Dr. Jalonne L. White-Newsome is a senior program officer at The Kresge Foundation, responsible for the Environment Program’s grant portfolio on Climate Resilient and Equitable Water Systems (CREWS) and serves as a member of Kresge’s Operationalizing Racial Equity team. A native of Detroit, Jalonne earned a Ph.D. in environmental health sciences from the University of Michigan School of Public Health, a master’s degree in environmental engineering from Southern Methodist University and a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Northwestern University.
Jalonne has worked across many sectors. Before joining Kresge in 2016, Jalonne served as director of federal policy at West Harlem Environmental Action Inc. (WE ACT), where she led national campaigns to ensure that the concerns of low-income communities of color were integrated into federal policy. She is also an adjunct professor at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. As a researcher on climate, health and equity, Jalonne was a lead author for the human health chapter of the Fourth National Climate Assessment. She provides leadership on various boards, including the National Academy of Sciences Board on Environmental Change and Society, an Associate Editor of the Environmental Justice Journal, and co-chair of Health Environmental Funder’s Network Steering Committee.
Jalonne has recently been recognized by Who’s Who in America, The Environmental Management Association’s Environmental Achievement Award, the Michigan League of Conservation Voters and is a 2017 PLACES Fellow alum with The Funders Network.
When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughter’s Arielle and Jeannelyn.
Mr. Adeem, a Newark native, began working for the City of Newark in 1991 in the Department of Engineering. In 2013, Adeem was promoted to superintendent of public works, where he oversaw daily maintenance operations of the Department of Water and Sewer Utilities. In 2018, he received his certification as a Public Works Manager and was appointed to his present position. He was a key player in various municipal projects, including the Queen Ditch Restoration Project, which helped address chronic flooding along Frelinghuysen Avenue that has plagued the area for more than 30 years. Director Adeem is credited with helping to rebrand the Department of Water and Sewer Utilities and upgrading the city’s infrastructure as it works to replace every lead service line. He is a dedicated public servant who has, and continues to, give back to his native community.
A native of Newark, Mayor Baraka’s progressive approach to governing has won him accolades from grassroots organizations to the White House under President Obama’s administration. With a forward-thinking agenda that reduced crime to its lowest levels in five decades, addressed affordability while maintaining steady growth, lowered unemployment, and returned local control of schools after more than two decades, Baraka has defied expectations since taking office in 2014. During this historic time, he is currently fighting for a myriad of social justice reforms while leading his city through the fight against COVID.
Stephen Blankenship is the Executive Director/Chief Engineer for Hamilton Township MUA in Mays Landing, NJ, and an active member of the New Jersey Section of AWWA (AWWA NJ), the NJ Water Environment Association (NJWEA), the Association of Environmental Authorities of New Jersey (AEA) and the South Jersey Water Professionals Association (SJWPA) and JWW’s Asset Management Committee. Stephen has about 30 years of experience working for and with water and wastewater utilities. Stephen holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Rutgers University, professional engineering licenses in three states, a Certified Municipal Engineer certification and all 5 NJDEP operator licenses.
Isabella holds a joint position with the Pinelands Preservation Alliance and the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions. She works on the South Jersey Landscape Makeover Program, which works with municipalities and homeowners to build green stormwater infrastructure projects and reduce non-point source pollution and flooding. Outside of work, she is working on a Master of Environmental Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.
Bill Cesanek, AICP, is a Vice President and practice leader for environmental and infrastructure planning at CDM Smith. With more than 30 years of experience, he works to advance interdisciplinary approaches to urban and infrastructure planning, including support for green infrastructure and source water protection initiatives in Philadelphia, and regional climate resilience projects. He chaired the American Planning Association’s Water Task Force from 2014 to 2017, and now Chairs the APA Water and Planning Network. He has been an adjunct professor in the Rutgers Bloustein Graduate School of Planning & Public Policy since 2012. Bill authored the Planning Advisory Service report “Planners and Water”, published in August 2017 by APA.
Stephanie is proud to lead two mission-driven organizations she cofounded; she serves as CEO for Rogue Water, LLC and Co-Executive Director for the nonprofit, Rogue Water Lab. She believes water is the catalyst for community transformation and that communication is at the core. With a decade of experience working for municipal water utilities, she seeks to empower water professionals with the power of comms to drive the impact required to design resilient water futures. Stephanie is one half of the H2duO, and you can find her co-hosting the Water in Real Life podcast and the Catalyst Mastermind Summit through Rogue Water Lab, which provides the water industry with resources designed to cultivate innovators in communication and public education.
Rosana Da Silva 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.
Anthony Diaz is a Newark native and a co-founder of the Newark Water Coalition, an organization dedicated to raising awareness about the city’s lead water crisis and urging local officials to act. Through the Newark Water Coalition, Diaz attends city council meetings, hosts water filter giveaways and water distributions for residents, and hosts various teach-ins at multiple universities in New Jersey. The organization has been able to provide over 1,000 filters and over 70,000 gallons of water to the people of Newark. He has been actively involved in activism since starting his high school’s first student union. He is a steadfast believer that people’s power and the recognition of how all struggles are interconnected are the keys to achieving equity.
Shadi Eskaf joined the Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 2004 and has worked on environmental finance projects in local, state, and national settings. Shadi works on a range of topics, including water and wastewater rates and rate-setting, financial performance and assessment, water consumption, infrastructure capital needs and funding, and utility partnerships. Shadi has a Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Marian Glenn completed the Green Infrastructure Champion program offered by Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program. She applied what she learned at this training as a member of the City of Summit Environmental Commission and the Rahway River Watershed Association. In addition to promoting rain gardens, she has led three floodplain reforestation projects through Sustainable Jersey’s Roots for Rivers program.
Olivia Glenn serves as Deputy Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, prioritizing the advancement of the administration’s environmental justice and equity goals. A longtime advocate of assuring access to the outdoors to underserved communities, Olivia believes every New Jerseyan has a right to experience and enjoy the benefits of nature. She strongly believes that regional trails are a part of advancing equity and access for all to enjoy open space amenities.
Olivia previously led the DEP’s Division of Parks and Forestry, serving since 2018 as its director and managing its 450,000 acres of natural and historic resources. From 2003 to 2009, she also worked as the Division’s Urban Initiatives and Outreach Coordinator and subsequently as the special assistant to the DEP Deputy Commissioner. She later served on the DEP’s Environmental Justice Advisory Council, leading its efforts in outreach, education, and land management. Olivia also has worked with the New Jersey Conservation Foundation, making outdoor spaces and trails more readily available to Greater Philadelphia residents. She was the former Co-Chair for New Jersey of the Circuit Trails Coalition.
As Deputy Commissioner, Olivia chairs the Community Collaborative Initiative’s Steering Committee and is responsible for environmental justice, diversity, and environmental education. She is a recipient of the Camden Environmental Hero Award and a Camden County Sustainability Champion. Olivia earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from Dartmouth College. She holds a master’s degree from the Yale School of the Environment.
Megan Glover is the Co-founder and CEO of 120Water. A data and software veteran, prior to founding 120Water she spent nearly 15 years as an executive building and scaling various software as a service products in the midwest. With a passion and knowledge base for utilizing modern software technology to solve problems, 120Water provides modern software and tools necessary to solve our most complex drinking water challenges.
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 parks, public property, sanitation, and infrastructure projects including drinking water and stormwater. She advances sustainability and resiliency initiatives in areas such as rainfall flood mitigation and energy, including the Northwest Resiliency Park and Green Infrastructure Strategic Plan. 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 earned her M.A. in Environmental Policy from Lehigh University.
Mami Hara is the General Manager and CEO of Seattle Public Utilities (SPU). She is Board Chair of the US Water Alliance, a board member of the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, a founding member of the Water Agencies Leadership Alliance, and the founder of the Green Infrastructure Leadership Exchange. Through her work in Seattle, at Philadelphia Water and as principal of a leading planning and design firm, she has developed just, climate resilient, and community centered land and water management investment approaches and practices.
Charlotte Katzenmoyer graduated from the University of Akron with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and graduated from Lehigh University with a Master of Science in Environmental Engineering. She has over 20 years of experience in the water industry and is the CEO for Capital Region Water providing wastewater, drinking water and stormwater services to the City of Harrisburg and portions of five surrounding municipalities. Before her current role, she served as the Director of Public Works with the City of Lancaster. While in Lancaster, she oversaw the modernization of its water and sewer infrastructure and developed a nationally recognized green stormwater infrastructure program.
Andrew Kricun is a Managing Director with Moonshot Missions, a non-profit focused on providing technical assistance to water utilities in underserved communities. He is also a Senior Fellow with the US Water Alliance working on their national water equity initiative. He is also working as a Senior Advisor at the Water Center at the University of Pennsylvania on various projects related to the Delaware River watershed. 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. Mr. Kricun serves on the New Jersey Environmental Justice Advisory Council and also 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.
Debbie was most recently the Deputy Commissioner at the NJ Department of Environmental Protection. While there Debbie provided leadership and direction for many of the DEP’s climate change, renewable energy and environmental justice efforts. Previously, Debbie served as Baykeeper of the NY/NJ Baykeeper and as an environmental and energy policy adviser to former Gov. Jon S. Corzine. She is the former chair of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters, former trustee of New Jersey Future, and currently serves as member of the Borough Council in Glen Ridge. Debbie has a certification from the International Association for Public Participation in Foundations in Public Participation.
Kendra F. Morris, Director of Business Development for SUEZ North America, partners with municipal leaders to bring sustainable and smart water solutions to communities across the U.S. and Canada. At SUEZ, she leads teams to develop and execute commercial strategy for long-term contract operations. Kendra has a background in infrastructure investment and is passionate about environmental protection, water quality and resilient public infrastructure. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Political Science and a Master of City Planning both from the University of Pennsylvania.
Jahtieh Postell is a Crew Leader at PowerCorps Camden. His journey with PowerCorps started at the young age of 18 when he was a member of PowerCorps Philadelphia, he worked his way up the ranks of the program learning everything he could about Green Infrastructure. Jahtieh then moved on to a staff position at PowerCorps Camden, being the first former member to come on in a full-time staff role. Jahtieh is extremely knowledgeable on the world of green infrastructure and an example of someone who worked towards the goal of obtaining a job in the green world.
Don Shields oversees a staff of more than 50 professionals, including construction managers, engineers, planners, and geographic information systems (GIS) specialists. He is responsible for delivering the company’s capital investment program of more than $350 million per year. Before his current role, he supported American Water’s regulated and market-based businesses as engineering director of new business development for American Water’s corporate engineering group. He spent 10 years at American Water’s former subsidiary, Applied Water Management, where he managed a team of 30 construction managers and engineers. Prior to joining American Water, Shields spent 10 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.
Randall Solomon is the Director of The Sustainability Institute at The College of New Jersey and the Executive Director of Sustainable Jersey. He has over 25 years of experience working in government, academia, and the non-profit sector. He is one of the principals that founded and directs the Sustainable Jersey Certification program. Prior to his current position he was the founder and Executive Director of the New Jersey Sustainable State Institute at Rutgers where he worked to expand the capacity of public decision making to address sustainability. Mr. Solomon’s experience includes positions as a policy advisor on sustainable development for the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities integrating land use and energy policy, director of the States Campaign for the Resource Renewal Institute in San Francisco, and policy director for the non-profit New Jersey Future. Other jobs include a stint as a national Park Ranger and serving in the inaugural class of AmeriCorps volunteers. He has participated on advisory boards for federal and state government, civic organizations, and has advised major corporations. He writes and speaks frequently on sustainable development, energy, land use policy, using indicators in public decision making, and governance issues. Randy holds a B.S. in Biology from Rutgers University and a M.S. in Public Policy from Rutgers University.
Gina Sullivan focuses on Business Development for the Engineers Labor Employer Cooperative, the Labor Management Fund of Operating Engineers Local 825 and works closely with the signatory contractors who employ their members. She advocates for policies that drive economic development, workforce development, and improve our infrastructure, concentrating on our state’s crumbling water systems. Gina previously worked as Policy Director for Assemblyman Conaway of the 7th Legislative District, where she focused on the environmental and health impacts of lead in New Jersey’s drinking water and water infrastructure. Gina holds a Bachelor’s as well as a Master’s Degree in Labor and Employment Relations from Rutgers University.
Dr. Dan Van Abs is an Associate Professor of Professional Practice for Water, Society & Environment at Rutgers University, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, where he focuses on planning and management policy for water infrastructure, water supply, wastewater and watershed protection. He has over 35 years of experience in water resources and environmental management with Rutgers, the Highlands Council, NJ Water Supply Authority, NJ Department of Environmental Protection and Passaic River Coalition. He is a Professional Planner. See www.danvanabs.com for more details.
Wynnie-Fred Victor Hinds, was appointed, by the Mayor of Newark, NJ and the Municipal City Council, to the Board of the Newark Environmental Commission in October 2015 and currently serves as Co-Chair. She is the Executive Director of Stepping Stones Resources. She’s a former Board Trustee with the N.J. Highlands Coalition. In addition, she’s a current Board Member of N.J. Clean Water Action and National Clean Water Action. She is on the leadership team of the Newark Water Group, a grass-roots think tank and advocacy organization that advocates for better oversight of Newark’s Watershed, located in the Highlands and its Water and Sewer System. She is currently one of three candidates nominated by Governor Murphy for appointment to the New Jersey Highlands Council. She is on the Data Advisory Committee of Jersey Water Works’ new data dashboard Jersey WaterCheck. She is fluent in Spanish, French and Haitian Creole. She has a B.A. in Economic/Management & Administration and M.S. in International Relations.
Alyssa is the Program Manager of PowerCorps Camden. Her journey of service began 5 years ago when she came from New York City to be an AmeriCorps VISTA in Camden where she got the opportunity to manage a literacy program. From there Alyssa grew a deep love and passion for the Camden community and quickly realized she could learn from anyone, particularly through their own stories and narratives. Camden became a home for her, where she could continue to learn and grow as a professional, taking the chance to engage with the community whenever she could either through her current role as the Program Director for PowerCorps or volunteering at community events.
David Zimmer serves as the Executive Director of the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank, the State’s lending Authority which partners with the NJDEP and the NJDOT to provide low interest rate loans to government units and authorities for environmental infrastructure projects and local transportation projects respectively. During his tenure, Mr. Zimmer has focused on introducing several new successful loan programs 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 developing two modern, web-based loan management systems. Mr. Zimmer is a Chartered Financial Analyst and holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame and a Bachelor of Civil Engineering degree from the University of Dayton.