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Board of Trustees

Highlands photo by Wilma Frey

Rockaway River, Montville
Photo Courtesy The Land Conservancy of New Jersey

 

Sandy Batty is the retired Executive Director of the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions (ANJEC), where she worked for 29 years in various capacities before retiring in 2014. She is currently a member of the Mountain Lakes Shade Tree Commission, and is a former Chair of the Planning Board, member of the Environmental Commission, and Borough Council member. She previously served as President of the Board of the Highlands Coalition from 2009 to 2012. Sandy lives in Mountain Lakes.

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Janine Bauer, Esq. is an environmental lawyer whose practice spans New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania and is concentrated on land use, remediation of contaminated sites, urban revitalization, redevelopment, transportation infrastructure, interstate commerce and historic preservation. She is also a lobbyist. She was elected and served on South Orange's governing body from 2009-2013 and also served as a prosecutor in Mercer County, NJ.

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Bill Cogger is Mayor of Chester Township, serving in his second term. Prior to being Mayor, he was Councilman for 8.5 years. He has served as Council liaison to Parks, Public Works, Police, Utility, Agriculture and Open Space. Bill also served as the Mayor's liaison to the Morris County Agricultural Development Board for more than 10 years and is a former member of the Township Board of Adjustment. He is a former Council Member and Treasurer of the New Jersey Highlands Council and a former executive board member of the Raritan Highlands Compact.

Mr. Cogger is a graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University, Madison where he earned a BA in anthropology and sociology. He holds a Masters in management and labor relations from Rutgers University, New Brunswick and post graduate work in Manpower Development from the New School for Social Research in New York City. He has been certified as a municipal zoning official by the Bloustein School Center for Government Affairs at Rutgers University. Bill is a life-long resident of New Jersey and lives in Chester Township with his wife and daughter.

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Kurt M. Eichler earned a B.S. degree in Business Administration from the University of Wyoming in 1979 after which he began his career at Merrill Lynch, Hubbard in the Real Estate Debt and Equity Finance Group.  In 1982, he joined The Linpro Company (now LCOR) as Director of Commercial and Industrial Operations for the suburban Philadelphia area. In 1983, he became Operating Partner in the Center City Philadelphia Office.  He also served as Executive Vice President and Principal of LCOR in charge of operations of the metropolitan New York region. Based in New York City, Mr. Eichler served on LCOR’s Executive Committee. An avid fly fisherman, Mr. Eichler has a farm in western Warren County and currently resides in New Vernon, NJ.

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Ron Farr is a Certified Forester who works at the North Jersey District Water Supply Commission and operates a private consulting firm, Farr Forestry Services. He is currently a board member of the American Chestnut Foundation Pennsylvania Chapter. He received a B.S. in Forest Management from the University of Maine and a Masters in Environmental Management from Montclair State University. Ron resides with his family in Newfoundland.

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James Gilbert is is Managing Director, Wealth Management at Merrill Lynch. He was the first Chairman of the NJ State Planning Commission. Jim helped author the State Development and Redevelopment Plan and was instrumental in drafting the NJ Fair Housing Act. He also serves on the boards of New Jersey Planning Officials and New Jersey Future. Jim resides in Chatham and Rockaway townships.

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Michael Douglas Henderson is an historian and a cultural resource specialist in American social history, material culture and decorative arts.  He is a former superintendent of the Morristown National Historical Park.  He previously served on the Board of the Olana Partnership, and currently serves on the Boards of the Morris County Trust for Historic Preservation, and the Mt. Hope Iron Conservancy.  Michael lives in Pittsburgh, PA.

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Dwight Hiscano is a photographer who has dedicated a good part of his decades-long career to capturing our state's landscapes on film and digital sensor. With particular emphasis on the rugged landscapes of the Highlands, where his family has owned land for over a century, Dwight has channeled his efforts toward using photography to promote the preservation of endangered landscapes. A former trustee for the New Jersey chapter of the Nature Conservancy, Dwight regularly volunteers for, and has donated images to, a number of state and national conservation organizations. Widely published and highly collected, Dwight's work has been featured in numerous exhibits, including the Nature's Best exhibit at the Smithsonian and the recent National Geographic sponsored International Mountain Summit in Italy. His book, New Jersey, the Natural State, was published by Rutgers University Press.

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Michael Keady is President of Friends of Holland Highlands, a local citizens group that he founded in rural Holland Township in western Hunterdon County in order to oppose growing suburban sprawl on the steep slopes of this community that lies in both the Highlands Preservation and Planning Areas. Retired after nearly 30 years in AT&T's Public Relations Department, Mike now heads Stone House Creative Services, LLC, which provides public relations and advertising services for corporate and non-profit clients. He has applied his writing, media relations and community organizing skills to stopping several developments that threatened C-1 streams in Holland. Originally from the Boston area, Mike has lived in Holland Township for more than 35 years. He currently serves as Chairman of the Holland Township Environmental Commission, Vice Chairman of the Planning Board, and is a member of the Green Team under the Sustainable Jersey program.

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William Kibler, Chair of the Policy Committee, is the Director of Policy for the Raritan Headwaters Association. Bill was the Executive Director of the South Branch Watershed Association from 2005 until RHA was created in 2011. An attorney (JD, Syracuse University) who specializes in environmental law, he served as an officer with the Army Corps of Engineers after graduating from the United States Military Academy. Bill serves on the steering committee of the Raritan Basin Watershed Alliance and is a council member of the North Jersey Resource Conservation and Development Council. Bill lives on the South Branch of the Raritan River in Califon, where he is the former chief of the Califon Fire Company.

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Edward "Ned" Kirby is currently Professor of Plant Biology, Department of Biological Sciences, Rutgers University-Newark.  He received his undergraduate degree in zoology from The University of Michigan and Ph.D. in botany from the University of Florida.  He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in forest genetics at the Oregon Research Center in Portland and was awarded an international research fellowship in plant physiology for study at the University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands.  At Rutgers University Ned has served as chair of the Department of Biological Sciences, and Associate Dean and Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences-Newark.  His research interests, supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and the Consortium for Plant Biotechnology Research have centered on genetics of forest trees.  He is author of over 50 peer-reviewed scientific publications.  Ned has been a visiting scientist, consultant, and technical advisor to national forestry research institutes in Colombia, Venezuela, and Brazil and he was recently awarded an International Research Fellowship from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Education. Ned has served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Great Swamp Watershed Association and currently serves on the Development Committee of the New Jersey Highlands Coalition.

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Mark Lohbauer became a Director of the Regional Plan Association in October, 2016. For 12 years prior to this, he was a principal of JGSC Group, LLC, an economic planning firm where he managed field operations and oversaw client relations. Prior to joining JGSC Group, Mark served in New Jersey state government as Assistant State Treasurer, and later as Director of Policy & Communications for NJ Economic Development Authority. He advanced smart growth development in his service on the Urban Enterprise Zone Authority, the New Jersey Redevelopment Authority, the Casino Reinvestment Development the Urban Coordinating Council, and the South Jersey Port Corporation. Prior to his State government service, Mark praticed law in Philadelphia for 15 years.

Mark has been a frequent speaker on the topic of downtown revitalization and retail recruitment in both statewide and national forums and currently serves as a Commisssioner of the NJ Pinelands Commission, serving as its Chairman from 2011 through 2015.

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Kate Millsaps is a Candidate in the Dual Masters Degree Program for Urban Planning and Public Policy at the Bloustein School, Rutgers University. In the past, Kate served as the Conservation Program Coordinator with the NJ Chapter of the Sierra Club. She has also worked at the New Jersey Highlands Coalitiion and the New Jersey Environmental Federation, Clean Water Action. Kate's current research focuses on climate adaption planning for New Jersey's water supply. Kate earned her undergraduate degrees in International Studies and Environmental Studies from Ramapo College, where she first developed her passion for protecting the Highlands. Kate has also served on the Clinton Township Environmental Commission.

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Jean Rich is a Trustee of the Morristown Green and sits on the Morris Township Historic Preservation Commission. She is also a former trustee of the Great Swamp Watershed Association and former president of the Washington Valley Community Association. She holds a doctorate in History. Jean lives in Morris Township.

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Ben Spinelli is a principal in Spinelli & Pinto Consulting providing consulting services to government, land owners and non-profits on issues of open space and farmland preservation and management. He is also the New Jersey Field Representative for The Conservation Fund. He is a professor in environmental studies at NJIT and Kean University. He was a senior policy adviser for the President's Task Force on Disaster Recovery following Hurricane Sandy. Formerly, he served as Executive Director of the Westchester Land Trust responsible for overall organizational management and operations as well as providing leadership and vision for the land trust. A graduate of Seton Hall University-School of Law, he served as a trial attorney for private firms, Assistant County Prosecutor for Essex County, and Chief Counsel and Director of Policy at New Jersey's Office of Smart Growth, where he also served as Executive Director. In addition, he has held numerous public positions including serving three three-year terms as Mayor of Chester Township. Ben also holds a BA in History and Political Science at Muhlenberg College in PA and currently lives in Chester.

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Robert Schultz is currently the President of the Roxbury Environmental Action Coalition (REACT), a local group of concerned citizens still fighting for the proper remediation of the Fenimore Landfill in Roxbury and he is the owner of a local Computer Consulting Company for the past 15 years. Robert worked on the Roxbury Environmental Commission for almost 10 years and was instrumental in creating and managing the startup of Roxbury's Community Garden. Robert is an Eagle Scout and has been involved with the environment since a very young age. Robert is an avid photographer and currently resides in Randolph with his wife and four kids.

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Judith Joan Sullivan, Esq. is a practicing attorney in the New Jersey and New York area. She is also the founder and president of Ramapough Conservancy, a non-profit company focused on the Ramapo Mountains and its peoples. Considered a leader in law, academic and charitable circles, Ms. Sullivan brings a new fresh skill set to NJHC, and bridges a gap between corporate America and conservation.

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Joyce Vilas was born in Connecticut, and is the wife and working associate of Dr. Franklin Vilas. After ten years as a preschool teacher, Joyce created and managed two thrift shops in New York City in support of private schools, and was the founder of the C. G. Jung Book Store in the city. She has accompanied her husband on all his assignments, and served as Facilities Manager of Wainwright House conference center when he was Executive Director of the institution.

Joyce was involved in the founding of GreenFaith, and was the administrator of a ten year project introducing the concept of an environmental liturgical "Creation Season" in the national Episcopal Church and on an ecumenical basis throughout the world. Since retirement she has accompanied her husband as part of an interim team ministry in 4 New Jersey parishes and the Seamen's Church Institute in Port Newark.

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Rev. Franklin E. Vilas, D.Min. was born and grew up in New York City. Attending Yale University and Virginia Theological Seminary, he was ordained to the Priesthood of the Episcopal Church in 1960. He has served at churches in New Canann, Ct., Beverly Farms, MA, Lower Manhattan, NYC, Brooklyn Heights, NY and in Chatham, NJ. He served for 5 years as Program Director of the Diocese of Conneticut, and for 6 as Executive Director of Wainwright House Conference Center in Rye, NY. Since retirement, Skip and his wife, Joyce, have served as an interim team in four New Jersey parishes and the Seamen's Church Institute in Port Newark.

During his career, Dr. Vilas has been involved in the field of mental health, serving in the Carter administration as one of twelve members of the President's Commission on Mental Health. In recent decades he has been engaged in the ministries of environmental stewardship and ecojustice. He is the founder of the national Episcopal Environmental Newtork (www.eenonline.org) and of GreenFaith, an interfaith statewide organization in New jersey (www.GreenFaith.org). He serves on an interfaith advisory committee to the United Nations Environment Programme, (www.jc4cc.org) and represents GreenFaith on the policy committee of the New Jersey Highlands Coalition.

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Lee Wallace earned a BA degree in English from the University of Pennsylvania. He worked for 20 years as a technical writer for Bell Labs. After retirement, he went on to serve on the Environmental Commission of Morris Township and as a board member of the New Jersey Environmental Lobby. He is currently the president of a family foundation which focuses on awarding grants to local environmental organizations. Lee resides in Morris Township and owns a farm in Pohatcong.

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