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Jersey Water Works Conference

December 13, 2023

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Dr. Jacangelo is a Vice President and Director of Research for Stantec.  He has over 30 years of experience in the field of environmental health engineering and has specialized in the areas of water quality and treatment, water and wastewater disinfection, membrane technology, water reuse and public health. He has served as Technical Director, Principal Investigator, Project Manager or Engineer for over 100 water and wastewater projects.  Dr. Jacangelo has published over 200 peer-reviewed and proceedings technical papers and has held various positions within professional organizations.  He is a Board Member, a past Chair of the Technical and Education Council, current Chair of the International Council, and Member of Executive Committee of the American Water Works Association (AWWA).  He has served as either chair or member of over 25 of that organization’s various committees.  He has also participated on over 30 advisory or conference planning committees for various water and wastewater organizations. He is currently the Past-President of AWWA. Dr. Jacangelo is also past Chair of the Board of Directors of the WateReuse Research Foundation and a past member of the editorial advisory board for the Journal of Water Reuse and Desalination.  In addition to his role at Stantec, Dr. Jacangelo is an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. He is a co-founder of the Johns Hopkins/Stantec Alliance. Dr. Jacangelo is a past recipient of the AWWA Golden Spigot Award and two AWWA Best Paper Awards. He also received that organization’s Volunteer of the Year of Award. Finally, Dr. Jacangelo served three years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Republic of the Congo.

Nick Angarone, PP/AICP is the New Jersey Chief Resilience Officer and manager of the Office of Climate Resilience at the Department of Environmental Protection. 

As Chief Resilience Officer, Nick coordinates statewide resilience policy as Vice-Chair of the Interagency Council on Climate Resilience, leads and directs the development and implementation of the Statewide Climate Change Resilience Strategy, and provides technical guidance and support to local governments in their efforts to plan for and address the current and anticipated impact of climate change.

As manager of the Office of Climate Resilience, he oversees the Bureau of Climate Resilience Planning and the Blue Acres buyout program, and administers New Jersey’s Coastal Management Program in cooperation with a network of programs across DEP. Nick also represents the NJDEP Commissioner on the NJ State Planning Commission, ensuring that climate resilience, natural resource protection, and infrastructure capacity is incorporated into the planning process.

Nick is a graduate of Rutgers University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental planning and design, as well as a master’s degree in city and regional planning from the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning & Public Policy at Rutgers University.

Ms. Ash is currently serving as the acting Deputy Director for the Water Division in EPA Region 2, where she assists with leading a team of dedicated professionals focused on various water programs, including but not limited to wetlands and estuaries, combined-sewer overflows and water quality standards, as well as drinking water and wastewater management, and several grant programs related to water quality and water infrastructure improvements. Prior to her acting deputy role, Ms. Ash was the Supervisor for the Drinking Water and Municipal Infrastructure Branch in the Water Division, which implements and oversees water infrastructure funding, including the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law State Revolving Fund Programs, and overseeing drinking water program implementation per the Safe Drinking Water Act in New Jersey and New York. The branch also includes the New York City Watershed protection program, the underground injection control program and directly implements drinking water programs for eight federally recognized tribal nations.  

During her tenure at EPA Region 2, Ms. Ash has also served as the Region’s Environmental Justice Coordinator, Trash Free Waters Coordinator, and led reviews of state environmental enforcement programs. Prior to joining EPA in 2010, Ms. Ash worked in the private sector as a Water Resources Engineer, focused on international and domestic projects including environmental and hydrological assessments in Iraq and Afghanistan, total maximum daily load (TMDL) assessments, and watershed restoration plans. 

Ms. Ash earned both her undergraduate and graduate engineering degrees from Tufts University.

Michael Assante is an Operations Project Manager for Veolia North America and currently manages the Operations Contract for the City of Bayonne, which involves management of the City’s Water distribution system and Wastewater Collections system. 

Mr. Assante has 15 years of experience in the water and wastewater space that includes Operations Management, Engineering Design and Consulting and Capital Project Management. His speciality and passions within the industry involve hydraulic modelling of water and wastewater systems and operations, clear and easy-to-understand technical communications and cultivating forward thinking team cultures and materially improving the customer and community experience.

Michael Atkins oversees external and internal communications as Communications Director for New Jersey Future and coordinates a collaborative approach across the team to raise awareness for the organization’s mission, goals, and successes. Before joining New Jersey Future, Michael advocated for a holistic watershed approach to address environmental inequities in the Los Angeles River watershed as Communications Director with the nonprofit Friends of the Los Angeles River. In addition to being an environmental justice advocate, he is an accomplished multimedia producer who has interviewed a broad array of subjects including academics, historians, active military, elected officials and Indigenous tribal representatives. Michael studied Politics and History at New York University. 

Christine Ballard is a Client Service Leader for CDM Smith and serves as a co-chair for Jersey Water Work’s Asset Management and Finance Committee. She holds a Mechanical Engineering degree from Clemson University and Master’s of Science Degrees in Engineering Management and Systems Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology. As a professional she has been guiding New Jersey water and wastewater agencies with project planning, delivery and implementation and has acted as the principal-in-charge and Engineer of Record (EOR) for a variety of projects. She is known for her ability to guide utilities through challenging circumstances so that they may achieve their objectives within a desired timeframe.

Intersectional ecofeminist, sustainable designer, and dedicated activist. As a Hudson County, New Jersey, native, Hailey is committed to helping her local community thrive through sustainable initiatives and eco-minded education. They co-founded North Bergen Earth Talks and Union City Community Garden to encourage the local green movement. They’re a fierce advocate for a clean water future with New Jersey Future’s Sewage-Free Streets and Rivers campaign. They are the membership leader for Wild Ones NJ Gateway, a Native Plant restoration organization. They enjoy creating video-based content online to spread the word on how to get involved in protecting the environment. In their career, they craft and curate costumes for film and theatre. They fabricate from thrifted, upcycled, and dumpster-dove materials. Hailey believes knowledge is power and we are power in numbers!

Nicole Brown leverages over 25 years of water and wastewater expertise, focusing on enhancing system sustainability and efficacy. As the Client Development Manager at Suburban Consulting Engineers, she spearheads water and wastewater projects in NJ and PA, driving notable cost savings and operational enhancements. Nicole is renowned for her compelling public speaking and community outreach, effectively advocating for sustainable water management practices. Her commitment to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion in the water industry is evidenced through impactful programs and initiatives aimed at nurturing the next generation of diverse water professionals.

On January 8, 2021, Mayor Helmin J. Caba made history as the first elected mayor of
Dominican Republic descent in the City of Perth Amboy. Since taking office, Mayor Caba has been addressing the significant challenges facing the city’s financial conditions, budget deficits, and the public health emergency of COVID-19. He has “rolled up his sleeves” with a tenacious effort to balance the city’s budget while keeping in mind the highest priorities of our community’s needs that make up a sizeable Hispanic majority population.

Mayor Caba looks to re-establish Perth Amboy as one of the leading cities in Middlesex County through effective management practices, economic development, and the need to brand the city’s significant physical, financial, and historical assets. Mayor Caba’s priorities include creating a more fair and prosperous city for all residents through collaborations with non-profits, businesses, and state and federal partners to move Perth Amboy forward. His vision is to transform the workforce with skilled and innovative thinking for capacity development and growth.

Before becoming Perth Amboy’s Mayor, Caba served as a City Councilman since 2016, worked as a High School Paraprofessional with the Perth Amboy Board of Education, and was the business owner of Fine-Line Hair Studio, Healthy Choice Grill Restaurant, and Forever Young School Uniforms. He also was a Board member of the City’s Arts Council, Municipal Alliance, and Historic Preservation Commission.

Emigrating from La Vega Province of the Dominican Republic in 1977, he is a Perth Amboy High School Alumni and attended Middlesex County College with a degree in Marketing and Advertising. His parents, Jorge and Gladys Caba imparted strong work ethics of integrity and empathy for others, leading by example in achieving the American dream of U.S. citizenship. Caba believes that his strong family values of faith, compassion, and service have best prepared him as the city’s new leader. He and his wife, Wendy, are the proud parents of their children, Adam and Audrey.

Mayor Caba served ten years as the President of the Latin-American Softball League, and member of Perth Amboy’s Catholic Schools Advisory Council, and a former Civic Trusteeof the Citizen Campaign. Mayor Caba’s strong roots in Perth Amboy have provided the opportunity to empower others around him with his history of civic engagement and community service. He currently serves as the Chair of the Perth Amboy Democratic Organization and represents Ward/District 1-1 as a committeeman.

He cares deeply about the city’s future and is committed to helping residents prosper during a critical time for cities across the United States and worldwide. His creative vision will address the catalytic role local governments can play in solving climate change and inequality and leverage the rapid technological, social, and economic change that can keep Perth Amboy ahead. Mayor Caba sets to build momentum for integration and transformation with innovation and renewed energy to Perth Amboy’s city government.

Mr. Chwiedosiuk is the Director of Distribution for Middlesex Water Company, a publicly-traded investor-owned water and wastewater utility company, primarily serving New Jersey and Delaware, where he oversees over 700 miles of transmission and distribution pipelines ranging in diameter from 6-inches through 60-inches. Mr. Chwiedosiuk’s  responsibilities include the planning, coordination and management of the utility’s distribution system maintenance, compliance and capital construction programs. Additionally, his responsibilities include the oversight and management of the utility’s Lead Service Line Replacement and Compliance Program.  Mr. Chwiedosiuk has both a B.S. and M.S in Civil Engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Additionally, he is a New Jersey licensed Professional Engineer and a W-4/C-2 Licensed Operator.

Michael Cohrs is the Business Manager for Ridgewood Water, a 100 year old, rather complex, community water system, serving 61,000 residents within a 4 town service area.  His background includes experience in HAB remediation, managing a Technical Assistance Program, as well as operator training and education programs.  Michael holds a B.S. in Physics from Montclair State University and a B.A in Secondary Education from Canisius University. 

Jim Cosgrove recently founded One Water Consulting LLC to provide water resource services guided by the fact that ALL water (rainwater to wastewater) must be managed in an integrated manor. He is a registered professional engineer in New Jersey with over 35 years’ consulting experience in water resources management, with specific expertise in NJPDES permit support, water quality modeling, watershed and stormwater management, environmental impact assessment, and resiliency planning.

He received a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from Lafayette College and a M.Eng. degree in Water Resource Systems Engineering from Cornell University.

Jim has recently been active addressing PFAS monitoring issues for wastewater treatment plants.

Laurie Ann has experience working with various government programs. She is currently Grant Administrator for the Local Efficiency Achievement Program (LEAP) at NJ DCA, managing program processes from guidelines to close outs.

Prior to LEAP, she worked as a Program Manager, with NJ DCA’s Sandy Recovery, a Business Development Coordinator, and a Director of Economic Development.

She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from New York University, a Bachelor’s Degree from Rutgers University, a Certification in Main Street Program from NJ DCA, a Certification in Commercial Real Estate from Monmouth University and a Certification in Business Retention and Expansion from the Center for Economic Development Services.

Eric Ekoue is the Superintendent of the New Brunswick Water Utility NBWU. He is a Certified Public Manager. He holds a Public Water Treatment System T4 and Public Water Distribution System W4 License. He serves on the Examination Board for the Water and Wastewater license Operator.

Eric has seventeen years of experience in treatment, distribution, compliance, and project management. His utility thrives on providing the best water quality to the residents of New Brunswick and surrounding communities.

Eric manages a very diverse workforce and champions the licensing of everyone. In addition, he enjoys presenting the word of water operators at various schools and facilitates tours of his Plant by students and community members.

Eric‘s motto, FLOW (For the Love Of Water), vibrates through his workplace.

Ms. Epstein has 10 years of experience in environmental engineering plus four years of experience in the drinking water industry as Assistant Director of Trenton Water Works. She also brings a unique perspective from her 10 years of experience serving in board and executive positions for non-profit organizations. Her diverse background includes leading the Trenton Water Works Lead Service Line Inventory and Replacement Program in New Jersey. Ms. Epstein has presented at several water industry conferences on topics related to the USEPA and state-specific lead and copper rule compliance and implementing lead service line replacement programs. Ms. Epstein received her undergraduate and master’s degrees in Environmental Engineering from Princeton University and Johns Hopkins University, respectively.

Michael Furrey is the President of Agra Environmental and Laboratory Services, a company specializing in laboratory services and consultation to the water and wastewater industry. He holds a T-4 License, W-3 License, and aquatic pesticide applicator license for NJ and is the former chair for NJAWWA. He holds a B.S. in Chemistry from Cook College, Rutgers University. He is also an adjunct Professor at Rutgers University.

Jennifer Gonzalez, AICP, CFM, LEED-GA, ENV SP, is the Director of Environmental Services and Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of Hoboken, New Jersey where she oversees public works including parks, public property, waste management, and green stormwater infrastructure projects. She advances asset management, sustainability in municipal operations across multiple departments, and resiliency projects such as ResilienCity Park. She also supports emergency management, the Hoboken drinking water utility, and coordination with energy and sewer utilities. Before joining the City of Hoboken, Ms. Gonzalez was a Principal Planner with Louis Berger and Environmental Planner with the County of Passaic, New Jersey. She holds professional certifications from the American Planning Association (AICP), National Assocation of Floodplain Managers (CFM), U.S. Green Building Certification Institute (LEED-Green Associate), and New Jersey Board of Professional Planners (PP). She earned her M.A. in Environmental Policy from Lehigh University.

Linda Greenstein has served in the New Jersey Senate since November 2010. Previously, she served for six terms in the New Jersey General Assembly, a tenure that began in January 2000.

Senator Greenstein is the first woman to represent the current 14th Legislative District in the Senate, which includes Cranbury, Jamesburg, Monroe, Plainsboro and Spotswood in Middlesex County and East Windsor, Hamilton, Hightstown and Robbinsville in Mercer County.

A fulltime legislator, Senator Greenstein serves as Assistant Majority Leader of the State Senate as well as Chair of the Law and Public Safety Committee, Vice Chair of the Environment and Energy Committee and a member of the Budget and Appropriations Committee and the Labor Committee. She is also Chair of the bi-partisan Manufacturing Caucus

Senator Greenstein was educated at Vassar College, Johns Hopkins University, and the Georgetown University Law Center. Prior to becoming a legislator, she was a Senior Staff Attorney at the Community Health Law Project and served as a Deputy Attorney General in the Division of Criminal Justice in Trenton and as an Assistant District Attorney in Philadelphia. She also served as a Clinical Associate Professor at Seton Hall Law School.

During her ten years in the General Assembly, then-Assemblywoman Greenstein was appointed Deputy Speaker of the General Assembly, following a four-year period serving as Assistant Majority Leader. She chaired the Assembly Judiciary Committee and was a member of the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee.

Senator Greenstein has a strong legislative track record of protecting New Jersey’s children and families. She was a prime sponsor of Caylee’s Law, which makes it a felony for failing to report the disappearance of a child within 24 hours; sponsored legislation expanding Megan’s Law; and authored Jessica Rogers’ Law which protects New Jerseyans against drivers with road rage. Senator Greenstein was a sponsor of New Jersey’s Paid Family Leave Law, which allows workers to apply for up to six weeks of paid leave to care for a newborn or newly adopted child, or a sick parent, spouse or child. She has also authored legislation to increase school bus safety.

Senator Greenstein has supported efforts to decrease the state’s reliance on fossil fuels by promoting electric cars and has advocated for making clean and renewable energy a priority for New Jersey by increasing the state’s renewable energy portfolio.

The Senator has previously served as an elected member of the West Windsor-Plainsboro School Board and as Vice President of the Mercer County School Boards Association. She was also an elected member of the Plainsboro Township Committee.  

Senator Greenstein was married to the late Michael Greenstein and has an adult son Evan. 

Jennifer has over 15 years of experience in Civil Engineering, with a primary focus on water and wastewater. She works as a Project Manager at Environmental Resolutions, Inc. in Mount Laurel, NJ. There she helps her clients with their water and wastewater treatment and distribution needs. She is currently working on more wastewater focused projects, but has years of experience with water treatment and distribution. She attended the University of Delaware, where she earned a degree in Civil Engineering, with minors in Environmental Engineering and Women’s Studies. While at UD, she was involved in many groups, including being a Resident Assistant and being a member of Alpha Omega Epsilon, a professional and social sorority for women in engineering and technical sciences. When not working, she enjoys reading and volunteering for Alpha Omega Epsilon and the Society of Women Engineers.

Trish Ingelido is the Director of Division of Water Supply and Geoscience. She has over 20 years of experience in water resources management at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. She previously served as the Assistant Director of the Water System Operations Element in the Division of Water Supply and Geoscience. She earned a B.S. in Environmental Science from Rutgers University, an M.S. in Environmental Policy from New Jersey Institute of Technology and is a Certified Public Manager.

Charles Jenkins is the Assistant Director of the Municipal Finance and Construction Element for the Division of Water Quality at the NJDEP and has over 35 years of experience with the New Jersey Water Bank. The Municipal Finance and Construction Element (MF&CE) is responsible for administration of a number of state and federally funded programs for the planning, design, and/or construction of wastewater, drinking water, and stormwater/nonpoint source management programs. Its mission is to assist communities to construct and fund sustainable infrastructure that protects water quality and public health. In addition to the funding programs, the Element administers the Treatment Works Approval construction permit program and is responsible for the implementation of State and Federal water infrastructure policies, initiatives and requirements. Charles has a degree form Lehigh University.

Dan is Senior Director at the Utility and Transportation Contractors Association (UTCA) of NJ, a trade association with members that deliver a wide range of infrastructure solutions for the public and private sectors. Dan’s subject matter expertise has him focusing on a wide range of environmental and utility issues. He serves on the Steering Committee of Jersey Water Works and is Chairman of the national Clean Water Construction Coalition, an organization of construction associations whose purpose is to promote federal legislation that improves water infrastructure. Prior to his role with UTCA, he served as an Assistant Commissioner at the NJDEP, Deputy Director of the NJ Office for Planning Advocacy, and in various roles in county government.

He is a licensed professional planner with a MCRP from Rutgers’ Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning & Public Policy and a B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Delaware. Dan serves as the Chair of Bordentown City’s Planning / Zoning Board and the Vice-Chair of the Burlington County Agricultural Development Board.

Andrew Kricun is a Managing Director with Moonshot Missions, a non-profit focused on providing technical assistance to water utilities in underserved communities. Prior to that, he served as Executive Director and Chief Engineer of the Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority, operators of an 80 million gallon per day wastewater treatment plant in Camden, NJ. He has 35 years of wastewater and biosolids management experience. He graduated with honors from Princeton University with a degree in chemical engineering. He also holds a professional engineer’s license in civil engineering and is a board-certified environmental engineer as well.

Andy serves on the USEPA’s National Environmental Justice Advisory Council and also New Jersey Environmental Justice Advisory Council.  He previously served on the board of the National Association of Clean Water Agencies and as the chair of its Utility of the Future committee and the Environmental Justice committee. He was the recipient of the Praxis Award for Professional Ethics, the President’s Award from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, the One Water Prize from the US Water Alliance, and Environmental Quality Awards from the United States Environmental Protection Agency. He was also chosen as governmental engineer of the year by the NJ Chapter American Society of Civil Engineers in 2018.

He serves as co-chair for the Jersey Water Works Steering Committee.

Sandra Kutzing is a professional engineer and Vice President at CDM Smith in New Jersey with 20 years of experience in drinking water. She has a B.S. from the University of Illinois and an M.S. from the University of Washington. Ms. Kutzing is CDM Smith’s Lead and Copper Strategy leader, assisting utilities with meeting the Lead and Copper Rule and developing lead service line replacement programs.

Joe Mannick is a Section Chief in the NJDEP Bureau of Surface Water and Pretreatment Permitting.  He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering with minors in Mathematics and Philosophy from Penn State University.  He has over 30 years of experience in surface water discharge permitting at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection with over 10 years of experience in the Combined Sewer Overflow Program.  Over the last 10 years the CSO Program has grown and changed from general to individual permits that are beginning to include facility-specific CSO abatement projects.  Joe has dedicated his career to improving water quality and looks forward to further enhancing the waters of New Jersey.

Tenisha Malcolm is the Director of the Urban Mayors Policy Center at John S. Watson Institute for Urban Policy and Research at Kean University. In this role, Malcolm supports the work of the Institute to provide support for New Jersey Urban Mayors Association (NJUMA) member mayors in guiding communities as they seek solutions to various issues facing urban municipalities. She will also provide technical support to the members of the NJUMA focusing on policy analysis and research.

Prior to joining the Watson Institute, Malcolm worked for several national and community-based nonprofits where she directed large-scale innovative programs, fundraising and strategic development. 

Lauren Rosenthal McManus’s watershed maps reframe the boundaries that define community. Combining research-driven activism with material essentialism, her river-centric maps emphasize the innate beauty and universal importance of freshwater systems. McManus’s work is held in several institutional collections, including the Nurture Nature Center, the Charlotte Museum of History, and the Bank of America Collection. She holds a BFA from Washington University in St. Louis and an MFA from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, where she was an urban livability fellow. She currently lives and works in Lambertville, New Jersey and serves on the City’s Resilience Team.

Nicole Miller, Principal of MnM Consulting, is a communications professional with nearly two decades of experience creating targeted publicity and marketing campaigns for a range of clients in private industry and the nonprofit sector. MnM Consulting specializes in media development, digital and print publishing, brand strategy, content creation, and clean energy/sustainability education for business and general audiences. MnM Consulting works with several small business, government, and non-profit clients on brand development, project management, event coordination and product deployment. Ms. Miller has a BA in Arts, Media, and Culture from the University of Washington and a Master of Science in Publishing from Pace University in New York. Ms. Miller is a resident of Newark, NJ, a member of the Newark Environmental Commission advising the Mayor and City Council on sustainability issues, Chair of the Newark Green Team, and Co-Chair of NewarkDIG (Doing Infrastructure Green), which is dedicated to resilient and sustainable municipal stormwater management.

She serves as co-chair for the Jersey Water Works Steering Committee.

Catherina came to Hudson with over ten years of accounting experience and a varied work background.  She has been a self-employed medical biller, central registration supervisor for a hospital, finance assistant for a computer storage and backup manufacturer, and purchasing manager at a private school. She also had a brief career as a nurse. Catherina holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from The College of Mount St. Vincent and an Associate Degree in Nursing from Hudson County Community College.

Catherina began at HCCC as an Administrative Assistant for Continuing Education in 2006. In 2012, she became Coordinator for the Center for Business and Industry (CBI), coordinating client training and grant-funded programs. In 2015, she was promoted to Assistant Director for CBI and eventually Director in 2017, where she worked with her team in creating, sustaining, and growing workforce development programs. Currently, Catherina is part of the School of Continuing Education & Workforce Development’s leadership team, overseeing operations, systems, and the School’s 20+ cost centers. In addition, she oversees Workforce Development’s business client training programs and the Center for Adult Transition.

Rosana Pedra Nobre is the Water Quality Manager at the Hudson River Foundation and the New York-New Jersey Harbor & Estuary Program, where she works with partner organizations and agencies to manage water resources and improve water quality in the Harbor Estuary. She dedicates her time towards incorporating science, data collection, and community engagement into addressing water quality challenges and uses an educational lens to communicate science. Rosana has an Ed.M. in science education and a B.S. in environmental sciences from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

Yasmine Pessar serves as the Principal Environmental Planner, in the Department of Environmental Services at the City of Hoboken in  New Jersey. In this role, she works with the Director on the planning and implementation of a wide range of sustainability and resiliency projects to maintain, improve, and expand city parks, open spaces, and buildings, with a specialized focus on the environmental impacts of these investments. Yasmine contributes nearly a decade of environmental planning experience within the industry. Prior to joining Hoboken, she worked as consultant at Insight Civil Engineers, Dewberry Engineers and the MTA New York City Transit, CPM  Environmental Engineering Division. Yasmine holds a BA in Urban Planning & Geography from SUNY Albany and an MA in City and Regional Planning from Hunter College. 

Gabryella Pulsinelli received her Bachelor’s from University of Rochester in Environmental Studies in 2016 and her Master’s of Arts in Sustainability from Wake Forest in 2019. Currently she is pursuing her PhD at Rutgers in Planning and Public Policy with a focus on Environmental Policy. She has been with NJDEP for 5 years in the Municipal Stormwater Unit and currently severs as a case manager for Essex, Sussex, and Union.

Rick Richardella was appointed to the position of Bureau Chief for the State of New Jersey, Division of Local Government Services, in February 2019; Rick was the Township of Maplewood Chief of Police. Rick was also Public Safety Consultant-Subject Matter Expert for the International City/County Management Association in Washington, DC.  

As the Bureau Chief, Rick oversees the Local Assistance Bureau. 

Rick also assisted the Governor’s Office with the takeover of Atlantic City and the implementation of the County of Camden Metro Police Department, the Borough of Lake Como-Belmar, the City of Woodbury, and the Borough of Woodbury Heights Police Shared Services. 

Rick has over forty years of experience and lives with his wife Lori, and children in Toms River NJ.

Susan Rosenwinkel is the Assistant Director of the Water Pollution Management Element for the Division of Water Quality at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.   This element includes the Bureau of Surface Water and Pretreatment Permitting as well as the Bureau of Ground Water Residuals and Permit Administration.  Both these programs manage New Jersey Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits including discharges to surface water, ground water, residuals and combined sewer overflows.  Susan has been with the Department for 34 years.  Susan has a degree from the College of Engineering at Rutgers University.

Elliott has over 25 years of environmental and historic preservation advocacy experience. Working with the Coalition since November 2007, he leads the creation and  implementation of media and educational campaigns; as the Coalition’s senior policy advocate, Elliott participates at Highlands Council meetings, works with the State Legislature, county commissions, municipal officials, the NJ Congressional Delegation, regulators and agency officials, advocating for legislation and regulations that protect Highlands natural and cultural resources; provides guidance to grassroots groups; and promotes Highlands municipal conformance. He has a professional background of communications and film and multi-media production (awarded 2 Emmys), including 17 years in television production and operations at NBC.

Donald C. Shields, PE, is Vice President and Director of Engineering for New Jersey American Water, the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater to approximately 2.8 million people. Shields oversees a staff of over 50 professionals including construction managers, engineers, planners and geographic information systems (GIS) specialists. He is directly responsible for delivering New Jersey American Water’s capital investment program of more than $350 million per year. In his role, he also provides oversight to engineering activities in the other Eastern Division states, which includes New York, Virginia and Maryland.

Shields has more than 25 years of industry experience, joining American Water in 2001. Prior to his current role, he served as Engineering Director of New Business Development for American Water’s Corporate Engineering Group. While there, he supported American Water’s regulated and market-based businesses, offering technical guidance and expertise for project development and execution, including large water, wastewater and solids digestion/management/handling/energy production.  

He also spent ten years at American Water’s former subsidiary, Applied Water Management, where he managed a team of 30 construction managers and engineers. He has significant experience with designing, building and commissioning membrane bio reactors, a key technology used in water reclamation and reuse. 

Prior to joining American Water, Shields spent ten years working for Bergen County Utilities Authority in Northern New Jersey, where he worked on capital improvement projects ranging from automated meter systems and force main rehabilitation, to wastewater treatment plant upgrades.

Shields is a licensed Professional Engineer in New Jersey, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Villanova University.

Samantha Thomas graduated from Rutgers University School of Bloustein in 2023 with a Master’s in City and Regional Planning, concentration in Environmental Planning. She has been working within the NJDEP Municipal Finance and Construction Element since 2022 to develop and implement the Building Resilient Water Infrastructure Climate Change Resilience Guidance for the New Jersey Water Bank Program to ensure that future, publicly funded water infrastructure considers climate change impacts consistent with the most up-to-date New Jersey climate science and State policy.

Alaina Ungarini is an Environmental Specialist in the Bureau of Water System Engineering. She started her career at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) in 2017, after graduating from Lafayette College in Easton, PA with a degree in environmental studies, and government and law.

Dr. Daniel Van Abs, is a Professor of Professional Practice for Water, Society & Environment at Rutgers University, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. He has 42 years of experience in water resources and environmental management with Rutgers, the Highlands Council, NJ Water Supply Authority, NJ Department of Environmental Protection and the Passaic River Coalition.  He is a member of Jersey Water Works Asset Management and Finance Committee and Jersey WaterCheck’s Data Advisory Committee. He holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Science from SUNY-College of Environmental Science and Forestry, is a licensed Professional Planner in New Jersey and a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners. See www.danvanabs.com for more details.

Denise Venuti Free is responsible for overseeing communications and external affairs for New Jersey American Water, including customer education, media relations, issues management, and community outreach, as well as municipal engagement and workforce development programs. She joined American Water as a manager in Corporate Communications in 2009, and in 2016, was promoted to director of Communications and External Affairs for New Jersey American Water and American Water’s Eastern Division states of New York, Virginia and Maryland. She was promoted to her current role as Senior Director for New Jersey American Water in September 2022.  

Prior to joining American Water, she was senior director of Communications for the American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter, and previously served as senior director of Public Relations for the National Constitution Center and manager of Public Relations for the Pennsylvania Ballet. Free previously held additional roles in several nonprofit organizations and communications firms.  

Free is the chairperson of the Communications Committee for the New Jersey Utilities Association and is a current member and past chairperson of the Communications Committee for the National Association of Water Companies. She serves on the NJ PBS Board of Trustees, the Advisory Board for the Salvation Army Kroc Center in Camden, and the Advisory Board for New Jersey SHARES, a nonprofit organization that provides statewide help and referral to essential services for low-income individuals. Free also participates in the US Water Alliance’s Camden Water Equity Task Force, which works to align the resources of the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to advance equity and inclusion in Camden through smart water management. She is also a member of the Water Workforce Taskforce of Jersey Water Works, and she was a Fellow in Lead New Jersey’s Class of 2018.

A lifelong resident of New Jersey, Free earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Rutgers University in New Brunswick. 

Graduated from Stevens Institute of Technology with a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Engineering and received a Master’s Degree in Civil/Environmental Engineering from Rutgers University.  27 years of experience in the water/wastewater industry with 12 of those years in consulting and the rest at American Water with several of those years in operations. Current role is Engineering Practice Lead for water treatment. Active member of American Water Works Association serving as member and Chair of various committees at both the National and local level and former Chair of the NJ Section.

David Zimmer serves as the Executive Director of the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank, the State’s construction financing Authority which partners with the NJDEP and the NJDOT to provide low interest rate loans to government units and authorities for environmental and local transportation infrastructure projects respectively.

During his tenure, Mr. Zimmer has focused on introducing several new successful loan programs to broaden the reach and depth of financing program options and worked to overhaul the I-Bank’s credit policy to bring transparency and clarity to borrowers.  He has also improved the efficiency and effectiveness of the I-Bank by overseeing the development of two modern, web-based loan management systems that have greatly reduced paper work and minimized time and administrative costs for project sponsors.

Mr. Zimmer is a Chartered Financial Analyst and holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in finance from the University of Notre Dame and a Bachelor of Civil Engineering degree from the University of Dayton.

For more information on the NJ I-Bank, please visit: www.njib.gov.

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