Conference Presentations

Every year Sustainable Jersey holds or participates in conferences to share new and exciting sustainability initiatives and program activities.  Each conference below contains a description of the event.  In addition to Sustainable Jersey staff, outside experts are brought in to speak on a variety of topics. Use the links below to navigate to the different conference presentations.

2017 Sustainable Jersey Sessions at the NJLM Conference

During the 2017 NJLM Conference, Sustainable Jersey held nine sessions on a variety of topics.  A brief description of each session along with the presentations are posted below.

Environmental Justice in Planning and Zoning: This session features case studies from three municipalities on issues like proximity to pollution, lack of mobility options, gentrification and poor access to open space and recreation in relation to local development and business decisions.  The towns discuss how they are tackling these challenges with innovative approaches, and how Sustainable Jersey is incorporating equity into its work program.

Session Presentation

  • Presenters: Melanie McDermott, Senior Researcher, Sustainable Jersey; Nicky Sheats, Director, The John S. Watson Institute for Public Policy, Thomas Edison State University; Tracy Rogers, Steering Committee Member, Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition; Joe Thomas, Camden Economic Development Representative, City of Camden, Office of Economic Development and Planning

Local Sustainability & Public Engagement Technology Solutions: This session discusses innovative solutions developed through the first ever, statewide Coding for Community competition, and also includes case studies from municipalities using tech tools to improve engagement. Sustainable Jersey's Public Information Technology Assessments highlight how these roadmaps can assist your municipality in assessing existing resources & capacity to achieve technology goals.

Session Presentation (Coming Soon)

  • Presenters: Lauren Skowronski, Program Director Community Engagement, Sustainable Jersey; Amy Cairns, Chief Communications Officer, Summit City; Justin Heyman, Director of Information Technology, Franklin Township (Somerset); Ankur Patel, Founder, Encore Dev Labs; Tracey Woods, Chair, Maplewood Green Team

Municipal Leadership Strategies for Community Energy Efficiency:  This session features green team members and municipal officials from three municipalities and how they implemented effective outreach programs to increase adoption of the Home Performance with Energy Star program for residents and the Direct Install Program for businesses.

Session Presentation 

  • Presenters: Tony O'Donnell, Economist, Sustainable Jersey; Gary Finger, Ombudsman, NJ Board of Public Utilities, Office of Clean Energy; Scott Fischer, Managing Member, Ciel Power; Beth Lovejoy, Summit Environmental Commission Chairperson; Christine Symington, Energy Director, Sustainable Princeton

Sustainable Jersey Program Update: This session provides an update on how Sustainable Jersey is creating and updating actions to keep up with an ever evolving world.  New focuses include commitment to art and creative culture, as well as green infrastructure. 

Session Presentation

  • Presenters (all presenters are from Sustainable Jersey): Renee Haider, Deputy Director; Heather McCall, Education Program Director, Randall Solomon, Executive Director, Linda Weber, Director, Policy and Program Development

Waste Not Recycle More! Effective Local Waste Management: This session introduces Sustainable Jersey’s new Gold Star Standard in Waste and how municipalities can meet the mandated performance target rates in solid waste reduction and recycling improvement.  Municipal leaders also share impactful local strategies implemented, including Pay-As-You-Throw and effective recycling and waste reduction education and enforcement.

Session Presentation

  • Presenters: Elyse Barone, CRP, CCCC, SRMP, Recycling and Clean Communities Coordinator, Sayreville Borough; Mary Jerkowicz, Ocean County Department of Solid Waste Management; Ron Lotterman, Recycling Enforcement, Fair Lawn Borough; Councilman Len Resto, Chatham Borough; Norm Ruttan, President, iWasteNot Systems; Gary Sondermeyer, Vice President of Operations; Bayshore Recycling

Water Management Strategies that Yield Results: Panelists in this session explore the kinds of relationships towns have with water and sewer utilities, the potential benefits for communities of better water management, and effective management techniques such as performing water loss audits and implementing asset management. This session also provides guidance on how to get started on the new Sustainable Jersey green infrastructure actions.

Session Presentation

  • Presenters: Jennifer Gonzalez, Planner, City of Hoboken; John Perry, Director, Water and Sewer, Montville Township; Rick Risoldi, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Middlesex Water Company; Jane Rosenblatt, Program Manager, NJ Future

You Can Dream Big with a Small Grant:  This session covers information about our new funding cycle and project insight from previous grant recipients will help show you how your municipality’s dreams can become a reality.

Session Presentation

  • Presenters: Samantha A. McGraw, Program Manager, Sustainable Jersey; Vicky Binetti, Washington Township (Gloucester); Amy Sarrinikolaou, Director of Community Development; Middletown Township; Maria Spina, Program Officer PSEG Foundation, Corporate Responsibility Stakeholder & Engagement Specialist; Christine Symington, Program Director, Sustainable Princeton

Programs to Promote a Clean Energy Future Today: This session provides strategies for how to make your town 'solar friendly' and 'EV friendly' as well as insight on community-led initiatives that help residents and businesses make the decision to step into the future today.

Session Presentation

  • Presenters: Nancy Quirk, Energy Program Manager, Sustainable Jersey; Chuck Feinberg, Chairman, NJ Clean Cities Coalition and Executive VP, Greener by Design; Adnrea L. Friedman, Bureau of Mobile Sources, Division of Air Quality, NJDEP; Ryan Gergely, Research Scientist, NJDEP Bureau of Energy & Sustainability; James McDermott, Chairman, Park Ridge Borough Green Team; Rex Parker, Environmental Commission, Hopewell Township; Brittany Pfeiffer, Environmental Specialist, NJDEP Bureau of Mobile Sources

Complete Streets: Safe, Healthy and Green Streets for All:  This session highlights the Sustainable Jersey Complete Streets Actions, and steps for creating “green streets” that capture stormwater runoff and minimize flooding as well as funding sources. This session provides information on how to use Complete Streets policies to create healthier, green, and equitable streets for their communities.

Session Presentation

  • Presenters: Elise Bremer-Nei, Safe Routes to School Program Coordinator, NJDOT; Colin Driver, Director of Economic Development, Somerville Borough; Kandyce Perry, Planning and Policy Associate, NJ Future; Rona R. Urkowitz, Program Director, Cross County Connection TMA; Leigh Ann Von Hagen, Senior Research Manager, Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center, EJB, Rutgers

2017 New Jersey Sustainability Summit

On June 21, 2017, the New Jersey Sustainability Summit was held in which the 2017 New Jersey Sustainable State of the State Report was released.  Concurrent and information sessions were held on a variety of topics.

Plenary Presentations

Concurrent Sessions 1:00pm - 2:30pm

Information Sessions 3:00pm - 4:00pm

2016 Sustainable Jersey NJLM Conference Sessions

During the 2016 NJLM Conference, sessions were held about stormwater management's role in community health and prosperity; accomplishing big things with a small grant; updates to the Sustainable Jersey program; waste management challenges and opportunities at the local level; building thriving economies through arts and economic development; open government in a digital world; the New Jersey Clean Energy Program and Sustainable Jersey; the new gold level for Energy and resources for achieving Sustainable Jersey certification.  Below you will find the combined presentations for each session.

Stormwater Management's Role in Community Health and Prosperity: Green infrastructure practices are highly effective tools that address the impacts of stormwater on the community and also confer powerful societal and economic benefits. Learn from experts how tools like ordinance amendments, municipal incentives and Sustainable Jersey actions can bring green infrastructure assets to your town. Resources and networking available to municipal officials through the Jersey Water Works collaborative will also be discussed.  

Session Presentation

  • Presenters: Donna Drewes, Sustainable Jersey; Chris Obropta, PE, PhD, Rutgers Cooperative Extension; Edward Confair, Engineering and Land Planning Associates; Jennifer Gonzalez, City of Hoboken

Accomplishing Big Things with a Small Grant:  Learn how communities are successfully leveraging moderate funding to implement sustainability initiatives. Sustainable Jersey staff will also provide tips on how to create a successful application and guidance on strategies for identifying successful projects.

Session Presentation

  • Presenters: Donna Drewes, Sustainable Jersey; Jennifer Coyne, PSEG Foundation; Edward English, Bernardsville Borough (Link to video of Ed English's presentation); Michael Nordquist and Joanne Mullowney, Ewing Township; Ila Kasofsky and Edward Mignone, Fort Lee

Sustainable Jersey Program Update:  Sustainable Jersey has come a long way since it was first launched in 2009 thanks to commitment of the volunteer task forces charged with developing program actions and the local green teams focused on implementing them.  To stay relevant and impactful this work must evolve with emerging best practices and current thinking. Join us to learn about the new actions, opportunities, and resources introduced in 2016 and preview what is planned for 2017.  

Session Presentation

  • Presenters: Donna Drewes and Randall Solomon, Sustainable Jersey Co-Directors; Lauren Skowronski, Sustainable Jersey, Program Manager for Community Engagement; Linda Weber, Sustainable Jersey, Resiliency Program Director; Chris Obropta, PE, PhD, Rutgers Cooperative Extension; Chris Sturm, NJ Future

Waste Management Challenges and Opportunities at the Local Level: Achieving state level goals related to solid waste, reuse and recycling, and hazardous waste is critical to becoming sustainable.  Learn about the new and evolving technology that is essential to help deal with food waste, glass, and non-traditional plastics in the waste stream and what could make sense at the local level. Preview Sustainable Jersey’s new Waste Management Gold Star standard and discuss how the existing and new actions can start moving communities toward accomplishing it.

Session Presentation

  • Presenters: Melanie McDermott and Randall Solomon, Sustainable Jersey; Gary Sondermeyer, Bayshore Recycling; Rocco D'Antonio, Organic Diversion, LLC

Building Thriving Economies through Arts and Economic Development: Municipalities across NJ are facing increased vacancies in large and midsize office parks and retail centers. Learn from municipal and business community leaders who worked together to build vibrant, thriving, sustainable communities.  Learn how municipalities have addressed vacant or underutilized commercial properties and leveraged their communities’ cultural and creative assets to re-envision and support successful economic development through public private partnerships.

Session Presentation

  • Presenters: Ann Brady, PlanSmart, NJ; Peter Cocoziello, Jr., Advance Realty; Daniel Hayes, Bridgewater Township, Mayor; Cassie D. Iacovelli, Main Street Hammonton; Jim Donio, Eagle Theater, Hammonton

Open Government in a Digital World:The municipal government landscape is becoming more and more technology driven.  Various tech methods exist to help municipal staff more efficiently deal with the need for public transparency and demands for data.  Experts will talk about the basics of digitizing public information, opening up government data and the impacts that these methods have on public engagement and internal operations.  Sustainable Jersey’s new Public Information and Engagement actions will be highlighted.  

Session Presentation

  • Presenters: Marc Pfeiffer, Bloustein School of Public Policy; Brian Platt, Jersey City Office of Innovation; Adam Loehner, Village of South Orange; Lauren Skowronski, Sustainable Jersey

NJ Clean Energy Program & Sustainable Jersey Energy Program Perfect Together:  This session covered Clean Energy incentives from the BPU Clean Energy Program including highlights of the Energy Master Plan, updates to the NJCEP and new incentives. It also featured how NJCEP and Sustainable Jersey work together to find new ways to make sustainable energy solutions available to your community, including new and updated Sustainable Jersey energy actions.

Session Presentation

Presenters: Marybeth Brenner, TRC Solutions; Gary Finger, NJ BPU (Board of Public Utilities); Tony O'Donnell and Randall Solomon, Sustainable Jersey

Sustainable Jersey Energy - What's New - Gold? This session focuses on Energy Actions, new and updated. Featured will be Gold Energy Star, the rules and strategies for achieving this new standard and related actions. It will define new concepts such as wedges and the Green House Gas reduction rates established for achieving Gold. The session will also provide strategies related to Gold such as municipal building efficiencies and municipal fleets.

Session Presentation

  • Presenters: Randall Solomon, Tony O'Donnell, Melanie McDermott, Sustainable Jersey; Ashley Miller, TRC Solutions

Achieve Sustainable Jersey Certification by Connecting the Dots:  Successful green teams have learned to reach out to its municipal boards, commissions, and departments to ascertain the wide range of sustainability initiatives its community has already undertaken and build support for taking it to the next level.  Gather tips and strategies for connecting with the different facets of municipal government and community organizations to document accomplishments, build your action portfolio, and achieve Sustainable Jersey certification.

Session Presentation

  • Presenters: Renee Haider, Sustainable Jersey; Ray Czywinski, ANJEC and Mayor of Demarest; Pam Zipse, Rutgers Urban Forestry Program of NJAE; John Cowie, Barnegat Fire Department; Leo Vazquez, The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking

2016 New Jersey Sustainability Summit

On June 15, 2016, the New Jersey Sustainability Summit was held in which the 2016 New Jersey Sustainable State of the State Report was released along with the Sustainable State 2016 Update and the new Gold standard.  Three breakout sessions were held on a variety of topics. 

Plenary Presentations

The morning session presentation consisted of the following speakers:

  • "Sustainable Jersey Update", Donna Drewes, Co-Director, Sustainable Jersey & Sustainability Institute @ TCNJ
  • "New Jersey Sea Levels: Past, Present & Future", Dr. Benjamin Strauss, Vice President Sea Level and Climate Impacts, Climate Central
  • "Sustainable State of the State Report Update", Dr. Melanie McDermott, Senior Researcher, Sustainable Jersey & Sustainability Institute @ TCNJ
  • "Mapping Out Gold", Randall Solomon, Co-Director, Sustainable Jersey & Sustainability Institute @ TCNJ

Breakout Sessions 11:30am - 12:30pm

Breakout Sessions 1:30pm - 2:45pm

Breakout Sessions 3:00pm - 4:15pm

2015 New Jersey Sustainability Summit

On June 10, 2015, the New Jersey Sustainability Summit was held in which the 2015 New Jersey Sustainable State of the State Report was released.  Two rounds of concurrent sessions were held to discuss the 57 goals and indicators of the report. 

Plenary Presentations

The morning session presentation consisted of the following speakers:

  • "Unlocking the Market for Strong + Resilient Communities," Shelley Poticha, Director, Urban Solutions, Urban Program Natural Resources Defense Council
  • "Sustainable State of the State Report," Randall Solomon, Co-Director, The Sustainability Institute at TCNJ and Sustainable Jersey and Dr. Melanie McDermott, Senior Researcher, The Sustainability Institute at TCNJ and Sustainable Jersey
  • "Sustainable Jersey Update," Donna Drewes, Co-Director, The Sustainability Institute at TCNJ and Sustainable Jersey

Round 1 Concurrent Sessions

Round 2 Concurrent Sessions

2015 Sustainable Jersey NJLM Conference Sessions

During the 2015 NJLM Conference, sessions were held about program updates, health initiatives, energy, communication and engagement, and more.

Accomplishing Big Things with a Small Grant

Green is the New Gray

Municipalities as Catalysts for Sustainable Energy

The Role of Local Government in Building a Culture of Health in Communities

Sustainable Jersey Program Update Part 1: Strategic Initiatives

  • Sustainable Jersey's Presentation: Donna Drewes, Sustainable Jersey; Renee Haider, Sustainable Jersey; Melanie McDermott, The Sustainability Institute at The College of New Jersey; Heather McCall, Sustainable Jersey for Schools; Lauren Skowronski, Sustainable Jersey; Linda Weber, The Sustainability Institute at The College of New Jersey

Sustainable Jersey Program Update Part 2: New Actions

  • Sustainable Jersey's Presentation: Donna Drewes, Sustainable Jersey; Leo Vasquez, National Consortium for Creative Placemaking; Dan Saunders, NJ DEP Office of Historic Preservation; Bill Brash, Shelterwood Forest Managers, LLC; Linda Weber, The Sustainability Institute at The College of New Jersey; Lauren Skowronski, Sustainable Jersey; Randy Solomon, Sustainable Jersey

Tools for Effective Communication and Engagement

What Does Sustainability Look Like in Urban, Suburban, and Rural Municipalities?

2015 Government Connext Forum

On October 4, 2015, the Government Connext Forum brought together government, business, nonprofit and community leaders to learn about innovative communications, engagement and transparency tools and processes which can make municipalities more efficient, save money and more effectively involve residents in important quality of life decisions.