Speakers

Luncheon Keynote

Gabe KleinGABE KLEIN
Gabe Klein is the former director of the Chicago Department of Transportation under Mayor Rahm Emanuel and former director of the District Department of Transportation under then-Mayor Adrian M. Fenty. In Washington he launched Capital Bikeshare, the first large-scale bikeshare system in the country, and in Chicago he launched Divvy, now the largest bikeshare system in the country. Before entering the public sphere, Mr. Klein worked for startups, including Zipcar, where he served as vice president for four years. He also wrote a business model for the first point-to-point car sharing concept and co-founded the first all-natural multi-unit food truck company in the United States. In 2015, Gabe joined Fontinalis Partners as a special venture partner on their new fund. He continues to advise a number of technology and mobility companies, including Transit Screen and Phone2Action, where he provides leadership on strategy. He is on the boards of the National Association of City Transportation Officials and the transportation website Streetsblog. He is the author of Start-Up City: Inspiring Private and Public Entrepreneurship, Getting Projects Done, and Having Fun, published by Island Press.

Breakfast Keynote

SweeneyHON. STEPHEN S. SWEENEY D-LD3
President, New Jersey State Senate
Current New Jersey State Senate President Stephen Sweeney decided to enter public life after his daughter Lauren was born with Down Syndrome. A union ironworker by trade and the current general vice president of the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers Union, Sen. Sweeney has sponsored and supported measures to protect the rights of workers and support organized labor. Seeing firsthand the challenge of caring for a loved one without losing your job, he sponsored the state’s Paid Family Medical Leave Act. He has led the effort to raise New Jersey’s minimum wage and continues to champion fair and equitable wages. As freeholder director in Gloucester County, he helped build schools and established parks that catered to children with disabilities. Sen. Sweeney was born in Camden and since 2002 has represented New Jersey Senate District 3, which encompasses Salem and parts of Cumberland and Gloucester counties. He became Senate president in 2010.

Panel Speakers

MAdamsMichele Adams PE
President, Meliora Design
Michele Adams is a water resources engineer whose work focuses on sustainability, green infrastructure, and engineering designs informed by ecology. She was one of the authors of the Pennsylvania Stormwater Manual as well as NYC Parks’ High Performance Landscape Guidelines, and served for six years on the USGBC Sustainable Sites Committee, including developing LEED V4 criteria. Recent projects include the Philadelphia Children’s Zoo, Shoemaker Plaza at the University of Pennsylvania, the Stroud Water Research Environmental Education Center, and the Meadow Expansion at Longwood Gardens.

adams2Nancy Adams
President, Directions Downtown LLC
Nancy Adams’ roots in downtown revitalization began in her backyard on Springfield Avenue in Maplewood. In 1991, she and a neighbor began a campaign to revitalize the two-mile stretch on Maplewood’s southeastern end, resulting in the founding of the Springfield Avenue Partnership, which continues today and draws continued investment in the area. Almost five years after she began in the revitalization field she took over as director of Main Street South Orange, where she stayed for more than six years, and then did the same work in West Orange, Newark and Red Bank. Ms. Adams now consults in downtown revitalization and management, marketing, and events.

anderson headshotLeslie Anderson
Executive Director, New Jersey Redevelopment Authority
As executive director of the New Jersey Redevelopment Authority, the state’s urban-focused financing authority, Ms. Anderson has overseen the establishment of the NJRA infrastructure, which to date has committed more than $360 million, leveraging more than $3 billion in private investment. Under her direction, NJRA successfully conveys its mission and mandate to improve the quality of life by creating value in New Jersey’s urban communities. She also holds many active memberships in community service organizations.

babineauAnne S. Babineau Esq.
Partner, Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer PA
Anne Babineau is a partner at Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer, where she leads the firm’s statewide multi-disciplinary redevelopment practice. She has worked with clients undertaking redevelopment projects throughout New Jersey and has been involved in projects from redevelopment area designation through project completion, counseling clients on redevelopment plans, designation of redevelopment areas, property acquisition and government approvals. She has negotiated and drafted contracts between redevelopers and public entities for implementation of redevelopment, tax abatement, and financing documents, and loan and grant agreements, and has handled litigation and appeals in federal and state courts.

beckelman2Robert Beckelman Esq.
Partner, Redevelopment & Land Use Department, Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith & Davis LLP
Rob Beckelman focuses his practice in redevelopment, land use and zoning, eminent domain, affordable housing and related litigation. He represents developers and property owners in connection with land use and zoning matters and disputes, and also represents numerous New Jersey municipalities as special redevelopment or litigation counsel. He advises clients on statutory and regulatory compliance issues related to redevelopment projects, municipal governance, state agency reviews and approvals, and affordable housing requirements.

Bristol2Susan Pikaart Bristol
Principal, SPB Architecture LLC
Adjunct Professor, NJIT School of Architecture & Design
Susan Pikaart Bristol is a registered architect, a New Jersey Professional Planner and LEED Certified in green design. Her practice provides master planning and full architectural services, as well as vision plans and landscape design collaborations. Her work has ranged from regional scale planning and community design to small structures and residential projects. Susan is a native of New Jersey and is recognized as a resilient design professional who has contributed to Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts.  She has also served as an adjunct instructor at NJIT School of Architecture & Design in both the graduate and undergraduate programs. 

chester2Amy Chester
Managing Director, Rebuild by Design
Amy Chester is responsible for day-to-day operations, management, fundraising, and strategy for Rebuild by Design, a design initiative of the Hurricane Sandy Task Force and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that culminated in $930 million being awarded to six projects to address structural and social vulnerabilities uncovered by Superstorm Sandy.  Ms. Chester brings her considerable experience in community engagement, policy, communications and real estate development to advocate for the urban environment.  Previously she worked for Mayor Michael Bloomberg as chief of staff to the deputy mayor for legislative affairs and as a senior policy advisor, responsible for the engagement strategy and public vision of PlaNYC.

croninSherry Cronin
Executive Director, Downtown Westfield Corporation
Sherry Cronin has been in her current position since 2001. Downtown Westfield Corporation is the management entity for Westfield’s Special Improvement District, a New Jersey Main Street-designated community. Ms. Cronin led Westfield in winning the Great American Main Street Award in 2004, presented by the National Trust for Historic Preservation; the America in Bloom award in its population category in 2010; and an APA-NJ Great Place in New Jersey award in 2013. Previously Ms. Cronin spent 14 years at Prudential Financial in various roles, including human resources, project management, investment accounting, finance, mortgages, real estate audit, and sales.

daggett2Christopher Daggett
President and Chief Executive Officer, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation
Chris Daggett has been a respected leader in New Jersey’s nonprofit world for more than 25 years, serving on a number of boards, including the Schumann Fund for New Jersey, Regional Plan Association, The Trust for Public Land, and the Children’s Environmental Health Center of the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine. Mr. Daggett was deputy chief of staff to the governor of New Jersey in 1982 and 1983, regional administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from 1984 to 1988, and commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection in 1988 and 1989. He has also been a managing director of William E. Simon & Sons, a private investment firm, and a principal with JM Sorge, Inc. In 2009, just prior to coming to the Dodge Foundation, Mr. Daggett ran as an independent candidate for governor. 

deluca2Hon. Victor De Luca
Mayor, Township of Maplewood
Victor De Luca has been a member of the Maplewood Township Committee for 17 years, and mayor during 11 of them. He is the former president of the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation, which supports organizations working to change environmental, social, economic and political conditions to bring about a more just, equitable and sustainable world.  He has served on the boards of the Environmental Grantmakers Association, Philanthropy New York, and the Funders Network for Population, Reproductive Health and Rights. A former VISTA volunteer, De Luca is the former director of the Ironbound Community Corporation, a Newark community-based organization.

DeMarco2Joseph DeMarco
Business Administrator, City of Bayonne
Joe DeMarco has served as the administrator for Bayonne since July 2014, overseeing the redevelopment of the former Military Ocean Terminal and other industrial sites within the city. He was also responsible for the reexamination of the city’s master plan and for large infrastructure projects to the Bayonne Bridge and 14A interchange at the Turnpike.  He is the former town administrator for West New York and a former member of the Borough Council in Bernardsville. He is a member of the New Jersey Bar and has previously represented various public entities.

DeyJeffrey C. Dey
Chief Executive Officer, Resource Renewal LLC
Jeffrey C. Dey is the chief executive officer of Resource Renewal LLC and its operating companies: Resource Control Consultants, Land Resource Solutions, Blue Lightning and REEFMAKERS. Mr. Dey is a geologist, licensed site remediation professional, and business manager with more than 30 years of experience in the environmental services market and specific experience in many aspects of remediation and regulatory compliance. He works with Resource Renewal’s teams to provide a high level of service and productivity to meet a diverse set of customer requirements.

dudleyRuss D. Dudley PE LEED AP
Environmental Engineer, Tetra Tech
Russ Dudley has more than a decade of engineering experience tailored to watershed resilience and natural infrastructure implementation. His experience in green infrastructure design and implementation includes site assessments, innovative best management practices and low-impact design in challenging environments, on-site construction management, and design for urban stream restoration projects. His focus has been on restoring natural processes into urban environments. Mr. Dudley has been assisting communities in the Northeast on climate resiliency and flood control, finding new opportunities to leverage innovative funding sources and encourage public engagement, and using green and natural infrastructure as a way to adapt to new paradigms in stormwater and coastal management.

fabrizio2Michael Fabrizio
Executive Director, Morristown Partnership; Principal, CBD Consulting
Michael Fabrizio has served as the executive director of the Morristown Partnership Business Improvement District since its inception in 1994. By creating and implementing economic initiatives in areas of redevelopment, marketing, promotions, events and capital improvement projects, the partnership continues to help foster a sustainable and vibrant downtown Morristown. Mr. Fabrizio is also the executive director of the Pompton Lakes Business Improvement District and the executive director of the Pompton Lakes Redevelopment Agency.  Through his downtown revitalization consulting company CBD Consulting, he is working on the implementation of a redevelopment strategy that will result in the first downtown redevelopments in Pompton Lakes in more than 30 years.

ForbesBrandy Forbes
Director of Community Development, City of Hoboken
As community development director in Hoboken, Brandy Forbes manages all redevelopment and planning projects. Since Superstorm Sandy, her work has expanded to include resiliency planning and sustainability efforts. She has worked in the states of Washington, Iowa and New Jersey, acquiring a broad background in diverse planning concepts.  Prior to working in Hoboken, she was assistant township administrator in the Township of Maplewood and planning director in the Township of Edison.  

Joseph M. Forgione
Founder and Principal, JMF Properties Group
With 20 years of development experience, Joseph Forgione has been responsible for the construction of more than 2,000 residential units as well as multiple commercial and retail spaces. He manages the day-to-day operations of JMF Properties group, including site acquisitions, project development approvals, and liaison to a variety of governmental agencies at the municipal, state and federal levels. Responsibilities encompass planning, financing, architectural design, and construction. Mr. Forgione served as a commissioner for the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority from 2001 to 2013, serving as a member of the selection committee for the redevelopment of the Meadowlands Complex.

franklinChristopher B. Franklin
Director of Construction, Brandywine Realty Trust
Since Chris Franklin joined Brandywine Realty Trust 12 years ago, he has overseen the development and construction of all product types, including new office buildings, reclamation and restoration of existing structures, historic restorations, core and lobby renovations, and student and market-rate residential high-rises.  The projects involved collaboration and coordination with a range of stakeholders including Amtrak, various universities, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, local water departments and numerous consulting engineers with varying interests. In addition to working at Brandywine, Chris has served on the Construction Management Advisory Council and as an adjunct professor teaching real estate finance and construction management courses at Drexel University.

FranziniCaren Franzini
President, Franzini Consulting LLC
Caren Franzini’s firm helps design and enhance programs and projects for economic development organizations; offers strategic guidance with real estate development projects; and identifies local, state and federal incentives to fill funding gaps. Previously, Ms. Franzini served for more than 18 years as chief executive officer of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, an organization with more than $500 million in assets, a $28-million operating budget and more than 150 employees. Annually NJEDA provided between $600 million and $800 million in financial assistance to businesses, not-for-profits and public organizations. Prior to joining the NJEDA, Ms. Franzini was an assistant state treasurer.

goldsmithRobert S. Goldsmith Esq.
Partner and Co-Chairman, Redevelopment & Land Use Department, Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith & Davis LLP
Bob Goldsmith’s practice focuses on redevelopment, transit-oriented development, downtown revitalization, green building and public-private partnerships. He also has broad experience in complex commercial litigation, construction litigation and appellate work. He has counseled and consulted with both developers and municipalities for numerous redevelopment projects throughout the state and for more than 30 Special Improvement Districts. Mr. Goldsmith has developed and teaches a redevelopment law course at Rutgers Law School-Newark. He is a New Jersey Future trustee and president of Downtown New Jersey. 

HochreiterJoseph J. Hochreiter CGWP
Principal Scientist, Senior Environmental Consulting
Joseph Hochreiter has more than 40 years of experience in directing the design, management, and technical oversight of regional aquifer studies, significant site assessments, environmental remediation, and brownfields redevelopment projects in the eastern United States. For the past 10 years he has been principal scientist of his own consulting firm. His areas of technical expertise include USEPA and New Jersey regulatory programs; water supply science and policy; and remediation technology assessment and selection. In New Jersey he specializes in strategic consulting to private-sector clients. For more than six years he has served the members of the Brownfields Development Area (BDA) on Perth Amboy’s waterfront as their BDA coordinator.

HodgesMichael Hodges MS CHES
Health Educator, City of Bloomfield
Michael Hodges is the health educator for the Bloomfield Department of Health and Human Services. He is a licensed health officer and certified health education specialist. After spending a number of years in the private sector, Mr. Hodges progressed to the field of public health in 2005. For the past 10 years, he’s been engaged in implementing innovative initiatives to help the residents of Bloomfield live healthier lives. As the department’s accreditation coordinator, he also spearheaded the process of making Bloomfield the first health department in New Jersey to receive accreditation from the national Public Health Accreditation Board.

Holt2Hon. Matthew Holt
Member, Board of Chosen Freeholders, County of Hunterdon
Matthew Holt was elected as a Hunterdon County freeholder in 2007. He joined the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority Board of Trustees in 2008, became a member of its Executive Committee in 2009, and served as its chairman for the 2012-2013 term. He currently serves as its second vice chairman.  He also is a member of the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition, an organization of Raritan Valley Line riders, elected officials, and representatives from the counties of Hunterdon, Somerset, Middlesex and Union. Previously, Mr. Holt served as both councilman and mayor of the Town of Clinton and as a member of the Clinton Board of Education.

HughesJames W. Hughes
Distinguished Professor and Dean, Edward J. Bloustein School for Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University
Dr. James W. Hughes is a nationally recognized expert on demographics, housing, and regional economics. He is the director of the Rutgers Regional Report, which has produced more than 40 economic, demographic, and real estate studies on New Jersey and the broader metropolitan region. He is author or co-author of 34 books and monographs and more than 150 articles, including New Jersey’s Postsuburban Economy and The Atlantic City Gamble. Dean Hughes has provided extensive budgetary and economic testimony before many New Jersey state legislative committees, and has provided numerous policy briefings both in Washington and Trenton on demographics, housing and the economy.

italianoMichael Italiano
President and Chief Executive Officer, Market Transformation to Sustainability and Capital Markets Partnership; Founder, U.S. Green Buildings Council
Mike Italiano has more than 30 years of environmental experience, including as senior analyst in the White House Science Office and assistant to the director of the National Commission on Water Quality, where he helped write the Congressional Report on the Clean Water Act.  He is a founder and previous chief executive officer of the U.S. Green Buildings Council. In his current capacity, Mike directed the development and approval of Wall Street’s Green Bond Business Case, documenting that green buildings and certified sustainable products are more profitable, less risky, preferred by investors, and can provide a $1-trillion private-sector stimulus. He is a director of Market Transformation to Sustainability and Capital Markets Partnership.

Jones-Holt2Megan Jones-Holt
Executive Director, Flemington Business Improvement District
As executive director of the Flemington Business Improvement District, Megan Jones-Holt has secured a $1 million dollar federal transportation streetscape grant, completed a gateway project on state Department of Transportation property and managed a Downtown Strategic Plan from creation to adoption to implementation. Ms. Jones-Holt has produced unique events for the BID and has bolstered its public image by enhancing its presence online via its website, social media and innovative mobile features, including an app with consumer rewards. Previously, she owned an independent event company that was honored as one of the top 25 privately held businesses in New Jersey.

Kaplan2Alex Kaplan
Senior Vice President, Global Partnerships; Senior Client Manager, Swiss Re
Alex Kaplan is responsible for developing and executing innovative risk transfer solutions to help governments, international financial institutions and NGOs at all levels manage their financial risks to help society create effective responses to major challenges. Prior to joining Swiss Re, Kaplan served as the deputy to the assistant secretary for legislative affairs for the United States Department of the Treasury under Secretary Henry M. Paulson and from 2002 to 2006, he served as the manager of government affairs of the Organization for International Investment, a Washington D.C.-based business association representing US subsidiaries of foreign companies.

KasabachPeter Kasabach
Executive Director, New Jersey Future
Peter Kasabach has been actively engaged in the areas of housing and sustainable development and community revitalization for the past 20 years. Before taking the helm of New Jersey Future in December 2007, he was chief of policy and community development for the New Jersey Housing & Mortgage Finance Agency, where he guided investment programs and developed a comprehensive state housing policy for use by the Department of Community Affairs. Prior to joining the HMFA, he oversaw all planning and real estate development activities for Isles, a private nonprofit community development organization in Trenton.

keanHon. Thomas H. Kean Jr. (R-21)
Minority Leader, New Jersey State Senate
Tom Kean Jr. was elected to the New Jersey General Assembly in 2001, where became the chairman of the Republican Policy Committee and served as vice chairman for the State Government Committee. He was elected to the New Jersey Senate in 2003. In 2004 he was unanimously elected as Senate minority whip, and he has served as the Senate minority leader since 2008. He currently serves on the Senate Higher Education, Commerce and Legislative Oversight committees and is the Senate appointee to the New Jersey Council on the Arts, the New Jersey Israel Commission and the New Jersey Amistad Commission.

Chuck-Latini-head shotCharles Latini Jr. PP AICP
Principal, L&G Planning; President, American Planning Association New Jersey Chapter
Charles Latini Jr. is a land-use planner and design professional. Principal owner of L&G Planning and president of the American Planning Association New Jersey Chapter (APA-NJ), he is both a practitioner and public policy advocate. Experienced in both the public and private sectors, his main area of focus has been redevelopment, where education and outreach are used to build a constituency for better land-use planning and community-design decisions. Mr. Latini has significant experience in both local and regional planning initiatives; he began his career in municipal government and then moved to the Office of State Planning and the Transit-Friendly Land Use program at NJ Transit.

Alan Mallach.Alan Mallach FAICP
Senior Fellow, Center for Community Progress
Alan Mallach is a city planner and advocate and the former director of housing and economic development in Trenton. He currently teaches in the graduate city planning program at Pratt Institute in New York City. He is the author of Bringing Buildings Back: From Abandoned Properties to Community Assets and A Decent Home: Planning, Building and Preserving Affordable Housing. He is a senior fellow at the National Housing Institute and a nonresident fellow in the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution.

MappHon. Adrian Mapp
Mayor, City of Plainfield
Adrian Mapp was sworn in as the mayor of Plainfield on January 1, 2014. Prior to being elected as mayor, he had served as councilman for the Third Ward since 1998 and as a Union County freeholder from 2005 to 2007. Since becoming mayor, Adrian has been presented with awards from the National Forum of Black Public Administrators for Outstanding Leadership; I.B.P.O. ELKS of the World for Outstanding and Devoted Service in the Community; 2015 Smart Growth Award from New Jersey Future for the Netherwood Transit-Oriented Development Plan; the Gateway Regional Chamber of Commerce; and many others.

Maraziti2Joseph J. Maraziti Jr. Esq.
Partner, Maraziti Falcon LLP
Joe Maraziti represents public- and private-sector clients in regulatory, transactional and litigation matters involving environmental and redevelopment issues. He is an active leader in the redevelopment of New Jersey’s cities and towns. He has many years of experience in legal issues related to water, wastewater and solid waste infrastructure and the environment. He served as chairman of the New Jersey State Planning Commission, which adopted the State Development and Redevelopment Plan in March 2001. In this role, he worked with the governor’s cabinet, counties, local communities and the private sector to ensure that development and redevelopment in New Jersey enhances the quality of life for all citizens.

Elizabeth C. McKenzie AICP PP
President, Elizabeth McKenzie PP PA
Since 1980, Betsy McKenzie’s planning consulting firm has provided a full range of planning services to more than three dozen municipal clients as well as developers, non-profit entities and private property owners. Much of her work has focused on affordable housing planning and compliance.  She has been appointed special master in more than two dozen Mount Laurel lawsuits, and is currently special master in approximately 60 declaratory judgment actions. She serves on the New Jersey Site Improvement Advisory Board and the Board of Counselors of New Jersey Planning Officials. She is a recipient of APA-NJ’s Chavoosian Award for Outstanding Professional Planner. 

McNeilly2Bernard P. McNeilly PE
Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, U.S. Transportation & Infrastructure, WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff
Bernie McNeilly has been in many roles in delivery and client service focused on the needs of WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff’s partners, clients and customers. Projects include service to PNCT, the raising of the Bayonne Bridge and various port and port/freight projects in the area. WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff is a professional services leader in developing and operating infrastructure around the world for the transportation, power/energy, buildings and environmental market sectors, with 35,000 employees dedicated to meeting the needs of clients and communities throughout the world. Mr. McNeilly is based in the firm’s Lawrenceville, New Jersey, office.

Michaelson_JulietteJuliette Michaelson
Executive Vice President, Regional Plan Association
Juliette Michaelson is managing Regional Plan Association’s Fourth Regional Plan, which will provide a blueprint for the region’s growth, sustainability, good governance and economic opportunity for the next generation. Ms. Michaelson is leading the research and public engagement effort necessary to identify the plan’s recommendations and build the network of constituents who will help carry them out. She is the author of two reports that quantified how much transit service improves home values near train stations. Previously, Ms. Michaelson worked at Project for Public Spaces, where she managed a range of programs to help municipalities and state departments of transportation make concordant land use and transportation decisions. 

MichnewiczTom Michnewicz
Vice President of Development, Somerset Development Company
Tom Michnewicz is responsible for Somerset Development’s land acquisitions and approvals, overseeing planning and design, and maintaining relationships with municipal and state-level departments. He is a recognized leader in large-scale mixed-use redevelopment planning, and is an active member of the New Jersey State Planning Commission. Before joining Somerset Development, Mr. Michnewicz was a senior vice president at Advance Realty. He is a former president of the New Jersey Chapter of NAIOP, a former chairman of NAIOP’s National Urban Redevelopment Forum, and a former member of the NAIOP national Board of Directors.

Schenine HeadshotSchenine Mitchell
Job Training Coordinator, Brownfields Program, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 2
Schenine Mitchell came to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency professionally in 2000 after 18 months as an EPA intern with the Environmental Careers Organization.  At EPA, she functions as an environmental scientist, working in the Emergency and Remedial Response Division as a brownfields project officer for several Brownfields Assessment, Area-Wide Planning, and Environmental Workforce and Job Development Training grants.  In addition, she currently serves as the national sub lead region coordinator for brownfields.  She is a two-time beneficiary of the Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund which offers the only merit-based scholarship competition program open exclusively to federal employees.

Craig O’Brien
Member, Township Committee and Former Mayor, Township of Raritan
Craig O’Brien was first elected to the Raritan Township Committee in 2012 and re-elected in 2015. He served as mayor in 2014 and 2015. Raritan Township is the largest municipality in Hunterdon County, with a population of 22,161. Encompassing 38 square miles, Raritan Township is a mix of rural and suburban development, and is home to several of the largest employers in the county, including Hunterdon Healthcare, Johanna Foods, Flemington Car and Truck Country and Diamond Nation. Previously, Mr. O’Brien was commissioned as a naval officer and spent seven years as a nuclear engineer aboard several ships during his service.

phillipsPaul A. Phillips AICP PP
Principal, Phillips Preiss Grygiel
Paul Phillips is the managing principal of Phillips Preiss Grygiel LLC, where he conducts land-use planning and master plan work and directs PPG’s real estate, redevelopment and condemnation-related assignments. For more than 30 years he has served as the planning consultant to various municipal boards and governing bodies, and has obtained approvals for hundreds of private development projects. As a highly regarded expert witness, Mr. Phillips displays extensive knowledge of New Jersey zoning, redevelopment and condemnation law. He has testified on numerous occasions as an expert in New Jersey Superior Court and was the planning witness in several landmark rulings by the Appellate Division/Supreme Court. 

Piliere2Margie Piliere
Chief Economic Development Officer, Choose New Jersey
Margie Piliere is responsible for overseeing all lead generation and business development activities, including prospect management, for Choose New Jersey, Inc., an independently funded and operated nonprofit organization charged with encouraging economic growth throughout New Jersey with a focus on revitalization of the state’s most distressed cities. Prior to joining Choose New Jersey, Ms. Piliere served more than 25 years at the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, where she was the director of business banking and community development, responsible for leading the sales team for all loan and incentive resources, managing the intake of applications for financial assistance, and developing relationships with businesses, banks and municipalities.

Peter ReinhartPeter S. Reinhart Esq.
Director, Kislak Real Estate Institute, Monmouth University
Peter Reinhart joined Monmouth University as director of the Kislak Real Estate Institute in August 2011. He was formerly senior vice president and general counsel at Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. He is a past president of the New Jersey Builders Association. Mr. Reinhart has written articles for several trade publications including Housing New Jersey Dimensions, Tri-State Real Estate Journal and New Jersey Lawyer. He has lectured for the Institute of Continuing Legal Education, the New Jersey Builders Association, the National Association of Home Builders, the New Jersey League of Municipalities, Rutgers-Camden School of Law and the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. He was instrumental in rewriting the access code used by the New Jersey Department of Transportation. He is the current chairman of New Jersey Future’s Board of Trustees.

BRiddick 001Beverly M. Riddick
Executive Director, HOMECorp
During Beverly Riddick’s 20-year tenure as executive director, Homes of Montclair Ecumenical Corp. has acquired, renovated and sold 46 single- and multi-family properties to income-eligible homebuyers, and has rehabilitated and manages 66 low-, moderate- and middle-income rental units. Ms. Riddick has expanded HOMECorp’s budget by over 800 percent, generated $15 million in project funding, and provided programs and services that have housed almost 400 people. She is a recipient of the Shirley Chisholm-Catalyst for Change Award, American Association of University Women’s Women as Agents of Change Award, a U.S. Congress Certificate of Congressional Recognition, and the National Council of Negro Women’s Business Award. 

RooneyBethann Rooney
Assistant Director, Port Performance Initiative, Port Authority of NY & NJ
Bethann Rooney joined the Port Authority in 1993, and was named to her current position in August 2014. She is the architect and coordinator of the Port’s Council on Port Performance, the first forum of its kind in the nation, established so port constituents could identify challenges to port efficiency and service reliability and develop recommended solutions. She is responsible for managing and coordinating port-wide efforts to ensure that performance management and quality improvement efforts are data-driven and prioritized according to ongoing strategic imperatives. Ms. Rooney’s management positions at the Port Authority include time spent in port security, operations, property management, intermodal and technology planning.

rothmanEric Rothman
President, HR&A Advisors
As president of HR&A Advisors, a real estate and economic-development consulting firm, Eric Rothman has worked to guide development strategies throughout the state. He advised The College of New Jersey on its selection of a development partner for its Campus Town project, and advises NJ Transit on real estate and transit-oriented development. He has advised on the Fort Monmouth Reuse Plan, the American Dream retail and entertainment complex, and the Newark Master Plan. Previously, Mr. Rothman was director of business planning for Transport for London. He is board chairman for the Design Trust for Public Space and a member of the Urban Land Institute’s Public-Private Partnership Council. 

SantolaStephen A. Santola Esq.
Executive Vice President/General Counsel, Woodmont Properties
Steve Santola has been a practicing attorney in New Jersey and New York, specializing in land use and real estate, since 1991. He joined Woodmont Properties in 2004, where he is responsible for the firm’s legal matters. He also serves as project manager and manages the development approval process for many of the company’s downtown redevelopment sites. He has been a guest lecturer on transit-oriented development at the NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate, the New Jersey Redevelopment Authority’s training institute and the Kislak Real Estate Institute at Monmouth University. He serves on the executive board of Downtown New Jersey.  

SchwagerLara Schwager
Development Principal, Ingerman
Lara Schwager joined Ingerman in 2008, bringing with her more than 15 years of real estate development experience in New Jersey. Ingerman, an integrated real estate company with expertise in the development, construction and management of multi-family apartment communities, has a portfolio of more than 7,000 apartment units throughout the Mid-Atlantic region and Florida. Ms. Schwager is responsible for identifying development opportunities, underwriting, processing and providing project oversight for Ingerman’s New Jersey market-rate and affordable housing portfolios. She has been directly responsible for the development of more than 2,500 residential units during her career, including more than 700 units of affordable housing with Ingerman.

stefanek2Pam Stefanek
Executive Director, New Brunswick City Market
As executive director of New Brunswick City Market, the non-profit corporation serving as the management company for New Brunswick’s Special Improvement District, Pam Stefanek manages the organization’s clean-team ambassador program, streetscape and façade improvements, graffiti removal, business attraction and retention, marketing and business promotions. She also serves as executive director for City Market’s sister organization, New Brunswick Public Sculpture Inc., created to illuminate the history of the city through public art and sculpture. Prior to her tenure at City Market, she served as vice president of community relations, marketing and advertising at Bank of America and its predecessor banks in New Jersey.

StraussBenjamin Strauss Ph.D.
Vice President for Sea Level and Climate Impacts, Climate Central
Dr. Benjamin Strauss is a national expert and author of numerous scientific papers and reports on sea level rise, as well as architect of the Surging Seas suite of maps, tools and visualizations. Strauss has testified before the U.S. Senate and presented to state and local elected officials, and the White House has highlighted his work. His research and Surging Seas have generated coverage across the U.S. and internationally by, among others, the New York Times, Washington Post, AP, Reuters, Bloomberg, The Guardian and USA Today, totaling more than 2,500 stories. He has appeared as an expert on national network news, nationally syndicated radio and documentary television.

strauss-wiederAnne Strauss-Wieder
Director, Freight Planning, North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority
Anne Strauss-Wieder has more than 35 years of experience in supply chains and freight movement, economic analyses and policy and project development.  She works closely with private sector stakeholders and public sector interests to ensure that supply-chain projects reflect market realities, emerging trends and customer needs. She has facilitated the productive integration of freight operations with community goals and economic development  and helped to address many of the key issues facing the freight industry. She has authored numerous reports and is one of the co-authors of the 2014 report Enhancing U.S. Port Resiliency as Part of Extended Intermodal Supply Chains.

SylvesterMichael Sylvester
Executive Vice President, EWMA
Michael Sylvester is responsible for managing EWMA’s day-to-day business operations and for leading its corporate business planning and development efforts. He has 30 years of public/private sector experience in the environmental industry and is recognized on both national and state levels as a leader in brownfields. He is a member of the board of directors of the Northeastern Economic Developers Association; a past president of the Economic Development Association of New Jersey; a member of the Environmental Business Council and the Real Property Roundtable of the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey; and a member of the Paterson Environmental Revitalization Committee.

TantleffDebra Tantleff
Founding Principal, TANTUM Real Estate
TANTUM Real Estate, which Debra Tantleff founded, is a certified Women’s Business Enterprise focused on creating boutique multi-family and mixed-use communities in the New Jersey region. Previously Ms. Tantleff was a vice president of development at Roseland, where she oversaw a portfolio of more than 4,500 residential units and 200,000 square feet of retail space. Ms. Tantleff serves on the New Jersey committee for the Regional Plan Association and the board of directors for Downtown New Jersey, and is an advisory board member at the Center for Real Estate Studies at the Rutgers Business School. She was named to Real Estate Forum’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2012, and was recognized with the Women Builders Council’s 2015 Outstanding Women Award.

TestaMatthew Testa LEED AP
Director of Construction, Bijou Properties
Matt Testa manages all aspects of building design and construction for Bijou Properties. He is the organization’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-accredited professional, helping anchor the company’s focus on sustainable development practices. He also coordinates the firm’s marketing and networking initiatives. Since graduating from Lehigh University in 2002 with a B.A. in architectural design and a minor in graphic communications, Mr. Testa has worked across all facets of the real estate development industry, including project supervision, construction management, and design management, and sales and marketing. Follow him on twitter @matthewtesta.

GARY_toth_hs2Gary Toth
Senior Director, Transportation Initiatives, Project for Public Spaces
Gary Toth has helped lead a national movement to integrate land use and transportation issues as a means to create more livable, walkable communities. During his 34 years with the New Jersey Department of Transportation, he helped transform NJDOT into a stakeholder-inclusive agency focused on integrating transportation and land-use planning. He was the founder of the NJFIT: Future in Transportation program, which provided planning assistance to more than 50 communities in New Jersey, and he founded the agency’s Context-Sensitive Solutions program. Since joining PPS in 2007, he has conducted hundreds of trainings and engagement sessions to help communities plan and create more sustainable streets and transportation networks.

TorontoTom Toronto
President, Bergen County’s United Way
Tom Toronto has 33 years of experience with local United Ways in Bergen, Burlington and Hudson counties. He is on the board of the NJ 2-1-1 Partnership, driving implementation of the 2-1-1 helpline on behalf of local United Ways and New Jersey state government.  He serves on the advisory board of Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Center for Excellence in Leadership, Governance and Philanthropy, on Bergen County’s Board of Social Service, and on the board of the Supportive Housing Association of New Jersey. He has been a member of the Leonia Borough Council and has chaired the town’s Planning Board.

TroastDavid R. Troast AICP PP LLA
City Manager, City of Hackensack
David Troast has 30 years of professional experience in municipal management, planning, design and redevelopment. He has guided the development and redevelopment process in Sparta Township, assisted in Passaic City before assuming his current position in Hackensack, which is currently implementing a redevelopment/rehabilitation plan. David’s success is found in planning with a team approach, communication, and a strong commitment to advancing sustainable development in the interest of the public, business community and creation of jobs.  

vigilMarcos Vigil
Deputy Mayor, City of Jersey City
Marcos Vigil serves in Mayor Steven Fulop’s administration, working with the Department of Housing, Economic Development and Commerce and the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency to oversee economic development and real estate. He is also a commissioner of the Jersey City Municipal Utilities Authority. Prior to his current role, Mr. Vigil served four years as deputy secretary of state for New York under Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Before joining public service, he worked as an attorney for several law firms in New York City. Mr. Vigil has served on the board of the Puerto Rican Bar Association, and as deputy general counsel of the National Hispanic Bar Association.

WilsonLouise Wilson
Green Infrastructure Manager, New Jersey Future
Louise Wilson manages New Jersey Future’s green infrastructure project, a program aimed at moving green stormwater infrastructure practices into the mainstream.  She is a former mayor and committeewoman in Montgomery Township, and she is a former member of the New Jersey State Planning Commission. She has served as an officer of the League of Municipalities Executive Board; president of the League’s Educational Foundation; and a trustee of the Municipal Land Use Center at The College of New Jersey; and she is currently a trustee for local and statewide land preservation organizations.

wrightTom Wright
President, Regional Plan Association
Tom Wright is a frequent speaker, lecturer and commentator on economic growth and development, roads and transit, good governance and other public policy issues facing the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut region. He has steered many key RPA initiatives, including the historic Civic Alliance to Rebuild Downtown New York following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks; the protection of the New Jersey Highlands; and a vision for the revitalization for the City of Newark. Before his current tenure at RPA began in 2001, Tom was deputy executive director of the New Jersey Office of State Planning, where he coordinated production of the New Jersey State Development and Redevelopment Plan.

YasenchakLeah B. Yasenchak Ph.D. PP AICP CEcDk
Co-Owner, BRS Inc.
Leah Yasenchak oversees redevelopment projects on environmentally compromised property through project inception and funding to cleanup and completion of regulatory approvals. She leads BRS’s environmental planning, outreach, and grant writing and management services. She has more than 22 years of experience at the federal and local levels in environmental policy, grant writing and administration, and brownfields redevelopment. Prior to establishing BRS, Dr. Yasenchak spent 12 years working for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, including a four-year loaned-executive assignment as the brownfields coordinator for the City of Trenton. While at EPA, she served on numerous federal committees developing grant requirements as well as on grant selection panels. Between 2013 and 2015 she served as New Jersey Future’s local recovery planning manager in Tuckerton and Little Egg Harbor.

ZarrilliDaniel A. Zarrilli PE
Senior Director, Climate Policy and Programs, New York City Office of the Mayor
In his current position, Daniel Zarrilli oversees the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency, of which he is also the director; the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability; and the tracking of the city’s OneNYC program. He is also the city’s Chief Resilience Officer. Previously he served on the Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency, a post-Sandy task force that developed a climate adaptation program for New York City, including a first-ever comprehensive coastal protection plan. He was appointed to FEMA’s National Advisory Council, the Mitigation Framework Leadership Group, and Louisiana’s Resiliency Technical Advisory Panel for its 2017 Coastal Master Plan update.

zimmerDavid Zimmer CFA
Executive Director, New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust
Since November 2010, David Zimmer has been the executive director of the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust, the state’s water infrastructure lending authority which partners with the Department of Environmental Protection to provide low-interest-rate loans to local municipalities, utility authorities and water companies to fund environmental infrastructure projects. During his tenure, Mr. Zimmer has focused on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the NJEIT, including developing a web-based loan management system, overhauling the NJEIT’s credit policy, and introducing a short-term construction loan program, the SAIL disaster relief loan program, and the NANO loan program, which provides heavily subsidized funding for the state’s smallest drinking-water systems.

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