Director responsible for land acquisition in directing and coordinating the activities of the land program including directing and coordinating the regional managers in North and Central Jersey in all aspects of land acquisition within their regions. She is responsible for negotiation and acquisition of both fee and easement properties in various regions of the state with primary focus in the Sourland/Hopewell Valley Project Area. As a member of the management team, Lisa also consults with all departments on various issues relating to acquisition. She began as a volunteer at NJCF monitoring easements in 1992 and joined the staff in1993. Lisa received her BS in Natural Resource Management at Cook College, Rutgers University....read more


Melanie Mason |Land Steward

Melanie joined NJ Conservation Foundation as a Land Steward in 2018. She is responsible for management and development of NJCF’s preserves in the northern region of the state. Her background includes stewardship and monitoring of NJ’s natural resources for New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife and Morris County Park Commission. Most recently she administered the Farmland Preservation Program and County Agriculture Development Board for Hunterdon County. She holds a B.S. in Ecology and Natural Resources from Rutgers University and a certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) from Penn State....read more


Alison E. Mitchell |Co-Executive Director

At the end of 2021, Alison became one of three Co-Executive Directors of the organization, and oversees stewardship, development and administration. Alison has worked for New Jersey Conservation Foundation for 30 years. Before becoming Assistant Director, she spearheaded the development and management of the Conservation Foundation’s public policy program for over a decade as the Policy Director. In earlier years, Alison also worked on land acquisition initiatives and led NJ Conservation’s Conservation Assistance Program, and played a leadership role in the organization’s farmland preservation efforts and farmland policy work. She is the author of two of the Conservation Foundation’s major publications – The New Jersey Highlands: Treasures at Risk and Gaining Ground: a farmland policy report. In addition to her work at the Conservation Foundation, Alison’s past accomplishments include serving as a founding trustee and former president of the Hunterdon Land Trust, and a member of the Board of Trustees of Isles in Trenton. She was appointed by Governor McGreevey to serve as a public member of the Delaware and Raritan Canal Commission. A graduate of Lead New Jersey, she also served as a member of the advisory committee of the NJ Agricultural Experiment Station Board of Managers at Rutgers University. In the 1990’s, she joined the U.S-German Environmental Policy Exchange Program sponsored by the Heinrich Boll Foundation. The program fostered transatlantic meetings and site visits to share information and ideas among nonprofit and high level government agency staff. Prior to joining NJ Conservation Foundation, Alison interned with the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and The Wilderness Society. More recently, she served on the Board of Trustees of Buckingham Friends School. She holds an MA in Urban and Environmental Policy from Tufts University and a BA in International Relations from Connecticut College. ...read more


Tim Morris |Director of Stewardship

Tim oversees NJCF's Stewardship Program, and directly manages NJCF's conservation easements. He also contributes to the acquisition program by assisting with the drafting and negotiating of new conservation easements, and works with government and non-profit groups to strengthen easement stewardship practices. Before joining NJCF, Tim worked for the University of Washington, USDA Forest Service, and several non-profit groups, conducting wildlife research and monitoring. He serves on the Board of Trustees of the Washington Township Land Trust of Morris County. Tim has a BA in Biology from Rutgers College....read more


Tanya Nolte |Conservation Information & GIS Manager

Tanya is responsible for all aspects of NJCF’s GIS mapping program. Before coming to NJCF, Tanya worked as a grant writer and publications manager at Reeves-Reed Arboretum in Summit. Prior to that, she was the GIS Director for seven years at Morris Land Conservancy, where she helped develop and implement the GIS program. Tanya has a Bachelor of Arts degree in geography and politics from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, where she was born and raised....read more


Rudisha Okezie |Outreach Manager, Camden Parks and Greenways

Rudisha manages outreach efforts for the Camden region with a focus on improving community health and livability by engaging residents and community partners in the region, to enhance access to parks, gardens, rivers, trails, programming, and community green spaces. Prior to joining New Jersey Conservation Foundation, Rudisha worked in the city of Camden for several years as a project manager of Community Initiatives. Rudisha holds a B.S. in Planning from Rowan University as well as an A.A.S. in Architectural and Civil Engineering technology from the Pennsylvania Institute of Technology. ...read more


Sandy Stuart Perry |Staff Writer

Sandy coordinates NJCF’s communications and public relations program. Her responsibilities include editing and writing press releases, columns, newsletters and annual reports; providing content and updates for the NJCF website; raising public awareness of NJCF by publicizing newsworthy events such as land acquisitions and public policy initiatives; and responding to inquiries by the media. Sandy holds a bachelor’s degree in communications/journalism from the University of Bridgeport (Conn.), and worked for more than 25 years as a newspaper reporter, editor and occasional photographer before joining NJCF. She enjoys nature, hiking, kayaking, gardening and other outdoor activities....read more


Karen Richards, CPA |Director of Finance & Administration

Karen has managed NJ Conservation Foundation's finances for over 20 years. As Director of Finance and Administration she is responsible for the accuracy and integrity of all financial information and assets. She assists the Director of Human Resources and oversees the office management. She is a certified public accountant with 30+ years’ experience in private and public accounting. Karen previously served as a trustee for the Washington Township Land Trust. She holds a BS in Accounting from the University of Delaware. ...read more


Heidi Roldan |Corporate & Foundation Relations Coordinator

Heidi joined New Jersey Conservation Foundation in November 2016. She manages foundation and corporate grants, including grant writing, reporting, and compliance, as well as identifying new opportunities. Heidi also administers the Franklin Parker Conservation Excellence Grant Program. Prior to joining NJ Conservation, Heidi was an Environmental Engineer for a consulting firm, where she managed remediation projects and specialized in regulatory compliance. Heidi holds a bachelor's degree in Environmental Engineering from Rutgers University, and a master's degree in Environmental Management from New Jersey Institute of Technology. ...read more


Bill Scullion |Land Steward

Bill manages the South Jersey preserves. His previous experience includes working as a field biologist and land steward for the Nature Conservancy, and as a park naturalist at Cattus Island County Park in Ocean County. He holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Richard Stockton College of New Jersey....read more


Ingrid Vandegaer |Regional Manager, Highlands

Ingrid became the Highlands Regional Manager in 2004. This position entails coordinating NJCF's acquisition, stewardship, outreach, and fundraising activities in the region. She established GIS capacity for the organization, worked extensively on Garden State Greenways, and has handled land donations and easement stewardship responsibilities. Ingrid brings 10 years as a lease finance negotiator, a BS in Business Administration, and GIS / Cartography coursework at Rutgers University to NJCF. Ingrid serves on the steering committee of the Morris County Green Table and was previously active in the Mountain Lakes Environmental Commission....read more


John S. Watson, Jr. |Co-Executive Director

At the end of 2021, Jay became one of three co-executive directors of the organization, and oversees our Statewide Land Protection team and leads the organization’s Urban Action agenda. Prior to being appointed as co-executive Director in January 2022, he served as Senior Director for Statewide Land Protection and Community Relations. Jay’s priority objective is to accelerate the pace of land protection across the State, preserving high quality lands for their natural resource, habitat and climate resiliency values. Jay is also working to ensure that the organization advocates for and creates ‘green projects’ in cities throughout New Jersey to make sure that everyone, everywhere, has access to quality open spaces, tree lined streets and a high quality environment. Before joining the nonprofit sector, he spent nearly 30 years in the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, most of it as Administrator of the Green Acres Program. He was then appointed as Assistant Commissioner for Natural and Historic Resources and soon after was appointed as the Department’s Deputy Commissioner, the title from which he retired from State Service in 2010. Jay is a proud graduate of Mercer County College and holds a BS Degree from Florida A&M University, one of the nation’s premiere HBCUs. He has served on many nonprofit boards including the Princeton Area Community Foundation and Isles Inc.; and is currently a Bunbury Fund Advisor and board member of Truehart Productions. ...read more


Allison Williams |Stewardship Coordinator

Allison is responsible for monitoring and stewardship of all easement properties held by NJCF. As a New Jersey native, her previous experience includes habitat restoration, endangered species monitoring, and volunteer management with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy in California, as well as with Delaware State Parks. Allison has a B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Delaware....read more

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