MEET THE NORTH JERSEY RC&D
Laura Tessieri, PE, CFM is Director for the North Jersey Resource Conservation & Development Council (RC&D). She is responsible for the organization’s consistent achievement of mission and financial objectives. The North Jersey RC&D supports programs in areas of water resource protection, agricultural sustainability and community development.
Prior to RC&D, Laura worked with the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) as a Water Resource Engineer. Laura was highly involved with the Delaware River Basin Interstate Flood Mitigation Task Force that formed at the request of the four basin governors (NJ, NY, PA and DE). She implemented flood warning enhancements, reservoir modeling efforts and a floodplain regulation subcommittee though the DRBC Flood Advisory Committee. Her career also includes time spent in consulting firms advising on stormwater management, site design and municipal engineering.
Laura is a licensed professional engineer in the State of New Jersey and a Certified Floodplain Manager. She holds a dual B.S. in Bioresource Engineering from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Laura lives in Holland Township, NJ and enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and two children.
Christian Bench is NJRC&D’s Agricultural Specialist. His specialty is production agriculture, protecting natural resources and promoting the soil health initiative. Prior to working for NJRC&D he was employed with the USDA Farm Service Agency for 2 years and the USDA- NRCS for 8 years. Christian a has a B.S in Agricultural Science with a focus on crop science from Oregon State University . He and his wife operate a diverse farm in Stockton NJ where they focus on Hay, Straw, Sheep and Lamb production. Christian can be reached at the Frenchtown Service Center at 908-483-2358
Bridgett Hilshey is an Agricultural Specialist at NJ RC&D. Her specialty is in promoting soil health initiatives and sustainable agriculture. Prior to NJ RC&D, she worked for the National Park Service and the University of Vermont, Center for Sustainable Agriculture. Bridgett holds a B.S. in Environmental Science from Western Washington University and a M.S. in Soil Science from the University of Vermont. In her free-time, Bridgett enjoys gardening, cooking, and spending time outside with her three young children.
Alicia Huber is NJ RC&D's Agricultural Outreach Specialist. Her specialty is soil and water conservation on agricultural land and she is currently focusing on the Neshanic watershed. Alicia recently graduated from Penn State with a B.S. in Biorenewable Systems with a focus in agriculture. Prior to NJ RC&D she worked on a dairy farm through high school and college. Aside from work some of Alicia's hobbies are hunting, fishing, volleyball, tree climbing and many other outdoor activities. Alicia can be reached at the Frenchtown Service center at 908-483-2351.
Sustainable Agriculture Intern
Vicki Behm is NJRC&D’s sustainable agriculture intern. Her focus is on the soil health initiative protecting our natural resources while improving soil quality. She is currently focusing in Warren and Hunterdon counties. Vicki recently graduated from Delaware Valley University with a B.S. in Environmental Science concentrating in soils and land use along with a minor in Equine Business Management. Prior to NJRC&D, she held a joint internship with NRCS and DelVal as an equine grazing and soil health intern and worked as a groom for Alegria Polo Academy. Aside from work some of Vicki’s hobbies include boating, camping, and, training and showing her Arabian horses and mini donkey.
Watershed Programs Coordinator
Kyle works as Watershed Programs Coordinator for the NJRC&D and the Musconetcong Watershed Association. Having a shared mission of protecting and improving water quality in northwestern New Jersey, these two organizations have partnered on projects and officially became affiliated in 2016. Kyle is a shared employee between the two organizations and works with municipalities, schools and communities to promote a sense of pride and stewardship for the Musconetcong watershed area as well as surrounding watersheds through education programs, restoration and green infrastructure projects.
Prior to joining NJRC&D and MWA, Kyle taught environmental education for 5 years at YMCA Camp Bernie and worked on developing STEM education curriculum at the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences at Rutgers University. Kyle grew up in Southwest Florida and came to New Jersey to attend Rutgers University where he graduated with a B.S. in Marine Science. Kyle is furthering his education by attending Watershed Management courses through a certification program at Michigan State University. In his spare time, Kyle enjoys traveling, camping, hiking, scuba diving and snowboarding.
Brenda is NJRC&D’s Finance Manager who joined us in October, 2015. Brenda comes to NJRC&D with over 10 years of accounting experience concentrating mostly in small business. She is also the Business Manager of her husband’s towing company, Stinger Towing & Transport, LLC out of Lebanon Township. Brenda graduated from Stockton University in 2000 with a B.A. in Communications and is currently pursuing her CPA education certificate from Raritan Valley Community College. In her spare time, Brenda enjoys knitting, hiking and spending time with her 4 dogs and 3 cats.
Eric Romaine, an engineering technician with North Jersey
RC&D hooked up with NRCS to assist in the Hackettstown and
Frenchtown offices with their engineering needs. Eric brings his
love of the land and water and his education in botany & soils, to NRCS as a partner employee. Eric has several years of
experience in the golf course/turf maintenance industry. Eric
enjoys the outdoors, running, fishing, and snowboarding.