Schiff Natural Lands Trust is the umbrella organization that owns and operates all the land and preserves under its management. A team of dedicated volunteer trustees provide strategic and financial oversight, while a talented staff of part-time employees oversees daily operations, our forest management stewardship plan, and educational programs.
Jeanne has been involved with Schiff since 2006, first as a trustee and then serving as the Executive Director for three years between 2013 and 2016. She is a communication and marketing professional with a passion for environmental protection. She has also served as a trustee for The Willow School in Gladstone, one of the country's leading Green Ribbon schools. She holds an MSJ from Northwestern University. After living in Mendham for 20 years, Jeanne and her family have recently moved to Gladstone, where they continue to enjoy hiking Schiff's trails off of Mosle Road.
Dan was born and raised in Mendham and has been part of the Schiff community intermittently since 2007. Dan has worn various hats at Schiff from volunteer to Stewardship Crew Leader. Now working as a Land Steward Duke Farms, he is thrilled to bring many of his career experiences back to Schiff. Dan honed his natural resource skills in Ghana where he served as a Peace Corps Volunteer providing Agroforestry and Environmental expertise to a small cashew farming community. He has interned with the Oregon Bureau of Land Management and studied the effects of climate change on songbirds in the rural Alaska Range. Dan graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Fisheries & Wildlife from Paul Smiths College in upstate New York. When he's not working, Dan enjoys hiking, playing with his dog, riding his motorcycle, snowboarding and traveling.
Sarah started at Schiff at the end of 2016. She has worked as a science teacher in biological and earth sciences since 2011. She earned her MS from Rutgers University in Ecology and Evolution and her BA from Vassar College. Sarah's passion is providing opportunities for children to be inspired by the beauty and complexity of the natural world. When she's not implementing programming at Schiff, she is usually with her husband and three young children hiking local trails or playing in their backyard, stream, or garden.
Alex has been a dedicated volunteer at Schiff since 2011 helping to design and launch our Business Membership Program as well as secure sponsorships and donations for the Environmental Film Fest and Gala fund raisers. He was elected President of the Board of Trustees in 2013 and served two terms. Alex is a retired technology and financial services executive who held senior sales and marketing roles with Peapack-Gladstone Bank, One Communications and Sprint. He holds a BA in Human Biology from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard. Alex lives in Mendham Township with his lovely bride of thirty years, Robbi. When not hiking the Schiff trails you will find Alex riding his bike in the local area or traveling with his family.
John is a partner in the Morristown law firm Riker, Danzig, Scherer, Hyland & Perretti LLP. He concentrates his practice on litigation and regulatory matters and also represents clients before the NJ Legislature. John is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court and previously served as an Assistant Counsel to former New Jersey Governor Thomas Kean. He holds degrees from Lafayette College and Tulane School of Law, where he was honored as a Senior Fellow. A committed volunteer, he is active in coaching local sports and serves on the Board of Trustees of the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. John lives in Mendham Borough with his wife, Elizabeth.
Joe has served as the Treasurer of the Schiff Natural Lands Trust since 2001 and is heavily involved in overseeing financial matters for the Trust. He is a Certified Public Accountant with offices in Chester, and has been active in community service in the Mendham area for many years. His volunteer work includes service as coach of several local basketball teams; Chairman of the Technology Committee and Member of the Building Committee for St. Joseph's Church; Chairman of the Budget and Finance Committee of the ARC Morris County; and as volunteer firefighter and President of Ralston Engine Company No. 1 of the Mendham Township Fire Department.
Amalia is the Public Affairs Director & Grant Writer for ECLC of New Jersey, a non-profit that provides "Education, Careers and Lifelong Community" to more than 800 children and adults with special needs. Previously, she has worked as the Communications Director for Citigroup's Operations & Technology unit and was instrumental in telling Citi's "green" building story, with articles in the Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek and other publications. Amalia has worked as a journalist for a range of publications, including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Record, Meetings & Conventions, and People magazine. She was part of the small team at Time Warner that launched the successful People en Espanol, Spanish-language edition, and was a founding editor of an educational journal called the Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education as well as a founding contributing writer for Latina magazine. Amalia and her family moved to Mendham in 1999. She joined the Schiff board in 2011 and was elected to the Mendham Township Committee in 2017 for a three-year term ending December 2020. She also serves on the board of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation, New Jersey Chapter. Previously, she served on the Mendham Township Recreation Commission, Board of Adjustment and the West Morris Soccer Club Board and coached youth soccer and basketball for many years.
John brings a wealth of financial and business experience to his new position on our board. A leader in financial research for twenty-five years, John has worked for the Argus Research Company since 1989; he became the company's president in 1997 and its CEO in 2002. He received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, and later earned an MBA from Columbia with a concentration in finance. A long-time resident of Mendham, John joined the Schiff board in 2010. He has made community involvement his priority by serving for eight years on the board of the Red Oaks Montessori School, with two of those years as president, is a member of the Saturday Night Games Crew of the Pastime Club's annual Labor Day Carnival, and serves as Treasurer for the Morris County Interfaith Food Pantry. He and his family also sponsor the Dismal Harmony section of the Patriot's Path System.
Ken was raised in Princeton. Growing up he spent summers with his family on a lake in Western Maine. It was there that he gained an appreciation for the natural world. After graduating from Rider College he began work in construction before becoming involved in property management. He served twenty-five years as a member of the volunteer Princeton Fire Department, reaching every rank. Ken spent four years with an emergency management consulting firm which sparked his interest in climate change and its impact on disaster planning and the future. Between 2000 and 2008 he worked for Granary Associates with the project management team overseeing construction for Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and Children's Specialized Hospital. Later he spent several years as the facilities manager for a property management firm in Union before getting back into commercial construction. Recently retired, Ken joined the Schiff board in 2016. He lives with his partner Deborah in Peapack. Both are avid organic gardeners, grandparents and like to get out for hikes and kayaking, here and in Maine.
Bridget moved to Mendham in 2001, with her husband Brendan and their 2 children, Fiona and Anna. While living in Mendham Borough, Bridget has become an active volunteer within the community. Most recently she was a board member and president of the Mendham Borough Board of Education, serving one, three-year term. Bridget enjoys spending her time traveling with her family, hiking, reading and gardening. Bridget's background is in textile design and interior decoration, she attended art college in the UK.
Pat joined the Schiff board in 2015 bringing with her extensive business and nonprofit experience. From 2006 to 2013, she was the director of Mendham Borough Library, where she was responsible for all aspects of its operation from personnel, finances, and programs, to managing the collections. She also served on the library board from 2001 to 2006, as board president for the last two years. Her work experience, prior to taking time off to raise her three children, includes ten years in group benefits: five years as an account manager at what was Hewitt Associates and the previous five years as a group insurance underwriter. She regularly volunteers at the Visiting Nurses Association twice-yearly rummage sale and Mendham Borough Library. Pat is also an active member of Music in the Somerset Hills' community chorus. She is a graduate of Bucknell University and has resided in Mendham Borough since 1988.
Janis has been involved with Schiff as a volunteer, educator and a regular in the book group for many years. Janis was with the Morris County Park Commission as a naturalist from 1993-2020, based out of the Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center and Pyramid Mountain Visitors Center. She teaches environmental education to all ages from preschoolers to adults, though the pre-k level is her passion. A graduate of Gettysburg College with a BA in business and a minor in Sociology, Janis went on to get a MLS in Library and Information Service from Rutgers and a masters in Environmental Education from Montclair State. Living in Mendham since 1997, she joined the Schiff board in 2015 and has served on the Environmental Commission, was a Girl Scout leader and is currently a Boy Scout Merit Badge Counselor. Her interests include bicycling, backpacking and camping, hiking, cross country skiing, travel, yoga and swimming. All these passions she shares with her two daughters, husband and dog, Cocoa.
Michael, Director Emeritus, served as president of Schiff Natural Lands Trust for 10 years. He is also the President of Conservation Resources Inc. and has been extensively involved with conservation, environmental and land use policy issues in New Jersey for the last 30 years. He began his career in 1974 by staffing various environmental committees of the State Legislature, where and drafted many of New Jersey's environmental laws. He later became the first Director of the Office of Regulatory Services at the NJDEP, and then Deputy Commissioner of that agency under Governors Kean and Florio. After teaching environmental law and policy at the Eagleton Institute of Rutgers University, he was the Executive Director of The Nature Conservancy of New Jersey from June of 1991 until July of 2003. Michael also served as a founding member and Co-Chair of the Stockton Alliance, and as Vice Chair of the Mendham Borough Environmental Commission. In 1998, he was the Co-Chair of the Coalition to Preserve Natural Resources, and, in 2003, he was the founder and Chairman of the Coalition for Conservation. He currently serves as Chairman of the New Jersey Natural Lands Trust. Michael, a resident of Mendham Township, holds a BA and MA in Political Science from Rutgers University, as well as a JD from the Rutgers School of Law. He has been admitted to practice law in New Jersey since 1981.
Fenn had been a resident of Mendham Township since 1966 and served on the Township school board for 6 years. He retired after 40 years in the municipal bond industry in New York City. He was a past president of Frost Valley YMCA, which is located on 6,000 acres in the Catskill Park in New York, where he oversaw an enterprise which runs year round and, in 2004, had 35,000 guests who enjoyed the summer camp, environmental training and adult education. Fenn graduated from Northwestern University and the University of Missouri and was a former US Marine Corps Captain.
Dorian previously worked at The Willow School in Gladstone, one of the country's Green Ribbon schools, where she was the Director of Operations and Service Learning. In this role, she was responsible for supporting and facilitating academically connected service learning experiences for students in preschool through eighth grade by partnering with environmental non-profits in the area, of which Schiff was one such partner. As a 2012 graduate of the Rutgers Master Gardener program, she maintains her MG status by completing service hours and attending continuing education classes in the field of horticulture. In 2015, she attended NJ Learns - Educating Leaders in Sustainability taught by Jaimie Cloud from The Cloud Institute and New Jersey Sustainable Schools, sponsored and hosted by Duke Farms. The nine month series, "NJ Learns program unites schools and communities to learn and change together to instigate, sustain, and scale up the innovations and best practices that contribute to sustainability." With more than 20 years of mission driven non-profit management experience, she holds a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology with a minor in Women's Studies from Colorado University, which is helpful as relationships are key to developing collaboration within the community. Dorian's passion for the environment and sustainability, her organizational development skills, her ability to harness creativity, and her community connections, will help Schiff achieve its strategic goals in the coming years. Dorian lives on the preserve with her husband and one of her two daughters. She loves to take walks, garden, forage, cook, make homemade gifts, do yoga, and read. With her family, she enjoys hiking, kayaking, camping, vacationing, playing and listening to music, and laughing with one another.
Jon received his Bachelor's from Rutgers University and has been working and volunteering in the environmental field ever since. He has worked for Union County Parks & Recreation, National Park Service at Sandy Hook, and Duke Farms providing educational programs for all ages. He has held technical positions at the NJDEP working on public access mapping and wetland mitigation. Jon is looking forward to sharing his passion for the outside world with Schiff member, friends, and family!
Lauren received her Bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences from Cook College, Rutgers University, and is a graduate of the Education for Sustainability Leadership Academy at Shelburne Farms. She served as an Americorps Watershed Ambassador in 2007, and has been in the field of environmental education since. She is the Director of Education for Raritan Headwaters, works with partner organizations such as Duke Farms and NJCF, is a contributor to Edible Jersey and a yoga instructor at Glow in Basking Ridge. Lauren loves connecting people to nature and is looking forward to being a part of Schiff's community!
Alan Weinstein, a businessman and entrepreneur, had a long and successful career in the restaurant and catering business. He started the Greenhouse Restaurant in Morristown in 1976 and then in 1982, purchased The Park Savoy. The Park Savoy originally opened as a restaurant & dance club. Alan saw its potential for private celebrations and thus, the 19th century landmark underwent renovations, making it a premier venue for weddings in New Jersey. During his time at the Park Savoy, he partnered with the Morristown Community Soup Kitchen by donating specially prepared as well as unused food to the Soup Kitchen for 25 years. Alan was broadly recognized in 2013 for organizing a broader collaborative effort among 40 local restaurants which ensured the continuation of the charitable services provided to the Soup Kitchen. Alan and his wife, Judy moved to Mendham in 1976. They have four children who all attended the local Mendham schools. He has served on the Planning Board for many years and has been an active hiker and horse rider throughout the Schiff property since the 1970's. Alan joined the board in in 2018 bringing with him an interest in sustainability and currently provides his family with pasture raised beef, chickens, honey, and organic vegetables. Alan is now retired after a long career in the restaurant and catering business. Alan and Judy, currently own Wendover Farm on Pleasant Valley Rd. which they purchased several years ago from long time Schiff trustee and former Board President, Alan Willemsen.
Holly started working at Schiff in February of 2017 and has lived in Mendham for the past 6 years. Immediately prior to Schiff, she volunteered at a local cooperative nursery school, where her kids attended. She worked for several years as the treasurer doing the accounts receivable work, monthly reconciliations and budget preparation. Before this, she was a VP in client service at Morgan Stanley in NYC. Holly worked and lived in NYC for 8 years, before that in Chicago. Holly has a BA from Vanderbilt University in Nashville TN. In her free time, she loves to spend time with her family - skiing, hiking and biking!
Jenny has been with the Schiff community since 2014 as an instructor with the Summer Nature Program and is excited to be part of the magic of Schiff. Since 2001 she has worked as an eighth grade language arts teacher in a neighboring community. Jenny earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from Montclair State University and later received her Masters in the Art of Teaching from Marygrove College. Jenny's passion is providing opportunities for children to learn about, appreciate, explore, and respect their natural environment. In her free time she can usually be found bird watching, gardening, and hiking local trails with her dog.
Christi joined the Schiff family in the fall of 2017 as the co-Director for the Schiff Summer Nature Program. She graduated from the University of Delaware in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Ecology and Wildlife Conservation. Since then, she has worked for the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation as a Grants Manager, Woodlands Wildlife Refuge as a Development Assistant, and most recently spent the last 7 years working at Trailside Nature & Science Center as a Park Naturalist until she deciding to stop working full-time so she could be home with her children. Christi's strong respect for the environment and desire to preserve its natural habitats has encouraged her to dedicate her career to environmental education and outreach. Christi's love for the environment has also shaped the hobbies she has taken up which include volunteering with wildlife rehabilitation centers, hiking, rock climbing, skiing, and throwing pottery; however, what she loves to do most is spend time with her family. She currently lives in Gladstone, NJ with her husband, 2 young daughters, and two Burmese Mountain dogs... And it's no secret that Christi's eldest dog, Kona, is her heart and soul.
Marissa is a pediatrician who moved to Mendham with her family in 2017. Marissa earned her B.S. in Biology and her M.D. from Georgetown University. After training there in Pediatrics, she enjoyed practicing in Littleton, CO. Upon moving back to the Washington, D.C. area, Marissa became involved in service to Georgetown University and was the Communications Committee Chair for the Medical Alumni Board. In 2015, she was invited to join the Georgetown University Board of Regents and is presently the Chair of the Health Justice Alliance Strategic Initiative. Marissa helped incubate the Learning Societies at the Georgetown School of Medicine and was the Faculty Director of the Knowlan Learning Society from 2015-2017. She mentored medical students in professionalism and mindfulness and taught in the Physician Patient Communication curriculum. Marissa quickly came to know about Schiff Nature Preserve as it is literally in her backyard and runs and hikes are a family pastime. Her connection to Schiff deepened as she learned more about the history of their home, which was at one time the Schiff National Boy Scout Training Center. Marissa joined the board in 2018 and became president of the board in 2020. Marissa and Michael have three daughters. Their youngest, Whitney, attends Morristown-Beard School and volunteers at Schiff, helping to research its rich history.
Joshua Del Rio is a New Jersey native and an outdoor enthusiast. He has served two AmeriCorps terms building trails in the states of Texas and New York. Most recently, he led the Taconic Trail crew of the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, whose main work site was Breakneck Ridge, in the Hudson Highlands State Park. His hobbies include experiencing live music, traveling abroad, hiking, and rock climbing, reading science fiction and natural history simultaneously, and spending time outside. He is very excited to work with the local community to keep Schiff an important spot for outdoor enjoyment, as well as historical and natural education.
Bill and his family have resided in the Mendham area for the past 24 years, the last 12 of which as a neighbor to Schiff. Bill joined the boardÂ in 2019 and stepped into theÂ role of board Secretary in 2020.Â Bill brings 30 years of experience as an attorney in private practice to his position as trustee. Bill's law firm, Sandelands Eyet LLP, is a regional firm based out of Bedminster, NJ. Bill obtained his undergraduate degree at Boston University and his law degree at Yeshiva University. Bill enjoys hiking the local trails and cycling through the New Jersey countryside.
After leaving a corporate career in New York, Barry has been engaged with many architectural and local history projects and has been an author and frequent lecturer. In his corporate career, he last served as senior vice president, chief administrative officer and member of the five-officer chairman's group of the multinational retail holding company, Woolworth Corporation, now called Foot Locker, Inc. The co-author with the late John K. ("Jack") Turpin of the two-volume work, New Jersey Country Houses: The Somerset Hills, Barry has also written a number of articles on various aspects of local history that have appeared in The Black River Journal and other publications. In addition to his research and writing, he is a frequent lecturer on various aspects of architectural and local history. Barry has volunteered his services as history consultant for several of the Mansion in May fund-raising projects sponsored by the Women's Association for Morristown Medical Center, including the one coming up in May 2020 at Tyvan Hill in New Vernon, and passed ones at Alnwick Hall / The Abbey in 2017, Blairsden in 2014, Glynallyn in 2012, and Froh-Heim in 2008. Barry was born and raised in Peapack-Gladstone in the Somerset Hills area of New Jersey, where his family has deep roots. He received his undergraduate education at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey, and later studied architecture and urban planning at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. Over the years, Barry has served as a director, trustee, or officer of several not-for-profit organizations and foundations, and he has also consulted on various management and corporate governance matters. These organizations and foundations have included The Downtown Alliance, which manages the Downtown-Lower Manhattan Business Improvement District; The Bruno Walter Foundation; The New York Choral Society; The Arc of New Jersey; Friends of P.S. 165, Inc.; and The National Retail Foundation. Barry was also the executive producer of two documentary films, one promoting the employment of people with developmental disabilities (narrated by James Earl Jones) and one concerning the history of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Mural in Washington, D.C.
Chet has been an active member of the Schiff community since 2016 and is very excited to begin a new journey in his life as Schiff's new Land Steward and Volunteer Project Coordinator. Chet has been a member of Sheet Metal Workers Local 22 since 1996 and currently works as the Lead Estimator and Project Manager for one of his Local's largest industrial contractors, Archer Day, Inc. Chet is also part time instructor at Local 22's Training Facility where he teaches 1st through 5th year apprentices. Chet has two beautiful daughters Kayla and Amanda. During his spare time, Chet spends every moment possible enjoying the outdoors. His hobbies include hiking, hunting and fishing streams, lakes and the coast of New Jersey ranging from the back bays to the offshore canyons.