Sustainable Jersey Staff

Sustainable Jersey staff oversee the work of the non-profit organization Sustainable Jersey which includes the Sustainable Jersey and Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification programs, Energy Program, Resiliency Program, and Public Information & Engagement. 

Use the links below to navigate to the contacts for the different program areas.

Randall Solomon, executive Director

Randall Solomon has 20 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. He be reached at (609) 771-2290 or by email at solomonr@tcnj.edu.

 

Renee Haider, deputy Director

Renee Haider is the Associate Director of The Sustainability Institute at  The College of New Jersey. The Institute administers the Sustainable  Jersey municipal certification program. Prior to joining The Sustainability  Institute, she was a research associate at the Mineta Transportation  Institute at San Jose State University for two years and the Associate  Director of the National Transit Institute at Rutgers University for 18 years. In these capacities she worked with teams of professionals from operating agencies, departments of transportation, industry associations, academic research centers, and Federal government entities to conduct applied research and develop education and training materials related to surface transportation, particularly public transit. This included working with the Federal Transit Administration and the Federal Highway Administration to support intergovernmental sustainability initiatives and collaborating with local, state, and federal government representatives on transportation and land use and statewide transportation planning and programming efforts aimed at supporting the core value of sustainability. Renee can be reached at 609-771-2307 or by email at haiderr@tcnj.edu.

 

Joe Grillo, Development Director

As Director of Development, Joe is responsible for corporate and foundational gifts, government grants, and individual major gifts towards Sustainable Jersey’s program areas. Prior to joining our team, Joe was Director of Development for the New Jersey Audubon Society, focused primarily on individual philanthropic major gifts. Joe began his career in the private sector as sales director and principal owner of a national importing company for 15 years. After transitioning from business to the political arena, Joe was active in New Jersey politics and government, serving as executive director, fundraising professional and campaign manager for numerous campaigns and organizations in his home county of Monmouth.  Joe earned his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Rider University, and his M.S. in Global Affairs from Rutgers-Newark.  A lifelong Jersey shore resident, Joe enjoys spending time at the beach with his daughter and continues to be civically involved in his hometown of Asbury Park, NJ.  He can be reached at (609) 771-2831 or email grillog@tcnj.edu.

Melanie McDermott, Senior Researcher

With degrees in interdisciplinary social science (PhD.) and forestry (MSc.), Melanie McDermott has over 20 years’ experience in the U.S., Asia, Southern Africa, and the Caribbean in academic and applied research and consulting. Major topics of this work include community forestry, coastal resilience, and the impact of climate change mitigation policy on social equity.  Prior to coming to TCNJ, she served at Rutgers University in various capacities, including as research faculty, lecturer, and Associate Director of the Climate and Society Initiative. At the Sustainability Institute, she is leading a collaborative effort to develop a vision, goals, and indicators for sustainability for New Jersey at the state level that will be promulgated in an annually updated report.  It will further serve as a basis for creating the Gold level for certification for Sustainable Jersey. She can be reached at 609-771-2836, or by email at mcdermom@tcnj.edu

Kristy RAnieri, Communications consultant

Kristy Ranieri brings more than 20 years of strategic-level communications experience working in the sustainability arena. Using all communication channels – from print outlets to digital media – Kristy implements strategies to advance communication goals. Her responsibilities include promotion of Sustainable Jersey’s mission and policy initiatives and creating opportunities for Sustainable Jersey to build stronger ties with its participants and stakeholders. Kristy’s experience includes leading full-scale national and local marketing and educational awareness campaigns for public agencies, coalitions, non-profits and private companies. Kristy is a founding and active member of the Maplewood Township Green Team, the South Orange and Maplewood School District Green Team, and Sustainable Jersey’s Essex County Hub. Kristy has a BA in Government from Connecticut College and a Master in Government Administration from the University of Pennsylvania, Fels Institute of Government.  Kristy can be reached by phone at 973-762-1510 and by email at kristyranieri@gmail.com.

Municipal Certification Program

Anne Heasly, Program manager of policy and planning

In her role, Anne works with partners to develop policies and programs to assist local governments in implementing sustainable actions.  Anne comes to Sustainable Jersey with experience in land conservation, planning, design and funding and most recently served as non-profit consultant.  Prior to that, Anne worked on a range of planning and re-grant programs for Conservation Resources, Inc and was a conservation planner working primarily in the Delaware Bayshores and Pine Barrens for over 13 years for the New Jersey Chapter of The Nature Conservancy.  Anne has a BS in Natural Resources from Cornell University and a Master of Landscape Architecture with a Certificate in Urban Design from the University of Washington. Anne is a licensed landscape architect and a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners.  Anne can be reached at 609-771-2865 or by email at heaslya@tcnj.edu.

Samantha A. McGraw, Program manager

Samantha manages the core operations of Sustainable Jersey, including the municipal and school certification programs, the grants program, the support center, and website.  She serves as the primary point of contact for New Jersey municipalities participating in Sustainable Jersey as they work toward certification.  She also serves as staff support to the Waste Management Task Force.  Samantha holds a B.S. in Meteorology from Millersville University, a M.A. in Political Science from Colorado State University, and interned with the City of Fort Collins, Colorado, Environmental Services Department.  Samantha is also a Senior Fellow of the Environmental Leadership Program, co-president of the YWCA Princeton NEXT GEN Board, as well as chair of the YWCA Princeton NEXT GEN Board's Nomination and Communication Committees.  Samantha can be reached at 609-771-2938 or by email at mcgraws@tcnj.edu

Maureen Jones, Program Assistant

Maureen supports the daily operations of the Sustainable Jersey programs. Her responsibilities include updating content on website and social media, reviewing certification applications from municipalities and school districts, and providing administrative support for the certification programs, grants program, conferences, events and trainings. Maureen has a B.A. in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations from Marist College. She can be reached at 609-771-2938 or by email at jonesm@tcnj.edu.

Sustainable Jersey for Schools

Heather McCall, Director, Sustainable Jersey for Schools

As the Sustainable Jersey for Schools Program Director, Heather oversees program development and management of the newly created schools initiative. Heather's role with the Sustainable Jersey for Schools program builds on over 10 years of work empowering community based nonprofits. Prior to joining the Sustainable Jersey, Heather worked as the Assistant State Coordinator for the NJ Department of Community Affairs’ Main Street New Jersey & Improvement Districts Program, where she worked closely with volunteer driven downtown revitalization programs providing technical assistance and training throughout the state.  Heather received a B.A. from University of Alaska, a M.C.P. from the University of Pennsylvania School of Design, and holds a Charrette Facilitation & Management Certification from the National Charrette Institute.  Since 2007, she has been a Senior Fellow with the Washington D.C. based Environmental Leadership Program. Heather can be reached at 609-771-2469 and by email at mccallh@tcnj.edu.

Véronique Lambert, Program Coordinator, Sustainable Jersey for Schools

Véronique supports the development and implementation of the Sustainable Jersey for Schools program, working with schools, government agencies, community organizations, businesses and municipalities to further sustainability practices and education in New Jersey schools.  A member of her town’s Environmental Commission and Green Team, Véronique has previously worked in sustainability education and community outreach in New York City, London, Providence and Ithaca.  She has also performed cropping systems research in Hawaii and Guyana.  She received a BSc and MSc in Agronomy from Cornell University and University of Hawaii, respectively, and a MSc in Geography from Brunel University, London.  Véronique can be reached at (609) 771-3427 and by email at lambertv@tcnj.edu.

Grants Program

Kaitlyn Vollmer, Grants Coordinator

Kaitlyn coordinates the Sustainable Jersey grants program, a valuable resource available to municipalities and schools that are registered in the Sustainable Jersey program. Her responsibilities include in-taking and reviewing grant applications and reports, providing program and technical assistance, and updating the Sustainable Jersey website's grants portal. Kaitlyn earned B.A. degrees in English Writing and Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh and also holds a Public and Professional Writing certificate. Kaitlyn has experience working at the local level, including assisting the grant writer of the Human Rights City Alliance, a grassroots organization in Pittsburgh, to promote human rights education, action, and policies. Kaitlyn can be reached at 609-771-3189 or by email at vollmerk@tcnj.edu.

Energy Program

Nancy Quirk, Energy Program Manager

Nancy Quirk serves as the Energy Program Manager with Sustainable Jersey providing guidance to local governments on energy efficiency and renewable energy.  Her background includes engagement with local efforts to address waste management, energy efficiency, and sustainability planning.  After Katrina, she worked with a university-community outreach program to assist homeowners in rebuilding with energy efficient and hazard resilient practices and materials.  Most recently her work focused on providing support to local governments in reducing the “soft costs” related to solar photovoltaic deployment.  Nancy can be reached at 609-771-2902 and by email at quirkn@tcnj.edu.

Public Information & Engagement

Lauren Skowronski, Program Director for Community Engagement

As Program Director for Community Engagement, Lauren supports our grassroots regional hubs across the state with leadership development, capacity building and technical assistance.  Lauren also heads our Public Information & Engagement initiative which provides strategies to improve municipal infrastructure through more accessible public information and increased community engagement.  Prior to joining our team, she served as State Campaign Director of The Citizens Campaign  for over ten years, where she focused on increasing civic engagement through education and grassroots organizing efforts, as well as collaborated with local, county and state officials on issues such as government reform, transparency and open government, environment, economic development, public safety and education.  Lauren assisted Green Teams and environmental advocates across the state with strategies to interface with government officials on policy development.   Lauren holds a Master’s degree from the School of Social Work at Monmouth University, where she concentrated in International and Community Development. She can be reached at (609) 771-3129 or by email at skowronl@tcnj.edu.